Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 07/16/2021  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  Promoting COVID-19 Vaccination in Clinical Settings: The Critical Role of Maine’s Physicians
•  A Call to Action- Protecting the Children of Maine
•  COVID News: Surgeon Gener Surgeon General Issues Vaccine Misinformation Warning; JAMA Peds Retracts Masks Study
•  Johnson & Johnson Recalls Sunscreens After Carcinogen Found
•  Opioid & Substance Use Disorder News
•  Medicare Updates
•  Federal Advocacy Update
•  Registration Open for MMA’s 168th Annual Membership Meeting (Sep 10-12)
•  Notice of Rulemaking: Immunization requirements for Maine school children
•  Maine Secretary of State Seeking Physician Volunteers
•  SUPPORT for ME: Strengthening Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Services for MaineCare Members
•  Are You a Professional Who Works with Individuals in Maine Who Have a Substance Use Disorder? We Want to Hear From You!
•  Maine Community Action Partnership: Did You Know?
•  MMA Mary Cushman, MD Award for Humanitarian Service
UPCOMING EVENTS
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  AAP EQIPP Course: Immunizations - Strategies for Success (for RURAL Health Providers)
•  SUPPORT for ME Training and Technical Assistance Initiative
•  Working with Children & Adolescents? Maine Pediatric & Behavioral Health Partnership (MPBHP) Webinar Series (July thru December 2nd Wednesday of month)
• 
• 
• 
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
•  Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) - Strong Area Health Center
•  Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) - Richmond Area Health Center
•  Help educate new physicians – join our accredited Family Medicine Residency Program as faculty
•  Join our region-leading Neuroscience/Stroke Center
•  Contract Clinical Advisor - Healthcare Coalition of Maine
•  Medical Director

 

COVID News: Surgeon Gener Surgeon General Issues Vaccine Misinformation Warning; JAMA Peds Retracts Masks Study

  •  Surgeon General Issues Vaccine Misinformation Warning
  • JAMA Peds Retracts Masks Study
  • US CDC Director Warns of 'Pandemic of the Unvaccinated' as Cases Rise
  • CDC Advisory Panel to Make Recommendations for COVID-19 Vaccine & Immunocompromised
  • Report Shows Rise in Pediatric COVID-19 Cases
  • Symptoms That Indicate a COVID-19 Delta Variant Infection
  • What the Delta Variant Means for Vaccinated and Unvaccinated People
  • Maine Cases are Low, but Contagious Variant Poses Risks for Unvaccinated
  • Everything You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Debate
  • US CDC Maintains Mask Requirement for Travel

  • Surgeon General Issues Vaccine Misinformation Warning
  • JAMA Peds Retracts Masks Study
  • US CDC Director Warns of 'Pandemic of the Unvaccinated' as Cases Rise
  • CDC Advisory Panel to Make Recommendations for COVID-19 Vaccine & Immunocompromised
  • Report Shows Rise in Pediatric COVID-19 Cases
  • Symptoms That Indicate a COVID-19 Delta Variant Infection
  • What the Delta Variant Means for Vaccinated and Unvaccinated People
  • Maine Cases are Low, but Contagious Variant Poses Risks for Unvaccinated
  • Everything You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Debate
  • US CDC Maintains Mask Requirement for Travel

Surgeon General Issues Vaccine Misinformation Warning

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory this week calling health misinformation an “urgent threat” amid the COVID-19 vaccination push.

“Health misinformation is an urgent threat to public health,” Murthy said in a statement. “It can cause confusion, sow distrust, and undermine public health efforts, including our ongoing work to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In summary, the 22-page document from the White House askes journalists to “avoid amplifying misinformation,” expand credible sources beyond national scientists and public health experts to include trusted local medical authorities, and “consider headlines and images that inform rather than shock or provoke.”

JAMA Peds Retracts Masks Study

A controversial study from Germany suggesting that masks may harm children by exposing them to high carbon dioxide levels has been retracted. (MedPage Today)

JAMA Network Retraction Notice

Retracted Research Letter (JAMA Network)

From JAMA Retraction:

“Following publication, numerous scientific issues were raised regarding the study methodology, including concerns about the applicability of the device used for assessment of carbon dioxide levels in this study setting, and whether the measurements obtained accurately represented carbon dioxide content in inhaled air, as well as issues related to the validity of the study conclusions. In their invited responses to these and other concerns, the authors did not provide sufficiently convincing evidence to resolve these issues, as determined by editorial evaluation and additional scientific review.”

US CDC Director Warns of 'Pandemic of the Unvaccinated' as Cases Rise

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky warned of rising cases during a White House Press briefing on Friday, July 16, stating that COVID-19 is "becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated" and that vaccinated people are protected against severe disease. (The Hill)

CDC Advisory Panel to Make Recommendations for COVID-19 Vaccine & Immunocompromised

“The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which makes vaccine recommendations to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is scheduled at a July 22 meeting to discuss” whether health care “workers should be allowed to give additional coronavirus shots to patients with fragile immune systems.” (Washington Post; subscription site)

Report Shows Rise in Pediatric COVID-19 Cases

A report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association documented nearly 19,000 new pediatric COVID-19 cases for the week ending July 8, up from the previous week's 12,000. The report also showed that children accounted for 22.3% of all new cases during the week, compared with 16.8% the previous week, and that there have been 344 COVID-19-related deaths among children in the 46 jurisdictions, which include 43 states, New York City, Guam and Puerto Rico, that are reporting the data by age. (Medscape; free registration)

Symptoms That Indicate a COVID-19 Delta Variant Infection

The Los Angeles Times spoke with two infectious disease experts — Dr. Robert Bollinger of Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Otto Yang of UCLA — about what we know so far. (LA Times via Bangor Daily News)

What the Delta Variant Means for Vaccinated and Unvaccinated People

Q & A article from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health podcast in early July with epidemiologist Jennifer Nuzzo, DrPH, SM, from the Center for Health Security. She answered questions about delta’s transmissibility and whether it causes more severe disease, what the variant means for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and what everyone should take away from recent headlines. (Article also includes audio link to Q&A)

Maine Cases are Low, but Contagious Variant Poses Risks for Unvaccinated

Coronavirus cases are up 94 percent over the past two weeks nationwide, according to the New York Times. The Bangor Daily News highlights the opposite trend in Maine, with coronavirus infections declining steadily for the past three months.

The Maine CDC “expects to see a greater impact of the delta variant in the state in the coming weeks,” according to Dr. Nirav Shah.

Everything You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Debate

Last week, Pfizer announced that in August, they plan to seek Food and Drug Administration authorization of a third dose because it could boost levels of virus-fighting antibodies, possibly helping ward off worrisome mutants. U.S. and international health authorities say that for now, the fully vaccinated seem well protected. Experts are watching closely to determine if, and when, people might need another shot. At the same time, many suggest the priority for the time being should be more work to make sure all countries have more access to vaccines. (Bangor Daily News via the Associated Press)

US CDC Maintains Mask Requirement for Travel

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

Additional reading:

Delta variant accounts for 58% of US infections; Missouri requests field hospital: COVID-19 updates. (USA Today)