Arizona Bioscience News: COVID-19 in Arizona; Cancer vaccine study; New HonorHealth facility

September 2, 2021

By Matt Ellsworth

90% of COVID cases at Banner Health are people who are unvaccinated / 12 News

About 90% of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 at Banner Health’s facilities in Arizona are unvaccinated, the system’s top doctor said, adding that Banner is receiving more pediatric patient visits in its hospitals.

Ducey announces $60M in funding to hospitals using COVID antibody drug / KTAR

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has announced $60 million in funding to support understaffed state hospitals that administer COVID-19 antibody drugs and vaccines at discharge.

COVID could trigger a spike in dementia cases, say Alzheimer’s experts / CNBC

Dr. Alireza Atri, a cognitive neurologist and director of Banner Sun Health Research Institute, said that COVID-19 can damage and clot micro vessels in the brain, hurt the body’s immunity, and cause inflammation leading to symptoms of neurological disorders—such as dementia—to show up earlier.

Preventive cancer vaccine based on neoantigens gets put to the test / ACS Publications

Stephen Johnston, cofounder of the startup Calviri and a scientist at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, is currently testing a preventive cancer vaccine, which induces an immune response to peptides produced from mutated mRNA, in a $6 million, five-year study in dogs.

As COVID-19 testing numbers increase, Embry Health hopes to expand services / KTAR

Embry Health, whose testing numbers jumped 1,000% from July 1 to Aug. 18, has launched an initiative to hire 800 workers across its testing locations.

Maricopa County health care workers ask for school mask mandate as COVID pediatric cases rise / Cronkite News

Physicians, health care workers and public health professionals in Maricopa County urged the county Board of Supervisors to enact a universal mask mandate for K-12 schools as the number of kids hospitalized for COVID-19 continues to rise at an “alarming” rate. Read more: Schools, mainly those without mask mandates, driving COVID-19 spread in Maricopa County

Arizona universities see more COVID-19 cases after classes begin; numbers still relatively low / Arizona Republic

Arizona’s universities are back to normal operations with full campuses, classrooms, and dorms, and so far, COVID-19 appears generally under control.

Existing technologies paved the way for mass vaccination efforts / Healthcare Finance

Arizona-based HonorHealth was able to use existing technologies to meet the initial COVID-19 vaccination challenge, administering more than 800 doses in two days during one stretch using drive-through clinics, walk-in clinics, and mobile settings.

National developer breaks ground on hybrid health care facility in Surprise / Phoenix Business Journal

A new $6.5 million provider-based emergency room and urgent care facility, HonorHealth Prasada in Surprise, will feature a 12,000-square-foot space with full X-ray and CT scan capabilities, a trauma room, and exam suites.

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