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One Million San Diegans Missing First Booster; Fourth Dose Now Available for 50 and Up – countynewscenter.com

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Close to 1 million San Diegans qualify now for the COVID-19 vaccine booster, yet have still not received their dose, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

Of the 2,182,257 San Diegans eligible, 969,219 remain unboosted, prompting County health officials to remind them that having all the recommended vaccines can prevent getting and spreading COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 vaccines are the best defense we have to further slow the spread of the pandemic,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Although cases are comparatively low from the January peak, the pandemic is not over. Every San Diegan should get all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses so that we’re better protected against the virus and its likely variants.”

Fourth Doses Available for Everyone 50 and Older

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Western States workgroup have approved an additional COVID-19 vaccine booster —Pfizer or Moderna— for people 50 and older. Eligible San Diegans in this age group can now get the second booster locally.

“Older adults are more likely to have complications from COVID-19 and be hospitalized, especially if they have underlying health conditions,” Wooten said. “San Diegans should definitely consider getting a fourth dose if they qualify.”

The region has plenty of COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses. Vaccinations are available at pharmacies, medical providers, clinics, and County locations. You can also make an appointment or find a site near you by calling (833) 422-4255 or visiting the MyTurn or coronavirus-sd.com websites.

Vaccination Progress:

  • Received at least one shot: Over 2.95 million or 93.9% of San Diegans age 5 and older are at least partially vaccinated.
  • Fully vaccinated: Nearly 2.60 million or 82.5%.
  • Boosters administered: 1,213,038 or 55.6% of 2,182,257 eligible San Diegans.
  • More vaccination information can be found at coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine.

Deaths:

  • 32 new deaths were reported since the last report on March 23, 2022. The region’s total is 5,178.
  • 17 men and 15 women died between Jan. 1, 2022 and March 22, 2022.
  • 17 were age 80 or older, four were in their 70s, seven were in their 60s, one was in their 50s and three were in their 40s.
  • 16 of the people who died were fully vaccinated and 16 were not fully vaccinated.
  • 31 had underlying medical conditions and one had medical history pending.

Cases, Case Rates, Hospitalizations and Testing:

  • 619 COVID-19 cases were reported to the County on March 29, 2022—162 cases are from yesterday and 457 are older cases from Dec. 2021. The region’s total is now 750,454.
  • 2,103 cases were reported in the past week (March 23 through March 29) compared to 2,774 infections identified the previous week (March 16 through March 22).
  • San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 residents 12 years of age and older is 7.2 for people fully vaccinated and boosted, 6.0 for fully vaccinated people and 16.2 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.
  • 2,009 tests were reported to the County on March 27, 2022, and the percentage of new positive cases was 4.8%.
  • The 14-day rolling percentage of positive cases among tests reported through March 20, 2022 is 2.9%.

More Information:

Data updates to the County’s coronavirus-sd.com website are published Monday through Friday around 5 p.m., with the exception of holidays.

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Some in B.C. cross U.S. border for their next COVID-19 vaccine – Global News

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Global News Hour at 6 BC

There is evidence of the lengths some British Columbians will go to get a second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — crossing the border to Point Roberts, WA for a shot. The movement comes thanks to the different approach to the fourth shot south of the border. Catherine Urquhart reports.

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Unknown hepatitis in children: Will it become a pandemic too? – CGTN

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03:56

The number of cases of a mysterious acute hepatitis in children continues to increase worldwide, with most cases occurring in Europe. As of May 10, 348 suspected cases had been reported in at least 20 countries. Information and data have pointed to an adenovirus called adenovirus-41 (HAdV-41) as the possible culprit. Does it have anything to do with COVID? Will it become a pandemic? How do we protect ourselves from it?

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Study tracks hospital readmission risk for COVID-19 patients in Alberta, Ontario – CBC.ca

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A new study offers a closer look at possible factors that may lead to some hospitalized COVID-19 patients being readmitted within a month of discharge.

At roughly nine per cent, researchers say the readmission rate is similar to that seen for other ailments, but socio-economic factors and sex seem to play a bigger role in predicting which patients are most likely to suffer a downturn when sent home.

Research published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looked at 46,412 adults hospitalized for COVID-19 in Alberta and Ontario during the first part of the pandemic. About 18 per cent — 8,496 patients — died in hospital between January 2020 and October 2021, which was higher than the norm for other respiratory tract infections.

