Different Takes: Can Doctors Ethically Refuse Treatment Of Unvaxxed?; Will FDA Approval Convince The Hesitant?
Opinion writers weigh in on these covid and vaccine issues.
If Covid Vaccine Refusers Are Turned Away At Hospitals And Doctor Offices, Is That Ethical?
Dr. Jason Valentine, a family medicine physician at the Diagnostic and Medical Clinic Infirmary Health in Mobile, Alabama, informed his patients this month that, effective Oct. 1, he would no longer treat those who hadn’t been vaccinated against Covid-19. Around the same time, a leaked memo indicated that the North Texas Mass Critical Care Guideline Task Force was considering whether to take Covid vaccination status into account in deciding who gets ICU beds when more of them are needed than are available. Can either of these actions be considered ethical? In short, it depends. (J. Russel Teagarden and Arthur L. Caplan, 8/24)
Now There's No Excuse For Not Requiring Vaccinations
On Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration took the much anticipated step of approving Pfizer/BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine. While the vaccine was being administered under the FDA's emergency use authorization (EUA), there was a tremendous amount of confidence from agency officials, public health specialists and clinicians in its safety and efficacy. Now that the vaccine has full FDA approval, those who were skeptical of receiving the shots can rest assured knowing that the vaccine has gone through the vetting process that is standard for our most trusted pharmaceuticals and vaccines. Those previously hesitant to vaccination should celebrate this milestone by getting themselves fully vaccinated and helping others do the same. (Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein, 8/23)
The New York Times:
Vaccine Mandates Won’t Save Us
Requiring proof of vaccination isn’t a novel idea. Schools across the United States require students to get certain vaccinations before the age of 6. You need a yellow fever vaccine to travel to parts of Africa and South America. Now, with a global pandemic, the conversation has shifted to Covid vaccination requirements. With little more than 50 percent of the United States fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and the Delta variant leading to increased case counts, it’s no surprise that our focus has shifted to vaccine mandates. This week, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was granted approval by the Food and Drug Administration, which likely means more mandates and boosters. (8/25)
East Bay Times:
Pfizer Approval Brings Call For Government Mandates
The Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for people 16 and older should spur federal, state and local governments to impose widespread vaccine mandates. Health officials expect that full approval of the Moderna vaccine, which relies on similar technology, will come within the next few weeks. All workers at government, hospitals, schools and long-term care facilities should be required to be vaccinated. So should students, faculty and staff at public colleges and universities. And that’s just for starters. Bay Area counties and cities should follow New York City’s lead and mandate proof of vaccination for access to most indoor activities, including dining, gyms and entertainment shows. Counties and cities throughout California should do the same. (8/24)
Ivermectin For Covid-19: Abundance Of Hype, Dearth Of Evidence
Here’s a tip for navigating the constantly evolving data on treatments for Covid-19: Beware when someone describes a drug as a “miracle.” The ongoing devastation wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic creates an understandable allure for a quick-fix or magic-bullet solutions. But it is painstaking scientific testing — not magical thinking — that reveals what works and how well. For example, clinical trials involving tens of thousands of patients across multiple continents were needed to demonstrate the enormous value of Covid-19 vaccines. (Peter G. Lurie, 8/25)
Step Away From The Livestock Meds. The Pfizer Vaccine Just Got Full Approval
Rash, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, neurological disorders and potentially severe hepatitis requiring hospitalization. No, these are not symptoms associated with any coronavirus vaccine. They are symptoms, according to the Associated Press, associated with ivermectin toxicity, a condition that Americans in some parts are developing in alarming numbers because they chose to treat their COVID-19 symptoms with a livestock deworming medication rather than get a vaccine that could have prevented the symptoms in the first place. (8/25)
The Boston Globe:
Union Pushback On Vaccine Mandate Endangers Public Health
When a state trooper pulls over a car, the driver of that car doesn’t have a lot of options for safely interacting with that trooper in a pandemic, other than pulling on his own mask. An inmate at any of the state’s prisons has even fewer choices about interacting with correction officers. Inmates are, after all, a captive audience. And yet unions for both of those groups are now among the most vocal opponents of Governor Charlie Baker’s recently announced vaccination mandate for all 42,000 state workers. (8/25)
Florida Doctor: This Devastating Covid Surge Didn’t Need To Happen
I recently came across a photo of myself in late December 2020 getting my first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. I was ecstatic. Many of my colleagues posted similar images. Even though we were all wearing masks, no one could miss the smiles on our faces. This vaccine was the hope we’d been waiting for. In that moment of jubilation, I could not imagine the tragedy to come. (Jennifer Caputo-Seidler, 8/24)