Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2701
cooper wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 3:33 pm
highdesert wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 2:52 pm
A new study estimates that the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. is more than 900,000, a number 57% higher than official figures.

Worldwide, the study's authors say, the COVID-19 death count is nearing 7 million, more than double the reported number of 3.24 million.


The analysis comes from researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, who looked at excess mortality from March 2020 through May 3, 2021, compared it with what would be expected in a typical non pandemic year, then adjusted those figures to account for a handful of other pandemic-related factors.
<snip>
I'm not smart enough to figure this out in detail, but yeah, it seems obvious to me that the reported COVID-19 death toll is an underestimate. Certainly there are more who died directly from the disease than we were able to count. But on top of that, how do you account for the patient of mine who recovered from COVID-19 after a prolonged hospitalization then died from a heart attack a month later? He died elsewhere so I didn't do his death certificate, but without current respiratory symptoms, I'll bet he wasn't listed as a COVID-19 death. No history of heart disease prior. Also, how about the nursing home residents who've just given up and died because of the severe isolation of 2020. I don't have cases to report on that, but anecdotally physicians I know have reported that (anectdote does not equal data, but still rings true). Also reports of increased drug overdoses, etc. Not COVID-19 deaths, but still.

In the end, it seems you look at excess mortality and unless there was something else going on you can pin a lot of it on the pandemic and/or the response.

To me, it's like counting war deaths. You didn't have to die by bullet, bomb, or bayonet to be counted as war dead. You include all the crap that happens because there is a war going on--starvation, infection, suicides, etc.

I don't know how to count the death toll from this pandemic--I'll leave that to people smarter than me. But the idea that it was much higher than we are saying rings very true to me.

You've probably seen more illness and death from COVID than anyone else on this forum, so you understand better than any of us all the variations that can impact reporting a death. There are so many variables that a place like the Institute at UW, Seattle can control for when they create their estimates, it's not my forte. The Institute's COVID forecasts were followed by the WH and federal and state officials so they have a track record. I expect other estimates will be coming out.

Just like with crime statistics every state and locality counts crime a little different and it's even stranger trying to compare US to UK or other countries crime stats. Sadly they don't often footnote their data so we don't know where the numbers comes from.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2702
Several states are turning away Covid vaccine doses from their federal government allocations, as the daily average of coronavirus vaccine doses administered across the United States has fallen below two million for the first time since early March. Experts say the states’ smaller requests reflect a steep drop in vaccine demand in the United States.

Wisconsin officials have asked for just 8 percent of the 162,680 doses the federal government had set aside for the state next week, according to The Associated Press. In Iowa, officials asked for just 29 percent of the state’s allocated doses. And in Illinois, the state is planning to request just 9 percent of its allotted doses for everywhere, except for Chicago, for next week, The A.P. reported.

North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington State and Connecticut are also scaling back on their vaccine requests.

As demand falls and the spread of the virus slows in the United States, the Biden administration is under increasing pressure to share vaccine doses with countries like India, which has been ravaged by a catastrophic surge. About 83 percent of shots have been administered in high- and upper-middle-income countries, while only 0.3 percent of doses have been given in low-income countries.
President Biden, confronting lagging vaccinations, has shifted the administration’s strategy to battle the pandemic. Changes include creating a federal stockpile of vaccine doses to given to states as needed, instead of strictly by population, and investing millions in community outreach to target underserved communities, younger Americans and those hesitant to get shots.

Mass vaccination sites will wind down in favor of smaller settings. Pharmacies will allow people to walk in for shots, and pop-up and mobile clinics will distribute vaccines, especially in rural areas. Federal officials also plan to enlist the help of family doctors and other emissaries who are trusted voices in their communities.
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/05/08 ... d-plummets

The feds have contracted with Walmart since most Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store. I could help break down that vaccine hesitancy.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2703
President Biden and Pope Francis are urging people to get vaccinated and underscoring the need for global vaccine equity ahead of a broadcast special that will air on Saturday evening.

In a pretaped video, Mr. Biden and Jill Biden, the first lady, called on Americans to get vaccinated so that people can return to normal activities. The president also said the administration is working with other nations to distribute shots as demand for vaccines continues to drop in the United States.

“We’re working with leaders around the world to share more vaccines and boost production to make sure every country has the vaccines they need,” Mr. Biden said. “If we can get this done, we won’t have to miss another moment.”

