Different Takes: Can We Build Covid Immunity With Infection?; It’s Past Time For An Under-5s Vaccine
Opinion writers weigh in on covid as well as race in health care.
How Often Do I Need To Get Covid To Be Immune?
In October 2020, a few weeks before the experimental trial results for the BioNTech-Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines were released, German virologist Christian Drosten cautioned that the shots would be of limited effectiveness in preventing the spread of the disease. (Justin Fox, 4/30)
Dallas Morning News:
Will The FDA Stop Infantilizing Parents About COVID-19 Vaccines For Youngest Children?
Parenting little children is a study in patience, and federal officials are stretching some parents to the breaking point. More than a year after the COVID-19 vaccine began rolling out to the general public, we still don’t have shots for children younger than age 5. Parents were led to believe that the vaccines would become available shortly after the 2021 holiday season, but that did not happen. (5/1)
Substituting Genetic Ancestry For Race In Research? Not So Fast
Race, widely used as a variable across biomedical research and medicine, is an appropriate proxy for racism — but not for anything biological. Proposals to use genetic ancestry instead of race are at risk of perpetuating the same problems. Dozens of algorithms widely used in clinical care contain an adjustment factor for a patient’s race. When estimating kidney function, for example, different results are returned depending on whether the patient’s race is entered as “Black” or “non-Black,” though at least for kidney function the use of race is being challenged. Some medications have been approved only for those of certain self-identified racial groups. Meanwhile in research, the race of participants is routinely considered at almost every step of the research process — from recruitment to analysis to the interpretation of findings. (Anna C. F. Lewis, 5/2)