Video: Expert panel discusses current clinical challenges in the prevention and management of COVID-19
PHILADELPHIA, September 12, 2022 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) and Annals of Internal Medicine hosted a virtual forum where expert panelists discussed current clinical challenges in the prevention and management of COVID-19. The panelists, comprised of individuals who have been and continue to be frontline leaders in the fight against the virus, used a series of clinical vignettes to demonstrate best-practice approaches to patient care with regard to preventive and therapeutic interventions, including how and when to use the newly approved bivalent vaccines. A full recording of the forum is available for replay and is published in Annals of Internal Medicine along with commentary from Annals editor in chief, Christine Laine, MD, MPH.
The program began with the presentation of three patient clinical scenarios. After polling the participants about what they would do in each case, the panelists shared their own approaches and answered attendee questions. Since only days before the program, The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC released decisions regarding the approval of and clinical indications for bivalent vaccines active against both the ancestral strain of SARS-CoV-2 and the BA4 and BA5 strains, much of the discussion focused on their use.
“This is our tenth forum, and each time we gather it seems that new information has just emerged,” said Dr. Laine. “If you missed the live event, it’s worth clicking on the video to see our adept panelists provided up-to-the-minute information about the new bivalent vaccines, including important information about when they should and shouldn’t be administered.”
In addition to the scenarios, the panelists discussed changes in treatments that have evolved since early 2020 when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Since then, more than 6.5 million deaths worldwide have been reported.
“We have more tools than ever in our arsenal against COVID-19,” said ACP president Ryan Mire, MD, FACP. “ACP is proud to present this important series of forums to educate and support the clinicians who must continue to make difficult clinical decisions, oftentimes with their patients’ lives at stake.”
Dr. George M. Abraham, immediate past president of ACP, served as program moderator. Dr. Abraham is professor of medicine at UMass Medical School; chief of medicine and emeritus president of the medical staff at Saint Vincent Hospital; and adjunct professor of medicine at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services. The forum panelists included:
- Sabrina A. Assoumou, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine and the inaugural Louis W. Sullivan, MD, Endowed Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Assoumou is also a member of the Infectious Diseases Section, Boston Medical Center.
- Camille N. Kotton, MD, Clinical Director, Transplant and Immunocompromised Host Infectious Diseases @Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Kotton is the Clinical Director of Transplant and Immunocompromised Host Infectious Diseases in the Infectious Diseases Division at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
- Carlos del Rio, MD, Executive Associate Dean Distinguished Professor @Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. del Rio is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine and Executive Associate Dean for Emory at Grady. He is also Professor of Global Health and Professor of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 160,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About Annals of Internal Medicine
Annals of Internal Medicine is the flagship journal of the American College of Physicians (ACP). Annals is the most widely read and cited general internal medicine journal and one of the most influential peer-reviewed clinical journals in the world. Annals’ mission is to promote excellence in medicine, enable physicians and other health care professionals to be well-informed members of the medical community and society, advance standards in the conduct and reporting of medical research, and contribute to improving the health of people worldwide. New content is published every Tuesday at Annals.org. Follow Annals on Twitter and Instagram @AnnalsofIM and on Facebook.
Presentation of 4 clinical cases, a poll of what attendees would do in each case, and then a discussion of what the panelists would do in each of the 4 situations. Following the discussion of the cases, the panelists addressed questions submitted by attendees. The panelists acknowledged that the science is evolving and their answers are based on what is currently known about COVID-19.
In addition to answering questions, the panelists debated when to test, in which situations PCR or rapid antigen tests are most useful and cautioned about using antibody tests to guide clinical decisions. They engaged in lively discussion about the need to emphasize the use of proven therapies over those whose effectiveness and safety has not been demonstrated and the importance of equitable distribution of therapies based on medical need. Along with the promise of emerging therapies, the panelists addressed the substantial shortcomings related to logistical challenges, limited availability, contraindications, and drug interactions.