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 Jan. 25 to 29, 2021. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

New COVID-19 Variants May Weaken Efficacy of Vaccines

FRIDAY, Jan. 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The new coronavirus is mutating in an attempt to elude vaccines and treatments, putting a greater onus on Americans to get vaccinated and use social distancing measures to avoid infection, U.S. health officials said Friday.

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SARS-CoV-2 Seroconversion Tied to Out-of-Hospital Sudden Deaths

FRIDAY, Jan. 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) — There was an association between geographic distribution of out-of-hospital sudden death and epidemiologic burden of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in New York City during the first epidemic outbreak, according to a study published in the February issue of Heart Rhythm.

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EU Regulator Approves Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

FRIDAY, Jan. 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) — European Union regulators have authorized the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for use in adults, CBS News reported Friday.

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Nearly Half of U.S. Adults Want the COVID-19 Vaccine as Soon as Possible

FRIDAY, Jan. 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) — U.S. adults are increasingly eager to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to survey results released by the Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor.

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J&J COVID-19 Vaccine 66 Percent Effective in Interim Analysis

FRIDAY, Jan. 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Interim phase 3 data show that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals of Johnson & Johnson is 66 percent effective in preventing moderate-to-severe COVID-19 in adults, the National Institutes of Health announced today.

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COVID-19 Admissions, Fatalities Up for Pregnant Women

FRIDAY, Jan. 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Compared with similarly aged adults in Washington state, pregnant women have significantly higher COVID-19 hospitalization and case fatality rates, according to a study published online Jan. 26 in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Schizophrenia Linked to Mortality in Adults With COVID-19

FRIDAY, Jan. 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) — A premorbid diagnosis of schizophrenia spectrum disorder is associated with mortality among adults with COVID-19, according to a study published online Jan. 27 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Guidance Issued for COVID-19 Vaccination of Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) — In a new guidance statement from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, recommendations are presented for COVID-19 vaccination of cancer patients.

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Early Anticoagulation May Not Up Survival in Severe COVID-19

THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Early therapeutic anticoagulation does not appear to affect survival among critically ill adults with COVID-19, according to a study published online Jan. 26 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Retired Doctors, Nurses Will Be Approved to Give COVID-19 Vaccine, White House Says

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Retired doctors and nurses are being called to the front lines of the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination effort, the White House COVID-19 Response team announced Wednesday.

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Respiratory, Physical, Psych Sequelae ID’d After COVID-19 Discharge

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For patients hospitalized with COVID-19, respiratory, physical, and psychological sequelae are common at four months after discharge, according to a study published online Jan. 27 in JAMA Network Open.

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U.S. Government to Increase Vaccine Deliveries to States

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) — In response to COVID-19 vaccine shortages, the U.S. government will increase vaccine deliveries to states by 16 percent during the next three weeks and plans to have enough to vaccinate 300 million people by the end of summer or early fall, President Joe Biden said Tuesday.

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Certain Factors Increase Pandemic’s Psychological Impact on College Students

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Certain risk factors are associated with college students self-reporting a psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in PLOS ONE.

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COVID-19 Antibody Treatments Exceed Expectations in Early Trials

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Promising new data on two antibody cocktails suggest these therapies can keep COVID-19 patients out of the hospital and even prevent illness altogether in some people.

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Metformin Use for T2DM May Reduce COVID-19 Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Diabetes is associated with increased odds of contracting COVID-19 and with increased COVID-19 mortality, while metformin treatment before diagnosis of COVID-19 is associated with reduced odds of related mortality, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in Frontiers in Endocrinology.

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Large Number of SARS-CoV-2-Infected Are Asymptomatic

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Nearly three-quarters of individuals with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection remain asymptomatic, according to a systematic review published online Jan. 22 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Anxiety, Depression Remain High Following Initial Lockdown

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Depression and anxiety rates remain elevated following the initial COVID-19 lockdown, according to a study published online Jan. 11 in the Journal of Public Health.

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Brazilian Coronavirus Variant Found in Minnesota

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The first known U.S. case of a more infectious Brazilian variant of the coronavirus has been confirmed in a person in Minnesota who recently traveled to Brazil, state health officials said Monday.

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COVID-19 Also Hazardous for Middle-Aged Adults

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 is dangerous for middle-aged adults, with an estimated age-specific infection fatality rate of 0.4 and 1.4 percent at ages 55 and 65 years, respectively, according to a review published online Dec. 8 in the European Journal of Epidemiology.

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Smoking History Tied to Worse COVID-19 Outcomes

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Cumulative cigarette smoke exposure is an independent risk factor for hospital admission and death from COVID-19, according to a research letter published online Jan. 25 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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COVID-19 Outcomes No Worse for Patients on Immunosuppressive Meds

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) — People taking immunosuppressive drugs prior to a COVID-19 hospitalization do not have worse outcomes, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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No Evidence Found to Support Discontinuing ACEIs, ARBs in COVID-19

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For patients taking angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers and hospitalized with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, there is no significant difference in the mean number of days alive and out of the hospital with discontinuation or continuation of these medications, according to a study published in the Jan. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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U.S. to Get Fewer Vials of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Pfizer will provide fewer vials of its COVID-19 vaccine to the United States in the coming months after it was discovered that it had previously shipped extra doses.

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Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Effective Against British, South African Variants

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine remains effective against two worrisome new coronavirus variants from Britain and South Africa, but it is somewhat less effective against the South African variant.

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2.5 Anaphylaxis Cases Reported Per Million COVID-19 Moderna Vaccine Shots

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The rate of anaphylaxis is 2.5 cases per million Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses administered as of Jan. 10, 2021, according to research published in the Jan. 22 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Full-Dose Heparin May Aid Moderately Ill COVID-19 Patients

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Evidence suggests that full-dose anticoagulation treatment reduces the need for vital organ support such as ventilation and may reduce mortality in moderately ill patients hospitalized with COVID-19, according to interim results of research funded by the National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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Vitamin D Deficiency Associated With Increased COVID-19 Risk

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Patients with vitamin D deficiency are significantly more likely to be positive for COVID-19, according to a study published in the April issue of Nutrition.

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Children Less Susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 but More Infectious

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Children and adolescents are less susceptible to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, but are more infectious than older adults within households, according to a study published online Jan. 18 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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