Viewpoints: Time For Adults To Get Up To Speed On Life-Saving Vaccinations; Mental Health Professionals In Schools Could Help Prevent Shootings Like Santa Clarita’s
Opinion writers weigh in on these public health topics and others important health issues.
Vaccination Saves Lives. Why Do So Few Adults Get Vaccinated?
For many adults — especially those who are older, those with other significant medical conditions, or those who are pregnant — vaccination should be a cornerstone of preventive health care. Yet adult immunization rates in the U.S. are low: Under half of adults receive most vaccines recommended for them, and rates have been relatively steady since 2010. (Sangini S. Sheth, 11/15)
Los Angeles Times:
Santa Clarita Shooting: There Are Five Types Of Mass Killers
On Thursday morning in Santa Clarita, the details about America’s latest mass shooting emerged quickly: Two victims, a teenage girl and boy, were dead; three others were wounded; and a 16-year-old male suspect, a student at Saugus High School, was in custody in grave condition, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Andrei Mojica, who’d been in his AP government class when the shooting started, described a now familiar drill — building a barricade with desks and chairs against the classroom door, grabbing a fire extinguisher for protection and hunkering down, straining to hear what was going on. (Jillian Peterson and James Densley, 11/14)
Better Regulations, Not Bans, Are Needed To Curb The THC Vaping Crisis
Representatives with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have for the first time identified a specific contaminant as a “very strong culprit of concern” in EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury) — the e-liquid vaping illness that is associated with over 2,000 cases nationwide and 39 fatalities.Agency representatives last week highlighted the likely role of vitamin E acetate (oil) as a primary contributor to the lung illness. To those following the EVALI outbreak closely, the CDC’s focus on the contaminant hardly comes as a surprise. (Paul Armentano, 11/14)
Today's Insulin Is Safer And More Effective Than It Once Was
Here’s the kind of headline that has been appearing a lot recently, but it is more jarring — and worrisome — when it appears in the New England Journal of Medicine: “The U.S. Insulin Crisis — Rationing a Lifesaving Medication Discovered in the 1920s.”The sentiment that Americans are now paying dearly for the insulin pioneered nearly a century ago have helped fuel attacks against the biopharmaceutical industry, enabling politicians like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to depict companies as being “very, very greedy and corrupt” as he led people with diabetes and their family members on a high-profile bus trip to Canada to buy this medication. (John Lamattina, 11/14)
Can Ending The HIV Epidemic Be Achieved Without Nurses?
When the Trump administration announced its nearly $300 million proposal to end the HIV epidemic back in February, many people were shocked. Why would this administration, which has sought to roll back worker protections for LGBTQ individuals and barred transgender individuals from serving in the military, put such great effort into ending an epidemic that disproportionately affects minority populations, including gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men and those in poverty? Many experts agreed the plan, which includes connecting people to testing, increasing the distribution of the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication and using data to target high-risk hotspots, is strong. But the larger issues of stigma and social factors driving the HIV epidemic remain unaddressed. (Jacqueline Nikpour and Michael Relf, 11/14)
Though Ubiquitous, Toilets Aren’t Available To Everyone, And That Should Change
Lyft and Uber drivers are not the only ones who may find themselves in trouble when they feel the urge. A dearth of public restrooms also harms children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with digestive ailments, and especially homeless people, who in addition to suffering the indignity of having no proper toilets are also blamed for leaving feces on city sidewalks. (Amy Crawford, 11/14)
The Wall Street Journal:
Trump’s Patent Trolls
Drug manufacturers are often extorted by patent trolls and trial lawyers, but now they also have to worry about frivolous infringement lawsuits by the Trump Administration. The Justice Department last week sued Gilead Sciences for violating four government patents related to a “pre-exposure prophylaxis” (PrEP) drug regimen to prevent HIV. The complaint says Gilead is seeking “to unfairly gain from the government’s research without paying reasonable royalties.” It’s really the other way around. (11/14)
Our Laws Protect Criminal Cops
When the state of California licenses professionals, it is telling Californians that they can depend on licensees to perform their services competently, that miscreants will be disciplined and that in serious cases, their licenses will be lifted. For instance, the state bar, which oversees attorneys, publishes all of its disciplinary actions, along with the underlying information that justifies its censures. (Dan Walters, 11/14)
The Washington Post:
Labor And Disability Rights Groups Are Split About Closing Institutions.
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services announced it would close the Polk State Center, one of its largest institutions for people with developmental disabilities, within three years. People with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other conditions are often housed at places like the Polk Center, and often involuntarily. The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh, which advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, hailed the news, because research shows that people with disabilities are better served living in communities, with support services delivered at home. (Sara Luterman, 11/14)