The video was part of the Global Citizen event, “VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World,” which aims to promote global access to vaccines. Hosted by Selena Gomez, the concert also included performances by Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, the Foo Fighters and J Balvin. Prince Harry and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle served as campaign chairs for the event, which aired at 8 p.m. Eastern time on ABC, CBS, YouTube and iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations.

In another pretaped video, Pope Francis signaled his support for the suspension of Covid-19 vaccine patents to help make shots more accessible for poor and middle-income nations. Mr. Biden said this week that he would support waiving the patents to bolster production, though its approval by the European Union faces an uphill climb.

The pope said it is a “spirit of justice that mobilizes us to ensure universal access to the vaccine and the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights.” He also urged people “not to forget the most vulnerable” and said the pandemic has exacerbated existing social and environmental crises.

Although vaccines have brought hope to wealthy nations where cases are dropping, the virus continues to ravage poor countries that lack them.

The live event, taped at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. on May 2, took place in front of an audience of roughly 20,000 frontline and essential workers. All attendees were required to wear masks and were fully vaccinated at least two weeks before the event.

As part of VAX LIVE, Global Citizen has raised about $63.3 million in donation pledges from organizations which will be used to secure more than 12 million vaccine doses for Covax, a vaccine sharing partnership, chief executive Hugh Evans said.

Mr. Evans said Global Citizen started coordinating the event early this year and chose to host the concert in May, once organizers thought vaccine supply would begin to outweigh demand in the United States.

Several countries have also announced plans to distribute doses or donate funds to global health initiatives on behalf of VAX LIVE. Canada pledged about $300 million to the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator, a program launched by the World Health Organization and its partners.

The event was funded by Global Citizen’s partners, including Cisco, Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Google, Live Nation, P&G and Verizon.
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/05/08 ... st-special
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2704
The US is not the only place with vaccine hesitancy.
Some Africans are hesitating to get COVID-19 vaccines amid concerns about their safety, alarming public health officials as some countries start to destroy thousands of doses that expired before use.

Malawi and South Sudan in recent days have said they will destroy some of their doses, a concerning development on a continent where health officials have been outspoken about the need for vaccine equity as the world’s rich nations hold the bulk of shots.

Africa, whose 1.3 billion people represent 16% of the world’s population, has received less than 2% of the COVID-19 vaccine doses administered around the world, according to the World Health Organization.
Africa seeks to vaccinate up to 60% of its people by the end of 2022.

Achieving that goal will require about 1.5 billion vaccine doses for Africa if the two-shot AstraZeneca vaccine continues to be widely used. But safety concerns relating to that vaccine, often the main shot available under the donor-backed COVAX program to ensure access for developing countries, have left some Africans worried.

Vaccine-related suspicions have been spread widely on social media, driven partly by a general lack of trust in authorities. Uganda’s health minister had to refute allegations she faked receiving a shot, even posting a video of herself getting the jab on Twitter, along with the admonition: “Please stop spreading fake news!”
The Africa CDC said in a statement last week it had received guidance from the Serum Institute of India recommending a three-month “shelf life extension” on the April 13 expiration date of at least a million AstraZeneca shots delivered to Africa.

Africa nations “don’t have a choice,” Nkengasong said, urging Malawi to use all its shots after authorities in the southern African nation said they would burn 16,000 AstraZeneca doses that expired earlier in April.
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/some- ... 1619538782
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2705
A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that 64% of American adults have gotten or want a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible, 15% will wait and see and 19% will either definitely not get one or will only get one if it is required.

This data matches up with other polling that suggests that roughly 60% to 65% of American adults want a shot or have had one, 15% to 20% will wait and see and 20% don't want one.

The number of new Americans who have received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine has been tumbling in recent weeks, as the people who really want a vaccine have been able to get one. The need now is to get those who are hesitating (i.e. the wait and see group) to get past their hesitation, as the 20% of vaccine resisters have been steady in their opposition.

The question is how to get it done. A lot of attention has been spent on Republicans being the problem, leading to calls for former President Donald Trump to address the group.

A look at the data reveals that the vaccine hesitant group, however, are not big Trump lovers. They're actually likely not to be Republican. Instead, many of them are people who are detached from the political process and didn't vote for either major candidate in 2020.

