Different Takes: Vaccine Mixing Works Well Against Omicron; How To Know The Real Covid Risk In Your Area
Opinion writers tackle these covid and covid related issues.
Mixing AstraZeneca And Pfizer Vaccine Doses Means Better Omicron Immunity
Could the UK inadvertently have given some of its population the best immunity possible against SARS-CoV-2? After reported side effects among some populations with the AstraZeneca vaccine, the UK and much of Europe decided to use Pfizer shots as a second shot in certain age groups, creating a natural mix-and-match dosing experiment. New data from the UK suggest that this particular mix offered extra immunity from the omicron variant compared to those who had other platforms. (Therese Raphael and Sam Fazeli, 5/31)
Coronavirus Cases Are Being Undercounted. What Should You Do?
Coronavirus cases are up more than 25 percent in the United States over the past two weeks—and those are just the ones we know about. Experts warn that the true size of the current outbreak could be 10, or even 14, times worse than the official counts suggest. (Caroline Mimbs Nyce, 5/29)
The Boston Globe:
Questions Surrounding The Origins Of COVID-19 Remain Unanswered
It’s not yet clear whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 was created in a laboratory or emerged from nature; there is still no decisive evidence for either alternative. To find out, we have recently called for an independent and transparent investigation into the possible role that US biotechnology played in the emergence of the virus. (Jeffrey D. Sachs and Neil L. Harrison, 5/31)
The New York Times:
Omicron Reveals The Need For Better Sick Leave
On a recent Thursday, my wife and daughter tested positive for the coronavirus (despite my wife’s getting a negative test the day before). I felt fine, but I stayed home from work and spent the weekend in the house tending to my isolating family members. By early Sunday morning, my throat felt sore. I tested negative, but stayed home from work on Monday even though I tested negative again that day. On Tuesday, I was positive. (Aaron E. Carroll, 5/30)
Why The Big Meat Menace May Be Even Worse Than We Thought
During the first year of the pandemic, over 59,000 meatpacking workers were infected with the coronavirus and at least 269 lost their lives to it, according to lawmakers. These infections spilled over into workers’ homes, driving deadly spikes in their communities. According to a study last year from the University of California, Davis, coronavirus transmission rates were double the national average in counties with large beef and pork processing plants and 20 percent higher in counties with large poultry processors. Another study, from 2020, estimated that 3 percent to 4 percent of all Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. from March to July 2020 were tied to meat or poultry plants. (Matt McConnell, 5/30)
It's Time For A Social Business Model For Patent-Free Global Drug Production
The World Health Assembly, which is meeting in Geneva for the first time since the pandemic began, has agreed to set a framework to begin preparing for future pandemics. But this decision-making body of the World Health Organization, with its many delegates from middle- and low-income countries, faces a difficult reality: Even as the world only begins to comprehend the scale of our devastating failures responding to the coronavirus pandemic, the rich countries of the world want to move on from the pandemic. (Muhammad Yunus, 5/28)