What We’re Reading: Flawed Racial Vaccine Data; Breast Cancer Pill Benefits; 2 Billion Global COVID-19 Shots

AJMC Staff

Eighteen months into the pandemic, states continue to report flawed racial and ethnic data on vaccine administration; promising study results have been seen for a breast cancer pill; 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide.

Gaps in Racial, Ethnic Vaccine Data Persist

With states being left to equitably distribute vaccines to their vulnerable citizens throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, gaps and inconsistencies in data have made these efforts difficult to track, Kaiser Health News reports. Inconsistent data could be leaving out Black and Latino communities when it comes to administering vaccines. A lack of uniform standards for every state compounds this challenge, and rates reported in states like Missouri illustrate how these gaps have led to real-world consequences. Since February, state officials in Missouri have acknowledged their data are wrong but have not managed to fix it or offer any explanations as to why.

Breast Cancer Pill Demonstrates Early Promise

Early initial treatment findings show that Lynparza (olaparib) helps keep certain early-stage, triple-negative breast cancers at bay, according to The Associated Press. Findings were published in The New England Journal of Medicine and revealed the pill can help patients with breast cancer with harmful mutations live longer without disease. However, patients had to have been treated with standard surgery and chemotherapy. All 1836 patients included in the study had BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations that can predispose individuals to breast cancer. After 3 years, 86% of those who received treatment were alive without a cancer recurrence compared with 77% in the placebo group.

2 Billion Vaccine Doses Administered

Two billion COVID-19 vaccines throughout the world have now been administered, Bloomberg reports. The milestone comes after the United States announced it has lost over 600,000 individuals to COVID-19 and hundreds of deaths continue to be reported each day. However, the 2 billion mark comes around 6 months after the first vaccines were administered and estimates predict it will take another 9 months to vaccinate 75% of the world’s population. Globally, around 3.7 million individuals have died from COVID-19 in the past 18 months. The vaccine rollout has also been largely uneven with wealthier countries administering shots at much faster paces.