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Maine Medicine Weekly Update: 12/24/2021

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Enjoy The Holidays, Our Weekly Newsletter & Thank You For All You Do
Illustration 48005353 / Doctor Christmas © Skypixel | Dreamstime.com

The Maine Medical Association Board of Directors and staff wishes the Happiest of Holidays to all of you and we thank you for your membership and dedication to caring for your neighbors.

It is your empathy and high standard for giving high quality care day in and day out that makes you special.

Thank you for all you do and for being an integral part of medicine in Maine. 

There is no question Mainers appreciate your care and the Maine Medical Association greatly values your membership. Read More


FDA Updates: Pfizer & Merck Oral Antivirals Authorized; Omicron & Monoclonal Antibodies

The FDA authorized two oral antivirals for the treatment of COVID-19 in certain patients. Pfizer’s Paxlovid – authorized for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients 12 and older, and Merck’s molnupiravir – authorized for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19.

Paxlovid is the first oral, at-home treatment to be authorized by the agency Read More

Maine CDC Updates & Guidance

The Maine CDC has transitioned to Pfizer’s gray cap formulation for adults and adolescents (gray cap) as of Friday, December 24.

The CDC has also shut off ordering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine through ImmPact. Read More

Reminder: Everyone Ages 16 and Older Can Get a Booster Shot

The US CDC has updated its recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines with a preference for people to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna).

  Read More

US CDC Reduces Time for Health Care Workers to Isolate & Updates School Guidelines

The US CDC has updated rules for health care workers who test positive for COVID, reducing the required isolation time to combat fears of staffing shortages.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced new, updated COVID-19 school guidelines on testing and quarantining for Covid-19

  Read More

English Study: Booster Shots Protect Against Omicron for About 10 Weeks

As US health officials announced the Omicron wave (which has not peaked) has officially surpassed the height of the Delta surge, a new study from the UK Health Security Agency shows, “Booster protection against symptomatic illness caused by the Omicron variant dropped by up to 25% within 10 weeks, new real-world data found — though it's not yet clear whether everyone may need further doses in 2022.” Read More

Patients Vaccinated for COVID-19 Have Shorter Hospital Stays Than Unvaccinated Patients

Average length of stay for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 shorter for vaccinated patients than unvaccinated patients – Study posted, December 21, 2021.

Read More

JAMA Internal Medicine - Illness Severity With SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Delta vs Beta Variant

Question:  Do patients infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant experience more severe disease outcomes compared with those infected with the Beta variant?

Findings:  In this cohort study of 1427 persons infected with the Delta variant and 5353 persons infected with the Beta variant in Qatar, among 451 propensity score–matched pairs identified, persons infected with the Delta variant were more likely to be hospitalized (27.3% vs 20.0%) or to experience more severe disease outcomes. Infection with the Delta variant was independently associated with higher odds of experiencing any adverse outcome, and vaccination was associated with significantly reduced odds of severe disease outcomes.

Meaning:  In this cohort study, infection with the Delta variant was more severe than infection with the Beta variant in persons in Qatar, although vaccination was highly protective against severe outcomes for both variants. Read More

US Supreme Court to Take Up Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Rules

The United States Supreme Court will oral arguments on President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination rules for private employers and health care workers on Jan. 7.

The Court announced it would hear oral arguments on over President Biden's vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers and a regulation from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requiring vaccines for health care workers. Read More


CDC: Physicians Should Discuss Meds to Reduce HIV Risk

The CDC has recommended that primary care physicians talk to all sexually active patients about prophylactic medications that can lessen HIV transmission risk. Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, can be 99% effective in reducing risk. Read More

HHS: $48 Million Available to Increase the Public Health Workforce in Rural and Tribal Communities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, is announcing the availability of nearly $48 million in American Rescue Plan funding for community-based organizations to expand public health capacity in rural and tribal communities through health care job development, training, and placement. Awardees will be able to use this funding to address workforce needs related to the long-term effects of COVID-19 as well as health information technology (IT) needs and other key workforce issues.

  Read More

MaineCare: Payment Cycle Reminder: Christmas and New Year's Day Holidays


Medicine in the Media

The Maine Medical Association and the MMA’s Public Health Committee released a statement this week urging Mainers to vaccinate and mask during the holidays while also pleading with Maine businesses to reinstitute masking requirements and provide masks to customers who have none. Read More

Walgreens Pharmacy Hours Change: Call Ahead Before Picking Up Your Medication

According to a MaineCare bulletin, Walgreens has cut back their pharmacy hours at some of their locations. This may make it difficult for your patients to get medications filled by the pharmacy. Their Walgreens pharmacy may be closed on one or both weekend days. Read More


Maine Medical Education Trust (MMET) CME Program Coordinator

The Maine Medical Association (MMA) and Maine Medical Education Trust (MMET) CME Program Coordinator is one position with two separate functions.  This individual will learn the national system of regulation and oversight of providers of continuing medical education for allopathic physicians (M.D.s) through the Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).  This role is both administrative and managerial, and it requires a highly motivated self-starter who can learn an increasingly complex accreditation process and stay current as the system is rapidly changing.  This individual will be the sole staff member responsible for the statewide CME provider accreditation function of the Maine Medical Association, the Maine Medical Education Trust as one of those accredited CME providers, and the MMA’s Continuing Medical Education Accreditation Committee. This individual will assist in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of CME activities in the State of Maine. This individual will work closely with the staff of the ACCME based in Chicago, IL and will also be MMA’s liaison with the staff members performing similar work at the New Hampshire Medical Society and Massachusetts Medical Society. Read More


Open Enrollment For 2022 Individual Health Plans

The 2022 individual and family health plan open enrollment period is NOW through Jan. 15, 2022.

The time period for health coverage to start Jan. 1, 2022, has passed but for coverage to start Feb. 1, 2022, patients can buy a plan now through January 15, 2022.

Patients can visit CoverME.gov, Maine's new Health Insurance Marketplace, to shop for and select affordable health insurance coverage for 2022 during the Open Enrollment period now under way. 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

Governorís Opioid Response Seminar Webinar Series Continues (Jan 7)

The Governor’s Opioid Response Seminar Webinar Series continues on Friday, January 7, 2021 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with "The Road Ahead, looking back on 2021 and Maine’s Opioid Response strategy and priorities for 2022"

  Read More


Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) - Greater Portland Health

The Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) at Greater Portland Health provides high quality, team based psychiatric care services to patients of all ages.
Read More

Transformational OB/GYN or Maternal Fetal Medicine Physician leader

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine is actively seeking a transformational OB/GYN or Maternal Fetal Medicine Physician leader to guide the evolution of our Women’s Health services. Read More

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