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COVID 19 Updates from RheumNow

Baricitinib’s COVID-19 Efficacy in the RECOVERY Trial

Pre-print results of the RECOVERY Trial has shown that when baricitinib (BAR) is given to hospitalized severe COVID-19 patients, it results in significantly less mortality.

Tocilizumab Works Best in Non-Mechanical Ventilated COVID-19 Patients

JAMA has published a meta-analysis of 15 studies of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 treated with tocilizumab and corticosteroids, showing that a clinically meaningful mortality benefit from tocilizumab (and steroids) was best seen in those not requiring invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV).

Downside of Holding Methotrexate with COVID-19 Vaccination

A recent prospective, randomized, blinded clinical trial has shown that a 2 week hold of methotrexate (MTX) following COVID-19 (Sinovac-CoronaVac) vaccination resulted in greater anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunogenicity; but there was an increase in flare rates after the second dose of vaccine.

MMWR - NFL Study on When to Be Released if COVID(+)

MMWR has reported the results of the National Football Leagues (NFL) change in SARS-CoV-2 testing program that went into effect in December 2021, at the height of the Omicron variant surge, showing that among those with asymptomatic infection, only half were PCR test negative and could return to

Diagnostic Delay in Axial Spondyloarthritis (2.25.2022)

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news and journal reports from the past week on This week, rheumatologic problems incited by respiratory infections, air pollution and how you live, now where you live.

Low COVID-19 Vaccine Risks in Rheumatic Patients

Data from the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology Coronavirus Vaccine registry shows that patients with with inflammatory or noninflammatory rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease have similar adverse event rates as the general public.

Hand OA and Heroes in Rheumatology (2.11.2022)

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news and journal articles from this past week in Interesting reports this week about dementia, who gets hand OA and a great list of women Heroes and Pillars of Rheumatology.

Recommendations on Telemedicine in Rheumatology

The integration of Telemedicine in to rheumatologic care was ignited by pandemic restrictions in early 2020 and since the advantages and disadvantages have been debated.

An Ounce of Prevention (2.4.2022)

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news and journal reports from this past week on  He discusses the GI side effects of IL-17 inhibitors, downstream revenues from rheumatology care and dietary prevention of gout. 

ACR Newly Revised COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Guidance for RMD Patients


The ACR has updated its clinical guidance for the use of COVID-19 vaccination in patients with musculoskeletal disorders (MSK). 

Summary of Guidance documents and versions

The Last Word on JAK Inhibitor Safety & 1133 Study (1.28.2022)

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news and journal articles from the past week on  This week a trifecta of Gout reports and the last word on the ORAL Surveillance study...

MMWR: Booster Vaccine Efficacy in Immunosuppressed Patients


For adults aged ≥18 years who received 2 doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, a third dose increased vaccine effectiveness (prevention of hospitalization) among adults without (82% to 97%) and with immunocompromising conditions (69% to 88%), with near similar efficacy.


The value of COVID Vaccine after COVID infection - Vax Effx after COVID=445% after 2 doses & 58% after booster during Delta COVID. During Omicron, 35% effect after 2 doses and 68% after a booster dose - best protection conferred by booster
Dr. John Cush @RheumNow ( View Tweet )
1 month ago
NPF COVID-19 report from AAD mtg shows #PSA pts on systemic Rx were not at risk of hospitalization or severe COVID-1 based on US claims data. Also TNFi, IL-17, IL-23 Rx not affect on Vax Ab responses; less hosp (36%) w/ TNFi
Dr. John Cush @RheumNow ( View Tweet )
1 month ago
FDA has granted a Priority Review for tocilizumab (Actemra) intravenous for the treatment of hospitalised COVID-19 adults receiving systemic corticosteroids and require supplemental O2, mechanical ventilation, or ECMO.
Dr. John Cush @RheumNow ( View Tweet )
1 month 1 week ago
“Do as much as possible for the patient, & as little as possible to the patient.” (B Lown). JAMA review of Antithrombotics in COVID-19 says all hospitalized COVID pts with COVID-19 should recv anticoagulation with heparin; no proven value to anti-Plts Rx
Dr. John Cush @RheumNow ( View Tweet )
1 month 1 week ago
The striking and most welcome streak of US Covid hospitalizations going down every single day since mid-January continues, now well below the prior pandemic nadir, and even after facing BA.2 variant dominance in parts of the country weeks ago 👍
Eric Topol @EricTopol ( View Tweet )
1 month 1 week ago
15 RTX patients with no response to 2 doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine received a booster. Despite persistent B-cell depletion 7/15 had a response to booster vaccine #Vasculitis22
Richard Conway @RichardPAConway ( View Tweet )
1 month 1 week ago
JAMA reports another study showing safety of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy with no incr in adverse pregnancy outcomes. Scand study of 157,521 births - 0.7%, 8.3%, 9.1% of were vaxD during 1st, 2nd, 3rd trimesters
Dr. John Cush @RheumNow ( View Tweet )
1 month 2 weeks ago
Canadian population study shows that mRNA COVID-19 vaccination DURING 2nd &3rd trimester of pregnancy did not increase rate of adverse peripartum outcomes (vs no vax or vax post-Preg). Comparison of 97 590 Preg vs 44 815 non-preg
Dr. John Cush @RheumNow ( View Tweet )
1 month 2 weeks ago
COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Safety #s - From ~300 million doses, there were 340,522 VAERS reported side effects, 92% mild, 6·6% serious (non-death)& 1·3% deaths(none from Anaphylaxis-0.025%). From 7.9 million V-safe participants, 1/2 had some AE.
Dr. John Cush @RheumNow ( View Tweet )
2 months ago
Another Kind of COVID Discussion Another kind of COVID (vaccination) discussion - kindness and respect for the patient QD Clinic is sponsored by (March 19 & 20, 2022 in Las Colinas, Texas)
Dr. John Cush @RheumNow ( View Tweet )
2 months 1 week ago