Viewpoints: Lessons On Vaccine Passports, Double Masking, Social Distancing, Censoring
Opinion writers weigh in on these pandemic topics and others.
Vaccine Passports: Why Should Baby Boomers Get Priority Treatment?
As vaccination campaigns proceed at different speeds around the world, all governments face the same ethical dilemma: how to deal with those who’ve completed their immunization program. The pressure to give back their full personal and social liberties, and to let them contribute in full to the economic recovery will be strong. But states would be unwise to create different classes of citizens. The vaccines approved so far need two doses to be effective. At least 19 million citizens globally have received both jabs: More than half of them are in the U.S., 5.3 million in the EU and 2.2 million in Israel. The world’s population is slightly less than 8 billion, so the proportion is tiny. However, as the number of different vaccines increases, and drug companies boost production, this number will grow quickly. The debate over what to do with this lucky minority is becoming louder. (Ferdinando Giugliano, 2/11)
New England Journal of Medicine:
Does Vaccination Mean The End Of Masking And Social Distancing?
The continuing spread of SARS-CoV-2 remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. What physicians need to know about transmission, diagnosis, and treatment of Covid-19 is the subject of ongoing updates from infectious disease experts at the Journal. In this audio interview conducted on February 10, 2021, the editors discuss whether Covid-19 vaccination changes our views on masking, testing, and social distancing. (Eric J. Rubin, Lindsey R. Baden, and Stephen Morrissey, 2/11)
New York Post:
Greenwald Blasts Facebook For Censoring COVID Vaccine Opinions
Journalist Glenn Greenwald is blasting Facebook for its decision to crackdown on users posting comments about the coronavirus vaccine that undermine official information being provided by “authorities.” Greenwald, a Pulitzer-prize winning reporter, said social media giants like Facebook are under immense pressure from mainstream media outlets to censor dissenting opinion. “I think it’s so important to recognize that Silicon Valley companies are not the ones who want to do this. They would rather stay as far away from censoring, and arbitrating, and intervening, and keeping people off their platforms, not because they’re noble and nice, but because it’s in their business self-interest not to do it. They’re being pressured to do it,” he told Fox News’ Tucker. (Mark Moore, 2/10)
Tampa Bay Times:
Florida Expands COVID Distribution. A Good Step, But Don’t Stop There
Getting COVID-19 shots into arms needs to be an all hands on deck affair. The new, more infectious variants of the virus spreading through the state only underscore the importance of moving as quickly as possible. It would be great to somehow open the precise number of sites needed to satisfy the demand for vaccinations, no more and no fewer, like businesses selling coffee or burgers. But that is a luxury we do not have. We must flood the zone with ways to get vaccinated and then make any needed tweaks to the distribution system later. That’s why it was so good to see that a federal program will send vaccine vials directly to nearly 500 Walmart, Publix Winn-Dixie, Harveys and Fresco y Mas pharmacies across 52 Florida counties. (2/10)
Involving Pregnant Individuals In Clinical Research On COVID-19 Vaccines
The continued global escalation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases is of particular concern for pregnant and lactating individuals. While many cases of COVID-19 are asymptomatic or relatively mild, recent evidence suggests that pregnant people are at increased risk of hospitalization and have a 3-fold adjusted relative risk of needing intensive care (10.5 vs 3.9/1000 cases) and mechanical ventilation (2.9 vs 1.1/1000 cases) compared with age-matched nonpregnant individuals. ... With the development of COVID-19 vaccines, there is the potential for prevention of this illness; however, the evidence for the utility, safety, and effectiveness of the available vaccines in pregnancy is unknown. (Diana W. Bianchi, Lisa Kaeser, and Alison N. Cernich, 2/10)