The storm that hit two weeks ago disrupted our lives in many ways. I can say it is easier to enjoy snow when you have power. When the office was closed it was still possible to do telemedicine visits with patients. This was the first time I had done it from home. One advantage to working from your study is that your dog can help out. I may not wait until the next snow storm to try it again.
We are excited to hear of the third vaccine approved for the prevention of Covid 19. Here is a summary from Journal Watch which hits some of the highlights. Bottom line: This is an effective vaccine which is more suitable for use by office based physicians. It keeps people out of the hospital and out of the morgue. I hope the state will give us some.
February 28, 2021
Third COVID-19 Vaccine Authorized, Recommended in U.S.
By Kelly Young
The CDC recommended use of the newly authorized COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson on Sunday. The FDA granted emergency use authorization to this vaccine for use in people ages 18 years and older a day earlier.
“This third safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine comes at a potentially pivotal time,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky. “CDC’s latest data suggest that recent declines in COVID-19 cases may be stalling and potentially leveling off at still very high numbers. That is why it is so critical that we remain vigilant and consistently take all of the mitigation steps we know work to stop the spread of COVID-19 while we work our way toward mass vaccination.”
The vaccine, known as Ad.26.COV2S, will be administered as a single dose, which is an advantage over the two-dose mRNA vaccines that are already available in the U.S. It can also be stored at refrigerated temperatures.
In studies of 45,000 people, the vaccine was 77% effective in preventing severe/critical COVID-19 that occurred at least 14 days postvaccination and 85% effective at least 28 days postvaccination. It was 100% effective in preventing COVID-19-related mortality.
The recombinant vaccine uses adenovirus type 26 (Ad26) to “deliver a piece of the DNA … that is used to make the distinctive ‘spike’ protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” according to the FDA.
In other vaccine news, the FDA has determined that the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine can be stored at standard temperature freezers for up to 2 weeks. Previously, the vaccines had to be kept between -112 and -76 degrees Fahrenheit. The less stringent temperature requirement could make the vaccine accessible to more sites.