What We're Reading: Trump Taking Hydroxychloroquine; COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Promise; CDC Finds Alarming Vaccination Rates

May 19, 2020

President Trump announced yesterday he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) despite reported adverse effects and lack of beneficial evidence; Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine shows early promise; CDC finds less than half of infants 5 months or younger are on track for vital vaccinations.

Health Experts Alarmed By Trump’s Hydroxychloroquine Use

Weeks after the FDA cautioned against the use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to the risk of serious heart problems and other complications, President Trump announced yesterday that he was taking the drug despite testing negative for the virus. Reported by POLITICO, the admission prompted major concern from health experts, as the treatment has been shown in observational studies to have little to no proven benefits for patients with COVID-19. Moreover, few studies have shown a benefit from taking the drug as a prophylactic measure.

Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Early Promise

According to early data on the first COVID-19 vaccine to be tested in the United States, manufacturer Moderna Inc said its vaccine was safe and produced protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers. Reported by Reuters, findings from the 8 study participants showed that those who received a 100-μg dose and people who received a 25-μg dose had levels of protective antibodies that exceeded those found in the blood of patients who recovered from the virus. Currently, the Moderna vaccine is 1 of more than 100 under development for protection against COVID-19.

CDC Study Finds Alarming Drop in Vaccination Rates

Based on a study conducted by the CDC, vaccination rates in May for children younger than 2 years in Michigan dropped to alarmingly low levels, with fewer than half (49.7%) of infants 5 months or younger shown to be on track for vaccinations of diseases such as measles and pertussis. Reported by The New York Times, the risk of infection for these diseases may have been mitigated in the past 2 months from residents following stay-at-home orders, but as states begin to ease restrictions, health experts have become fearful of potential outbreaks.