Perspectives: Organ Transplant Complicates Vaccine Efficacy; Herd Immunity Is Not The Solution
Opinion writers tackle these covid and vaccine issues.
Covid-19 Vaccines Poorly Protective In Those With Organ Transplants
"When can we go back to Starbucks?” My brother, Anmol, asks me that question every time I’m home for a visit. It’s our tradition. When I’m home, the two of us go to a nearby Starbucks. Anmol doesn’t know a venti from a grande or a mocha from a hot chocolate, so I order whatever I think he’ll like and something for me. As we sit inside the cozy cafe, he nurses his drink and tells me what time the recycling truck came by the house, how many paper bags he’s added to his collection, what random person’s birthday is coming up, and much, more more. (Hemal N. Sampat, 6/1)
The Big Problem With 'Herd Immunity'
The United States reached a significant milestone this week: More than 50% of adults have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. This Memorial Day marks a threshold moment in the pandemic — and we should anticipate better days as the nation starts reopening. Most states have lifted mask mandates and capacity restrictions in response to rising vaccination rates, falling case counts and guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that deemed it safe for the majority of fully vaccinated people to take off their masks in most outdoor or indoor settings. But in Mississippi, only 35% of adults are fully vaccinated. In Alabama, it's 37%. In Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wyoming, they're all at or under 43%. (Richard E. Besser, 5/31)
San Francisco Chronicle:
COVID Vaccine Distribution Failed Older Black Americans. Here's Why
COVID-19 causes disproportionately higher mortality rates in senior citizens and in the Black population. When combined, these two factors mean that older, Black Americans are arguably the most vulnerable group in America to the virus. And yet plans for distributing vaccine information and administering shots often failed to take into consideration how low-income older Black adults get their information. Regular mail, for example, is a far more reliable way to reach this demographic than the internet. (Cindy Cox-Roman and Karyne Jones, 6/1)
India's Covid-19 Crisis: Why I'm Grateful I Lost My Parents Before The Current Surge
On December 11, 2020, I found myself in an ambulance, rushing my father from a government hospital to a private one, in search of a state-of-the-art ventilator in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata. The day before, my mother had breathed her last. I lost both my parents to the coronavirus in a span of 10 days. I am still grieving six months later but I am also grateful that Covid-19 found my family last year, and not now. Here's why. (Pallabi Munsi, 6/1)
The Washington Post:
Why We Are Calling For A New Commitment To Vaccine Equity And Defeating The Pandemic
It has become abundantly clear that there will be no broad-based recovery from the covid-19 pandemic without an end to the health crisis. Access to vaccination is key to both. There has been impressive progress on vaccinations, with unprecedented achievements from scientists and public and private financing that has supported vaccine research, development and manufacturing scale-up. But a dangerous gap persists between richer and poorer nations. (Kristalina Georgieva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, David Malpass and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, 5/31)
During The Great Unmasking, Take Off The Psychological Masks As Well
For millions of Americans, the next six months are going to be great. The power that COVID had over our lives is shrinking, and the power we have over our own lives is growing. The image that comes to mind is recess. We’ve been stuck emotionally indoors for over a year. Now we get to sprint down the hallway and burst into the playground of life. People in large parts of the world will still be enduring the ravages of the pandemic, but those of us fortunate enough to be in countries where vaccines are plentiful will be moving from absence to presence, from restraint to release, from distance to communion. Even things that didn’t seem fun are going to be fun. Not being able to get the bartender’s attention because the bar is packed — that will be fun! I’m a Mets fan, but going to Yankees games will be fun! (As long as they lose.) Going to age-inappropriate concerts will be fun! I don’t care if Generation Zers don’t want to sit next to some damn boomer at their Cardi B concert. I’m going anyway. (David Brooks, 6/1)