July 30, 2021
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The CDC has issued COVID-19 testing recommendations urging fully vaccinated people to get tested three to five days after exposure to the virus even if they don't experience symptoms. Prior recommendations indicated fully vaccinated people only needed testing after exposure if they were symptomatic.
Full Story: The New York Times (7/30) 
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Health Care News
A study in Pediatrics found that depression screening among adolescents ages 12 to 21 years decreased from 77.6% to 75.8% and adolescents screening positive for depression increased from 5% to 6.2%, with greater increases seen among female, non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic white youths, during the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with the same period before the pandemic. The findings also showed that positive suicide risk screens increased from 6.1% to 7.1% during the same period.
Full Story: Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (7/28) 
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Children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes had a greater likelihood of developing adverse health conditions -- such as eye disease, nerve damage and kidney disease -- before age 30, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study also showed Black and Hispanic children were 80% and 57% more likely, respectively, to develop later complications than white children.
Full Story: HealthDay News (7/29) 
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A study presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference suggests that high sugar intake might increase a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. "Most sugars readily convert to glucose, whose metabolism is regulated by insulin and the insulin-mediated glucose transporter GLUT4, which is highly expressed in the hippocampus and may play a role in memory," researcher Christopher Ford said.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (7/29) 
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A study presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference found a cluster of blood-based metabolites that could predict subsequent dementia risk and also correlated with early pathology in adults younger than age 60. Researchers said the findings may help provide a prevention target.
Full Story: Medscape (free registration) (7/28) 
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Researchers studied 22,046 children and found that patient portal reminders for pediatric influenza vaccines, whether framed as losses or gains, were not linked to an increase in first-dose influenza vaccination rates. However, the findings in Pediatrics also showed that the use of patient portal reminders was effective in getting children back for their second dose of the influenza vaccine.
Full Story: Contemporary Pediatrics (7/29) 
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Researchers surveyed almost 4,000 high school youths in Pennsylvania and found higher rates of bullying among those who were part of multiple stigmatized groups. The findings in JAMA Network Open also showed that experiences with bullying were linked to forgone medical care, self-harm, suicidal ideation and greater involvement in violence.
Full Story: HealthDay News (7/27) 
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Pharmaceutical News
Eli Lilly's baricitinib was granted expanded emergency use authorization by the FDA as a COVID-19 drug that can be administered separately from Gilead's remdesivir. The expanded authorization was based on results from a trial involving 1,525 hospitalized COVID-19 patients that showed those treated with baricitinib had a lower risk of progressing to ventilator use or death compared with patients given standard of care.
Full Story: Reuters (7/29) 
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Initial studies of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated 100% efficacy in protecting against hospitalization, but that number slowly drops in six months to about 84%, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said. A study that has not undergone peer review found that a third dose of the vaccine raises antibody levels by a factor of 5 to 11 for adults, with older adults seeing larger gains.
Full Story: CNN (7/28),  CNBC (7/28) 
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Emerging Trends, Products and Technologies
Eighty percent of respondents to a Harris Poll expressed concern about digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates, and though 68% said they would sign up for one, only 45% said they would be very likely to use one. Digital credentials may be less prone to fraud than paper vaccine cards, but standardization, consistent adoption and strict privacy rules are necessary, and researchers at the Brookings Institution are urging the federal government to promulgate regulations that ban companies from selling or mishandling personal health information.
Full Story: Fast Company (tiered subscription model) (7/29) 
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Health Policy and Legislative News
The White House is taking additional steps to boost the number of vaccinated Americans as a new wave of COVID-19 infections threatens areas with low vaccination rates with the mandate to require proof of vaccination from federal workers and contractors and payments of $100 for each newly vaccinated. "With freedom comes responsibility. So please exercise responsible judgment. Get vaccinated for yourself, the people you love, for your country," President Joe Biden said. Presently, the number of fully vaccinated Americans has reached 163.9 million, while the number of administered COVID-19 vaccine doses now totals 344.1 million, according to the CDC.
Full Story: Reuters (7/29),  Reuters (7/29) 
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill to expand the state's Medicaid program, making all people ages 50 and older with low income eligible for coverage beginning in May 2022 regardless of immigration status. The law could add about 235,000 people to the program with costs paid by the state.
Full Story: Reuters (7/27) 
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Nominations for the prestigious AANP State Award for Excellence are now being accepted. Awarded annually, the NP State Award for Excellence and the Advocate State Award for Excellence recognize individuals for their outstanding service on behalf of patients and the NP role. Current AANP members are encouraged to help the association identify and honor a deserving NP and NP advocate in their state, district or territory. AANP membership is not required to be nominated for either award; however, only current AANP individual members can nominate candidates by submitting the 2022 State Award Nomination Form no later than Sept. 10, 2021.
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It is a time in which we will redefine what it means to be human, for this is not just the start of a revolution, it is the start of an evolution.
David A. Sinclair,
biologist, professor of genetics
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