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Morning Rounds Shraddha Chakradhar

Most Americans won’t get a Covid-19 vaccine unless it cuts risk by half

Unless a Covid-19 vaccine reduces the risk of getting the infection by half, 61% of people polled for the latest STAT/Harris Poll survey say they won't get it. At the same time, respondents were likelier to say they'd get the vaccine and follow safety protocols — including wearing masks and social distancing — if they or someone they know developed Covid-19. The findings of the poll, which surveyed nearly 2,000 adults late last month, underscore that a highly effective vaccine may not do much more to change people's minds: Only 63% said a vaccine would need to reduce risk by 90% for them to consider taking it. The findings also come as Pfizer/BioNTech yesterday announced that an early analysis showed that their Covid-19 vaccine was 90% effective in preventing symptomatic infection. More here

SCOTUS to hear arguments on the ACA today

The Affordable Care Act will be back in front of the Supreme Court for the third time today in the case of California v. Texas. The court, with newly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett, will hear arguments on whether to uphold a lower court's ruling that the individual mandate contained within the 2010 law makes it entirely unconstitutional or whether the requirement that everyone have insurance can be considered separate from — and therefore preserve — the rest of the law. ACA proponents worry that a conservative SCOTUS majority could spell trouble for the law and get rid of popular parts such as protection for preexisting conditions. This provision is especially important now: A Covid-19 infection could be a preexisting condition that, if the ACA were to be struck down, could make affected individuals and an additional 20 million people lose or otherwise be ineligible for health insurance.

FDA issues final guidance for promoting diversity and inclusion in clinical trials

The FDA yesterday issued its final guidance for improving diversity and inclusion in clinical trials of therapies and medical products. The guidance includes recommendations to industry for expanding eligibility and enrollment of historically underserved groups such as pregnant women, some ethnic groups, and those with milder forms of physical conditions. The guidance also encourages forethought in trial design by asking companies and scientists to account early on for those who may metabolize drugs differently — those with liver or kidney function problems, for instance — to avoid exclusions later on in the study process. Health disparities' varying impact on different segments of the population is "why we must encourage developers of any medical product ... to endeavor to include diverse populations to understand their risks or benefits across all groups," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement

Inside STAT: How might a mask mandate play out? Look to the battle over seat belt laws

(ADOBE, Alex Hogan/STAT)

President-elect Biden, as part of his plan to tackle Covid-19, has shared that he would ask state governors to enforce mask mandates — and if he gets pushback, he'll appeal to local officials. The fight for seat belt mandates may offer clues for how a nationwide mask mandate may shake out. Consumer activist Ralph Nader shares with STAT how, going back to the 1950s, he and others lobbying for seat belt laws were accused of being "un-American," and had to fight misinformation much in the same way that some of the resistance to mask-wearing has played out now. But a combination of research showing seat belts' efficacy, continued public health advocacy, and enforcement helped make seat belts the mainstay they are now — and this approach may be what helps masks also be similarly successful. Read more from STAT contributor Joanne Silberner. 

ViiV’s HIV prevention shot beats Gilead’s widely used pill in a study of women

An every-other-month injectable HIV treatment is 89% more effective than the daily standard-of-care pill called Truvada in preventing HIV among women, according to a new interim analysis. Results from earlier this year also found that the treatment — called cabotegravir and developed by ViiV Healthcare — was 66% more effective in preventing HIV than Gilead's Truvada in men who have sex with men and transgender women who have sex with men. Although HIV infections globally have declined by nearly a quarter in the past decade, women — especially those in sub-Saharan Africa — continue to bear a disproportionate burden of infections. This study therefore enrolled more than 3,200 women across seven countries, and found that HIV incidence in the cabotegravir group was 0.21%, compared to 1.79% in the Truvada group. 

Around 25% of kids don't eat any fruit in a given day

Around 1 in 4 children did not eat any fruit on a given day between 2015-2018, according to new CDC data. The data further revealed that 1 in 10 of those ages 2-19 did not consume any vegetables in a given day during that time period. Consumption of fruits decreased with increasing age: The vast majority of toddlers consumed fruit, compared to fewer than two-thirds of adolescents. There wasn't a similar trend for vegetable consumption, however: The proportion of those who consumed dark green veggies increased with age. Fruit consumption increased with family income, while vegetable intake remained steady regardless of income. 

What to read around the web today

  • Four reasons for encouragement based on Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine results. STAT
  • As cases rise, states say they’ll work with Biden on virus. Associated Press
  • Scratching away: The complexities of chronic itch. Knowable Magazine
  • New science suggests how to shorten quarantine. Elemental

Thanks for reading! More tomorrow,


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Tuesday, November 10, 2020


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