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Physician's Briefing Weekly Coronavirus Roundup

Here is what the editors at Physician's Briefing chose as the most important COVID-19 developments for you and your practice for the week of Dec. 7 to 11, 2020. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

BNT162b2 Vaccine 95 Percent Effective for Preventing COVID-19

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2020 -- A two-dose regimen of a lipid nanoparticle-formulated, nucleoside-modified RNA vaccine that encodes a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 full-length spike protein, BNT162b2, is 95 percent effective for preventing COVID-19, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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U.S. Marshals to Protect COVID-19 Vaccines

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2020 -- COVID-19 vaccines will be protected by U.S. Marshals deputies as they are distributed throughout the United States.

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ED Visits Related to Child Abuse, Neglect Dropped During COVID-19

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2020 -- During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a decrease in the total number of emergency department visits related to child abuse and neglect, according to research published in the Dec. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Hyposmia, Dysgeusia Common for Patients With COVID-19

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2020 -- Loss of smell and taste are common in patients with COVID-19 infection, and these symptoms may precede systemic symptoms, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in Neurology Clinical Practice.

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70 Percent Efficacy Found for Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2020 -- The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine has an overall efficacy of 70.4 percent, with an acceptable safety profile, according to the results of an interim analysis published online Dec. 8 in The Lancet.

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Essential Workers Have Increased Risk for Severe COVID-19

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2020 -- Essential workers have an increased risk for severe COVID-19, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

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FDA Advisory Committee OKs Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2020 -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee today voted to recommend emergency use authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech.

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American Indians/Alaska Natives Have Elevated COVID-19 Mortality

THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2020 -- American Indians/Alaska Natives have disproportionate COVID-19 mortality rates, according to research published in the Dec. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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FDA Authorizes First OTC COVID-19 Home Test Collection Kit

THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2020 -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the first over-the-counter home sample collection kit for COVID-19, the agency announced yesterday.

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Kidney Disease Leading Risk Factor for COVID-19 Hospitalization

THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2020 -- Kidney disorders are the strongest preexisting factor associated with COVID-19-related hospitalization, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in PLOS ONE.

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Deaths Up During Pandemic for Those With Rare Autoimmune Disorders

THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2020 -- Individuals with rare autoimmune rheumatic diseases have a more prominently increased risk for all-cause death during COVID-19 compared with the general population, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in Rheumatology.

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Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19 Up in Cancer Survivors

THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2020 -- Cancer survivors are at higher risk for comorbidities that are considered risk factors for severe COVID-19 outcomes, according to a study published online Nov. 30 in EClinicalMedicine.

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Neurologic Complications of COVID-19 Described

THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2020 -- For patients hospitalized with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, neurologic complications include altered mental status, fatigue, headache, and stroke, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in Neurology Clinical Practice.

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ED Visits for Peds Asthma Plunged Under COVID-19 Lockdown

THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2020 -- During the COVID-19 spring lockdown, there was a decrease in pediatric asthma-related emergency department visits, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

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Canada Approves Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2020 -- The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved by Canada's health agency and the first Canadians could start receiving it next week.

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U.S. Hospitals Running Out of ICU Beds for COVID-19 Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2020 -- In a sign that the COVID-19 pandemic is entering its most dire stage yet, new federal data show that more than a third of Americans now live in areas where hospitals are critically short of intensive care beds.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Caution Issued by U.K. Officials

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2020 -- People with a "significant history" of allergic reactions should not receive the new Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, U.K. regulators said Tuesday.

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Hospitalization Up for Black Gynecologic Cancer Patients With COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2020 -- Black gynecologic oncology patients with COVID-19 are more likely to require hospitalization and have a disproportionate rate of death, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in Cancer.

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Children's Depression Symptoms Up During U.K. Lockdown

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2020 -- Children's depressive symptoms increased substantially during the U.K. lockdown relative to before lockdown, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Metformin Use May Reduce Mortality in Women With COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2020 -- For women with type 2 diabetes or obesity who are admitted to the hospital with COVID-19, metformin use is associated with significantly reduced mortality, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in The Lancet Healthy Longevity.

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California Introduces Smartphone Coronavirus Exposure Alert Tool

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2020 -- A smartphone tool to alert people of possible COVID-19 exposure will become available in California on Thursday.

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FDA Review Finds Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Effective After First Dose

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2020 -- New data released Tuesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee suggest that Pfizer's two-dose COVID-19 vaccine works well protecting recipients against COVID-19.

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Large U.S. Claims Study IDs Complications of COVID-19

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2020 -- Numerous complications of COVID-19 have been identified, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Hep C Testing, Identification Plummet During COVID-19

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2020 -- The COVID-19 systematic emergency response has led to a decrease in hepatitis C virus testing and identification, according to a study published online Nov. 22 in the Journal of Primary Care & Community Health.

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Pediatric Appendiceal Perforation Up During COVID-19 Pandemic

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2020 -- There was a statistically significant increased rate of appendiceal perforation in children presenting to the emergency department during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a research letter published online Dec. 4 in JAMA Network Open.

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Masks Containing Metal Could Cause Burns During MRI, FDA Warns

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2020 -- Patients who wear face masks with metal parts or coatings during magnetic resonance imaging could suffer facial burns, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Monday.

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Rooming-In, Breastfeeding Feasible With Maternal SARS-CoV-2

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2020 -- For women with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, rooming-in and breastfeeding are feasible for those who can care for their infants, with postnatal transmission occurring infrequently, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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CDC Recommends Universal Mask Wearing

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2020 -- Americans should wear masks during all indoor activity outside of their homes and during all outdoor activity when it is not possible to stay at least 6 feet apart, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

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COVID-19 Lockdown Tied to Increased Heavy Drinking

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2020 -- Heavy alcohol consumption among adults with a history of binge drinking increases the longer they spend at home in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.

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Flu Shot More Popular Than COVID-19 Vaccine Among Older Adults

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2020 -- Older adults are less likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine than a flu vaccine, according to a report published online Nov. 24 based on the results of the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging.

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Posted: December 2020

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