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COVID-19 News Update for March 23, 2021

Data Snapshot  

UW Medicine Hospitals:

COVID-19 Positive Inpatients March 22

King County: The county reported 346 new positive cases and 0 new deaths on March 23.  

Washington: The state reported 334,492 cases and 5,183 deaths as of March 21.  

United States: The CDC reports 29,708,385 cases and 540,503 deaths as of March 23. 

Global: WHO reports 123,419,065 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,719,163 deaths as of March23.

Numbers update frequently, please follow links for most up-to-date numbers.  

UW Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Update  

Total Vaccine Doses Administered: 151,486 

  • Total first dose: 86,137 
  • Total second dose: 65,349 

As of March 21, 2021. 

UW Medicine in the News 

The Boston Globe: Should pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine? With little data, some are eager, some wary
Featuring: Linda Eckert, OB/GYN
COVID-19 has brought a world of uncertainty, and none is greater than the question facing pregnant women about vaccination. Pregnant women were excluded from the clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccines. As a result, no one knows for sure whether the vaccines can endanger a pregnancy. But this fact is known: Pregnant women are at significantly higher risk of severe illness from the virus. ‘There’s no reason to believe the vaccine is unsafe. There’s a theoretical risk, versus the known proven risk of COVID in pregnancy,’ said Dr. Linda Eckert, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington. Among the more than 30,000 pregnant women who had taken the vaccine by Feb. 16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found no safety problems, no evidence that miscarriages, stillbirths, preterm births, or other problems were more common among vaccinated women than among the unvaccinated. In animal studies, all three vaccines were found safe for pregnant mammals. Studies in people are under way.”

National Geographic UK: Why your arm might be sore after getting a vaccine
Featuring: Deborah Fuller, Microbiology
“For most COVID-19 vaccine recipients, the poke of the needle is no big deal. In the hours afterwards, however, many go on to develop sore arms, according to anecdotal reports and published data. That common side effect is not unique to COVID-19 vaccines. But as vaccine rollout reaches record highs across the UK, the widespread prevalence of arm pain is sparking questions about why certain shots hurt so much, why some people feel more pain than others, and why some don’t feel any pain at all. The good news, experts say, is that arm pain and even rashes are normal responses to the injection of foreign substances into our bodies. ‘Getting that reaction at the site is exactly what we would expect a vaccine to do that is trying to mimic a pathogen without causing the disease,’ says Deborah Fuller, a vaccinologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Seattle.”

Healthshots: COVID-19 patients have a dangerously higher risk of getting a stroke
Featuring: Saate Shakil, Cardiology
“For this analysis, researchers accessed the American Heart Association’s COVID-19 Cardiovascular Disease Registry to investigate stroke risk among patients hospitalized for COVID-19, their demographic characteristics, medical histories and in-hospital survival. The COVID-19 Registry data pulled for this study included more than 20,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 across the U.S. between January and November 2020. ‘These findings suggest that COVID-19 may increase the risk for stroke, though the exact mechanism for this is still unknown,’ said lead study author Saate S. Shakil, M.D., a cardiology fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle. “As the pandemic continues, we are finding that coronavirus is not just a respiratory illness, but a vascular disease that can affect many organ systems.’” 

COVID-19 Literature Report  

COVID-19 Literature Situation Reportis a daily (M-F) newsletter put together by the Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness that provides a succinct summary of the latest scientific literature related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Key Takeaways: COVID-19 Literature Situation Report March 18, 2021 

  • US parents of children aged 5-12 years who received virtual or combined virtual/in-person instruction were more likely to report both poor parent and child well-being compared to parents of children who received in-person instruction only. Findings are based on a nationwide survey of 1,290 parents, of whom 46% reported their child was receiving virtual instruction only. More. 
  • A New Jersey private boarding school with high adherence to COVID-19 mitigation protocols reported a SARS-COV-2 test positivity rate of 0.18% and 0.06% among staff and students, respectively, from August to November 2020. More. 
  • 51% of COVID-19 survivors reported at least 1 new-onset symptom at four months after hospitalization in a cohort study (n=478) in France. The most common symptoms were fatigue, cognitive symptoms, and shortness of breath. More.

COVID-19 Literature Surveillance Team, is an affiliated group of medical students, PhDs and physicians keeping up with the latest research on SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 by finding the newest articles, reading them, grading their level of evidence and bringing you the bottom line.

Read the latest report: March 23 | Daily COVID-19 LST Report.
Listen to the latest podcast: Week of Feb. 15 | COVID-19 LST Podcast. 

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