Different Takes: Family Doctors Role In Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy; Should Kids Unmask Outdoors?
Opinion writers tackle Covid, vaccines and outdoor masking.
Doctors Can Help People Overcome Hesitancy To The Shot.
I had “the discussion” again on Friday, the one where a vaccine-hesitant patient explained to me why he wasn’t ready to get a shot. He was, he said, still thinking about it. He was close to 60 years old, overweight, with high blood pressure. I cut through some of the main myths about the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) quickly – they will not alter your genetics or get inside the cell, they will be out of your system in two days, they have been given safely to well over 100 million people in the United States alone. I could see that I was making progress. He asked me about fertility, though it didn’t seem to apply to him, but that furthered my concern that he might be following social media as so many of my patients are. (Dr. Marc Siegel, 5/12)
Kids Don't Need Masks Outside
As parents gradually reap the rewards of vaccination—including unmasking outdoors, socializing unmasked indoors with other vaccinated people, and abandoning anxiety about getting seriously ill—they’re wondering if they need to keep up pandemic precautions for their children’s sake. I am a primary-care doctor, and the parents I talk with are deeply concerned about their communities; they also want to see their kids reengage in life. They want to liberate themselves from the intensity of pandemic child care and worry. I can empathize: I’m a mother of three. (Lucy McBride, 5/12)
The New York Times:
How India Can Survive The Virus
As of Tuesday, India had over 23 million reported cases of Covid-19 and more than 254,000 deaths. The real numbers may be much higher, as the country reported an average of more than 380,000 new cases per day in the past week. As a virologist, I have closely followed the outbreak and vaccine development over the past year. I also chair the Scientific Advisory Group for the Indian SARS-CoV2 Consortium on Genomics, set up by the Indian government in January as a grouping of national laboratories that use genetic sequencing to track the emergence and circulation of viral variants. My observations are that more infectious variants have been spreading, and to mitigate future waves, India should vaccinate with far more than the two million daily doses now. (Shahid Jameel, 5/13)
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
Waiving Patents Won’t Solve India’s COVID-19 Tragedy
As America beats back COVID-19 with vaccines, the catastrophe in India reminds us that much of the world’s population has yet to receive a shot. Coping with a virulent second wave of the virus, desperate Indians plead for oxygen tanks for their loved ones. Mass cremations of victims barely cope with more than 300,000 new cases daily, but less than 4% of nearly 1.4 billion people have gotten their first jab. (Trudy Rubin, 5/12)
New England Journal of Medicine:
Vaccination And Variants In The U.S. And South Africa
The continuing spread of SARS-CoV-2 remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. What physicians need to know about transmission, diagnosis, and treatment of Covid-19 is the subject of ongoing updates from infectious disease experts at the Journal. In this audio interview conducted on May 11, 2021, the editors are joined by Glenda Gray, head of the South African Medical Research Council, to discuss new research on vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants and the current state of the pandemic in Africa. (Eric J. Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., Lindsey R. Baden, M.D., Glenda E. Gray, M.B., B.Ch., and Stephen Morrissey, Ph.D., 5/13)
COVID Treatment In Ethiopia Shouldn't Be Just For The Privileged
In February, I decided to leave my town of Flint, Mich., and travel to my home country of Ethiopia to work on a potential mental health research partnership for a few months — and visit my family, whom I hadn't seen since before the start of the pandemic. Cases seemed very stable both in Michigan and in Addis Ababa. Considering I take public health measures seriously and do not have much job-related exposure, I figured I would have a safe trip. So, imagine my surprise when I found out that, just a few weeks after I arrived in Addis, I started experiencing COVID symptoms. Days later, my diabetic father — who I was staying with — started showing symptoms, too. (Maji Hailemariam, 5/12)