Week in Review: June 25

The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Laboratories news, and upcoming events.

Industry News

Nearly all COVID deaths in US are now among unvaccinated

Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now are in people who weren’t vaccinated, a staggering demonstration of how effective the shots have been and an indication that deaths per day — now down to under 300 — could be practically zero if everyone eligible got the vaccine. An Associated Press analysis of available government data from May shows that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s about 0.1%. Via Associated Press News

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CDC: COVID still greater risk than vaccine to teens

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention experts said Wednesday that COVID-19 vaccines remain far less risky to youths than the disease itself, despite rare but concerning reports of heart inflammation in some teens and young adults after getting the shots. “Currently, the benefits still clearly outweigh the risks for COVID-19 vaccination in adolescents and young adults,” Dr. Sara Oliver of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases told an expert advisory panel, citing conclusions of a CDC work group. Via Mercury News

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Tokyo shapes up to be No-Fun Olympics with many rules, tests

The Tokyo Olympics, already delayed by the pandemic, are not looking like much fun: Not for athletes. Not for fans. And not for the Japanese public. They are caught between concerns about the coronavirus at a time when few are vaccinated on one side and politicians who hope to save face by holding the games and the International Olympic Committee with billions of dollars on the line on the other. Japan is famous for running on consensus. But the decision to proceed with the Olympics — and this week to permit some fans, if only locals — has shredded it. Via Associated Press

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Mayo Clinic News

Mayo Clinic Gives Advice on Summer Travel

 The Mayo Clinic has advice for people looking to travel this summer after a year of staying home to avoid exposure to the coronavirus. If you are fully vaccinated and healthy, it is most likely safe for you to travel, said Dr. Gregory Poland, Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group director. However, he said people who are unvaccinated or immunocompromised increase their risk of catching the virus if they travel. “Probably the best advice I could give for any of these questions about travel for individuals is talk to your health care provider,” Poland said. “they will have a sense where you are immunologically, what your risks are.” Via WJCT News

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Mayo receives awards for Enhanced Recovery After Surgery project

Breakthrough infections resulting in long Covid-19 are "quite rare," said Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn, an occupational medicine specialist who works with post-Covid-19 syndrome patients at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota…But because the vaccines have been proven to dramatically cut the risk of Covid-19 infection in general, the shots remain "one of the best ways to lower your risk of getting post-Covid syndrome," Vanichkachorn said. Vanichkachorn's observation, while based only on what he's seen in the clinic, is echoed at other post-Covid-19 clinics. Via NBC News

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Helping COVID Long-Haulers Get Back on Their Feet

Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn, Title: Medical director, COVID-19 Activity Rehabilitation Program, Mayo Clinic. As told to Lisa Esposito, as part of U.S. News & World Report’s “One Pandemic Question” series. Q: What are the top challenges for COVID long-haulers? If I had to really narrow it down to the single biggest challenge going forward: It’s for patients with post-COVID-19 syndrome to be understood by society, their loved ones and their employers. Even now, a year out from seeing the first survivors with this, patients still come to me saying that they’ve been told: 'It’s all in your head,' or they should just get over it or they’re 'crazy.' I find that one of the most cathartic things for these patients is just listening to them and then telling them that what they’re experiencing – the fatigue, the trouble thinking – are symptoms we have seen in several hundred other patients at this point. Via US News & World Report

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Samantha Rossi

Samantha Rossi is a Digital Marketing Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She supports marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Samantha has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2019.