Friday, January 22, 2021

Tag: Covid

HEALTH
Huntsville Hospital: COVID vaccinations start Wednesday

COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline health care employees in north Alabama will start Wednesday morning and also be made available to physicians’ offices and emergency medical responders, a Huntsville Hospital spokesman said Monday.

The hospital is expecting 6,825 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to arrive Tuesday, hospital Senior Vice President Tracy Doughty said.

Another dose will be required in 21 days for full inoculation. The first-round doses are coming from the state, which is also holding the follow-up doses until they are needed. According to other AL.com reporting, half of the first doses will be allocated to hospital health care workers, 15 percent for EMS workers, 15 percent for physician offices, and 20 percent for other hospital staff.

Doughty briefed reporters late Monday on Huntsville’s plan. As a example of early vaccinations, Doughty cited the staff at the hospital’s Fever and Flu Clinic, which has been testing people for the virus

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HEALTH
Hospitals Prioritize Which Workers Are First for COVID Shots

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

If there’s such a thing as a date with destiny, it’s marked on Dr. Taison Bell’s calendar.

At noon Tuesday, Bell, a critical care physician, is scheduled to be one of the first health care workers at the University of Virginia Health System to roll up his sleeve for a shot to ward off the coronavirus.

“This is a long time coming,” said Bell, 37, who signed up via hospital email last week. “The story of this crisis is that each week feels like a year. This is really the first time that there’s genuine hope that we can turn the corner on this.”

For now, that hope is limited to a chosen few. Bell provides direct care to some of the sickest COVID-19 patients at the UVA Health hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia. But he is

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HEALTH
Pfizer’s CEO hasn’t gotten his Covid vaccine yet, saying he doesn’t want to cut in line

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla hasn’t received his company’s Covid-19 vaccine shot yet, saying Monday he and other executives will not “cut the line” as U.S. officials kick off a massive effort to distribute the vaccine across the country.

The vaccine, which Pfizer developed in partnership with Germany-based BioNTech, is the first approved for emergency use in the U.S. to prevent Covid-19. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized the vaccine for use in people 16 and older, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday officially recommended its use.

However, there are limited doses available and as such, the CDC has recommended states prioritize health-care workers and long-term care residents for initial distribution.

While Bourla’s company developed the vaccine, he is not a frontline health-care worker himself. He said he’s also 59 and in relatively good health, so it’s not entirely appropriate for him to receive the

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HEALTH
First COVID 19 vaccine shipments arrive in Canada

TORONTO (AP) — The first of many freezer-packed COVID-19 vaccine vials have arrived in Canada.



Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, left, and Major-General Dany Fortin, second from left, join other members of the vaccine distribution task force as the Canadian Armed Forces and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) hold a rehearsal of concept drill for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout at the PHAC headquarters in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)


© Provided by Associated Press
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, left, and Major-General Dany Fortin, second from left, join other members of the vaccine distribution task force as the Canadian Armed Forces and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) hold a rehearsal of concept drill for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout at the PHAC headquarters in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau late Sunday tweeted a picture of them being taken off a plane. Canada’s health regulator approved the vaccine made by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech last Wednesday.

The vaccines are bound for 14 distribution sites across the country.

Quebec is expected to be the first province to administer the vaccine, saying it’s prepared to start inoculating residents of two long-term

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HEALTH
When Will Hospitals Start Getting Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine? Operation Warp Speed Official Gives Update

After months of anticipation amid an unabating pandemic, the first delivery of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered Monday to U.S. hospitals, according to officials.

The vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use only. The vaccine is 95% effective. 

On Saturday, boxes filled with the vaccine will be distributed from the Pfizer manufacturing location to various locations around the U.S. after they leave UPS and FexEx hubs. The vaccine shipments are going to 636 locations. 

In a press briefing on Saturday, Gen. Gustave Perna, the chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, spoke about the delivery of Pfizer’s vaccine.

“We expect 145 sites across all the states to receive the vaccine on Monday, another 425 sites on Tuesday, and the final 66 sites on Wednesday, which will complete the initial delivery of the Pfizer orders,” Perna stated.