Among those sent home, about nine per cent — 2,759 patients — returned to hospital within 30 days of leaving, while two per cent — 712 patients — died. The deaths include patients who returned to hospital.

The combined rate of readmission or death was similar in each province, at 9.9 per cent or 783 patients in Alberta, and 10.6 per cent or 2,390 patients in Ontario.

For those wondering if the patients were discharged too soon, the report found most spent less than a month in hospital and patients who stayed longer were actually readmitted at a slightly higher rate.

“We initially wondered, ‘Were people being sent home too early?’ … and there was no association between length of stay in hospital and readmission rates, which is reassuring,” co-author Dr. Finlay McAlister, a professor of general internal medicine at the University of Alberta, said from Edmonton.

“So it looked like clinicians were identifying the right patients to send home.”

Examining the peaks

Craig Jenne, an associate professor of microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases at the University of Calgary who was not involved in the research, said the study suggests that the health-care system was able to withstand the pressures of the pandemic. 

“We’ve heard a lot about how severe this disease can be and there was always a little bit of fear that, because of health-care capacity, that people were perhaps rushed out of the system,” Jenne said. “There was a significant increase in loss of life but this wasn’t due to system processing of patients.

“Care was not sacrificed despite the really unprecedented pressure put on staff and systems during the peaks of those early waves.” 

The study also provides important insight on the power of vaccines in preventing severe outcomes, Jenne said.

Of all the patients admitted with COVID-19 in both provinces, 91 per cent in Alberta and 95 per cent in Ontario were unvaccinated, the study found.

The report found readmitted patients tended to be male, older, and have multiple comorbidities and previous hospital visits and admissions. They were also more likely to be discharged with home care or to a long-term care facility.

McAlister also found socio-economic status was a factor, noting that hospitals traditionally use a scoring system called LACE to predict outcomes by looking at length of stay, age, comorbidities and past emergency room visits, but “that wasn’t as good a predictor for post-COVID patients.”

“Including things like socio-economic status, male sex and where they were actually being discharged to were also big influences. It comes back to the whole message that we’re seeing over and over with COVID: that socio-economic deprivation seems to be even more important for COVID than for other medical conditions.”

McAlister said knowing this could help transition co-ordinators and family doctors decide which patients need extra help when they leave the hospital.

‘Deprivation’ indicators

On its own, LACE had only a modest ability to predict readmission or death but adding variables including the patient’s neighbourhood and sex improved accuracy by 12 per cent, adds supporting co-author Dr. Amol Verma, an internal medicine physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

The study did not tease out how much socio-economic status itself was a factor, but did look at postal codes associated with so-called “deprivation” indicators like lower education and income among residents.

Readmission was about the same regardless of neighbourhood, but patients from postal codes that scored high on the deprivation index were more likely to be admitted for COVID-19 to begin with, notes Verma.

Verma adds that relying on postal codes does have limitations in assessing socio-economic status since urban postal codes can have wide variation in their demographic. He also notes the study did not include patients without a postal code.

McAlister said about half of the patients returned because of breathing difficulties, which is the most common diagnosis for readmissions of any type.

He suspected many of those problems would have been difficult to prevent, suggesting “it may just be progression of the underlying disease.”

Looking at readmissions is just the tip of the iceberg.-Dr. Finlay McAlister-Dr. Finlay McAlister

It’s clear, however, that many people who appear to survive COVID are not able to fully put the illness behind them, he added.

“Looking at readmissions is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s some data from the [World Health Organization] that maybe half to two-thirds of individuals who have had COVID severe enough to be hospitalized end up with lung problems or heart problems afterwards, if you do detailed enough testing,” he said.

“If you give patients quality of life scores and symptom questionnaires, they’re reporting much more levels of disability than we’re picking up in analyses of hospitalizations or emergency room visits.”

The research period pre-dates the Omicron surge that appeared in late 2021 but McAlister said there’s no reason to suspect much difference among today’s patients.

He said that while Omicron outcomes have been shown to be less severe than the Delta variant, they are comparable to the wild type of the novel coronavirus that started the pandemic.

“If you’re unvaccinated and you catch Omicron it’s still not a walk in the park,” he said.

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