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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 April 5 to 9, 2021. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

In-Hospital SARS-CoV-2 Mortality Declined Throughout Pandemic

FRIDAY, April 9, 2021 -- In-hospital mortality for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-positive patients of all ages has declined throughout the pandemic period, according to a study published online April 8 in JAMA Network Open.

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Supply of J&J COVID-19 Vaccine to Drop 86 Percent Next Week

FRIDAY, April 9, 2021 -- In a setback to a national vaccination campaign that was finally gaining ground, the federal government said Thursday that Johnson & Johnson will allocate 86 percent fewer doses of its COVID-19 vaccine across the United States next week.

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First Living Donor Transplant of Lung Tissue to COVID-19 Patient Announced

FRIDAY, April 9, 2021 -- The world's first transplant of lung tissue from living donors to a COVID-19 patient with severe lung damage was announced Thursday by doctors in Japan.

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CDC: Risk for Catching Coronavirus From Surfaces Is Low

FRIDAY, April 9, 2021 -- The risk for catching the new coronavirus from surfaces is low, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week in what some experts say is a long overdue announcement.

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

FRIDAY, April 9, 2021 -- Antibodies persist through six months after the second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, according to a letter to the editor published online April 6 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Blood Type Not Associated With COVID-19 Outcomes

FRIDAY, April 9, 2021 -- Blood type is not associated with COVID-19 susceptibility or outcomes, according to a research letter published online April 5 in JAMA Network Open.

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Mortality Risk Up for Dialysis Patients in March to July 2020

FRIDAY, April 9, 2021 -- Patients undergoing dialysis and those with kidney transplants had increased mortality risk in 2020 compared with 2017 to 2019, according to a study published online April 8 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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NIH Starts Trial Looking at Rare Allergic Reactions to COVID-19 Vaccines

THURSDAY, April 8, 2021 -- A new clinical trial will investigate whether people who are highly allergic or have a mast cell disorder are at higher risk for a sudden allergic reaction to the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.

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Poll: Despite Pandemic's Toll, Many Older Adults Do Not Have Living Wills

THURSDAY, April 8, 2021 -- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues in the United States, less than half of older Americans have legally stated their wishes should they become seriously ill, a new survey reveals.

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COVID-19 Cases Climb in the Midwest as British Variant Takes Hold in U.S.

THURSDAY, April 8, 2021 -- As new coronavirus cases soared across the Upper Midwest on Wednesday, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that a highly infectious variant first discovered in Britain has now become the most common source of infections in this country.

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Considerable Neurologic, Psychiatric Morbidity Reported After COVID-19

THURSDAY, April 8, 2021 -- In the six months after COVID-19 infection, there is considerable neurologic and psychiatric morbidity, according to a study published online April 6 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

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March 2020 to January 2021 Saw 23 Percent Jump in Mortality

THURSDAY, April 8, 2021 -- There was a 22.9 percent increase in all-cause mortality reported in the United States from March 1, 2020, through Jan. 2, 2021, according to a research letter published online April 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Oral COVID-19 Vaccine Being Tested

THURSDAY, April 8, 2021 -- California researchers are testing whether an oral vaccine offers similar or better protection than current COVID-19 shots.

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'Possible Link' Found Between AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine, Rare Blood Clots

WEDNESDAY, April 7, 2021 -- There is a "possible link" between the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and rare blood clots, but the benefits of the vaccine still outweigh the risks, the European Union drug regulator says.

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COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program Announced by White House

WEDNESDAY, April 7, 2021 -- A funeral assistance program that will provide up to $9,000 to cover the burial costs of every American who died of COVID-19 will be launched next week by the Biden administration.

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Poll: Public Lost Trust in CDC During COVID-19 Crisis

WEDNESDAY, April 7, 2021 -- Americans' trust in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, an opinion poll finds.

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'Double Mutant' Coronavirus Variant Detected in US for First Time

WEDNESDAY, April 7, 2021 -- A "double mutant" variant of the coronavirus has been detected in San Francisco, making it the first time the variant has been spotted in the United States.

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Two Peaks in MIS-C Followed COVID-19 Peaks in the US

WEDNESDAY, April 7, 2021 -- Among patients with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, two peaks were identified, which followed COVID-19 peaks by two to five weeks, according to a study published online April 6 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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COVID-19 Vaccination During Pregnancy May Protect Infant

WEDNESDAY, April 7, 2021 -- Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine during the third trimester of pregnancy might confer passive immunity to the newborn, according to a study published online March 29 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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Strong Rebound in Mammography Volume Noted by July 2020

WEDNESDAY, April 7, 2021 -- Screening and diagnostic mammography volumes decreased in April 2020 compared with April 2019 prepandemic levels but mainly rebounded by July 2020 compared with July 2019, according to a study published online March 29 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Shelter-in-Place Orders Tied to Weight Gain

TUESDAY, April 6, 2021 -- Shelter-in-place orders were associated with consistent weight gain, according to a research letter published online March 22 in JAMA Network Open.

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New Coordinator Appointed for U.S. Global Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

TUESDAY, April 6, 2021 -- A new coordinator for the U.S. global response to the COVID-19 pandemic was announced Monday by the White House.

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Walgreens Was Not Following COVID-19 Dose Timing Guidelines

TUESDAY, April 6, 2021 -- Walgreens was not following U.S. government guidance on when to give second doses of COVID-19 vaccines but will start doing so after hearing from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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No Increase Seen in Outpatient VTE for SARS-CoV-2-Positive Patients

TUESDAY, April 6, 2021 -- The incidence of outpatient venous thromboembolism is similar among symptomatic patients with a positive versus negative severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 test, according to a research letter published online April 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Mass COVID-19 Vaccinations May Help Protect Unvaccinated People

TUESDAY, April 6, 2021 -- Mass COVID-19 vaccinations may help combat the pandemic by protecting both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, according to a new study.

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Few COVID-19 Infections Seen in Vaccinated Health Care Workers

TUESDAY, April 6, 2021 -- The incidence of infection is markedly reduced once health care workers receive the second dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine regimen, according to two research letters published online March 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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About 40,000 Children Have Lost a Parent to COVID-19

MONDAY, April 5, 2021 -- An estimated 37,300 to 43,000 children have lost a parent to COVID-19, according to a research letter published online April 5 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Navajo Nation Curbs COVID-19 Cases

MONDAY, April 5, 2021 -- The Navajo Nation recently reported no coronavirus cases and no COVID-19 deaths in a 24-hour period, a notable achievement considering that the second largest tribe in the United States once had one of the highest COVID-19 case rates in the country.

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'Vaccine Passports' to Be Part of Britain's Reopening Plan

MONDAY, April 5, 2021 -- A pilot project involving "vaccine passports" will be among the measures included in the British government's plan to fully reopen the economy as it continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Previously Infected May Only Need Single Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

MONDAY, April 5, 2021 -- Individuals previously infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection have antibody responses to one dose of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) mRNA vaccine that are comparable to those of infection-naive individuals receiving two doses, according to a study published online April 1 in Nature Medicine.

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Risk of Quitting Up for Medical Center Employees, Faculty During Pandemic

MONDAY, April 5, 2021 -- A substantial number of employees and trainees working at medical centers have experienced major stress and work disruptions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey study published online April 2 in JAMA Network Open.

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Pregnant Women Show Robust Immune Response to COVID-19 Vaccine

MONDAY, April 5, 2021 -- Vaccination of pregnant and lactating women can confer robust maternal and neonatal immunity to COVID-19, according to a study published online March 25 in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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