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Maine Medicine Weekly Update
October 31, 2021


 
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LEAD STORY

One Step Closer to COVID Vaccines for Kids; FDA Authorizes Vaccine for Children Ages 5-11

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday, October 29th authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11, one of the final steps in making vaccines available to children under 12.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age is administered as a two-dose primary series, 3 weeks apart, but is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used for individuals 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms).

What’s Next?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is scheduled to meet this week (Nov. 2 & 3) to discuss further clinical recommendations and how the vaccine should be used. If the panel gives favorable recommendations and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky accepts them, vaccinations can begin pending state guidance.

The Maine CDC has released guidance regarding the availability of Pediatric Pfizer. The Maine Immunization Program (MIP) will make the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 5- 11-year-olds available for enrolled MIP Providers to order through ImmPact. Read More


Identifying Child Maltreatment

Identify to Protect: Recognizing the Signs of Child Maltreatment

As providers entrusted with the care of children, we all strive to protect the most vulnerable patients from child abuse.

In this high-yield presentation, you will be given the tools to recognize signs and symptoms that may be concerning for abuse and provided with guidance for evaluating children with suspected abuse and making effective reports to child protective services. These actions can be truly lifesaving interventions.

 

Read More


More COVID Guidance & News

US FDA & CDC Officially Expand Eligibility Recommendations For COVID-19 Booster Shots

The FDA, on October 20th, amended the emergency use authorizations (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines to allow for the use of a single booster dose for COVID-19 vaccines in eligible populations. A day later, the CDC endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation for a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccines in certain populations.

For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series:

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
  • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
  • Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings

For the nearly 15 million people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago. Read More


Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose Webinar & Ordering Reminders

The Maine Immunization Program has distributed a memo announcing that Moderna will be hosting a webinar for vaccination providers to learn more about the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine booster dose.

Further Clarification to The Moderna Guidance That Was Previously Sent to Providers

The volume of the Moderna booster dose is 0.25 mL (half the volume of the primary dose). Both 0.5 mL primary doses and 0.25 mL booster doses can be drawn from the same vial. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is supplied in two multiple-dose vial presentations:

            A multiple-dose vial containing 5.5 mL (i.e., Moderna 10-dose)

            A multiple-dose vial containing 7.5 mL (i.e., Moderna 14-dose) Read More


Upcoming Training Sessions for Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccines

Pfizer Vaccines U.S. Medical Affairs will be hosting Immunization Site Training Sessions for All Providers on the Storage, Handling, & Administration for Current & Potential New Formulations of the COVID-19 vaccine (with their partner BioNTech).

These sessions will be updated to reflect new information and changes that evolve. Such updates will be identified at the start of each session and further explained during each presentation. Read More


New Standing Orders for Moderna, Janssen, & Pfizer with Booster Language Dose Information

Most Moderna and Janssen vaccine preparation, administration, storage, and handling materials have been updated. Read More


Immunocompromised Americans who had a 3rd COVID-19 shot can now get a 4th

Most fully-vaccinated immunocompromised people in the US can now get a fourth COVID-19 shot after their third under new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • The fourth dose can be any FDA-authorized shot, given six months after the third.
  • People that got J&J's vaccine have different guidance — they shouldn't get more than two doses.

Read More


COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Therapies in Maine

Maine DHHS would like to encourage clinicians to consider the use of COVID-19 monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies (i.e. REGEN-COV, bamlanivimab/etesevimab, and sotrovimab) for individuals at high risk for developing severe disease.   Because national mAb supplies are constrained, Maine DHHS has currently prioritized use of mAbs for treatment of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 over the routine use for post-exposure prophylaxis, though use for post-exposure prophylaxis is encouraged specifically in the setting of high-risk congregate settings such as Long-Term Care facilities and correctional facilities. Read More


US CDC Adds Certain Mental Health Conditions to List of High-Risk Individuals Eligible for Booster Shots

Having mood disorders, including depression, and schizophrenia spectrum disorders can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

The determination allows people with the diagnoses to be eligible for COVID-19 booster shots.

A recent analysis found a link between mood disorders and risk of severe and fatal COVID-19. Read More


US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Vaccinating Kids, Mix and Match Boosters, Other Top Concerns

US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, Co-chair of President Biden’s White House COVID Task Force appeared on a recent podcast to explain the latest approval for mixing vaccine brands for booster shots. He also addresses White House plans to roll out COVID vaccine support for the nation’s 5-11-year-olds pending FDA approval, examines the growing crisis of unmet mental health needs, addiction, and overdose in the wake of the pandemic, and discusses an initiative he’s creating to address burnout in the health care profession. Read More


US Supreme Court Lets Maine Health Care Vaccine Mandate Stand

The United States Supreme Court left intact a vaccine requirement for Maine health care workers stand this week, rebuffing another legal challenge targeting COVID-19 vaccination mandates. The denial by Justice Stephen Breyer, who handles emergency requests from Maine. Read More


