Timothy writes:

Hello Vincent and Dr. Griffin.

I have been a big fan of your podcast even pre-covid.  I currently have several of my staff members out sick with covid-19 and I was very interested in Dr. Griffin’s update on the use of bamlanivimab in the first week to lower the incidence of hospitalizations.  When I reached out to our local hospital officials, they seemed to be limiting this treatment to very high risk patients.  Could you give us further information as to the specific criteria for the emergency use of this drug?  My staff members seem quite sick at home but do not meet the criteria set forth by the hospital.  It seems to me that Bam Bam might be beneficial in a much wider group of patients sick with Covid-19.

Sincerely;

Timothy J O’Brien, RPh., M.D

Alan writes:

Hi Dr. Griffin,

Thank you for your continued clinical updates; it is a fabulous service you are providing to share information from the trenches and the cutting edge of both preventing, and treating COVID-19.   My wife is high-risk due to asthma and past severe respiratory infections, so we have been strictly isolating at home since this whole thing started last year.  Given her situation, however, I have a question regarding the vaccines and allergic reactions.

My wife has asthma, and a number of years ago, when she had a fairly severe respiratory infection, she was given intravenous iodine contrast agent in preparation for some sort of chest X-Ray – the details are fuzzy at this point.  To our surprise, she went into anaphylactic shock, flopping around on the table and burst out in hives.  She was given some sort of IV remedy (epinephrine?) and it calmed everything down.

At the time, we were scolded by the attending doctor that we should have told them she was allergic to ICA, but of course we had no idea.

My challenge is this: how are we supposed to know if we are “allergic to any of the ingredients in the vaccine” if they are a bunch of chemical compounds that we have no clue about?  More specifically – are any of the compounds in the vaccines also found in iodine contrast?  (PEG?)

Thank you so much for addressing either the general question or the specific.

Best,

Alan B.
Ashburn, VA

Laura writes:

My 66 year old mother was recently updating her advanced medical directives, and she included a note saying that if she were to contract COVID-19, she does not want to be placed on a ventilator, as she believes she would be unlikely to survive and regain the ability to live a full, independent life.¬† I did a quick search to see if I could find any literature on long-term outcomes for COVID-19 patients who had been on ventilators–I found one study considering whether patients would survive to hospital discharge, and no studies of other endpoints.¬† I’d appreciate your insights on longer-term outcomes for ventilated patients–either from the literature, or if research on the subject has not been published, your impressions from your own patient population.

Thank you,

Laura