Historians may come to see May 13, 2021, as the effective end of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. The date isn’t a milestone in a downward trend of deaths or disease. In fact, that week saw about 4,300 Covid-19 deaths, equating to about 225,000 deaths if the rate were maintained over a year. Nor is the date significant because the U.S. reached a particularly high rate of vaccination — about two-thirds of the population are not yet fully vaccinated.
But pandemics don’t end when public health goals are achieved. Instead, historians tell us, pandemics end when a disease has…
The first wave of the coronavirus hit Brazil’s Amazonas state very hard. So many people got sick in the capital Manaus that researchers estimated 70% or more of the population had immunity by fall 2020. This level of population immunity is in the ballpark of what would be needed for herd immunity, and people in Manaus began to feel that their previous ordeal meant that they would not face another surge in infection and death.
Within two days of one another, two late-night talk show hosts addressed the issue of people who haven’t yet gotten the Covid-19 vaccine. The difference between the approaches — and the public health impact — is stark. No, I’m not talking about Tucker Carlson spouting off his anti-vaccine nonsense. I’m talking about two hosts who both thought people should get the vaccine. Except, one did his homework, and one most certainly did not — which possibly ensures that some folks will never get their vaccine given his approach.
The disaster of a performance that damaged public health came from Jimmy…
Let me cut to the chase: Fox News’ Tucker Carlson is spreading dangerous disinformation about the Covid-19 vaccines. Given his long history of questionable and controversial statements, this isn’t surprising. But this time, his falsehoods may cost someone their life.
On a recent episode of his massively popular prime time show, Carlson reported that nearly 4,000 Americans have died after getting vaccinated against Covid-19. On that, he’s right — those statistics are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s own website.
The problem is that Carlson didn’t stop at the facts. After insisting he was “only asking questions,”…
Almost 150 million doses of Covid vaccine have been administered in the United States. Most adults are now at least partially vaccinated, and more and more people are choosing to get vaccinated every day. But some people may be wondering if their second shot is necessary. The answer is yes.
If you got one dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), don’t skip the second dose. Without it, your vaccine-induced protection won’t be as strong or long-lasting. The second dose greatly reinforces the protection your immune system started building after the first shot.
Chandy Bee writes with a plea to acknowledge the pain that the country is experiencing:
From a few weeks before the surge became a full-blown crisis, filmmaker Anand Kamalakar wrote about the challenge of traveling back to the U.S. from India, a situation that is almost certainly harder now than when he wrote this:
Immunologist Rajyalakshmi balaji writes about the Covid-19 variants in India that are likely driving the surge:
Writer and filmmaker Raj Ajay Pandya writes about the callous approach of the Modi government in dealing with the crisis and where its priorities appear to lie:
There’s lots of good news to report on vaccines, but the virus and variants are also gaining ground. Variants are spreading rapidly in the U.S., driving (along with premature re-opening) the fourth surge that’s now underway. Here, I’ll explain why equity is not just about fairness, but essential for pandemic control.
The feared fourth surge is building. CDC reports in its Covid Data Tracker Weekly that cases are up more than 8% nationally over the past week, and test positivity rates have risen slightly, to 5.1%. …
Covid-19 vaccines are incredibly good at preventing severe symptoms and hospitalization, but they’re probably less effective at stopping transmission. To do that, we might need a different kind of vaccine altogether.
Because SARS-CoV-2 is mainly transmitted through droplets and airborne aerosols, some scientists reason that a vaccine should provide first-line protection where the virus typically enters the body — the nose. A Covid-19 vaccine that’s sprayed into the nose may not only prevent people from getting sick in the first place but also stop them from spreading the virus to others.
“When you get Covid-19, you don’t get injected with…
More than a dozen countries have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, citing concerns that people who received doses from two batches of the vaccine developed blood clots as a result. On Monday, the World Health Organization urged nations to continue using the vaccine, emphasizing that there is no scientific evidence for a causal link between getting the AstraZeneca shot and blood clots.
“As of today, there is no evidence that the incidents are caused by the vaccine and it is important that vaccination campaigns continue so that we can save lives and stem severe disease from the virus,”…
On March 6, 2020, a panel convened at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where experts discussed their informed gut feelings about the likely course of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It ended up being the last in-person public event at Harvard, and a few days later, the world was officially experiencing a pandemic.
A year later, on March 5, 2021, the same experts reconvened to look back at 2020 and discuss what their well-informed guts have to say about the rest of 2021. The three panelists were Michael Mina, MD, an epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. …
A blog from Medium for Covid-19 news, advice, and commentary.