Viewpoints: Good Vaccine News From Johnson & Johnson; Get Hesitant Health Care Workers On Board
Editorial pages focus on these pandemic topics and others.
The Wall Street Journal:
Another Promising Vaccine, This One From Johnson & Johnson
Some good news this week: Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine looks likely to become the third U.S. Covid-19 vaccine to enter the market. The company released data this week showing the vaccine is about 70% effective against the virus, and its version requires only one shot. The Food and Drug Administration will need to review the evidence thoroughly, but the preliminary data is promising. The company is collecting more information to determine whether a booster shot could provide even better protection. Crushing Covid will require making the most of the different vaccine candidates, which come with their own pros and cons, and tweaking them to stay ahead of viral mutations. (Scott Gottlieb, 1/31)
The Wall Street Journal:
No Good Vaccine Deed
Johnson & Johnson and Novavax this week reported that their vaccines were effective in clinical trials, and what fortunate timing. The U.S. urgently needs a supply boost. But at this juncture it’s also worth noting how former Operation Warp Speed chief Moncef Slaoui positioned the Biden Administration for a vaccine triumph. One of Mr. Slaoui’s inspired ideas was to diversify the federal government’s vaccine bets with six manufacturers when nobody knew which, if any, would work. The vaccine candidates used different technologies—Moderna and Pfizer -BioNTech (mRNA), J&J and AstraZeneca (adenovirus), and Novavax and Sanofi -GSK (recombinant protein). (1/29)
The Bystander Effect, Covid-19 Vaccine Edition
What do Covid-19 vaccination and the stabbing death of a woman outside of her New York City apartment have in common? The bystander effect. (Clayton Korson, 2/1)
The Washington Post:
Health-Care Workers, Do Not Neglect The Covid-19 Vaccine. It Will Save Lives —Including Yours.
How can it be that a sizable portion of first responders and workers in long-term care facilities — people who know well the dangers to health and well-being — are hesitant to get the coronavirus vaccine? It turns out there are plenty of explanations — understandable, but not satisfactory. Everyone in health care and among first responders should get the vaccine as soon as possible, for themselves and for the rest of us.T he Post reported that a large percentage of nursing home workers in D.C., Maryland and Virginia are declining to take the vaccine. (1/29)
The New York Times:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Should N.B.A. Players Jump The Covid Vaccine Line?
Last month, Arnold Schwarzenegger and I separately got our first Covid-19 vaccinations on camera, with the hope that we would encourage people who were fearful of the vaccines to reconsider. We are both 73 years old (though I clearly look much younger) and have underlying health conditions, so we didn’t use our celebrity status to jump lines. One difference was that my vaccination was filmed as a public service announcement and his was recorded as he sat patiently in his car in a long line at Dodger Stadium along with hundreds of others. Another difference: He had a cool zinger after getting his shot. He squinted at the camera and growled a catchphrase from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”: “Come with me if you want to live.” Best use yet of a catchphrase. I’d bet that those few seconds of film from both of us will do more to persuade certain people to get vaccinated than months of experts, charts, statistics, and studies. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. Which is one reason the National Basketball Association is focused on getting its players vaccinated as soon as possible. It’s also why I agree some of them should be. (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 2/1)
Boston Infectious Disease Specialists: How To Make The Vaccination Rollout A Success
As we begin Phase 2 of the Massachusetts COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan, we, your local leaders in infectious diseases, reaffirm our commitment to working together to help bring an end to this pandemic. We now face the massive and complex undertaking of ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccination for all of our residents. We applaud President Biden’s decision to utilize all measures, including the Defense Production Act, to ramp up the production of vaccines and the supplies necessary for administration. We also fully anticipate the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will continue to do everything in their power to expedite the review of additional COVID-19 vaccine candidates as soon as adequate data are available to ensure vaccine safety and efficacy. (Tamar Foster Barlam et al., 1/29)
Disadvantage Indices Can Help Achieve Equity In Vaccine Allocation
Policymakers have wrestled for months with how to fairly prioritize populations for Covid-19 vaccines. But even as vaccines are being rolled out, there’s little agreement on the exact sequence of priority groups. (Harald Schmidt, 2/1)
America Needs Better Masks To Fight Covid-19
On Wednesday night, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's top medical adviser on Covid-19, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), were asked at a CNN town hall whether the Biden administration would be focusing on getting higher filtration masks, such as the N95s commonly used by health care workers, to the American public. (Abraar Karan, Ranu Dhillon and Devabhaktuni Srikrishna, 1/29)
People Who Get Vaccinated May Still Spread The Virus — And Other Things To Know About COVID-19
Dr. Michele Carbone, of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center and Department of Pathology, and an international team of colleagues recently wrote an article — a kind of state-of-the-research summary — for the “Journal of Thoracic Oncology” that provides reliable, easy to understand information about COVID-19 that is both important and not readily ascertainable in the circus atmosphere of our news media. (Nolan Rappaport, 1/31)