The most recent Kaiser poll helps illustrate that the vaccine hesitant group doesn't really lean Republican. Just 20% of the group called themselves Republican with an additional 19% being independents who leaned Republican. The clear majority (61%) were not Republicans (41% said they were Democrats or Democratic leaning independents and 20% were either pure independents or undesignated).
This is very much unlike the vaccine resistant group, of whom 55% are Republican or Republican leaning independents. Just 21% of that group are Democrats or Democratic leaning independents.

The Kaiser poll points to a larger problem: There isn't going to be a single ideological message that appeals to a majority of the vaccine hesitant group. They're of all political stripes.

The March Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows us another issue: Traditional political type messages may not work on them either. That poll asked respondents whether they were registered to vote and for whom they voted for in the 2020 election.

The overwhelming plurality (48%) were people who either didn't vote, voted third party or weren't willing to disclose who they cast a ballot for. The rest were split 31% for Trump and 20% for President Joe Biden. The poll gets at the fact that the efforts to vaccinate the population isn't a political campaign to reel in voters. If we use traditional election tactics to reach the vaccine hesitant group, we're likely to lose.
Just 62% of the voting age population cast a ballot in 2020, even though the election featured the highest turnout in a long time. The number of adults who didn't vote was larger than the number of people who voted for either Biden or Trump. The wait-and-see category is disproportionately made up of this group.

People who are not registered to vote are among the most likely to say they're in the wait-and-see camp. In a Monmouth University poll last month, 34% of adults who were not registered to vote said they wanted to "see how it goes" (i.e. wait-and-see) before getting a vaccine. That was significantly higher than the 10% of registered voters who said the same.
Another way to look at this is that most political campaigns are focused on older people because they make up the lion share of habitual voters.

The people who are vaccine hesitant are not old. The clear majority (about 60% to 70%, depending on the poll) are younger than 50. These are largely not going to be people who watch cable news. We have to be able to convince them that they should get the vaccine for themselves and their neighbors, even though the mortality rate for a lot of them is lower than it is for older people.

According to the polling, there are a lot of different ways we might be able to do that, such as making it easier to get the vaccine and confronting falsehoods about the vaccine.

The good news is that people, especially younger people, are far more likely to get a vaccine when they know someone else who has gotten one. If professionals can get a single person in a social circle to get a vaccine, it will make their overall job of getting people vaccinated that much easier.
https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/09/politics ... index.html

Remember that Robert F Kennedy, Jr is a vocal anti-vaxxer.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2706
As vaccination demand dwindles, authorities in Erie County, New York, are trying a new tactic—offering free beer as an incentive for residents to get their COVID-19 jab. On Saturday, health officials held the first “Shot and a Chaser” vaccine clinic at Resurgence Brewing Company in Buffalo, giving a free pint glass and a drink of their choice to residents over the age of 21 who turn up to get their first dose.

“We’re going to do more people today at our first dose-clinics than most of our first-dose clinics in the last week combined,” County Executive Mark Poloncarz told The Buffalo News on Saturday. This comes as part of a larger attempt to convince young people, who may not see themselves as being at risk for COVID-19, to get the shot. New Jersey and Suffolk County are also taking similar approaches, offering free drink coupons at local breweries for people who receive the vaccine.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/erie-coun ... -free-beer
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2707
highdesert wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 7:44 am
Remember that Robert F Kennedy, Jr is a vocal anti-vaxxer.
Clearly the gene that made his father easily the smartest of the 4 brothers didn't get passed on to that dangerous idiot. I believe members of the Kennedy family have seriously distanced themselves from him.

Both my sons are now vaccinated. The older has a 8 days and the younger 12 days to full immunity post-2nd shots. The older had a mild reaction to the 2nd shot but the younger only had a sore arm! We now suspect that the virus he had just before SuperStorm Sandy in 2012 was a similar coronavirus and not the adenovirus the doctors suspected but didn't test for. The kicker? That virus robbed him of his senses of taste and smell...
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2708
highdesert wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 7:56 am
As vaccination demand dwindles, authorities in Erie County, New York, are trying a new tactic—offering free beer as an incentive for residents to get their COVID-19 jab. On Saturday, health officials held the first “Shot and a Chaser” vaccine clinic at Resurgence Brewing Company in Buffalo, giving a free pint glass and a drink of their choice to residents over the age of 21 who turn up to get their first dose.