JAMA, NEJM Studies, Reports & Helpful Information

Top JAMA, JAMA Network, and New England Journal of Medicine Articles

JAMA Network Open: Misuse of Buprenorphine Among U.S. Adults

JAMA Network Open: Lung Cancer Screening Eligibility, Screening Patterns Among Black, White Adults

JAMA Network Open: Out-of-Pocket Spending for COVID-19 Hospitalizations

JAMA Network Open: Changes in Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Associated with Pandemic Read More


Maine Track Teaching Opportunities

Teaching Opportunities in Tufts Medical School 'Maine Track'

In response to expanded programming, which brings the second year Maine Track students to Maine for their didactic, as well as clinical, experiences, there is now an increased need for additional faculty to help teach these future physicians.  Teaching opportunities vary and range from classic didactic teaching on basic science and clinical application of medical knowledge, to small group teaching on medical and professional topics, to simulation based teaching that encompasses skills training, high fidelity simulation training and the use of standardized patients (SP) to improve physical exam and interview skills, as well as interpersonal skills and communication.

In response to expanded programming, which brings the second year Maine Track students to Maine for their didactic, as well as clinical, experiences, there is now an increased need for additional faculty to help teach these future physicians.  Teaching opportunities vary and range from classic didactic teaching on basic science and clinical application of medical knowledge, to small group teaching on medical and professional topics, to simulation based teaching that encompasses skills training, high fidelity simulation training and the use of standardized patients (SP) to improve physical exam and interview skills, as well as interpersonal skills and communication. Read More


FDA Rules Notices

FDA Moves to Allow Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving toward making hearing aids available without a prescription to those with mild or moderate hearing loss.

The goal is to boost accessibility and lower costs for the devices Hearing aids can cost thousands of dollars ($5,000 on average) and aren't usually covered by traditional Medicare or private insurance, and advocates argue that making them available over the counter can drastically lower the price. Read More


Fraud Alert

Scammers Target Medical Conferences

According to MedPage Today article, medical society meetings are increasingly facing online attacks from fraudsters looking to gain information about their attendees, or even access to their email accounts.

A "fraud alert" published on the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) website in late September warned members to watch out for emails from scammers. Many involve phishing scams offering attendee lists to members planning to go to this month's Scientific Congress in Baltimore. Read More


Whaaaaatt ... ???

Surgeons in Egypt Remove Phone That Man Swallowed & Waited Six Months For It To ‘Pass Naturally’

According to Metro.co.uk, physicians treating a man in Egypt who was complaining of abdominal pains were shocked to discover he had an entire mobile phone in his stomach.

The unnamed Egyptian patient admitted swallowing the device six months ago but didn’t seek help as he hoped it would pass through his body naturally.

He’d been too embarrassed to come forward but the phone had become wedged in his stomach, blocking food from passing through properly.

His tummy pains got so bad he finally had to seek help and was X-rayed by doctors who spotted the phone inside him. Read More


UPCOMING EVENTS

Registration is Open! November 5th Governor's Office Opioid Response Seminar Series

The Governor’s Opioid Response Seminar Webinar Series continues on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. featuring the OPTIONS Program. The first year of the OPTIONS program has been completed and this presentation will review the data from this program, but more importantly provides the opportunity for two OPTIONS Liaisons and the Chief of Rumford Police Department to highlight the work happening on the ground. Read More


Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings

Below you will find an on-going list of Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings. Any questions should be referred to the contact person listed for each specialty.

  Read More


Join us for an introduction to hospice services in our webinar on November 2nd: Let’s Talk Hospice!

Join us for an introduction to hospice services in our webinar:  Let’s Talk Hospice!  All clinicians and patients are invited to a brief introduction of hospice services presented by Hospice of Southern Maine on Tuesday, November 2 from 1:00-1:30PM.  Read More


AAP EQIPP Course: Immunizations - Strategies for Success (for RURAL Health Providers)

The recently revised EQIPP immunization course is designed to identify immunization rates in your practice, uncover barriers to immunization delivery systems, and provide techniques to overcome those barriers using clear aims that reflect expert principles and proven quality improvement methods and tools.

 
Read More


SUPPORT For ME Training and Technical Assistance Initiative Webinars on November 3 & December 1

Register now for webinars on Wednesday, November 3rd and Wednesday, December 1st from 12:00-1:00pm. Read More


Maine Independent Clinical Information Service: MICIS presentations & Academic Detailing

Schedule a 1-hour presentation at your medical practice or hospital, or request an individual Academic Detailing session. Read More


HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) - Mt. Abram Regional Health Center, (Kingfield, Maine)

Mt. Abram Regional Health Center, (Kingfield, Maine) seeks aPhysician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) with outstanding clinical and interpersonal skills to provide primary care to patients of all ages in a family practice with integrated behavioral health services.
Read More


Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) - Bingham Area Health Center

Bingham Area Health Center seeks a Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) with outstanding clinical and interpersonal skills to provide primary care to patients of all ages in a family practice with integrated behavioral health services. Read More


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