Study finds Paxlovid may interact badly with certain heart medications, and White House renews COVID emergency until January 11

A new study has found that the COVID antiviral Paxlovid may interact badly with certain heart medications, raising concerns for patients at cardiovascular risk who test positive.

The study has been published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and found the reaction involved drugs such as blood thinners and statins. As patients hospitalized with COVID are at high risk for heart problems, they are likely to be described Paxlovid, which was developed by Pfizer

“Co-administration of NMVr (Paxlovid) with medications commonly used to manage cardiovascular disease has the potential to cause significant drug interactions and lead to serious adverse effects,” the authors wrote. “Being aware of these interactions and taking appropriate steps to avoid them is crucial.”

The news comes just days after the White House made another push to encourage Americans over 50 to take Paxlovid or use monoclonal antibodies if they are positive and at risk of developing serious disease.

White House Coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha told the New York Times that greater use of the drug could reduce the average number of daily deaths to around 50 per day from nearly 400 currently.

“I think almost everyone benefits from Paxlovid,” Jha said. “For some people, the benefit is minimal. For others, the benefit is enormous.

Still, a smaller proportion of 80-year-olds with COVID in the United States take it than 45-year-olds, Jha said, citing data he’s seen.

The White House on Thursday extended its COVID public health emergency through Jan. 11 as it prepares for an expected spike in cases in the colder months, the Associated Press reported.

The public health emergency, first declared in January 2020 and renewed every 90 days since, has dramatically changed the way health services are delivered.

The declaration allowed emergency authorization of COVID vaccines, as well as free test and treatments. He has extended Medicaid coverage to millions of people, many of whom are at risk of losing that coverage once the emergency is over. It temporarily opened telehealth access to Medicare beneficiaries, allowing doctors to charge the same rates for those visits and encouraging health networks to adopt telehealth technology.

Since the beginning of this year, Republicans have pressed the administration to end the public health emergency.

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has urged Congress to provide billions more in aid to pay for vaccines and testing. Amid Republican opposition to the request, the federal government stopped sending free COVID tests through the mail last month, saying it no longer had funds for the effort.

Separately, the head of the World Health Organization urged countries to continue to monitor, monitor and track COVID and ensure poorer countries have access to vaccines, diagnostics and treatments, reiterating that the pandemic is not over yet.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said most countries no longer had measures in place to limit the spread of the virus, even as cases rise again in places like Europe.

“Most countries have dramatically reduced surveillance, while testing and sequencing rates are also much lower,” Tedros said in his opening remarks to the IHR Emergency Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic. Thursday.

“This,” the WHO chief said, “blinds us to the evolution of the virus and the impact of current and future variants.”

Known cases of COVID in the United States continue to decline and are now at their lowest level since late April, although the true count is likely higher given the total number of people testing at home, where the data does not are not collected.

The daily average of new cases stood at 38,530 on Thursday, according to a New York Times tracker, down 19% from two weeks ago. Cases are increasing in six states, namely Nevada, New Mexico, Kansas, Maine, Wisconsin and Vermont, and are stable in Wyoming. They fall everywhere else.

Average daily hospitalizations fell 7% to 26,665, while average daily deaths fell 7% to 377.

The new bivalent vaccine could be the first step in the development of annual Covid shots, which could follow a process similar to that used to update flu vaccines each year. Here’s what that process looks like and why applying it to Covid might be difficult. Illustration: Ryan Trefes

Coronavirus update: MarketWatch’s Daily Roundup organizes and reports all the latest developments each day of the week since the start of the coronavirus pandemic

Other COVID-19 news you should know:

• Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has urged German states to reintroduce face mask requirements for indoor spaces due to the high number of COVID cases, reported. Lauterbach was launching his ministry’s new COVID campaign on Friday. “The direction in which we are heading is not right,” he told a press conference in Berlin, adding that it was better to take smaller steps now than to be forced into more. drastic measures later.

• Health officials in Washington and Oregon said on Thursday that a fall and winter surge of COVID would likely head to the Pacific Northwest after months of relatively low case levels, the AP reported. King County (Wash) health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin told a news conference that virus trends in Europe show a disturbing picture of what the United States could soon see, according to the Seattle Times reported.

Two banners unfurled from a road overpass in Beijing condemned Chinese President Xi Jinping and his tough Covid policies, in a rare show of defiance. The demonstration took place a few days before the planned extension of the leader’s mandate.

Kevin SpaceyThe trial of sexual misconduct allegations will continue without a lawyer who tested positive for COVID on Thursday, Yahoo News reported. The ‘American Beauty’ and ‘House of Cards’ star is on trial in Manhattan federal court over allegations in a $40 million civil lawsuit that he attacked actor Anthony Rapp in 1986 when Rapp was 14 and Spacey 26. Jennifer Keller’s diagnosis comes after she spent around five hours cross-examining Rapp on the witness stand for two days – just yards from the jury box without wearing a mask.

• A man who presents himself as an Orthodox Christian monk and a lawyer with whom he lived fraudulently obtained $3.5 million in federal pandemic relief funds for religious nonprofits and related businesses that they controlled, and spent some of it to fund a “lavish lifestyle”. federal prosecutors said Thursday. Brian Andrew Bushell, 47, and Tracey MA Stockton, 64, are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and illegal monetary transactions, the US Attorney’s Office in Boston said in a statement. as reported by the AP.

Here’s what the numbers say:

The global tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases topped 623.9 million on Monday, while the death toll topped 6.56 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

The United States leads the world with 96.9 million cases and 1,064,821 deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tracker shows that 226.2 million people living in the United States, or 68.1% of the total population, are fully immunized, meaning they have received their first shots. Only 110.8 million had a booster, or 49% of the vaccinated population, and 25.6 million of those eligible for a second booster had one, or 39% of those who received a first booster.

Some 14.8 million people have been injected with the new bivalent booster that targets the new omicron subvariants.

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