January 15, 2021
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Gottlieb: J&J's COVID-19 vaccine has good profile
(Justin Tallis/Getty Images)
Former FDA Commissioner and current Pfizer board member Scott Gottlieb said data from Johnson & Johnson's early-stage trials for its single-dose coronavirus vaccine published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine showed a good profile and could indicate "we are probably going to have a third entrant here." Results showed that neutralizing antibodies were found in all participants who received the vaccine when they were tested after 57 days, and the company plans to launch the vaccine by March, with a goal of delivering 1 billion doses this year, said J&J Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels.
Full Story: The Hill (1/14),  PMLive (UK) (1/14) 
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Nursing, Health & Medical Science
A study conducted by Mayo Clinic researchers found that antibody-rich convalescent plasma administered to hospitalized adult patients with COVID-19 who did not need mechanical ventilation was associated with a lower mortality risk, compared with plasma transfusion with lower antibody concentrations. The findings, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, also showed that convalescent plasma did not alter mortality risk for patients with COVID-19 who were receiving mechanical ventilation.
Full Story: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (1/13) 
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The US logged more than 200,000 new COVID-19 cases Thursday for the 10th day in a row, as well as more than 3,000 fatalities, bringing the total number of deaths to more than 388,000 since the pandemic started. New ensemble projections from the CDC predict the COVID-19 death toll could top 400,000 by the third week of January as hospitals and health systems struggle to keep up with the surge of patients with COVID-19.
Full Story: CNN (1/15) 
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A study in Pediatrics found that neurodevelopmental screening at age 14 months had low positive predictive value of adaptive behavior deficits at age 6 in youths born with single ventricle physiology.
Full Story: 2 Minute Medicine (1/13) 
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A study in the journal Obesity found that patients with COVID-19 admitted to the intensive care unit, as well as those treated with mechanical ventilation, had a greater visceral fat area value, compared with patients hospitalized with COVID-19 not taken to the ICU or treated with ventilation. The findings were based on data from an analysis of six studies encompassing 560 COVID-19 patients.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (1/13) 
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Pregnant women with prolonged Zika viremia had a seven times greater risk for fetal or neonatal adverse outcomes versus pregnant women who did not have prolonged viremia, according to a study in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Infectious Disease News (1/14) 
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Trends & Technologies
An updated report by the CDC indicates that the total number of COVID-19 vaccines distributed as of Jan. 14 has reached 30,628,175 doses, while the number of first doses administered now stands at 11,148,991.
Full Story: Reuters (1/14) 
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Clinical leaders at five Arizona health systems want a meeting with Gov. Doug Ducey because the COVID-19 pandemic has strained their resources almost to the point of rationing. Ducey has said he is satisfied with current COVID-19 mitigation efforts, but the executives called for additional measures and said if triage is needed they will adopt those standards of care at the same time.
Full Story: The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (tiered subscription model) (1/14),  KPNX-TV (Phoenix) (1/13) 
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From the Patient's View
A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found the sharp growth in telehealth use during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic was driven more by patients seeking behavioral health care services than those seeking care for physical ailments. The findings, based on a survey of more than 2,000 respondents in May 2020, also revealed many patients switched to telehealth to connect with their own care providers.
Full Story: mHealth Intelligence (1/12) 
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Legislative Policy & Regulatory News
President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday proposed a plan to provide $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief, which would include $20 billion in funding for a national vaccine program, $350 billion for state and local governments, $50 billion for COVID-19 testing, and $170 billion for K-12 schools, colleges and universities. The American Rescue Plan would also provide $1,400 in direct payments to most Americans, boost federal unemployment benefits to $400 per week, raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and extend the eviction and foreclosure bans until the end of September.
Full Story: CNN (1/15),  The New York Times (1/15),  CNBC (1/14) 
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HHS has rolled out a treatment locator tool that shows which sites have received shipments of FDA-authorized COVID-19 antibody treatments within the past several weeks. The tool, which can be accessed at HHS' Protect Public Data Hub, "allows patients and providers to find sites for outpatient treatment options, which may help reduce the number of people who require hospitalization for COVID-19 care, which in turn reduces the strain on our nation's hospitals and their staff," according to Robert Kadlec, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response.
Full Story: Healthcare IT News (1/12) 
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The FDA approved Pfizer's supplemental new drug application for Xalkori, or crizotinib, as a treatment for pediatric patients aged 12 months or older as well as young adults with refractory or relapsed, systemic ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
Full Story: Cure Today (1/14) 
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SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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