Different Takes: Mixing Vaccines Could Prove More Effective; US Still Has a PPE Supply Problem
Opinion writers tackle these covid, PPE and vaccine issues.
The New York Times:
Moderna, AstraZeneca … Or Both? A Mixed Covid Vaccine Approach.
At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was unclear whether researchers would be able to create a single working vaccine, which makes it all the more surprising that the latest immunization dilemma arises from having multiple vaccine options. Because of unpredictable supply and some concerns about an exceedingly rare but serious clotting risk from the AstraZeneca vaccine, public health officials in some parts of the world that have relied heavily on that shot have recently issued new guidance on mixing and matching different Covid-19 vaccines. (Roxanne Khamsi, 6/13)
America's Broken PPE Supply Chain Must Be Fixed Now
Almost everyone knows by now that the U.S. was ill-prepared to combat Covid-19. But few realize that the structural problems in the supply chain that plagued the government’s response haven’t been fixed. It’s crucial to address these vulnerabilities now. There’s no telling when the inevitable next health crisis will hit. (John Wharton, 6/14)
If Vaccine Apartheid Exists, Vaccine Billionaires Shouldn't
To understand why billionaires are a sign of moral and economic failure, look no further than the Covid-19 pandemic. Drug corporations could earn $190 billion from Covid-19 vaccine sales this year. Pharmaceutical profits have minted nine new pandemic billionaires, and helped eight existing billionaires enlarge their fortunes. Several of these are founders and private investors in three pharmaceutical corporations — Moderna, BioNTech, and CureVac — whose vaccines use mRNA technology that was largely developed from publicly funded research. (Rohit Malpani, 6/12)
What Changes When Almost Everyone Can Get Vaccinated
From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the practice of public health has also required the practice of law. As widespread vaccination and other factors have brought case rates down across the United States, state and local governments’ legal authority to impose extraordinary measures in the name of fighting the virus is becoming more limited. Governors and mayors have steadily lifted restrictions not just because infections are down, because vaccinations have increased, or because the public can no longer tolerate pandemic-related restrictions, but also because officials’ power to impose blanket limits on the behavior of individuals and businesses has a defined end: when people have the ability to protect themselves. Nationally, thousands of new coronavirus infections are still occurring every day, but efforts to combat the pandemic from this point on will have to operate within stricter legal constraints than they did in the early weeks of the pandemic. (Jay Varma, 6/13)
No One-Size-Fits-All Solution When It Comes To COVID And Kids.
The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 guidance that fully vaccinated individuals can go without masks and no longer have to maintain social distance is based on the latest scientific evidence, and shows the power of vaccination. Those vaccinated are nearly resilient to severe illness, hospitalization and death. Plus, they have a very low likelihood of spreading the virus. (Dr. Syra Madad, 6/13)
If Covid Escaped From A Lab, We Must Prepare For Terrible Fury
Ever since President Joe Biden ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to investigate reports that the Covid-19 virus might have escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, commentators have argued over what difference it makes if the theory turns out to be right. Here’s why the answer matters: The discovery that the virus had a human origin would give the coronavirus saga what it’s lacked — a villain. And that’s a problem. If a virus that has killed nearly 600,000 people in the U.S. and close to 4 million around the world turns out to have escaped from a laboratory in China, the formless fear that has immobilized most of the world for the last year and a half, at last given a target, might coalesce into fury. And fury, when widely shared, is hard to control. (Brooke Sample, 6/12)
Los Angeles Times:
For Youth Mental Health, Pandemic Is Far From Over
On a busy night shift in the psychiatric emergency room, during a monthlong psychiatry rotation for medical school, I first met my patient, a teenager. She was hunched over a stretcher at the far end of the hallway. Before the pandemic, she spent lots of time with her friends and loved going to school. Then COVID-19 lockdowns turned school virtual, and she was staring at herself for hours on end on Zoom. She told me that she became displeased with her appearance on the screen, comparing herself to her peers at every possible instance. (Lala Tanmoy Das, 6/13)
The New York Times:
Collins And Menendez: We Need A Covid-19 Commission
The devastating events of Sept. 11, 2001, shook the United States to its core and sparked immediate and consequential actions to protect American lives. Congress formed the independent 9/11 Commission to investigate the security missteps that contributed to the attack and to issue prescriptions for what we as a country could do better to prevent future acts of foreign terrorism on American soil. The commission released a series of recommendations, many of which were adopted quickly, to tighten security and improve interdepartmental information sharing and coordination. The death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic is more than 200 times that of the 9/11 attacks — but Congress has yet to establish a similar blue ribbon commission to investigate the vulnerabilities of our public health system and issue guidance for how we as a nation can better protect the American people from future pandemics. (Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, 6/14)