“We’re going to do more people today at our first dose-clinics than most of our first-dose clinics in the last week combined,” County Executive Mark Poloncarz told The Buffalo News on Saturday. This comes as part of a larger attempt to convince young people, who may not see themselves as being at risk for COVID-19, to get the shot. New Jersey and Suffolk County are also taking similar approaches, offering free drink coupons at local breweries for people who receive the vaccine.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/erie-coun ... -free-beer
Damn it. I feel cheated.

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2710
Bisbee wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 8:11 pm FREE pot, FREE beer... New Yorker’s get all the good stuff. We’re left with stinking doughnuts.
Good donuts are well worth it! But stinking ones are garbage....
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2712
featureless wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 9:08 pm
Bisbee wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 8:11 pm FREE pot, FREE beer... New Yorker’s get all the good stuff. We’re left with stinking doughnuts.
Fuck, I didn't even get a bandaid.
I got a band-aid...and an "I've Been Vaccinated" sticker!
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2714
featureless wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 10:49 pm
YankeeTarheel wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 9:41 pm
featureless wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 9:08 pm
Bisbee wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 8:11 pm FREE pot, FREE beer... New Yorker’s get all the good stuff. We’re left with stinking doughnuts.
Fuck, I didn't even get a bandaid.
I got a band-aid...and an "I've Been Vaccinated" sticker!
Showoff! :smart:
Yeah, but not shot of booze, no beer, not even a cup of joe or a donut! :coffee:
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2715
Only got a band aid too at my two visits, no refreshments except water. Hope those counties have researched ABC laws in their states concerning giving vouchers for a "chaser" and state law on using public money for alcohol. Alcohol, public monies and public agencies can be very sticky.

Other than that, I'm for whatever gets people vaccinated and is legal.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2717
sikacz wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 7:45 am A global failure and we’re no better prepared than we were in December 2019.

https://apple.news/AAOCRbsqqSC6aLqKu-w8NCg

Change needs to happen.

It started with China, from the beginning they weren't open about the lethality of the virus or its origins. If we had a different administration in DC, the response could have been much better. Trump didn't know what to do, he had no governing experience so he just denied that it was serious.

I think the countries with unitary governments were more successful, they quickly implemented testing and quarantines. Our decentralized government allowed states to issue sometimes contrary public health rules, that would never happen with national defense but public health isn't seen as that critical. We have a lot of lessons to learn.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2719
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that fully vaccinated adults can safely resume activities indoors or outdoors without masks or distancing, in gatherings large or small. The announcement marks a major milestone in the effort to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced the new guidance Thursday.

"You can do things you stopped doing because of the pandemic," Walensky said.

The new policy is based on recent real-world studies from Israel and the U.S. on people who've been vaccinated, she said.

In response to a question, Walensky said the federal mask requirement on public transportation remains in force for everyone, vaccinated or not – including on buses, trains, airplanes and in stations and airports.

"For travel, we are still asking people to continue wearing their masks," Walensky said. She said the policy continues to be under review.

However, under the new guidance fully vaccinated people can resume domestic travel without needing to get tested before or after, and they do not need to self-quarantine. They also do not need to quarantine following a known exposure so long as they are asymptomatic.

The CDC says masks may still be required by state, local, tribal or territorial laws, as well as businesses and workplaces. But some local jurisdictions swiftly announced that they would update their own regulations to conform with the CDC guidance and more are expected to follow.

The updated guidance for fully vaccinated people does not apply to health care settings, which have their own separate guidance.

Unvaccinated people "remain at risk" of illness and death, Walensky said, and should remain masked and observe physical distancing.

"Today is a great day for America, and our long battle with coronavirus," President Biden said, speaking in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday afternoon. The president and Vice President Harris both smiled widely and did not wear masks.

"I think it's a great milestone," Biden said. "It's been made possible by the extraordinary success we've had in vaccinating so many Americans so quickly."
Biden emphasized that the new rules only apply to those who are fully vaccinated. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson shot.

Those not fully vaccinated should still wear a mask, says the CDC.

"We've gotten this far. Please protect yourself until you get to the finish line," Biden said. "Get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do."

