Coronavirus update: Another Johnson & Johnson vaccine reaction, vaccine demand falls as cases dwindle

Photo (c) dowell - Getty Images

Federal officials are charging a family for selling bleach as a cure

Coronavirus (COVID-19) tally as compiled by Johns Hopkins University. (Previous numbers in parentheses.)

Total U.S. confirmed cases: 32,130,876 (32,080,017)

Total U.S. deaths: 572,794 (572,226)

Total global cases: 148,018,784 (147,312,053)

Total global deaths: 3,123,782 (3,112,019)

California man suffers Johnson & Johnson vaccine reaction

A California man in his 30s who received the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine two weeks ago has been hospitalized in the San Francisco area after developing a blood clot in his leg. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has documented at least 15 cases of rare but serious blood clots in the U.S., all of which have occurred in patients with low platelet counts.

The U.S. had placed a pause on the use of the vaccine while health experts studied the data. The pause was lifted last weekend after health officials say the reaction was “exceptionally rare.”

Demand for vaccine slows as the case count falls

The U.S. has passed another COVID-19 vaccination milestone. The CDC reports that the number of fully vaccinated Americans now is greater than the number of people who only have one shot. But the numbers also suggest that demand for the vaccine is tapering off around the country.

Demand has fallen to such a low level in Connecticut that Gov. Ned Lamont has announced that some clinics will no longer require appointments to get the shots. He said the move is aimed at encouraging people to get a vaccination.

Meanwhile, the CDC reports that both cases and deaths from the coronavirus have trended lower over the last 30 days. The daily case count fell to just over 34,000 this week; the seven-day moving average of cases is more than 54,000.

Family charged with selling bleach as COVID-19 cure

Members of a Florida family have been charged in federal court with selling thousands of bottles of bleach as a “miracle cure” for COVID-19. Three people face charges of fraud and of violating a previous court order to stop selling the bogus cures.

According to court documents, the family marketed the bleach mix as “Miracle Mineral Solution,” or MMS, which contained a sodium chlorite solution. The directions called for mixing it with an acidic activator to become chlorine dioxide, or bleach. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that consuming any chlorine dioxide product “can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration.”

New treatment could keep patients off ventilators

Researchers at Ohio State University have developed a treatment that they say could prevent COVID-19 patients from getting severely ill. They say it could also reduce the need for ventilators.

In research on mice, the scientists found that the treatment normalized blood oxygen levels and reduced inflammation in mouse lungs – effects that could make a person well enough for hospital discharge.

“The most important and impressive thing in this study is the fact that we have benefits even when we treat late in the disease process,” said Ian Davis, senior author of the study. “If we could develop a drug based on these findings, you could take somebody who’s going to have to go on a ventilator and stop that completely.” 

Plastic surgeons see surge in post-pandemic appointments

Health care providers treating anything but COVID-19 saw a big drop in appointments when the coronavirus pandemic shut down the economy last year. Providers expressed concern that people were neglecting treatments and screenings for things like heart disease and cancer. Elective surgeries also fell sharply.

But all of that is changing with the pandemic starting to fade. Plastic surgeons, who experienced among the biggest drops in appointments and procedures, are reporting a “post-pandemic boom.”

"The pandemic isn't over, but thanks to vaccines, a new normal is starting to define itself – and some surgeons' offices that were closed or offered only limited services within the last year are seeing higher demand," said Dr. Lynn Jeffers, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Around the nation

  • Washington: Hospital officials are reporting that more young people with COVID-19 are suffering severe symptoms of the virus. “We are seeing younger patients than what we saw in earlier surges: Patients in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are being hospitalized,” said Tom DeBord, the chief operating officer of Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue.

  • Virginia: Two Richmond nurses have started a business to provide immediate-result COVID-19 tests for large groups. The nurses say they’ve been hired to ensure the health of people attending weddings and other large events.

  • Iowa: State health officials report that demand for vaccinations has dropped sharply in the last two weeks as more people have been vaccinated. “We’re hearing it across the board,”  said Heather Meador, a Linn County public health supervisor. “Their phones aren’t ringing off the hook anymore.”

Get a health screening near you

Get Peace of Mind or Early Detection with Life Line Screening

Get started