COVID-19 Vaccine

Opening Day ceremonies at Fenway offer a sense of relief, gratitude, and a little bit of normalcy

After a shortened 2020 season filled with grief and isolation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the first pitches of Opening Day 2021 at Fenway Park on Friday afternoon were thrown out by new Boston Mayor Kim Janey, Cpl. Shamar Martin of the Army National Guard, and Edward Ullman, MD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Ullman has overseen the first aid room at Fenway Park for 18 years, but he treated more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients as an attending physician in the BIDMC Emergency Department. He also oversaw the mass COVID-19 vaccination site at the Boston ballpark, which administered more than 56,000 doses of the vaccine. (Boston Globe, April 2, 2021)

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Some hospitalized COVID patients develop seizures

A new study shows some hospitalized COVID-19 patients have non-convulsive seizures that may increase their risk of death. Mouhsin Shafi, MD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, co-authored the study and noted the findings suggest that COVID patients should be monitored closely for non-convulsive seizures. (HealthDay, April 1, 2021)

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Video: Boston doctor reacts to CDC director’s emotional plea about ‘impending doom’

Sharon Wright, MD, MPH of Beth Israel Lahey Health, spoke to the CDC director’s latest warning about a potential fourth wave of the virus and noted that although we are close to being able to get more vaccine to get people vaccinated, we are also seeing the number of people acquiring COVID-19 increasing. Wright cautions it’s still important to physically distance, wear a mask and stay mostly with members of our own households. (WCVB Channel 5, March 29, 2021)

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Officials’ missteps on COVID, then and now

In a letter to the editor responding to “Prepare Yourself for Grief” (At Home, March 14), Dorothy Holinger, PhD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, proposed a national day of mourning to acknowledge the nation’s collective grief for more than half a million deaths of grandparents, mothers, fathers, children, siblings and life partners and to celebrate those who were with them as they died. (New York Times, March 29, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccine

The politics of stopping pandemics

In this opinion article, Jerome Groopman, MD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and how global instability has caused a worrying rise in epidemics. (The New Yorker, March 29, 2021)

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What COVID-19 taught us about telemedicine

During the early days of pandemic lockdown, clinics and hospitals were forced into a massive telemedicine shift. Now, as doctors resume in-person visits, virtual care is poised to play a permanent role. Daniel Sands, MD, MPH of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, noted healthcare professionals have learned much about the many different things doctors can do to connect with patients in ways never seen before. (Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccine

Advocates want NIH to use its Moderna vaccine patent to push for global access

Public health advocates and academics are asking for the government to exert NIH patent rights over the Moderna vaccine to make it more widely available in the developing world. Kenneth Mayer, MD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, noted that requiring technology sharing and using the WHO to work with technology organizations in other countries are amongst the things the government can do in a regulated way. (Washington Post, March 25, 2021)

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COVID-19 vaccine may not provide full protection for transplant patients

A recent study of transplant recipients, who take drugs to suppress their immune system, found that most failed to produce antibodies against the coronavirus after a first dose of vaccine. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, who worked on developing the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, noted it is expected that vaccines will have reduced immune response in immune-suppressed populations. (Boston Globe, March 25, 2021)

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What happens to pandemic tech when the crisis fades?

Long-awaited federal rules that will allow patients to access their health information and share it with third-party apps take effect on April 5. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is hoping to ease the transition with a week-long series of drop-in clinics to prepare its physicians for the new rules. (Politico, March 24, 2021)