Perspectives: Houston Methodist’s Vaccine Mandate Is Logical Step; Is A Better Vaccine In Our Future?
Opinion writers tackle these covid issues.
No, Houston Methodist's Vaccine Mandate For Staff Isn't Nazi Torture. It's Basic Science.
It was the first glimmer of hope in a dark and destructive year: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use authorization. The December milestone marked the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic that had already killed a million and a half people across the globe. Several months before, on Sept. 18, Houston Methodist CEO Dr. Marc Boom issued an advance warning to more than 25,000 employees that, once there was ample supply of the vaccine, they would be required to receive it. It was a logical step for one of the region’s leading health care providers, which already required flu shots. (6/10)
The New York Times:
The Vaccines We Have Are Good. But They Could Be So Much Better.
Soon after the novel coronavirus emerged, its genome was sequenced and vaccines were developed at, yes, warp speed. These are all herculean tasks that deserve praise. But America’s achievement stops there. The initial vaccine strategy was reactive and tactical, not decisive and strategic. While it prioritized getting safe, effective vaccines into bodies as quickly as possible, it did not consider how to prevent variants or subsequent waves of the virus. All coronaviruses produce variants, and as with prior coronavirus outbreaks, variants of SARS-CoV-2 emerged as the virus spread from Wuhan, China, across the planet. The next danger is the further evolution of variants that can overcome the immunity provided by existing Covid-19 vaccines and prior infections. (Michael V. Callahan and Mark C. Poznansky, 6/10)
The Washington Post:
Biden Is Showing That The U.S. Can Help Vaccinate The World — And Lead It
President Biden's announcement that the United States will purchase and share with lower-income nations 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this year and next is a sign of much-needed empathy for millions of people whose lives are threatened by the global pandemic. Mr. Biden also makes a large down payment on restoring American leadership in a world that has been doubting it .Just last year, then-President Donald Trump announced that he had pulled the United States out of the World Health Organization, frozen U.S. funding for the WHO and refused to participate in the Covax facility to help vaccinate the poorest countries. He advocated an “America first” strategy that pleased his political base but left many allies feeling bruised and wondering whether the United States could reassert the leadership role it had held for more than half a century. (6/10)
COVID Vaccine Conspiracies: Misinformation Hurts All Of Us
This morning I walked around our house with a magnet to test a theory that had made its Ohio debut in our statehouse on Wednesday and quickly ricocheted across the country. By Wednesday evening, CNN’s Jake Tapper was on the air pretending to be serious as he tried to attach a metal pen to his forehead to see whether his COVID-19 vaccine had turned him into an electromagnetic force field. Cheer with me, fellow Ohioans :O-H. I-Oh, no, no, no. (Connie Schultz, 6/11)
COVID-19 Burnout Is One Reason There Might Not Be A Doctor Next Time You Need One
As COVID-19 recedes in the United States, the medical community is taking stock of its impact – not only on the population at large but on our own profession. Over the past year, the pandemic has intensified a worrying trend: America is facing a shortage of physicians – and that shortage will likely get worse. The United States was heading for a physician shortfall long before the pandemic. The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) has been tracking this trend for many years now, and the warning signs have been clear: We have consistently found that demand for physicians outpaces supply. Our latest report – which we are releasing Friday – suggests the problem will likely get worse. (David J. Skorton and Janis M. Orlowski, 6/11)
Kansas City Star:
Many Kansans Won’t Help Us Reach COVID-19 Herd Immunity
The United States is unlikely to reach herd immunity to COVID-19. A virus that might be knocked out if we all agreed to step up will instead “most likely become a manageable threat that will continue to circulate in the United States for years to come, still causing hospitalizations and deaths but in much smaller numbers,” reported The New York Times. This is apparently acceptable to at least 20-24% of Kansas residents, based on information from the Department of Health and Human Services showing the share of adults who would “definitely” or “probably” get the vaccine or who have already been vaccinated. (Susan Thacker, 6/11)
Los Angeles Times:
Hold On To Your Post-Pandemic Joy
A week ago, I met a group of friends at a bar for the first time in a year. We were outdoors, in a parking lot. There was traffic going by and our unhoused neighbors had an encampment across the street. Pre-pandemic, my friends and I would not have chosen to meet there, but we drank margaritas and ate chips and guacamole and laughed and talked for hours. Without masks. I was so happy to see their faces I almost cried. (Diana Wagman, 6/10)