What We're Reading: Second COVID-19 Booster Dose; Use of Unproven COVID-19 Therapies; Infertility Treatments, Pregnancy Complications

The FDA is considering a second COVID-19 booster dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines; use of the unproven COVID-19 therapies hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin has been significantly greater in the highest vs lowest Republican vote share counties; infertility treatments associated with vascular and pregnancy-related complications.

FDA Considering Second COVID-19 Booster Dose

The Wall Street Journal reported that the FDA is “very carefully” considering whether a second COVID-19 booster dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines would be warranted this Fall. Potentially coinciding with the typical administration of annual flu shots, FDA officials noted that the decision will be based on emerging data regarding the pandemic, safety and efficacy of booster vaccines, and the presence of variants in the United States and overseas. Currently, second booster doses are approved in Sweden for those over the age of 80 and in Israel for certain citizens, which may be expanded to all adults.

Republican Counties More Likely to Use Unproven COVID-19 Therapies

A study published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that use of the unproven COVID-19 therapies hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin was significantly greater in the most populated Republican counties vs least populated. According to the The Hill, prescribing volume from June through December 2020 for hydroxychloroquine was 146% higher in the highest vs lowest Republican vote share counties than what it had been the previous year, with the volume of ivermectin prescriptions indicated to be 964% higher during this time as well.

Infertility Treatments Linked With Vascular, Pregnancy-related Issues

Findings of a study published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association showed that women who used assisted reproductive technology to get pregnant may be at increased risk for vascular and pregnancy-related complications, particularly those aged 35 and older. Reported by CNN, analyses of 106,248 deliveries in which the baby was conceived with assisted reproductive technology compared with more than 34 million births conceived without such aid indicated that those who used the infertility treatments were at 2.5 times greater risk of acute kidney failure and 65% more likely to have an irregular heartbeat. Women who used the treatments were noted to have had more preexisting health conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as greater incidence of obesity when starting treatment.