Timely Update: You Can Administer Flu Shots and COVID-19 Vaccine in the Same Visit

Timely Update: You Can Administer Flu Shots and COVID-19 Vaccine in the Same Visit

Just as urgent care operators are gearing up for one of the more precarious flu seasons in memory—while also continuing to guard against the health and economic threats of the COVID-19 pandemic—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a significant change from its most recent seasonal vaccine recommendations. Where the CDC at first advised against administering a flu shot (or any other shot) within 2 weeks of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, they now say …

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Be Vigilant for Prescription Seekers and Signs of Drug Abuse as the Pandemic Goes on

Be Vigilant for Prescription Seekers and Signs of Drug Abuse as the Pandemic Goes on

A study just published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) reveals that drug overdoses attributed to benzodiazepines were 43% higher in April to June 2020—just as the COVID-19 pandemic surged—compared with the same period a year earlier. That coincided with a jump in related emergency room visits (24%) at a time when EDs were scrambling to keep up with the demands of the pandemic while also trying to maintain safety of patients and staff. …

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As the Pandemic Goes On, Vaccines Are Shown to Protect Against Serious Illness with Delta

As the Pandemic Goes On, Vaccines Are Shown to Protect Against Serious Illness with Delta

COVID-19 vaccines are proving to not only diminish the risk of patients becoming infected with the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants, but also to protect against serious illness in patients who do become infected—including those infected with the Delta variant. A study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report revealed that vaccinated patients diagnosed with the Delta variant of COVID-19 are less likely to require hospitalization or visits to the emergency room or urgent …

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Now It’s Been Proven: COVID-19 Vaccines Reduce Hospitalizations (and Even Trips to Urgent Care)

Now It’s Been Proven: COVID-19 Vaccines Reduce Hospitalizations (and Even Trips to Urgent Care)

Data on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, thus far, have focused on how well vaccination protects patients from infection. We know that the vaccines, overall, are approximately 95% effective against infection, though that figure may be as low as 66% against the Delta variant. We also know, however, that breakthrough cases occur more often than we might have anticipated. An article just published in the New England Journal of Medicine appears to be the first …

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Let Vaccine-Hesitant Patients Know Their Risk of Dying with COVID-19 Is 11 Times Higher

Let Vaccine-Hesitant Patients Know Their Risk of Dying with COVID-19 Is 11 Times Higher

Data showing that vaccination lowers the risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2, and that vaccination reduces the severity of disease on breakthrough cases, have been available for some time. That wasn’t enough to convince the entire population that getting a COVID-19 shot is a good idea, somehow. Maybe the three studies published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week will be more convincing. The most striking reveals that risk of death in …

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COVID-19 Doesn’t Discriminate Among Races and Settings. So Why Should Vaccination Rates Be Inequitable?

COVID-19 Doesn’t Discriminate Among Races and Settings. So Why Should Vaccination Rates Be Inequitable?

In spite of public health messaging (some of which highlights healthcare providers and patients of color), there continue to be disparities in vaccination rates from one demographic group to another across the United States. As noted in an article just published online by JAMA Health Forum, U.S. neighborhoods with a higher percentage of white and Asian residents and higher mean incomes were more likely to have high rates of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 compared with neighborhoods …

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A Little Information Can Be a Dangerous Thing (See: Ivermectin and COVID-19)

A Little Information Can Be a Dangerous Thing (See: Ivermectin and COVID-19)

Back in March, Antiviral Research published an article declaring that ivermectin—known as a treatment for various parasitic conditions in humans and animals—was found to inhibit replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Some patients, presumably spurred on by exaggerated, out-of-context, or downright erroneous reports on the internet, took that as encouragement to seek out prescriptions for ivermectin and to self-treat for COVID-19. Now they are suffering the consequences, which include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as …

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The Risks of Declining the COVID-19 Vaccine Become More Obvious as the Known Benefits of Vaccination Grow

The Risks of Declining the COVID-19 Vaccine Become More Obvious as the Known Benefits of Vaccination Grow

Recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that people who are not vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus are five times more likely to get COVID-19 and 29 times more likely to be hospitalized if they do get infected. At the same time, according to a new report published in Lancet Infectious Disease, people who get COVID-19 in spite of being vaccinated are 50% less likely to experience “long” COVID-19. The research, …

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Good News for Patients Who Are Sincerely Vaccine-Hesitant Because They’re ‘Highly Allergic’

Good News for Patients Who Are Sincerely Vaccine-Hesitant Because They’re ‘Highly Allergic’

We tend to be dismissive of patients who express concern about the safety of the currently available COVID-19 vaccines—all of which have been shown to reduce transmission and severity of the virus, with low incidence of any side effects. While the motives of some of those individuals may be suspect, there are some who are genuinely fearful that their perceived consequences of getting the vaccine are more compelling than the proven benefit. Those who have …

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Let’s Not Overlook the Risk for Household Transmission of COVID-19

Let’s Not Overlook the Risk for Household Transmission of COVID-19

Most public health efforts to contain spread of COVID-19 have been just that—public. It’s not without good reason, given how easily the virus can pass from one person to another and the great number of people most of us are exposed to every day. However, new data just published by JAMA Network Open should serve as a reminder that what we’re exposed to when we’re out of the house becomes what we expose our family …

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