Health departments will be giving out

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HEALTH
First truckloads of COVID vaccine in US are ready to roll

The first trucks carrying a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use in the United States were set to pull out of a Michigan manufacturing plant Sunday, with the shots that are critical to stopping the nation’s coronavirus outbreak destined to reach states a day later.

An assembly line of workers began in the early morning hours pulling doses out of a freezer, boxing the vaccine and loading the units onto pallets so they could be placed on trucks at a Pfizer plant in Michigan. Dry ice, shipping labels and packing tape were on hand as the workers — donning masks, face shields and gloves — put together the packages inside the warehouse.

One forklift driver transported the boxes to a loading area where a second forklift driver transferred the pallets from inside the facility onto a semitruck.

Shipments of the Pfizer vaccine will set in motion the biggest vaccination effort in

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HEALTH
Managing Your Finances During COVID

The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on the lives and livelihoods of individuals and institutions around the world. The cumulative civic and social costs have been devastating, exacerbated by the economic ramifications of a worldwide recession and tumultuous unemployment landscape.

While the impact of recessionary pressures and new professional and financial circumstances is by no means limited to the healthcare field, medical professionals on the front lines have been placed in the difficult position of simultaneously handling extraordinary workplace challenges and navigating personal difficulties.

For certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) across the United States, those challenges can be particularly acute. Many CRNAs work as 1099 independent contractors, essentially making themselves business owners hired on an as-needed basis. While 1099 status can be more lucrative, it traditionally offers less professional security and predictability than full-time employment. But with some of the nation’s largest health systems forced to implement significant

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HEALTH
Doctors treating some COVID patients at home as Alabama hospitals run low on beds

Dr. Blayke Gibson works at the front lines of the COVID pandemic in the emergency department at UAB Hospital, where she sees some of the state’s sickest patients.

But as beds fill up at UAB and across the state, Gibson and her colleagues are increasingly sending some of them home as part of a program designed to treat borderline cases outside of the hospital. UAB has purchased inexpensive pulse oximeters that can be sent home with patients and allow them to monitor their oxygen levels remotely, saving hospital beds for patients who are sicker. Doctors follow up by phone or video call within 24 hours and frequently after that, to make sure the patient isn’t getting any worse.

Gibson said the program was modeled on one developed at Weill Cornell Medicine in the spring, when hospitals in New York struggled with an influx of COVID patients. Gibson said she and

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HEALTH
Historic U.S. COVID Vaccine Campaign Launches With Convoy of Trucks | Top News

(Reuters) – Tractor trailers loaded with suitcase-sized containers of COVID-19 vaccine will leave Pfizer Inc’s manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on Sunday morning – launching the largest and most complex vaccine distribution project in the United States, where the virus is raging.

U.S. regulators late on Friday authorized the vaccine from Pfizer and partner BioNTech for use, and U.S. marshals will accompany the tightly secured shipments from factory to final destination.

“We have spent months strategizing with Operation Warp Speed officials and our healthcare customers on efficient vaccine logistics, and the time has arrived to put the plan into action,” Wes Wheeler, president of UPS Healthcare, said on Saturday.

Pfizer’s dry-ice cooled packages can hold as many as 4,875 doses, and the first leg of their journey will be from Kalamazoo to planes positioned nearby. Workers will load the vaccine – which must be kept at sub-Arctic temperatures – onto

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HEALTH
ACIP Adds Seal of Approval to First Authorized COVID Vax

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to adults ages 16 and older under the FDA’s emergency use authorization (EUA), said the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in an emergency meeting on Saturday.

In a 11-0-3 vote (with three members recusing themselves due to conflicts of interest), the committee voted for this interim recommendation. They also voted 14-0 to amend the adult and child/adolescent immunization schedule to recommend COVID-19 vaccination under the scope of use for an EUA.

CDC staff noted that insurance carriers will have 15 business days after the vote and adoption until they will be mandated to cover COVID-19 vaccine administration fees. They said the generic language about COVID-19 vaccines, rather than the Pfizer vaccine, is to ensure there is no delay in coverage as additional vaccines are added.

This planned 2-day emergency meeting took place Friday, with a last minute schedule change. The second

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