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Medium Coronavirus Blog
A blog from Medium for Covid-19 news, advice, and commentary.

Because it’s normal to have questions

For more than a year, most of the world has been outmatched by Covid. Now we have a powerful tool that’s the only way out of the pandemic: vaccines.

Covid vaccines were a true breakthrough, the result of dazzling scientific progress, substantial investment, and some plain old good luck. The vaccines are safe and more effective than many public health professionals dared to hope early in the pandemic. Covid vaccines were ready quickly, but they weren’t rushed — no corners were cut on safety in the development of these vaccines. …

Even if you feel just fine, you’re likely to be well protected

After receiving a Covid-19 vaccine, many people may experience minor adverse effects such as fatigue or headaches, which generally last around 24 to 48 hours. These reactions can be a sign that the immune system is working and responding to the vaccine. But what does this say about (or to) people who do not experience any side effects? Does an absence of adverse effects mean the vaccine did not work?

Because adverse reactions to the vaccine are more likely to be reported, some people who have not experienced side effects may be worried that they are not as protected as…

Around the world, many don’t have access to a vaccine. That’s scandalous.

My heart sank when I heard Romeo “Romy” Agtarap died of Covid-19. He had recently retired from nursing after two decades in the emergency room. But when Covid-19 surged into New York City last spring he joined us again on the frontlines. In April 2020, the virus that brought Romy out of retirement took his life.

Over 115,000 health care workers around the world have died from Covid-19. We must make sure no more fall victim to this virus. That should be easy, as vaccines provide near-perfect protection against severe disease and death from Covid.

That’s why we should immediately…

Delegitimizing the Covid vaccines isn’t just about spreading the perception that they’re not safe

This is an odd moment in the history of the Covid-19 pandemic. On the one hand, developing countries around the world are clamoring for Covid vaccines, access to which has so far been dominated largely by wealthy countries. At the same time, there’s a burgeoning anti-vaccination campaign in those wealthy countries that’s doing everything it can to sow distrust and skepticism of the very vaccines developing countries can’t even get their hands on. Americans and Western Europeans are in the uniquely privileged position of being able to easily protect themselves against Covid. …

Here in Georgia, it was Sunday

This Sunday, something historic happened here in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, where I live, something so quiet and unremarked upon that I’d have had no idea it occurred at all had I not checked myself this morning: We had zero Covid-19 cases.

Now, we are not New York City, which had 271 cases on the same day, a number that surely feels vanishingly small there. But we still have 128,331 people here. And zero is zero. Zero! Because the school board here in Athens, back last summer, set a certain threshold case number that we had to be under in order…

Now that kids as young as 12 can get a vaccine, here’s a look at how parents across the country are responding

When the FDA authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12–15, millions of parents across the country breathed a sigh of relief. At last, their teens could have the opportunity to live somewhat normal lives with the protection a vaccine offered them.

“For some teens, the vaccine may be their sort of beacon of hope that they can go back to doing the things they want to do without worry, without fear,” Robin Gurwitch, PhD, a psychologist and professor at Duke University Medical Center, told me. She said some teens may look forward to getting the vaccine so they…

Dating apps are working to promote public health

Cabin fever is kicking in. It turns out that staying home and being alone is harder than we thought. Dallas’ own Match Group announced a public health partnership with the Biden White House to help promote Covid-19 vaccination across its portfolio of dating apps.

The White House Press Briefing is not always so exciting. But in today’s press brief, the Covid Response Team discussed OkCupid and Tinder dating advice. Dr. Anthony Fauci and Andy Slavitt handed out free tips to get people to swipe right.

According to Slavitt, people who display their vaccination status are 14% more likely to get…

We got it wrong with cholera, measles, tuberculosis, and SARS-CoV-2

How an infectious disease spreads from one person to another is a question so vital that if we get it wrong, we will fail to control its spread and may even make it worse than it has to be.

During the 19th century in London, people believed that miasma (‘bad air’) spread cholera, a diarrheal bacterial disease. So, stinky sewers were dumped into the Thames River, a major source of drinking water. This move ended up killing far more people, as in fact cholera spreads via contaminated food and water.

We have made similar mistakes with measles and tuberculosis, which…

“Wait your turn” is not epidemiologically sound

The Biden administration’s (carefully worded) support for a WTO IP waiver on vaccines may not be the full-throated support the issue warrants, but it was still a complete reversal of decades of subservience to Big Pharma, and the industry is waging all-out war.

The arguments against allowing poor countries to make their own vaccines are a mix of racist condescension (“poor brown people are too primitive to make high-tech vaccines”), misdirection (“patents aren’t the problem”) and bad faith (“we don’t have enough materials”).

Writing for Counterpunch, Sonali Kolhatkar teases apart each of these arguments. Take the argument that poor countries…

Vaccination may protect men from this sexual health complication

Medical researchers from the Department of Urology at the University Of Miami Miller School of Medicine have uncovered compelling motivation for men to get vaccinated against Covid-19. A new study shows long-term damage to the penis long after Covid-19 infections.

The Urology department pilot study sought to analyze penile tissue of men who recovered from symptomatic Covid-19 infection and developed erectile dysfunction (ED) after the infection.

The small study evaluated penile tissue collected from four men scheduled for penile prosthesis surgery due to erectile dysfunction. …

Medium Coronavirus Blog

A blog from Medium for Covid-19 news, advice, and commentary.

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