Romano Law Nurse Corner COVID-19 #36
The latest COVID-19 numbers are not good. There are more than 11 million cases of COVID-19 in the United States with more than 245,000 lives gone. These numbers are rising at an exponential rate. We remember back in March when this all started and we went through a shutdown, hoping to stall the spread of this virus, hanging in there. Here we are again, worse off. Did we open too soon, or did our divide bring us back here?
Numbers of deaths across the country are rising rapidly again with the seven day average recently reaching more than 1140 dead people a day in the United States. Here we are 36 “blog” weeks later with rapidly rising numbers of infections, deaths, and an even more stressed healthcare system, running out of ICU beds across the country. It is just unbelievable on some levels.
In Europe, many countries have gone as far as reinstituting shutdowns, which are already working to slow the spread. Closer to home, several states, including Michigan and Washington state have made moves to re-impose some of the strictest regulations that they had earlier this year. Of course, those necessary shutdowns bring more political fallout and fodder, claims of taking away liberty rights. This is life and death, health and safety and yet some people in high leadership offices encourage unrest about these measures.
Many experts believe this is a trend that will continue and that we are entering a dangerous time in terms of numbers. Masks are our number one way of slowing this spread and it is still a political statement during a volatile time, which divides us. Surely, we can do better for each other.
Dr. Michael Osterholm, a new member of President Elect Biden’s advisory board said the country is in a very dangerous period, likening it to the 1918 flu pandemic, which is estimated to have killed 50 million people worldwide and 675,000 Americans. He also said the healthcare system is breaking, literally breaking.
Truthfully, none of us expected to be here, in this scary place as we go into our most important holidays for families to gather. Experts are warning people to keep these gatherings limited and outdoors if possible. Many say just do a virtual holiday together. Whatever your plans, we urge you to do them in the safest way possible. We will.
Science is Amazing and there is Hope
Last week we had great news from Pfizer announcing that the preliminary results of their phase 3 vaccine trials were showing the vaccine to be 90% effective. This week, first thing Monday morning, Moderna announced that its preliminary analysis of the data from its COVID-19 vaccine shows it to be almost 95% effective at preventing illness, including severe cases. This is extremely encouraging.
Moderna’s interim results showed that out of 95 people who developed COVID-19 after receiving the vaccines, 90 of them had received the placebo. Of the 90, eleven of them came down with a serious case of COVID-19. This is very encouraging news showing that those who got the vaccine were more protected. This is good news for all of us.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, said today that this news is really quite impressive. He said the Moderna and Pfizer news “is something that foretells an impact on this outbreak. So now we have two vaccines that are really quite effective, so I think this is a really strong step forward to where we want to be about getting control with this outbreak Fauci said, predicting vaccines for those at high-risk could be available by the end of December. We, here at the RLNC are cautiously optimistic about these encouraging scientific
Dr. Monica Gandhi, professor of medicine at University of California, San Francisco, is excited stating that it is better than Christmas with interim results of two exciting mRNA vaccine candidates encouraging, hopeful and moves us massively forward to getting out of this pandemic.
While there are still several more hoops these companies will have to jump through in order to apply to the FDA for authorization to provide their vaccine to the public, the final hurdle will be with production. Both companies have to show that they can safely produce their vaccine at scale.
Pfizer says it will have as much as 50 million doses manufactured by the end of this year and another 1.3 billion next year. Moderna says it will have 20 million doses available by the end of this year and another 500 million to 1 billion next year. Both companies received money from the federal government to produce 100 million does each to be provided to Americans at no additional cost.
One interesting difference to note between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is that Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored at ultra-cold temperatures until 5 days before use while the Moderna vaccine once removed from the refrigerator can be kept at room temperature for up to 12 hours; which is huge in terms of distribution. The Moderna vaccine also does not need to be diluted by the pharmacist or person giving the shot, which makes it more able to be given outside of healthcare settings.
We are tired yet we are also encouraged and hopeful with this latest vaccine news. Until safe vaccines are available widespread, we do our part. Please stay safe and be steadfast, even with the upcoming holiday, lives depend on it. We continue to wear our masks in public and to stay socially distant to protect you, it is the right thing to do as a human and as an American.
Susan Ramsey is both an attorney and an RN. Ms. Ramsey’s professional experience began as a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Yale New Haven Hospital. While pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree, she was a counselor with the New Haven Rape Crisis Program. During her time with the Program, Ms. Ramsey counseled sexual assault survivors and performed seminars for local police departments, universities, and high schools. During her time working as a registered nurse, Ms. Ramsey decided to attend law school. Ms. Ramsey graduated from CUNY Law School, and has practiced law in several different State and Federal Courts. She is a Florida Heath Care Risk Manager and a member of the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force. Ms. Ramsey actively litigates cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death on behalf of survivors, cases include injuries suffered by victims of professional negligence, product liability and medical negligence.
Amie Goldberg is both an attorney and a certified APRN. After completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Whittier College, Ms. Goldberg attended nursing school at Emory University. Ms. Goldberg’s professional experience started as a Registered Nurse at Egleston Children’s Hospital taking care of children with congenital heart disease. After a few years, she continued working in all areas of the hospital while attending Kennesaw State University on weekends in order to get her Master’s Degree in Nursing with a specialty of Primary Care Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner. During her time as an APRN, Ms. Goldberg decided to attend law school at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida. Since graduating, she has mainly practiced in the areas of personal injury and worker’s compensation, fighting for the rights of injured people. Since joining the Romano Law Group, Ms. Goldberg has been the Director of the Opioid Litigation Project. Ms. Goldberg also practices in the area of medical malpractice and nursing home negligence, bringing an inside perspective and knowledge to help get justice for our clients.