As a response to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak, many medical associations and organizations have released statements specifically related to treatment for cardiovascular patients.

These resources provide credible and trustworthy information. Many if not most, speak to the need for more detailed research and data, to help guide us as we develop new standards of practice to ensure optimal care based on clinical practice rather than speculation.
 

The best strategies to prevent contracting COVID-19 are:
  • Wear a mask in public places
  • Social distancing - stay at least 6 feet away from other people
  • Wash your hands frequently - with warm soapy water for at least 30 seconds
  • Avoid crowds, confined and poorly ventilated spaces.

Congressman-Elect Dies of COVID; U.K. Variant Is Here; What's Next for Pandemic?

December 30, 2020 - MedPageToday
Republican Congressman-elect Luke Letlow (R-La.), age 41, died after being hospitalized with COVID-19, the first member or member-elect of Congress to die from complications related to the coronavirus. (Politico)
As of 8:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, the unofficial COVID-19 toll in the U.S. reached 19,516,148 cases and 338,656 deaths -- up 203,580 and 3,605, respectively, since this time a day ago.
The first reported U.S. case of the highly transmissible coronavirus variant was confirmed in Colorado, in a man with no travel history. The strain previously had been reported in the United Kingdom. (Washington Post)

 

Also discussed are:
  • Britain's Emergency Authorization of AstraZeneca vaccine
  • President-Elect Joe Biden's promise to improve the speed of vaccine distribution
  • LA County confirmed the highest number of hospitalizations in a single day
  • External review of the case of a physician who died with COVID-19 - did racism affect her care?
  • 500 doses of Moderna vaccine discarded after being left unrefrigerated at a Wisconsin hospital
  • Where will year two of the pandemic take us?
  • Other news

Covid vaccine: US drugs agency FDA to proceed with Pfizer approval

December 11, 2020 - BBC News US & Canada

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come under renewed White House pressure to approve emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine.

FDA head Stephen Hahn was told to approve it on Friday or quit, US media said, although he called this "untrue".

The spotlight fell on the FDA after its experts on Thursday supported the vaccine. The US health secretary said it should roll out in a couple of days.

The Pfizer has been approved in the UK, Canada, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

 

Also discussed are:

 

Conclusion:
Both Pfizer and Moderna are seeking Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for their vaccines from the FDA's expert panel.
The Pfizer-BioNTech (US-German collaboration) vaccine needs to be stored at an extremely low temperature -70C, which could pose problems especially in rural areas where pharmacies may not have the necessary refrigeration to store the vaccine properly.
Moderna (US) is also applying for an EUA (Emergency Use Application) for its vaccine which has the advantage of being stable at -20C for up to 6 months.

The experts' recommendations still have to be approved by the FDA's vaccine chief, Dr. Peter Marks, before rollout can begin.

Operation Warp Speed, the federal government's vaccine distribution program, says deliveries will begin within 24 hours of the FDA's approval.

Interim Analysis of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 Vaccine Against SARS-CoV-2

December 09, 2020 - American College of Cardiology

Study Questions:

How safe and effective is the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)?

 

At a glance:

  • The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine is safe and has an efficacy ranging between 50%-90% in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 depending on the dosing regimen.
  • Most participants were 18-55 years age. Efficacy in the older, higher-risk population which would benefit the most is unclear.
  • While press releases from other coronavirus vaccine developers claim >90% efficacy, the impact on public health will depend on the ability to distribute and administer the vaccine at scale.

 

Also discussed are:
  • Currently, 48 vaccines are under clinical study, of which 11 are under evaluation in phase 3 clinical efficacy studies
  • Overall efficacy of the vaccine was 70%, similar to the efficacy of the flu vaccine
  • The efficacy reported is in a generally low-risk population, as most of the participants were <55 years old.
  • Several questions remain: What is the effectiveness in a higher-risk and older population?
  • Can the vaccine prevent asymptomatic transmission?
  • What is the optimal dosing regimen?

 

Conclusions:
The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine is safe and has an efficacy ranging between 50%-90% in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, depending on the dosing regimen.

COVID Passes Heart Disease as Top US Killer

December 07, 2020 - Medscape

COVID-19 passed heart disease as the leading cause of death during the past week, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

More than 11,800 COVID-19 deaths were reported, passing heart disease at 10,700 deaths, lung and tracheal cancer at nearly 4,000 deaths, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at more than 3,700 deaths, and stroke at more than 3,600 deaths. The daily death rate is greater than 4 per million in 34 states, according to the report.

 

Also discussed are:
  • The IHME estimates the number of deaths could reach more than 500,000 by April 2021
  • Covid-19 data from Johns Hopkins University
  • Projected vaccine rollout could save 9,000 lives by April, 2021
  • Hospitals will face "high or extreme stress" for beds & ICU capacity from December to February according to IHME
  • US logged more than 1 million new cases during the first five days of December

Statin Use in Patients With Diabetes Hospitalized for COVID-19 Associated with Lower Mortality

December 02, 2020 - The Cardiology Advisor
Statin use was associated with reduced in-hospital mortality in COVID-19 patients with diabetes, based on data published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. According to investigators, the anti-inflammatory effects of statins may attenuate the severity of COVID-19.
Investigators conducted an observational study of all consecutive adult patients with COVID-19 admitted to a single-center facility from March to May. Of the 4252 admitted patients, 1355 patients (32%) received a statin.
More patients receiving statin therapy were older (<.01), had history of hypertension (91% vs 84%; P <.01), had atherosclerotic heart disease (46% vs 28%; P <.01), and had a higher Charlson comorbidity index (6 vs 4; <.01). Compared to patients not receiving a statin, patients receiving statin therapy had lower inflammatory markers, including C-reaction protein (<.01).

 

Also discussed are:

 

Conclusion:
Investigators observed that statin administration to patients with COVID-19 and diabetes was associated with a reduced risk of in-hospital mortality. “These findings, if validated, may further reemphasize administration of statins to patients with diabetes during the COVID-19 era,” investigators concluded.

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About Jasdeep Dalawari MD

Experienced General and Specialist Physician with a demonstrated history of working in the medical practice industry. Skilled in Interventional, Endovascular, Vascular, and General Cardiovascular Medicine; Emergency Medicine; Healthcare Consulting, including Peer Review, Expert Witness, and Utilization Review; and Medical Education. Strong healthcare services professional with an MS focused in Health Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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