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Not taking COVID-19 vaccines tied to avoidable hospitalizations
COVID-19 patients who were eligible for vaccination but did not take them had a 10 times higher hospitalization risk than those who received two doses. They also had 21 times higher risk than those who took a booster or a third dose. The study estimated that costs of $101.46 million and $110.24 million could be avoided with full and booster vaccination, respectively.
COVID-19-positive kidney transplant is safe, says a study
Kidney transplantation using kidneys from donors with active COVID-19 was not linked to worse transplant outcomes within two years following the surgery, as per a study. The likelihood of rejecting such kidneys for transplantation also decreased over time. These findings suggest that using such kidneys is safe, but further research is needed to assess long-term safety.
Paxlovid gets full FDA approval for treating severe COVID-19
PAXLOVID™ (nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets) became the first oral treatment for COVID-19 that got FDA approval. It demonstrated an 86% reduction in the risk of hospitalization or death in the phase 2/3 EPIC-HR trial in those who took it within 5 days after symptoms started. The safety of Paxlovid was consistent in patients across the trial and in those who used it.
COVID-19 boosters do not raise the risk of miscarriages
Data analysis of 100,000 pregnancies prior to 20 weeks gestation showed that only 4% of pregnant women who had spontaneous abortions received a third COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot within 28 days of abortion. These findings were consistent across the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. These findings support the safety of booster vaccines during early pregnancy.
Heart transplant from COVID-19-positive donors tied to lower survival
Transplanting hearts from donors with active COVID-19 infection to recipients was associated with higher mortality at six months and one year, as per a study. In contrast, the survival was similar when donors did not have COVID-19, or they had recently resolved COVID-19. These findings have implications for heart transplantation centres to weigh risks against benefits.
New COVID-19 vaccines should focus on XBB variants, says WHO
The agency recommended that COVID-19 booster vaccines should be updated to attack XBB variants that are dominant across the world. Also, new COVID-19 treatments should be designed to produce antibodies against these variants. Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna, and Novovax are already developing their vaccines accordingly to target currently dominant strains.
New guidance for managing neurological symptoms of long Covid
The guidance laid out some neurological red flags to differentiate long Covid symptoms from medical emergencies. Though it did not offer new research findings, it called for careful screening of patients with serious neurological signs. Damage to cranial nerves, headaches, neuropathy, sleep disturbances, tremors, and muscular weakness are neurological symptoms of long Covid.
Using masks at the doctor's office is still beneficial
Though the WHO declared the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency, using face masks in community settings, hospitals, and clinics could reduce the risk of catching the virus, as per a study. The study also revealed no significant differences in the protection provided by N95 respirators and surgical masks, while evidence was insufficient on cloth vs surgical masks.
Vitamin D supplementation could help treat long Covid
Researchers evaluated vitamin D levels of patients with COVID-19 during hospitalization and six months after discharge to find that vitamin D levels were lower in those experiencing long Covid than those without it. These findings were more evident in patients suffering from brain fog symptoms like forgetfulness, poor concentration, and confusion after six months.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment could improve heart symptoms in long Covid
Patients with mild to moderate post-COVID syndrome were given five sessions of HBOT in eight weeks, which involved inhaling 100% pure oxygen at high pressures of 2 atmospheres for 90 minutes with breaks. People who received the HBOT experienced significant recovery of cardiac function as measured on ECG compared to no recovery in people in the control group.