I’m a physician. My wife and I had breakthrough COVID-19 cases. Vaccination saved her life.
I had COVID-19. And I had been fully vaccinated. It is a terrible illness. I am a physician and faculty member at Des Moines University. I provide care to patients, I teach medical students, and I do a small amount of research. Like almost all my physician colleagues, I devoured the research week by week as we saw the infection encircle the globe and cut down the lives of so many people, some famous and some not. Like almost all my colleagues in health care, I did everything I could to protect myself from being infected, so that I could help prevent infecting my patients. I eagerly awaited the years of research into the mRNA vaccine to finally reach mass production, and my wife and I were early in line to receive our two doses last winter. (Des Moines Register)
Hospitals delay employee vaccination deadlines in wake of Iowa mandate law
Some of Iowa’s largest health care companies scrambled Monday to adapt employee vaccination mandates to a brand-new Iowa law allowing for broad exemptions. Several Iowa hospital systems, including MercyOne, UnityPoint Health and Broadlawns Medical Center, announced in August that they would require all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1. On Oct. 28, lawmakers debuted a bill that broadened waiver requirements and allowed people to collect unemployment if they were terminated for refusing the vaccine. Spokespeople for Iowa’s health care companies said the new law has slowed the enforcement of their vaccine mandates. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)
Doctors warn pandemic could indirectly cause lung-cancer spike
In recognition of November as Lung Cancer Awareness month, local medical professionals say it’s important to familiarize the community with the dangers of this form of cancer. Representatives with both Genesis Health System and UnityPoint Health- Trinity say the pandemic increased smoking. The concept of quarantining — a common safety practice in 2020 and since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic — highlighted the risk of second-hand smoke, which can be harmful to non-smoking individuals near those who smoke. (WHBF)
Suicide rates declined again in 2020, but not for all groups, CDC report shows
In the early days of the pandemic, there were fears that the anxiety, isolation and financial uncertainty would lead to a rise in suicide. Instead, after two decades of rising suicide rates in the U.S., the number of deaths by suicide declined in 2020 for the second year in a row, according to preliminary federal data published Wednesday. Although suicide deaths dropped overall in the U.S., there were increases among young adults, as well as American Indians and Alaska Natives, Black Americans and Hispanic Americans, the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. (NBC News)
White House moves forward with vaccination mandates
The White House is moving forward with requirements aimed at boosting the number of Americans who are vaccinated against COVID-19. On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden unveiled his administration’s multipronged pandemic approach, which includes a requirement that all private employers with 100 or more employees ensure their staff are fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. President Biden’s administration is also requiring that federal executive branch workers, as well as employees of contractors that do business with the federal government, be vaccinated, with limited medical and religious exemptions. (Becker’s Hospital Review)
COVID-19 vaccines for children are here. So is misinformation.
Physicians, public health experts and misinformation researchers are anticipating a flood of antivaccine propaganda featuring younger children following last week’s vote by a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee to authorize Pfizer-BioNTech’s lower-dose COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-11. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices unanimously recommended the COVID-19 vaccines for 5-11-year-olds Tuesday. CDC director Rochelle Walensky signed off on the approval later in the evening. (NBC News)