Two days ago the FDA indicated it will add a warning about rare cases of myocarditis in adolescents and young adults to information sheets for the Pfizer/BioNTech, and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. This followed a decision made by CDC advisor that myocarditis in adolescents and young adults is likely linked to the vaccines, but that the benefits…
With the delta variant, both AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines offer high protection against hospitalisation. One dose of AstraZeneca vaccine offered 71% protection against hospitalisation, while two doses offered 92% protection. In the case of Pfizer vaccine, the protection against hospitalisation was 94% after one dose and 96% after two doses. A real-world study undertaken by […]
“For those of us in public health, it’s nothing short of amazing,” Dr. Jeff Duchin, the chief health officer for Seattle and King County, told me the other day. I had called Duchin to ask about a startling claim he made recently. At a weekly health briefing, he offhandedly remarked that of King County’s recent COVID-19 cases, 97% had occurred in unvaccinated people. It effectively meant the only people still catching coronavirus here in King County are people who haven’t gotten the shots. It also means the disease that just a few months ago threatened the entire nation is now almost exclusively circulating among a shrinking few.
“We’re getting to the point where it’s a tale of two societies,” says Dr. Umair Shah, the state health secretary.Shah reported this past week that unvaccinated people between ages 45 and 64 are now being hospitalized for COVID at rates 21 times higher than the vaccinated.
At the Seattle Times website for this article you’ll find over 500 comments. After reading several comments I had to stop. Every comment I read made me sad about all of the things we have gotten wrong during the pandemic. One of the worst things that has happened was the politicization of Covid-19. Sometimes I just wish it would stop.
If for whatever reason you choose to refuse the vaccine I have no interest in debating your decision. I’ll present some facts and we can remain cordial.
While the data provide useful insights, they also remain subject to gaps, limitations, and inconsistencies that limit the ability to get a complete picture of who is and who is not getting vaccinated. For example, data gaps and separate reporting of data for vaccinations administered through the Indian Health Service limit the ability to analyze vaccinations among American Indian and Alaska Native people and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. Moreover, some states have high shares of vaccinations that are missing race/ethnicity or that are classified as “other,” limiting the ability to interpret the data. For example, in Alaska, over 30% of vaccinations were among people classified as “other” race, and race was unknown for over 30% of vaccinations in Virginia. Four states were not reporting vaccination data by race/ethnicity, including Georgia which halted reporting its data in March. Comprehensive standardized data across states will be vital to monitor and ensure equitable access to and take up of the vaccine.
Monica Gandhi MD, MPH is Professor of Medicine and Associate Division Chief (Clinical Operations/ Education) of the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at UCSF/ San Francisco General Hospital. She also serves as the Director of the UCSF Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and the Medical director of the HIV Clinic at SFGH (“Ward 86”). Dr. Gandhi completed her M.D. at Harvard Medical School and then came to UCSF in 1996 for residency training in Internal Medicine. After her residency, Dr. Gandhi completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, both at UCSF. She also obtained a Masters in Public Health from Berkeley in 2001 with a focus on Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
Seven out of eight emergency department (ED) visits attributed to adverse events from benzodiazepines involve self-harm or nonmedical use of these drugs, and more than 80% involve concurrent use of alcohol, illicit drugs, or other substances, new research shows.
Although benzodiazepines are typically not problematic in terms of acute overdoses when used alone, patients often don’t take them as prescribed or use them with other substances in a self-harm attempt, author Daniel S. Budnitz, MD, MPH, director of the Medication Safety Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Medscape Medical News.
“Clinicians need to be aware of what other substances patients might be taking when they’re being prescribed a benzodiazepine,” Budnitz added.
The study was published online February 19 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
“I took the medication only as prescribed,” Bobbi said. After her benzodiazepine was stopped abruptly, she suffered multiple disabling neurological symptoms, including seizures, cognitive and visual impairment, difficulty walking, and hand contractures, leaving her unable to work. Bobbi is one of many patients my advocacy organization helped report their harm to the FDA. Our goal was to raise awareness of the adverse effects of benzodiazepines and advocate for stronger warning labels.
Thus, I was pleasantly surprised last September to see the FDA’s drug safety communication announcing an update to the boxed warning for benzodiazepines “to address the serious risks of abuse, addiction, physical dependence, and withdrawal reactions.” Curious, I filed a FOIA request for the FDA’s 175-page report on benzodiazepines. Many of the document’s conclusions raise the same concerns benzodiazepine safety advocates have had for decades.