In a letter to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) and its Arizona State Chapter ask him to take a proactive stance on early or prophylactic treatment for COVID-19 with ivermectin in vulnerable populations, including prison inmates and staff.
“The medical community is mobilizing to administer vaccines as quickly as possible,” the letter states. “However, it is already too late for many prison inmates. We read in the Arizona Republic of Dec 8 that more than half the inmates held in the La Paz Unit in Yuma have tested positive for COVID-19. This is a particularly vulnerable population, often kept in crowded conditions. We also know that minority populations are hardest hit by this disease. If antibody-enhanced disease—a severe autoimmune reaction triggered if a vaccinated person gets infected with the virus—turns out to be a problem, prisoners in this high-prevalence environment will be severely affected.”
Ivermectin is a very safe anti-parasitic drug. Billions of doses have been given worldwide since 1981, according to testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Another highly vulnerable population is nursing home residents, states AAPS. About half the COVID deaths have involved these patients. We do not yet know how safe or effective the vaccine is for the very elderly and frail.
An important risk factor for severe or fatal COVID is vitamin D deficiency. People who cannot get adequate sunlight are likely to be seriously deficient without adequate supplementation, AAPS states. Lockdowns worsen this problem.
The four pillars of pandemic control are: (1) contagion control, (2) early at-home treatment, (3) late-stage in-hospital treatment, and (4) vaccination. The U.S. has been neglecting the second pillar, states AAPS, and its COVID mortality is ten times higher than in many countries that use repurposed drugs, which are on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines, for prophylaxis or early outpatient therapy.
Additionally, the first pillar might be much improved by engineering methods to purify the air, the AAPS letter suggests. The State should implement such measures in public buildings and incentivize businesses to do so as well.
Early and prophylactic treatment with ivermectin, and improved hygienic measures “could reduce suffering and death, relieve overburdened hospitals, and allow recovery of our economy,” the letter concludes, urging Arizona to serve as a model for other states.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has represented physicians in all specialties nationwide since 1943. It provides information on early home treatment for COVID-19. Its motto is omnia pro aegroto (everything for the patient).