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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 March 1 to 5, 2021. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

Two Cases of SARS-CoV-2 Variant P.1 Identified in Minnesota

FRIDAY, March 5, 2021 -- Two cases of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 variant P.1 identified in Minnesota are described in a report published in the March 3 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Shortage of Syringes Reported for COVID-19 Shots

FRIDAY, March 5, 2021 -- Countries worldwide are struggling to find enough syringes to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

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Ivermectin Does Not Speed Symptom Resolution in Mild COVID-19

FRIDAY, March 5, 2021 -- A five-day course of ivermectin does not improve the time to resolution of symptoms compared with placebo for adults with mild COVID-19, according to a study published online March 4 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Delayed Local Reactions to mRNA-1273 Vaccination Reported

FRIDAY, March 5, 2021 -- Twelve cases of delayed large local reactions to the mRNA-1273 vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 are described in a letter to the editor published online March 3 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Frequency of Urgent Vitreoretinal Surgery Down During Pandemic

FRIDAY, March 5, 2021 -- The frequency of urgent or emergent vitreoretinal surgical procedures decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online March 4 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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California Targets Vulnerable Neighborhoods for COVID-19 Vaccination

THURSDAY, March 4, 2021 -- About 40 percent of California's COVID-19 vaccine doses will be set aside for the most vulnerable neighborhoods in the state, officials said Wednesday.

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COVID-19 Death Rates 10 Times Higher in Countries Where Most Are Overweight

THURSDAY, March 4, 2021 -- In a finding that suggests overweight people should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines, a new report released Thursday shows the risk for death from COVID-19 infection is about 10 times higher in countries where most of the population is overweight.

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Pediatric Oncology Services Disrupted During Pandemic

THURSDAY, March 4, 2021 -- The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disruptive effect on pediatric oncology services, according to a study published online March 3 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

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Behavioral Health Issues Remain High as Pandemic Continues

WEDNESDAY, March 3, 2021 -- Self-reported symptoms of behavioral health issues remain high as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, according to a research letter published online Feb. 19 in JAMA Network Open.

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NIH Halts Trial of Convalescent Plasma for Mild COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, March 3, 2021 -- A clinical trial evaluating the use of convalescent plasma in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms has been halted because the treatment did not benefit them, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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Dysnatremia Tied to Poorer Prognosis in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

WEDNESDAY, March 3, 2021 -- For patients presenting with COVID-19, abnormal sodium levels are associated with mortality and needing ventilatory support, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Preliminary Data in Israel Show COVID-19 Vaccines Effectively Prevent Severe Disease

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 -- COVID-19 vaccines seem to have been effective for preventing severe COVID-19 cases in Israel, according to research published in the Feb. 26 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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One-Third of U.S. Adults Continue to Be Hesitant About COVID-19 Vaccines

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 -- More than one-third of nonelderly U.S. adults report they are unlikely to get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a report released by the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Dramatic Decline Seen in COVID-19 Cases, Deaths at U.S. Nursing Homes

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 -- New COVID-19 cases in U.S. nursing homes have fallen to their lowest number since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services started keeping track in May 2020, which suggests that vaccines are helping and that it might be possible to loosen some nursing home restrictions, a new report says.

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Response to One Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine Strong for Previously Infected

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 -- Individuals with previous severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection generate strong responses to one dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine, according to two research letters published online Feb. 25 in The Lancet.

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IL-6 Receptor Antagonists Benefit Critically Ill With COVID-19

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 -- Treatment with interleukin-6 receptor antagonists tocilizumab and sarilumab improves outcomes among critically ill patients with COVID-19 receiving organ support in the intensive care unit, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Easy to Update in Response to Variants

MONDAY, March 1, 2021 -- A COVID-19 vaccine still awaiting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval may prove to be a powerful weapon in fighting the pandemic, according to its developers.

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Walmart Expands COVID-19 Vaccination Program

MONDAY, March 1, 2021 -- Walmart said it will expand its COVID-19 vaccination program to more than 1,400 pharmacies in 35 states.

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J&J COVID-19 Vaccine Granted Emergency Use Authorization

MONDAY, March 1, 2021 -- The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine received the third emergency use authorization for a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Saturday.

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Axillary Adenopathy Reported After Recent COVID-19 Vaccination

MONDAY, March 1, 2021 -- In two reports published recently in the American Journal of Roentgenology, radiologists address the clinical features of axillary adenopathy seen on breast imaging after COVID-19 vaccination and provide a detailed approach to manage these findings and avoid confusion among patients and clinicians.

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COVID-19 Outcomes No Worse for People With Asthma

MONDAY, March 1, 2021 -- COVID-19 outcomes are similar for people with or without asthma, according to a review published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Asthma.

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High Dose of Vitamin D Does Not Cut COVID-19 Hospital Stay

MONDAY, March 1, 2021 -- A single high dose of vitamin D3 does not shorten length of stay or improve other outcomes among patients hospitalized for COVID-19, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Antibodies Persist Six Months After Second Dose of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

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Mortality Risk Up for Dialysis Patients in March to July 2020

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