This week in Clipboard Health’s Nursing News round-up …
Higher Rate of Hospitalizations, Cases, and Complications of COVID-19 Found in Black and Hispanic Children
A new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that Black and Hispanic children are far more likely than white children to get COVID-19, be hospitalized for symptoms, and have more serious complications from the sickness.
For Hispanic children, their rate of hospitalization was 16.4 for every 100,000 people; Black children were hospitalized at a rate of 10.5 for every 100,000, and white children saw hospitalization at a rate of just 2.1 per 100,000 people.
First Federal Count of Nursing Home Deaths from COVID-19 Puts Number at Almost 26,000
The US federal government released its first count of nursing home deaths in the U.S. since the pandemic began. Nearly 26,000 deaths from COVID-19 are estimated to have happened at nursing homes across the country. That number is likely very low and only includes maybe 80% of all of the country’s nursing homes, and actual reports are inconsistent from state to state. Of those nearly 26,000 deaths, about 449 are nursing home staff.
FDA Approves Nasal Spray for Patients with Suicidal Thoughts or Recent Suicidal History
In 2019, the FDA approved a nasal spray called Spravato (which uses esketamine, a chemical cousin of the anesthetic ketamine) for use with patients with major depressive disorder if those patients had already tried other treatments that failed to treat their disorder. The FDA has now approved the use of the nasal spray for patients with suicidal thoughts or who had a recent suicide attempt or self-harm incident.
Because the drug is administered as a nasal spray, it can take effect within 24 hours of the first dose. Other drugs currently used to treat patients with these criteria can take weeks or months of regular doses to work as it builds up in the system. Esketamine, which is to be used in hospitals and clinics rather than at home, has the best effect on patients when used simultaneously with a comprehensive follow-up treatment plan.
Newest COVID-19 Projections Estimate 300,000 Deaths by End of Year
Several research institutions have been working to forecast how COVID-19 numbers might look in the coming months based on different solutions, like wearing masks or initiating more lockdowns. The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) ran predictions that estimate the US will see almost 300,000 deaths by the end of 2020. If that comes true, then the coronavirus will become the third leading cause of death in the country.
The projected death toll already includes determining factors like how the cold weather and school returning to session will impact coronavirus cases. Projections also looked at how nationwide mask usage could drastically decrease the estimated death toll and how some states would likely need to undergo lockdown again even with widespread mask usage.
Drug Companies and U.S. Federal Government Talk COVID-19 Vaccine Prices
Discussions and negotiations on prices for upcoming coronavirus vaccines between the drug companies making them and the U.S. federal government have already been underway.
Moderna, a US-based company and one of the leading companies in the race for a coronavirus vaccine, has already entered deals to sell its vaccine to some foreign countries for $32 to $37 per dose. In the US, the first sign of potential pricing for the vaccine is anywhere from $4 to $20 per dose, but only while the pandemic is active. After the pandemic is considered over, prices will go up. The company declined to commit to selling the vaccine at cost.
German-based company Pfizer, another leading contender in the vaccine race, is selling 100 million doses of its vaccine to the U.S. for about $20 per dose. Both Moderna’s and Pfizer’s vaccines will likely need two doses per person to work effectively, pending current trial results.