Different Takes: Issues with China’s Sinovac Vaccine; Getting Your Vaccine Is A Civic Responsibility
Opinion writers focus on these vaccine issues.
Don't Write Off China's Vaccines. The World Needs The Sinovac Shot, Too
It’s been an awkward time for the head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Gao Fu was cited over the weekend as telling a health conference that the agency was considering options to improve the efficacy of China’s shots against Covid-19, which was currently “not high.” His remarks, perhaps the first significant hint of official concern over the protection rate offered by homegrown vaccines, were censored. Gao hurriedly gave an interview dismissing the episode as a misunderstanding. But the harm was done — because he was right. China’s vaccines do appear to shield less effectively than those developed elsewhere. This is bad news for everyone, in a week when Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine became the latest paused over blood-clot concerns. We all need the most populous country in the world to inoculate its citizens, and to succeed in supporting vaccination drives in countries like Indonesia, the worst-infected nation in Southeast Asia. Low efficacy fuels hesitancy and, crucially, makes it harder to achieve herd immunity — the point at which normal life can resume. (Clara Ferreira Marques, 4/15)
The Washington Post:
Healthy And Refusing A Covid Vaccine? Shame On You.
The recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine — citing six women who developed serious blood clots in their brains after vaccination — could hardly have come at a worse time. This news arrived just as vaccination eligibility was opening up and a whole new tranche of people were making the decision to either get or refuse the stick of a needle. Nearly half the eligible population has received at least one injection. Uptake is still limited by vaccine supply in many places. But as public health authorities try to reach the country’s second half — or at least enough to reach herd immunity — they will eventually be recruiting along a descending path of public enthusiasm. And any news that heightens the impression of risk makes their task harder. (Michael Gerson, 4/15)
The Importance Of Distributing The COVID Vaccine To The Right People
President Joe Biden’s announcement this month that all American adults will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine by Monday marks the start of the next phase of the vaccination campaign that will end the epidemic in the United States. No more phased eligibility and having to figure out whether you have a qualifying medical condition or occupation. No more disparity in eligibility among states and even within states. Get in line and get your shot. If only it were that simple. We’ve done a great job getting shots into arms. About 184 million people in the United States have received at least one dose since Biden was sworn in Jan. 20, and we’re now administering about 3 million shots a day. We’re on track to beat his goal of 200 million shots well before April 30, his 100th day in office. (Dr. Tom Frieden, 4/16)
The New York Times:
I Got The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine. I'm Not Losing Sleep.
About a week ago, I received the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. It was a joyous moment, after more than a year of fear of the coronavirus. Then, on Tuesday, I had a flurry of texts from concerned family members, friends and colleagues who had recently seen the news. Health authorities had requested a pause for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to investigate six blood clotting cases among women who had been vaccinated. The news that a vaccine that has been given to over seven million Americans could cause a rare but serious side effect is understandably concerning. Especially when the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been lauded as a way to reach high-risk and underserved communities, such as people who are homebound. The decision to pause the use of this vaccine is also controversial; many public health experts are worried that this will hinder vaccination rates and erode confidence in people who are reluctant or skeptical of vaccines, ultimately preventing people from getting vaccinated and pushing population-level immunity further out of reach. (Angela L. Rasmussen, 4/15)