Today’s NewsStand — Dec. 16, 2020

Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.

Iowa news

ER nurse gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Iowa

Emergency room nurse David Conway was the first Iowan to receive the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics employee received his first shot Monday morning, shortly after the first doses of the vaccine arrived in the state. UIHC said more than 50 UI Health Care employees will receive the first of two doses of the vaccine Monday. The first group of employees to be vaccinated are primarily front-line providers and staff working in the units that directly care for patients with COVID-19. (KCCI)

‘Desperate for this moment’: Vaccine brings lift to battered ICU

At 7:30 am Monday, a FedEx Corp. truck pulled up at a University of Iowa Health Care system loading dock to deliver a small, heavy box. It contained 195 vials, each about half the size of a stick of lip balm, that were packed in dry ice at the Kalamazoo, Michigan plant where they were made. Each tiny bottle held five doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. It was the best news that UI Health Care workers overwhelmed by the pandemic had gotten in a long time. (Bloomberg.com)

Relief, euphoria, anxiety: Iowa medical workers respond to receiving Pfizer vaccine

It’s been more than 24 hours since the first Iowans received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Medical staff who deal with COVID-19 patients are first priority. MercyOne received their allocated vaccines at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. MercyOne Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Ravi Vemuri was the first to get vaccinated at the hospital. “It’s a feeling of relief and euphoria and a bit of anxiety, so it’s like three feelings in one,” Vemuri said. (KCCI)

 

National news

At one urban health center, ‘regulatory change was critical’ to telehealth success

For 40 years, Cleveland-based Neighborhood Family Practice’s model was solely face to face integrated care – primary care, behavioral health, dental, midwifery and pharmacy – that included meeting social needs, transportation barriers and access to care roadblocks. Overnight, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the practice had to change the model. They use an Epic electronic health record and had access to Zoom through Epic’s MyChart patient portal, but determined it would be too difficult for its patients. At the time of the pandemic, it had a less than 40% adoption rate for the MyChart patient portal. It needed a universal solution for patients. (Healthcare IT News)

Dartmouth researchers reflect on rural health in the pandemic

Earlier this year, some doctors feared rural areas would be overwhelmed with too many COVID-19 patients and too few resources. In June, we reported on a study that found rural areas of New Hampshire and Vermont were doing better than expected – but things have changed quite a bit since then. Recently NHPR’s Peter Biello spoke again with Dartmouth College Professors Elizabeth Carpenter-Song and Anne Sosin. (New Hampshire Public Radio)

Moderna’s vaccine is highly effective, FDA says, clearing way for second vaccine

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is 94% effective at preventing symptomatic illness and appears to prevent the spread of the virus as well, according to documents released Tuesday. The findings set the Moderna vaccine up for emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration by the end of this week, meaning Americans could soon have two highly effective COVID-19 vaccines, after the first shots of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine were given to health care workers on Monday. (NBC News)