What We're Reading: Pfizer Vaccine Lessens Hospitalization, Death Risk; 6M Doses Delayed; Mental Health in Coronavirus Survivors

Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine shown to prevent most coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)–related deaths or hospitalizations; extreme weather delays 6 million vaccine doses; post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety seen in COVID-19 survivors.

Pfizer Vaccine Highly Effective Against COVID-19-Related Death, Hospitalization

According to data collected by Israel’s Health Ministry, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech is 98.8% effective at preventing death or hospitalization among those who received both doses. Reported by The Hill, Chezy Levy, director-general of Israel’s Health Ministry, said the vaccine also is 99.2% effective against preventing serious cases of COVID-19. Approximately one-third of Israel’s population has been vaccinated.

Winter Weather Delays 6M Vaccine Doses

Last Friday, White House officials confirmed that 6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were delayed due to the extreme winter weather conditions across the country. Reported by NPR, the delayed vaccine shipment equals that 3 days’ worth of doses, according to Andy Slavitt, senior adviser on the White House COVID-19 Response Team. Currently, 1.4 million doses are in transit and expected to be delivered in the next several days.

Adverse Mental Health Symptoms Persist in COVID-19 Survivors

Reported by CIDRAP, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, 30.2% of 381 patients in Rome who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 received a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the 1 to 4 months after their recovery. In findings published in JAMA Psychiatry, the researchers also show elevated rates of depression (17.3%) and generalized anxiety disorder (7%) in the study cohort. Among those with diagnosed PTSD, 16.5% exhibited delirium or agitation when ill and 62.6% reported the persistence of more than 3 coronavirus-related symptoms after recovery from infection.