Week in Review: July 9

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

Pfizer to seek OK for 3rd vaccine dose; shots still protect

Pfizer is about to seek U.S. authorization for a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, saying Thursday that another shot within 12 months could dramatically boost immunity and maybe help ward off the latest worrisome coronavirus mutant. Research from multiple countries shows the Pfizer shot and other widely used COVID-19 vaccines offer strong protection against the highly contagious delta variant, which is spreading rapidly around the world and now accounts for most new U.S. infections. Two doses of most vaccines are critical to develop high levels of virus-fighting antibodies against all versions of the coronavirus, not just the delta variant -- and most of the world still is desperate to get those initial protective doses as the pandemic continues to rage. Via Associated Press

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Minneapolis Fed mandates COVID-19 vaccines for its employees

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis said Wednesday it will require its 1,100 employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of August. The regional unit of the nation's central bank will allow some employees to be exempt from vaccination for medical or religious reasons. Everyone else will need to get it to stay employed there. The policy will also be in effect for new hires. The Minneapolis Fed is one of the first large employers in the Twin Cities to put a vaccine mandate in place. Some are still debating the issue while many others have decided to encourage, and in some cases provide incentives for, workers to get vaccinated. Via Star Tribune

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U.S. medical stockpile running low as delta variant threat looms

Supplies of critical medical products in the Strategic National Stockpile are still well below federal targets more than 18 months after the coronavirus first emerged in the United States, according to internal data obtained by POLITICO. The federal government has built up the stockpile significantly over the last year. There are more than 35 times more N95 respirators and 10 times more ventilators available now than at the start of the pandemic. But the nation is still short hundreds of millions — or more — surgical masks, gloves and gowns. Via Politico

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Mayo Clinic News

Mayo Clinic blood donor program feels pressure of summer demand spike and national blood shortage

Mayo Clinic needs new donors to roll up their sleeves. The clinic sees a spike in blood demand during the summer, especially after busy weekends like the Fourth of July holiday. Due to more people being out and about and traveling during the summer, more car accidents happen this time of year or other situations where someone may find themselves in need of a blood transfusion. On top of the increased demand for blood, Mayo Clinic is also feeling the effects of a national blood shortage. Via KIMT3 News

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Mayo Clinic COVID-19 vaccine platform enters clinical trials

A new COVID-19 vaccine platform developed by Mayo Clinic researchers is entering phase one of clinical trials. If it reaches the market, the single-cycle novel vaccine vector is expected to produce a greater immune response and a more effective barrier against COVID-19 than current vaccine options, according to Dr. Michael Barry, director of Mayo Clinic's Vector and Vaccine Engineering Laboratory. For the needle-phobic, there is especially good news: the vaccine would likely be delivered through a nasal mist. Via Yahoo! News

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3 things you can do right now to improve your heart health

First, we had the “Freshman 15.” Now we’ve got “COVID’s 19,” a reference to the extra weight many of us put on during the pandemic. But the world is opening back up, and medical experts say it’s the perfect time to reset our habits and get heart healthy. “For many people staying healthy was very challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it really is a new day,” Dr. Sharonne N. Hayes, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Mayo Clinic and founder of the Women’s Heart Clinic, tells Yahoo Life. “I have been challenging my patients to think about either what they did prior to the pandemic that worked for them, or, if there has always been a struggle with exercise or a struggle with diet, this is the time to kind of turn that over and look for new opportunities.” Via Yahoo! News

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Chantell Canfield

Chantell Canfield is a web content coordinator for Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She began working for Mayo Clinic in 2021.