Viewpoints: Language Regarding Vaccines Is Important; Vaccine Passports May Nudge The Hesitant
Opinion writers delve into these covid and vaccine issues.
Vaccinations Are Plateauing. Don't Blame It On 'Resistance'
The signs are clear: The U.S. vaccine rollout is plateauing. A remarkable 230 million shots have been given in a few short months, fully vaccinating about 95 million Americans as I write this. The next 100 million shots will be harder. News reports are chronicling a slowdown in appointments across the nation. The number of daily doses administered is down from the peak of 4.6 million on April 10 to about 3 million today. By now, this historic effort has captured the vaccine-hungry individuals who are eager, well-resourced, technologically savvy, and excited to get vaccinated. But as fewer people sign up to get their shots, a dominant narrative is emerging: It’s because of hesitancy — too many people don’t want to get the vaccine. Some even call this vaccine resistance. (Stefanie Friedhoff, 4/27)
Los Angeles Times:
Vaccine Passports Are Needed To Achieve Herd Immunity
To hear some people tell it, vaccine passports are just another effort by Democrats, progressives and Satan to take away your freedom, just like when they told you to wear a mask and made you shut down your business. In a hyperventilating Wall Street Journal op-ed a couple of weeks ago, two medical school professors lit viciously into the idea of vaccine passports, calling them, among other things, “a coercive scheme to encourage vaccination. ”But vaccine passports aren’t coercive. And as for encouraging vaccination, would that be such a bad thing? (Nicholas Goldberg, 4/27)
Medical Oxygen Is Key to Covid Fight. It Used to Be Feared.
The desperate scenes playing out in India may foreshadow a dangerous new phase of the pandemic where people die in droves, not of the disease so much as a lack of proper medical care. The situation could get a lot worse thanks to a sudden shortage of medical oxygen in the country. Oxygen is one of most straightforward and proactive ways of treating the disease, which causes hypoxia. When patients begin gasping for air, a steady supply of concentrated oxygen does wonders. It may seem like an obvious treatment in hindsight, yet it took nearly two centuries to overcome strange theories, outright quackery and trench warfare in the medical community and beyond. (Stephen Mihm, 4/26)
The Washington Post:
Preserving Intellectual Property Barriers To Covid-19 Vaccines Is Morally Wrong And Foolish
New covid-19 variants are spreading quickly. An outbreak anywhere could lead to a more deadly or infectious strain hopping around the globe. So why, after three months of making great progress on domestic vaccination, has President Biden not ended a self-defeating policy from the Trump administration that hinders a global initiative to increase access to covid-19 vaccines and treatments? More than 100 countries support a temporary waiver of some World Trade Organization rules that guarantee pharmaceutical firms monopoly control over how much medicine is produced, yet the United States remains opposed. (Joseph E. Stiglitz and Lori Wallach, 4/26)