COVID-19 Roundup: Vaccine Mandates, Vitamin D, Monoclonal Antibodies Uptake, Diet and COVID-19
Nationwide Vaccine Mandate1
President Joe Biden has announced a nation-wide mandate for most federal employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and encouraging companies with 100 or more employees to require vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing.
US data show that most hospitalized patients with COVID-19 are not vaccinated. Although breakthrough cases occur among the vaccinated, the vaccine prevents severe illness with the Delta variant. The data also show that only 62% of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated.
Vitamin D as a Treatment for COVID-192
A recent study examined whether vitamin D could limit SARS-CoV-2 infection and, therefore, be a potential treatment for COVID-19. The researchers found that novel vitamin D and related lumisterol hydroxymetabolites significantly reduce the viral replication of infection by inhibiting enzymes on the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
“Active forms of vitamin D and lumisterol can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication machinery enzymes, which indicates that novel vitamin D and lumisterol metabolites are candidates for antiviral drug research,” the researchers concluded.
Low Uptake of Monoclonal Antibodies in Outpatients3
Although monoclonal antibodies are the only COVID-19 treatments approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, they have been significantly underutilized by symptomatic patients in the outpatient setting.
Of the 211 million patients with COVID-19 included in the analysis, only 69,377 had received monoclonal antibodies.
“In this medical claims study including 62% of the US population, we observe fewer than 70,000 patients received monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 between first FDA emergency use authorization and April 11, 2021,” the researchers wrote. “During this time period, over 20 million cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed, 2.5 million monoclonal antibody treatments were purchased by the US government, and nearly 1 million treatments were allocated to states.”
Diet and COVID-194
Plant-based diets may reduce the risk for and severity of COVID-19, according to an analysis of 592,571 participants in the COVID-19 Symptom Study. Food frequency questionnaires were administered, and diet quality was assessed.
“The joint association of low diet quality and increased deprivation on COVID-19 risk was higher than the sum of the risk associated with each factor alone (Pinteraction = 0.005). The corresponding absolute excess rate per 10,000 person/months for lowest vs highest quartile of diet score was 22.5 (95% CI 18.8 to 26.3) among persons living in areas with low deprivation and 40.8 (95% CI 31.7 to 49.8) among persons living in areas with high deprivation,” the researchers wrote.
1. Mason J, Aboulenein A. Attacking anti-vaccine movement, Biden mandates widespread COVID shots, tests. Reuters. September 10, 2021. https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-deliver-six-step-plan-covid-19-pandemic-2021-09-09/
2. Qayyum S, Mohammad T, Slominski RM, et al. Vitamin D and lumisterol novel metabolites can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication machinery enzymes. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2021;321(2):E246-E251. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00174.2021
3. Anderson TS, O'Donoghue AL, Dechen T, Mechanic O, Stevens JP. Uptake of outpatient monoclonal antibody treatments for covid-19 in the United States: a cross-sectional analysis. J Gen Intern Med. Published online ahead of print September 8, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-021-07109-5
4. Merino J, Joshi AD, Nguyen LH, et al. Diet quality and risk and severity of COVID-19: a prospective cohort study. Gut. Published online ahead of print September 6, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2021-32535