COVID-19 Vaccine

FDA staff declines to take stance on Pfizer’s Covid vaccine booster shots, citing lack of verified data

The FDA staff declined to take a stance on whether to back booster shots of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, saying U.S. regulators haven’t verified all the available data. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said there is currently not a consensus in the biomedical community on boosters for the general public and with experts on both sides of the debate, it’ll be interesting to see where the debate goes. (CNBC, September 15, 2021)

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Coronavirus was top cause of law enforcement deaths in first six months of 2021, report says

A spokesperson for the city of Cambridge discussed how police officers in the city are not required to be vaccinated, yet the city has had strong vaccination rates. In part, thanks to an officer who also serves as a part-time nurse at Mount Auburn Hospital and was an instrumental internal resource in the early stages making himself available to address any questions and concerns. (Boston Globe, September 14, 2021)

Masked doctor

Industry Sounds Alarm on “Mental Health Crisis”

Behavioral health practitioners and advocates are proposing two bills as part of the solutions to challenges facing their field, and patients seeking care. Patrick Aquino, MD of Beth Israel Lahey Health Behavioral Services said Massachusetts is grappling with an acute shortage of psychiatrists at the same time that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on an ever-increasing need for mental health treatment. (State House News via WBUR, September 14, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccine

Return to stadium worth the risk for fans

Football season is back and fans are returning to stadiums. But COVID-19 concerns remain. Sharon Wright, MD, MPH of Beth Israel Lahey Health said it is important to know one’s risk factors and understand ways to mitigate the risk of exposure. (The Sun Chronicle, September 12, 2021)

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Research probes women doctors’ “impossible task of having it all”

The pandemic has further amplified the imbalance of child care and household-management tasks, placing further burden on women physicians. Research by Huma Farid, MD and Katharyn M. Atkins, MD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, aims to shed light on the pandemic’s true toll on women physicians with children and to develop a framework for how institutions can best support these physicians, particularly early on in their careers. (American Medical Association, September 8, 2021)

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ISID podcast: COVID travel passes

Lin Chen, MD of Mount Auburn Hospital joined a podcast from the International Society of Infections Disease to discuss what COVID-19 travel passes would look like and when and how might they be feasible. (ISID Podcast, September 2, 2021)