Different Takes: Understanding Vaccine Hesitancy; Vaccine Equity More Important Than Passports
Opinion writers weigh in on vaccine and covid issues.
New England Journal of Medicine:
Escaping Catch-22 — Overcoming Covid Vaccine Hesitancy
Though many people initially believed a vaccine was the magic bullet that would save us from a devastating pandemic and return our lives to normalcy, we now find ourselves contemplating simultaneously how to ethically allocate a limited number of vaccine doses to the many people who want them and how to increase vaccine uptake among those who don’t. ... Vaccine confidence seems to be rising, but recent polling suggests that about 31% of Americans wish to take a wait-and-see approach, and about 20% remain quite reluctant. The behavioral obstacles to widespread vaccination are thus as important to understand as the scientific and logistic hurdles. (Dr. Lisa Rosenbaum, 4/8)
Global Vaccine Equity Is Much More Important Than 'Vaccine Passports'
As the U.S. and U.K. vaccinate their populations much faster than initially anticipated, two disparate concepts have been swirling online in English-language vaccine discourse: the moral need for global vaccine equity and the consumer-driven desire for vaccine passports. I am a much bigger fan of creating global vaccine equity—by breaking intellectual property patents if necessary—to suppress the level of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in as many humans as possible as quickly as possible across borders than I am a fan of creating vaccine passports that only allow those with the privilege of getting a vaccine to cross borders. Borders in some countries are currently being used to determine who does and doesn’t get a vaccine. It would be even more unethical to use those borders to bar the movement of people who have been denied vaccination. (Steven W. Thrasher, 4/7)
U.S Must Join Effort To Vaccinate The World Or We Will All Stay Sick
The United States is doing better than most nations in delivering vaccines. About 168 million doses have been administered and more than 63 million Americans are fully vaccinated. That’s great news, but before we raise our aching vaccinated arms in triumph, we must realize that none of us will be safe unless we help protect the rest of the world. “It’s in the interest of everybody to make sure that as soon as possible and in a fair way, everybody gets vaccinated everywhere and that vaccines are considered to be a truly global public good,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. (4/8)
The Washington Post:
Stop Calling Them ‘Vaccine Passports’
We need to stop using the phrase “vaccine passport.” The term is inflammatory and divisive, and runs the real risk of triggering a lasting backlash against vaccinations. It’s also inaccurate. A passport is generally understood as a government-issued document that provides proof of the carrier’s identity and citizenship. Israel’s “Green Pass” is a version of a vaccine passport; it is required for entry into gyms, theaters and other designated areas, and forgery of a pass is a crime. While it has some fans, almost no one is proposing this kind of national ID for coronavirus vaccination in the United States. (Leana S. Wen, 4/7)
COVID Surge: Speed Up First Vaccine Shots, Delay Second Doses, Save Lives
From Michigan to Massachusetts, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise again. Deaths will soon follow. We have a way to respond and save lives: vaccinations, which prevent infection and have also shown they are effective in preventing transmission. There will be enough vaccines by summer to vaccinate every American, including children as young as 12. But summer is not here yet. And the recent spoilage of 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine means we will need 30 million more doses of two-shot vaccines soon, to make up for the loss. (Govind Persad, William F. Parker and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, 4/7)
The New York Times:
Where Does Covid End, And Long Covid Begin?
In 2000, the small farming town of Walkerton, Ontario, suddenly became known to scientists around the world. During the second week of May that year, the town, about 115 miles northwest of Toronto, got more than five inches of rain. Bacteria from manure on a farm was carried by runoff to a nearby well. Public utilities operators failed to appropriately monitor the water supply or to quickly advise the town how to ward off contamination, a government inquiry later concluded. Without that information, Walkerton residents continued to drink the water, and more than 2,300 people became sick. Twenty-four children experienced severe kidney damage that occurred after the gastrointestinal symptoms subsided. Seven people died. (Roxanne Khamsi, 4/6)
World Health Day 2021: 5 Things The Pandemic Has Taught Us About Well-Being
As people around the world have spent the past year trying to dodge a deadly virus, everyone has learned more about masks, social distancing and washing hands than anyone thought possible. Many folks have pivoted their workout routines to at-home renditions and tried to eat more vegetables because we're fighting coronavirus and trying to feel better at the same time. (Many have also eaten more junk because -- comfort food comforts us in a pandemic.) On yet another World Health Day during a pandemic, it's worth noting on April 7 what we've learned over the past year about our health and well-being. (Allison Hope, 4/7)