Weekly Review: What’s new in the COVID-19 clinical world? – December 21, 2020

Weekly Review: What’s new in the COVID-19 clinical world? – December 21, 2020

Effectiveness of Baricitinib and Remdesivir in COVID-19 Treatment

An early release, peer-reviewed clinical trial published by the National Institute of Health investigates the combination of baricitinib and remdesivir when used in people hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 infection and shows promise with reduced recovery time. Known as the ACTT-2 trial, this study included 1,033 volunteer patients spread across eight countries. Once enrolled, participants were randomized to receive a placebo combination or oral baricitinib and IV remdesivir. In the study, those who received the combination drugs had a reduced median time of recovery. For those who were hospitalized, length of stay was reduced from eight to seven days, for those who required high flow oxygen without intubation, their recovery was reduced from 18 days to ten days. Those who received the drugs rated their symptoms as significantly improved at day 15 and reported fewer adverse effects than that of the placebo group. Authors caution that this treatment regimen needs further investigations and comparison studies, however, there may be some promise with this combination therapy.

Nutrients and Immune System Optimization During COVID-19

Zinc and Vitamins C and D are quite well known for their ability to support the immune system and are found in many products that claim to boost immunity and prevent the onset or duration of viral infections. In this article, the role of these nutrients is discussed. Evidence of this study concludes that deficiency of one or more of these elements may leave an individual vulnerable to viral infections and a more significant disease prognosis. Authors suggest that during the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals should ensure adequate intake of each to support the immune system and reduce the effects of viral respiratory infection. The review demonstrates that zinc, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D are integral to the immune system and show synergistic functions at various stages of defense against infection, and support the claim that medical literature indeed supports the use of these nutrients to mitigate viral respiratory infections. Authors suggest the use of these products, however, request further clinical trials to provide more information on the effects of these supplements on COVID-19 patients.

Information About Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. FDA for use in individuals aged 16 and older. As such, Pfizer-BioNTech has launched an official COVID-19 Vaccine (BNT162b2) website for healthcare professionals in the U.S. which has quick access links to safety information, fact sheets for vaccinators and recipients, full EUA prescribing information, product storage information, and information on adverse event reporting.

The CDC announced publicly that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) released interim recommendations for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. This release describes the public meetings held by the ACIP regarding the use of the COVID-19 vaccines and specifically describes the body of evidence that supports use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. First being the large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II/III clinical trial that enrolled >43,000 participants. With a median follow up period of two months, studies show a 95.0% effective (95% confidence interval) in preventing symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in those without laboratory evidence of previous COVID-19 infection. Consistency of efficacy was observed among multiple categories and includes those with underlying comorbidities and those with evidence of previous COVID infection. The article contains a great deal of data related to the Pfizer studies and gives a better understanding of the vaccination implementation strategy, expected side-effects, and evidence to support these findings.

|2020-12-21T10:08:39-05:00December 21st, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|Comments Off on Weekly Review: What’s new in the COVID-19 clinical world? – December 21, 2020

About the Author: Casey Cummins

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Casey Cummins, MSN, APRN, NP-C is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner who currently serves as the Chief Nurse Consultant for the Immunizations Division at the Indiana Department of Health. She is part of the ISDH COVID-19 Outbreak Response Team, and has assisted with coordinating testing efforts state-wide during the pandemic. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their children, being outdoors, gardening, and traveling whenever possible.

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