The Med & Mic™ 01.05.22
Medical and Health News Updates
Omicron’s New Healthcare Strain
Primary care offices are dealing with the surge of patients with mild Omicron symptoms. Many staff at these offices are out sick, making it difficult to keep up with the patient load. Some doctors fear routine care for high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, and other chronic conditions will suffer, leading to more severe issues for patients later. “We have to do more telehealth visits than face-to-face visits because we don’t have the staff,” Dr. Laura Byerly said in a report from the AP. Hospitals are urging people not to come to the emergency room for mild symptoms.
New Booster Guidelines
The CDC has shortened the interval between the second dose of Pfizer vaccine and the booster to five months. Immunocompromised children ages 5 to 11 can get a third shot a month after their second one as part of the primary series. The FDA expanded emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine for kids 12 to 15. “With the current wave of the omicron variant, it’s critical that we continue to take effective, life-saving preventative measures, such as primary vaccination and boosters, mask wearing, and social distancing in order to effectively fight COVID-19,” FDA Acting Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement in a report from CNN.
Birth During Pandemic Tied to Lower Development Scores
In a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, doctors in New York followed births from March 2020 through December 2020, and found no difference in development between babies born to mothers with COVID or without COVID. However, when they compared the 255 babies at six months to babies born at the same hospital in 2019, they found the group born during the pandemic scored lower on motor and social skills based on a questionnaire filled out by parents. This suggests pandemic stress, and not the virus itself, could affect children.
Sports Stars Skirt Vaccine
Tennis star Novak Djokovic and NBA star Kyle Irving received vaccine exemptions. Djokovic got an unspecified medical exemption to enter Australia for the Australian Open. Irving could play in Indianapolis today after a long standoff with the NBA. More in the WSJ.
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