Posts Tagged ‘COVID-19’

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January 18th, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

In case you missed it, over on the New England Journal of Medicine, we now have a list of Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions. (Why this NEJM Journal Watch site and the actual New England Journal of Medicine use different capitalization rules for this disease is a mystery. And don’t get me started on the Washington Post, […]


January 4th, 2021

Ivermectin for COVID-19 — Breakthrough Treatment or Hydroxychloroquine Redux?

It’s an indisputable fact that we need better treatments for COVID-19. This is particularly true in the outpatient setting. Let’s count how many we have today, hmm, this shouldn’t take long. That would be zero — the same number we had over a year ago, when the disease first emerged in China. Something safe, easy to take […]


December 20th, 2020

With Vaccine Rollout, a Mixture of Gratitude, Envy, and Cautious Hope

I. Gratitude Did I think we’d have two vaccines for COVID-19 available for distribution before 2021? Two vaccines with 95% efficacy in preventing disease, and nearly 100% in preventing severe disease? Vaccines that work across different patient populations, including the most vulnerable — especially older people? Not a chance. I’ve probably been quoted half a dozen times […]


December 6th, 2020

Getting Through a Grim, Dark Winter with Little Bits of Joy

The season’s first nor’easter came barreling through New England this weekend, bringing with it an added level of gloom to an already pretty grim time. Grim because the virus sadly returned right on time, just like the other seasonal coronaviruses — and just like the virologists told us it would. Short days, cold dark nights, wintry mix […]


November 18th, 2020

Just Another Urgent Plea from Your Friendly ID Doctor for Risk Mitigation as the Holiday Season Approaches

There’s lots in the press about how to have safe holiday gatherings in 2020 as cases of COVID-19 increase pretty much everywhere in this country. How about this simple strategy? Celebrate only with the people you live with already. Bingo. That way Thanksgiving will be no riskier than your daily meals together. End of advice column, right? The problem […]


November 15th, 2020

Bamlanivimab for COVID-19 — Hard to Pronounce, Even Harder to Give

The latest COVID-19 treatment made available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody developed by Eli Lilly. For now, its use will be limited to outpatients who are at high risk for severe disease and/or hospitalization. This EUA is based on the results of the phase 2 BLAZE-1 study, in which the treatment […]


November 10th, 2020

Promising COVID-19 Vaccine Results and Progress on HIV Prevention — All in One Great Day

Monday, November 9, in the bedeviled year 2020, was an astounding day for research on prevention of infectious diseases — really unprecedented. First — we awoke to hear that the Pfizer-BioNTech experimental COVID-19 vaccine was “90% effective” in preventing the disease after the second (of two) doses. This was a planned interim analysis, taking place after 94 […]


November 1st, 2020

A Series of Disappointing Results of Immune-Based Therapies for COVID-19

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for immune-based therapies for COVID-19. We know that immune modulation in this disease, especially in its most severe manifestations, can improve outcomes. Favorable results from the RECOVERY study of dexamethasone have made it the standard of care for most hospitalized patients who require oxygen. And we also know that our […]


October 25th, 2020

(Not) Attending Professional Meetings in the COVID-19 Era

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), our professional society, held its annual meeting this week, IDWeek. As usual, I registered for and attended the meeting. Of course I should have written “attended” the meeting, as instead of having an in-person meeting in Philadelphia (the original planned venue), it was entirely done online. Another “virtual” meeting […]


October 18th, 2020

Does Remdesivir Actually Work?

Quick answer — it’s complicated. Let’s start with a clinical anecdote — rightfully considered the weakest form of evidence, yet paradoxically holding great power over us because we’re imperfect humans. It’s the way we’re wired. In April, a patient of mine with stable HIV came into the hospital with COVID-19 pneumonia. (Certain details changed for privacy.) She works […]


HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

Biography | Disclosures | Summaries

Learn more about HIV and ID Observations.