Local Doctors Are Now the Frontline for COVID-19 Response
TAs the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, so does the pandemic. The pandemic response to COVID-19 is changing to the local level despite the federal efforts and new wave of support. It is important to remember that COVID-19 treatment and control will also be performed by health care professionals, much in the same way as they do for other illnesses such as influenza.
Health-care professionals have free access to tools to combat COVID-19, such as tests, vaccines and monoclonal antibody screening. The CDC and FDA along with the White House, FDA and all state and local health departments as well media and many other medical organisations have made it easy for practitioners to learn about COVID-19 prevention, treatment, and how to treat it. However, even though there are many resources and guidelines to help combat COVID-19, not all health care providers prescribe effective COVID-19 therapy. Protective monoclonal antibody therapy is not offered by many health care professionals to patients with immunocompromised. Numerous health care professionals aren’t registered as COVID-19 vaccination providers. Recognizedly, the medical community suffered a lot during this pandemic. They can also continue to rise up.
COVID-19 is still a highly contagious and serious illness. There have been many new COVID-19 cases since the pandemic. These infections are occurring worldwide as well as in the United States. The newer variants of COVID-19 are more infectious than the older ones. There are approximately 100,000 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 each day. This includes about 4000 people newly admitted every day and 300 COVID-19-related deaths.
Due to widespread at-home testing, there are likely several-fold more cases of COVID-19 each day than reported. This number is far higher than those experienced during epidemic flu seasons and it would have been much lower if there were not public health and increased COVID-19 vaccinations. This illness can be prevented and addressed by the collective efforts of all medical professionals in difficult situations.
Vaccines. A COVID-19 vaccination is best to protect against severe illnesses, even if you have different variants. While a prior COVID-19 infected person may not be protected against current variants of the disease, vaccines can reduce severe illness caused by these variants.
The U.S. has given nearly 600,000,000 COVID-19 doses. Nearly 250,000,000 Americans have received two or more doses. Over 150 million others have received boosters. They have a high safety record, and the benefits far outweigh any potential serious complications at all ages.
All Americans over six months old can get COVID-19 vaccines. COVID-19 has a much greater impact on older people than children. However, more than 1,200 children under the age of 18 have already died. This includes 300 people younger than five years. About 40–60% of severe COVID-19 cases occur in children without underlying medical conditions. Local health departments play an important role in vaccination efforts because not everyone lives in areas with access to health care or where they can get health-care services.
There is ample evidence to support the claim that a COVID-19 booster vaccine increases your protection from severe COVID-19. The CDC recommended that booster shots be given to people 50 years old and older, and for patients with underlying medical conditions. There may be COVID-19 new vaccines for Omicron, but it is recommended that one receive a booster shot if possible.
If you are not currently vaccinated (i.e., millions of children under five years), talk to your physician about COVID-19 vaccines. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends COVID-19 vaccinations to all age groups.
Doctors and others in the medical community need to be certified as COVID-19 vascuum providers and offer COVID-19 shots. If they are not eligible, they should contact their local department of health to apply.
Evusheld.Your risk of severe COVID-19 is significantly increased if your immune system is compromised. This can happen if you have been treated for cancer or inflammatory conditions. About 7,000,000 Americans are immunecompromised. These individuals should be vaccinated with COVID-19 booster shots. However, not everyone will be completely protected from COVID-19 even if they are vaccinated.
Fortunately, there is a medication called Evusheld, which contains antibodies that reduce one’s risk of getting severe COVID-19 by about 80%. Evusheld has been approved by FDA/EUA for people 12 and over. The injection of this medication can protect you for as long as six months. Evusheld is still effective against Omicron variants.
Evusheld was purchased by the federal government in 2021. It has been distributed all over the United States. Many of the doses were not used despite being available to a large number of people who could benefit from this drug. Although the reason for the inability of healthcare providers to prescribe the medicine has not been fully identified, there have been significant federal, state, medical society and government outreach efforts to inform providers that the medication is readily available.
Bebtelovimab.Bebtelovimab (a monoclonal immunoglobulin) is FDA/EUA approved to treat COVID-19. It is for individuals aged 12 or older who have COVID-19 and are at significant risk. There have been many monoclonal anti-viruses used in this epidemic. Bebtelovimab, the only monoclonal antibody that works against current Omicron variants is currently effective. You can either inject this medication intramuscularly or intravenousally.
This drug was bought by the U.S. government 600,000 times. It is unclear whether the U.S. will purchase additional monoclonal antibody because Congress has not approved additional funding for federal COVID-19. They should still be commercially available. Monoclonal antibodies are expensive and cannot be administered orally. Experts view them as an alternative to oral antiviral medications for COVID-19 sufferers.
Paxlovid has antiviral medications against COVID-19 Molnupiravir. For people recently diagnosed COVID-19, antiviral drugs reduce replication and help to lower the severity. Remdesivir, which is administered via intravenous injections, comes in pills as Paxlovid or Molnupiravir. Paxlovid combines two antiviral drugs. Molnupiravir, a single-use drug that is approved for adults.
Paxlovid, an anti-COVID medication should be administered within five days after symptom onset for those aged 12 or older who tested positive for COVID-19. This includes people over 65 years of age or with underlying medical conditions.
While both drugs are effective against COVID-19 and have been tested, Paxlovid has proven to be more efficient. Paxlovid must be discontinued if someone has kidney disease. This includes anti-cholesterol statin drugs that can safely be stopped while Paxlovid is being administered and two days thereafter. Molnupiravir is less concerned about drug-drug interactions.
The federal government has purchased 10,000,000 Paxlovid treatments and 3,000,000 Molnupiravir courses. These drugs are readily available at more than 40,000 U.S. pharmacy locations and may be ordered by your healthcare provider for free. The FDA recently authorized pharmacists in the United States to prescrive Paxlovid.
There has been an increase of prescriptions for these drugs in recent months. Out of millions upon millions purchased, only half were prescribed. Although there is a lot of information available about these medications, the medical community needs more information. This information will hopefully come from the federal government.
There is talk of a condition called “Paxlovid-rebound,” with which COVID-19 symptoms reappear within a week after finishing a course of Paxlovid. This reported phenomenon may cause physicians to be cautious about prescribing this drug, even though they could benefit. However, recent studies have shown that it is rare and does not require any additional treatment.
When a COVID-19 positive test results are obtained at home, prescriptions for these drugs can be made at telemedicine sites and at testing-to-treat locations in certain parts of the U.S. Contact your primary care provider if you have a positive test for COVID-19 at home. They may be able to send you a prescription free of charge. The local health department might also offer telemedicine services or programs to treat COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for 2.5 years. It continues to grow. The virus keeps changing and so is the health care system. Health care professionals have the tools and resources to prevent COVID-19. For those who do not know a local health care provider, you can contact the local department or federally-qualified health center for help. Health care provider engagement is a necessary and essential part of the pandemic response today, and let’s hope that this engagement will continue to expand.
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