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COVID 19 Updates from RheumNow

RheumNow Podcast – I Wanna New Drug.V2 (9.24.2021)

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news and journal articles from the past week on

My Personal Delta COVID-19 Breakthrough Infection

As many of you are aware, I have written and spoken on COVID-19 extensively over these past 20 months, and just last month wrote about the dangers of the delta variant. In July, things took an unexpected turn when I developed a breakthrough infection with the delta variant.

Worrisome Maternal Mortality with COVID-19 Infection

Maternal and fetal outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic have not been well studied; yet a new retrospective study from Mexico indicates that during the pandemic maternal mortality increased by nearly 57%, with COVID-19 as the cause in 23% of cases.

RheumNow Podcast – Do More DMARDs Mean More Switching? (9.17.2021)

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news and journal reports and takes cases and questions from rheumatologists.

Effect of Diet on COVID Outcomes

A smartphone-based symptom study of COVID-19 patients has shown that a healthy plant-based diet was associated with lower risk and severity of COVID-19, especially amongst those living in areas with higher socioeconomic deprivation.

RheumNow Podcast – High Science and Future Treatments (9.10.2021)

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news and journal articles from the past week on

COVID Breakthrough Infections in Rheumatic Patients

Analysis of records from the Mass General Brigham healthcare system in the Boston area, shows that breakthrough infections (after receiving SARS-CoV-2 vaccines) in patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARDs) are not uncommon, and may be severe or fatal.

Not All Immunosuppression Alters Vaccine Immunogenicity

Chronic inflammatory disease (CID) patients are urged to receive the COVID-19 vaccines; but when a cohort of CID patients treated with immunosuppressive medications were given an mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, only those treated with glucocorticoids and B cell depleting therapies (BCDT) had l

RheumNow Podcast – COVID Marching Amidst the Madness (8.27.2021)

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news, journal reports and cautions regarding COVID-19

Rare Risks Associated with BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine

The current NEJM reports that the use of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine (BNT162b2) demonstrated a very low risk for certain serious adverse events, including the risk of myocarditis (1 to 5 events per 100,000 persons). 

ACR Guidance on Timing of 3rd Dose Booster with Immunomodulatory Drugs

ACR Press Release

The American College of Rheumatology has issued an updated version of its COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Guidance for Patients with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases following recent recommendations from the CDC that certain immunocompromised patients receive a third dose of an available mRNA vac

FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 the vaccine, now marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), is approved for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older.


Prospective study of 77 RA patients in remission --> vax w/ BNT162b2 (BioNTech-Pfizer) (w/ temp D/C of DMARDs per ACR) found a vaccine-related flare rate of 7/8% (6 pts) w/ 5/6 flares after 2nd dose (2.6 days), resolved w/in 2 wks

Dr. John Cush @RheumNow ( View Tweet )

4 days 14 hours ago
MMWR reports real world vax efficacy in 3,689 adults (21 states) found better results w/ Moderna (93%) than Pfizer (88%) than Janssen (71%). 2 dose mRNA vaccines were more effective than 1 dose Janssen COVID vaccine

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5 days 9 hours ago
Maker Trade name Generic PFIZER Comirnaty Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine FDA approved MODERNA Spikevax Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine - EUA currently J&J (pending) Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine- EUA currently

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5 days 12 hours ago
Addendum: Other conditions w/ a 1.2-2 fold higher risk of COVID death (admission) were CKD, hematologic cancer, epilepsy, COPD, CVD, stroke, atrial fibrillation, CHF, thromboembolism, PVD, type 2 diabetes.

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6 days 7 hours ago
Addendum: COVID deaths increased w/ age, deprivation, male, Indian & Pakistanis. Highest risk w/ Down’s syndr (HR 12.7), renal transplant (8.1), sickle cell (7.7), Nursing home (4.1), chemotherapy (4.3), HIV/AIDS (3.3), liver cirrhosis (3), CNS dz (2.6)

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6 days 7 hours ago
Breakthrough infections from UK QResarch database: Among 6.95 million vaccinated, 74.1% recv two vaccine doses, there were 2031 covid-19 deaths & 1929 hosp admissions; ~4.0% deaths & admissions were >14 days after 2nd dose

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6 days 7 hours ago
Analysis of existing #COVID data - as of 7/15/21, 114.9 million adults infected with COVID-19 in US. Overall population immunity (Infx+vax) is 62%, highest in adults >65yrs (77.2%); lowest in children <12 yrs (17.9%)

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6 days 11 hours ago
ICYMI: American College of OBs & GYNS and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine both enthusiastically endorse COVID Vaccination of pregnant women, given the delta variant, low vax rates in Preg women and poor COVID outcomes in preg. #RheumNow
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1 week ago
In case you missed it… Breakthrough COVID infection. Breakthrough brilliance in a KOL A must read from Len Calabrese #RheumNow

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1 week ago
ICYMI: Probenecid, an OAT3 inhibitor, has inhibitory effects on RNA viruses (influenza, RSV) & decreases ACE2 expression. May have utility in COVID-19 as it was shown to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication in animal models #RheumNow

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1 week 1 day ago