Different Takes: Is Antibody Treatment Effective Against Omicron?; Should We Worry About A ‘Twindemic’?
Opinion writers examine these covid related issues.
Does GlaxoSmithKline Covid Antibody Treatment Sotrovimab Work Against Omicron?
GlaxoSmithKline Plc has delivered some good news amid mounting concerns about the omicron variant. Its research showed that sotrovimab, the Covid-19 antibody treatment it developed with Vir Biotechnology Inc., is effective against the full combination of mutations seen in the new variant. Will this make it easier to live with omicron? Bloomberg Opinion’s Therese Raphael talks to Sam Fazeli, senior pharmaceutical analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, about the development. (Therese Raphael and Sam Fazeli, 12/7)
'Twindemic' Fears Are Back. And This Time They Might Foretell A Tragic Season
Just before South African scientists identified the Omicron coronavirus variant, many experts were beginning to focus on a completely different potential problem: the collision of Covid-19 and influenza, which is now in the first weeks of its annual surge. If the issue seems familiar, it is because it is: there was a big fear last year over the possibility of the same unholy alliance. It was so concerning it was even dubbed the "twindemic," to denote the anticipated one-two punch of both viruses circulating at once. (Kent Sepkowitz, 12/7)
The Washington Post:
How Biden Can Enlist Insurance Companies To Get Covid-19 Tests To All Americans
When I first heard President Biden announce that his administration will make rapid coronavirus tests free through insurance reimbursement, I thought it was a terrible plan. Why isn’t the government procuring tests directly and distributing them free of charge, rather than making Americans go through the onerous process of purchasing tests and then applying to insurance companies to get their money back? (Leana S. Wen, 12/7)
Boosters Can Help End The COVID Pandemic
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized COVID booster shots for all adults who have received their initial set of vaccinations. The CDC followed by strengthening their recommendation for all eligible people 18 years of age and older to get vaccinated. Most scientists knew when COVID-19 vaccines were first authorized that we would need at least one additional shot to complete the primary series, known as a prime-boost strategy. This is despite the vaccines’ outstanding initial efficacy. This sort of boost is required for many infectious disease vaccines to generate longer-lasting immunity. With holidays coming up, the emergence of new variants such as Omicron, and rising rates of infections in vaccinated individuals, it’s important to get boosters so we can move toward ending this pandemic. (Hayley A. Gans and Yvonne A. Maldonado, 12/7)
The CT Mirror:
Ways To Address The Pandemic's Impact On Children's Behavioral Health
Covid-19 has brought on a behavioral health tsunami, a crisis in the brewing even before the pandemic. The effects on children’s health and mental health will be long-term. Children who have had Covid may become long haulers with both physical and behavioral health problems lasting years, or a lifetime. The solutions being sought must address both the immediacy of the crisis and the long-term needs. (Stephen Wanczyk-Karp, 12/8)
The Boston Globe:
Don’t Look Away From 800,000 Dead From COVID-19
COVID-19 deaths nationwide will soon surpass 800,000. Too few will notice. “Never in my wildest imagination did I think we would reach a point where a thousand-plus deaths a day would be normalized and met with a shrug,” Alex Goldstein, founder of Faces of COVID, told me. I first spoke to him in mid-May 2020, two months into the virus’s initial wave. He had just posted his thousandth story to @FacesofCOVID on Twitter, tweet-sized remembrances of those killed by the disease caused by the coronavirus. (Renee Graham, 12/7)
The New York Times:
I’m An E.R. Doctor In Michigan, Where Unvaccinated People Are Filling Hospital Beds
Recently a patient in his 70s came seeking care at the small rural hospital in West Michigan where I’ve worked as an emergency physician for two decades. He had tested positive for the coronavirus earlier in the week, was running a high fever and struggled to breathe. When asked if he’d been vaccinated, he snapped back, “I don’t approve of the vaccine.” (Dr. Rob Davidson, 12/8)