U.S. health officials: More data needed on UK COVID-19 variant warning
Officials are somewhat more worried about a separate variant from South Africa, although it has not yet been identified among U.S. cases of the novel coronavirus, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins and Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s top COVID-19 medical adviser, also said.
Collins noted the UK’s data was preliminary, and said it was unclear why those with the UK variant faced a higher risk of death, whether by changes in the virus itself or other external causes such as pressures on the healthcare system.
OCR proposed rule on HIPAA privacy standards officially published
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights formally published in the Federal Register a proposed rule released Dec. 10 that would modify HIPAA privacy standards for individually identifiable health information. The 60-day comment period on the rule ends on March 22. AHA staff are reviewing the rule and plan to submit comments.
COVID Vaccine for Patient With Rare Disease? Best Guess Is Yes
— Clinicians favor vaccination in most groups, including people with pulmonary hypertension
Extrapolating from the limited data from the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trials, clinicians say the products’ benefits likely outweigh the risks for people with pulmonary hypertension and other rare diseases.
“The reality is folks with rare diseases will never have enough to do the trials out of the gate,” said Tom Maddox, MD, MSc, of BJC HealthCare and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.