Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|April 1, 2021

Iowa news

Take a look inside ISU’s COVID-19 testing lab

When the COVID-19 pandemic reached Iowa in 2020, the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostics Lab had to shift from animal outbreaks to humans. The staff of 20, who are in the lab nearly every day running tests, are helping out beyond the ISU community. One year ago, the lab space was a teaching area. The team initially got pulled to ramp up testing at the State Hygienic Lab in Iowa City, but they soon had to convert the space into a certified COVID-19 testing lab. Their peak came during admissions, completing 10,000 same-day PCR tests in three weeks. They’re now helping out other health care systems in Central Iowa. (KCCI)

Matter of trust: How community leaders and health officials are building vaccine confidence in minority communities

More than 929,000 Iowans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but there are stark inequalities in who is getting vaccinated. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, just under 81% of the Hawkeye state doses have been given to white people as of Wednesday afternoon. Just over 1% of doses have been administered to Black Iowans. Nearly 15% of doses are categorized as unknown race, something Iowa-Nebraska NAACP health chair Jacquie Easley McGhee said is a product of the racial disparity because of vaccine hesitancy in the Black community. (KWWL)

High costs, lack of collaboration cited in decision to deny UIHC’s North Liberty campus proposal

A state board that voted 3-2 in February to deny the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics a North Liberty campus cited costs and competition with community providers as factors behind its decision. As the state’s largest hospital determines how it moves forward with its proposal, the State Health Facilities Council released its written decision this week. The $230 million project would have added a 36-bed facility on 60 acres UIHC already owns in North Liberty. It was pitched as a means of “decanting” some of the pressure on the hospital system’s existing beds, freeing the campus from limitations on their ability to expand at their main campus. (Iowa City Press-Citizen)

National news

Johnson and Johnson loses 15M vaccine doses in mix-up

About 15 million doses of Johnson and Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine have been lost after a mix-up at a Baltimore manufacturing plant. The plant, run by Emergent BioSolutions, is tasked with manufacturing two COVID-19 vaccines. Workers at the plant conflated ingredients of the vaccines, ruining the doses. (Sheboygan Press)

Ask a pediatrician: Do kids really need the coronavirus vaccine?

A big question among parents and teachers as more schools reopen is when their kids will be vaccinated against COVID-19. Some have wondered whether the vaccine is even necessary for children. There is news on that front. Vaccine maker Pfizer suggested its vaccine is as effective in children ages 12-15 as it is in young adults. But the results of Pfizer’s vaccine trials in adolescents have not been fully released or reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration, and that will take several weeks. (Oregon Live)

Pfizer, Biontech say trials suggest COVID-19 vaccine works against South African variant, is effective after six months

Pfizer and BioNTech said Thursday that trials suggest their vaccine is effective against a coronavirus variant that first emerged in South Africa, which some experts worry might evade existing shots. The drugmakers also said in a statement that 12,000 people involved in their Phase 3 trial experienced high levels of protection against COVID-19 six months after their second dose, with no serious safety concerns. (NBC News)

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