Perspectives: Preventive Treatments Versus A Booster Shot; Should Unvaxxed Bear Financial Burden?
Opinion writers explore these covid and vaccine topics.
Covid Treatment Or Booster Shot? AstraZeneca Non-Vaccine Aims To Boost Immunity
Vaccines never promised us perfect protection. Yet studies are showing that our defenses are declining faster than expected. One from Oxford University published last week showed that the efficacy of the BioNTech/Pfizer Inc. vaccine was halved after four months. Another, published Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, reported that since the delta variant became predominant, the efficacy of mRNA vaccines against infection decreased to 66% from 91% among front-line workers. (Therese Raphael, 8/27)
The Boston Globe:
Should The Unvaccinated Pay The Price For Their Folly?
Show of hands, please: How many of you are fed up with people who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and think they should have to bear the full costs of their treatment if they get sick? How many think it’s only fair to hold anti-vaxxers financially liable for putting themselves and others at risk? How many believe that, with the Food and Drug Administration having given full approval to the COVID vaccine, anyone who still balks at getting a shot should be the lowest priority for care when there aren’t enough hospital beds for everyone? How many support Delta Air Lines, which announced Wednesday that unvaccinated employees will be charged an additional $200 monthly for company-provided health insurance? (Jeff Jacoby, 8/27)
The New York Times:
Show Me The Data!
Who should get vaccine booster shots and when? Can vaccinated people with a breakthrough infection transmit the virus as easily as unvaccinated people? How many people with breakthrough infections die or get seriously ill, broken down by age and underlying health conditions? Confused? It’s not you. It’s the fog of pandemic, in which inadequate data hinders a clear understanding of how to fight a stealthy enemy. (Zeynep Tufekci, 8/27)
Black America, More Vulnerable To COVID, Needs Diligence On Vaccine
As a pediatrician, what worries me the most about the delta variant is how quickly it's spreading among children. In the past three weeks, I’ve treated a 2-week-old baby, a 9-week-old baby and a pregnant woman who delivered prematurely because of COVID-19. This shouldn't be happening. We have the tools to stem the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the delta variant. Yet too many Americans are not availing themselves of the most important one – vaccination. And vaccination rates are disproportionately low among Black Americans nationwide. Death rates have been disproportionately high for the same group. (Dr. Michael LeNoir, 8/26)
Get Police Vaccinated
President Joe Biden announced last week that his administration will require nursing homes to vaccinate their employees against COVID-19 or risk losing Medicare and Medicaid funding. These workers care for especially vulnerable individuals residing in high-risk, congregate settings—and unfortunately, their current rate of vaccination is far too low to protect those with whom they work. Mandating vaccination of nursing-home employees is a lifesaving, commonsense policy, and Biden should now apply its logic to a variety of workers in other fields who similarly interact each day with other vulnerable populations: employees of jails, prisons, Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers, and police departments. (Eric Reinhart and Amanda Klonsky, 8/26)
It's Easy To Judge The Unvaccinated. As A Doctor, I See A Better Alternative
I don’t ask “Why?” when a patient with Covid-19 tells me they are unvaccinated for the same reason I don’t ask why someone whose alcohol level is four times the legal limit decided to drive, or the badly burned grandmother with emphysema lit a cigarette with oxygen prongs below her nose. Nor do I ask it when I find myself elbow deep in a bag of chips after an overnight shift even though I am fighting high blood pressure. We humans are beautifully flawed creatures with inexplicable needs and impulses that run counter to our best interests. (Jay Baruch, 8/27)