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said earlier that during a meeting in the Oval Office with Biden, Harris and a number of her fellow Republican senators on infrastructure, they all took off their masks upon news of the updated CDC guidance.
https://www.npr.org/2021/05/13/99658289 ... s-cdc-says
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2721
Why did the CDC change it's advice on masks?
Advice from federal health officials that fully vaccinated people could drop their masks in most settings came as a surprise to Americans, from state officials to scientific experts. Even the White House got less than a day’s notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the press secretary, Jen Psaki, said at a news briefing on Friday.

“The C.D.C., the doctors and medical experts there, are the ones who determined what this guidance would be based on their own data, and what the timeline would be,” Ms. Psaki said. “That was not a decision directed by or made by the White House.”

For months, federal officials have vigorously warned that wearing masks and social distancing were necessary to contain the pandemic. So what changed?

Introducing the new recommendations on Thursday, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the C.D.C. director, cited two recent scientific findings as significant factors: Few vaccinated people become infected with the virus, and transmission seems rarer still; and the vaccines appear to be effective against all known variants of the coronavirus.

There is no doubt at this point that the vaccines are powerful. On Friday, the C.D.C. released results from another large study showing that the vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are 94 percent effective in preventing symptomatic illness in those who were fully vaccinated, and 82 percent effective even in those only partly vaccinated.

“The science is quite clear on this,” said Zoë McLaren, a health policy expert at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Mounting evidence indicates that people who are vaccinated are highly unlikely to catch or transmit the virus, she noted.

The risk “is definitely not zero, but it’s clear that it’s very low,” she said.

One of the lingering concerns among scientists had been that even a vaccinated person might carry the virus — perhaps briefly, without symptoms — and spread it to others. But C.D.C. research, including the new study, has consistently found few infections among those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.

“This study, added to the many studies that preceded it, was pivotal to C.D.C. changing its recommendations for those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19,” Dr. Walensky said in a statement on Friday.


Other recent studies confirm that people who are infected after vaccination carry too little virus to infect others, said Florian Krammer, a virologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“It’s really hard to even sequence the virus sometimes because there’s very little virus, and it’s there for a short period of time,” he said.

Still, most of the data has been gathered on the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, Dr. Krammer cautioned. Because Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was authorized later, there are fewer studies assessing its effectiveness.

In clinical trials, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had 72 percent efficacy — lower than the figure for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. And effectiveness was measured in terms of moderate and severe disease, rather than mild disease.

“It’s a very good vaccine, and I’m sure it will save many, many, many lives,” Dr. Krammer said. “But we need more data on how well the J.&J. vaccine prevents infection, and how well it prevents transmission.”

Variants of the virus have been a particular worry for scientists. While Dr. Walensky cited evidence showing that the mRNA vaccines like those from Pfizer and Moderna are effective against the variants circulating in the United States, there is little data about variants and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. And new variants are emerging constantly.

“I’m not at all saying that this is now a big problem,” Dr. Krammer said. But before lifting the masking requirements, “I might have waited a little bit longer to look at the numbers.”

In a statement on Friday, a C.D.C. spokesman said, “All of the authorized vaccines provide strong protection against serious illness, hospitalization, and death, and we are accumulating data that our authorized vaccines are effective against the variants that are circulating in this country.”

Fully immunized people are unlikely to get seriously ill, even if they are infected with the coronavirus. The risk of infection is greater for the people around them — unvaccinated children and adults, or vaccinated people who remain unprotected because of a medical condition or treatment.

C.D.C. officials said they weighed those factors and were confident in their assessment of the science. And the new advice has other salutary effects, rewarding fully immunized people by giving them permission to end their social isolation — and perhaps incentivizing others to opt for vaccination.

The new advice “signals that we really are on the final stretch here, and I think that’s a very good thing for people,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Health.

“It’s unlikely that we’re going to have another huge surge in cases,” he added. “But will the final stretch last for weeks or months is still a question.”

The difficulty with the new recommendations, he and other experts said, is not so much the science underpinning them as their implementation.

Leaders at the state, city and county levels still have the authority to require masks even for vaccinated people, as the C.D.C. was quick to acknowledge on Thursday. After the agency’s announcement, some states instantly lifted mask mandates, while others said they would need more time to weigh the evidence.

But in states without mask mandates, the onus of checking vaccination status will fall on shopkeepers, restaurant workers, school officials and workplace managers.

“Without a means to verify vaccination, we will have to rely on an honor system,” said Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University.

The number of cases in the country is the lowest it has been since September, and many experts support lifting mask mandates in much of the country. But doing so will be riskier in places like Michigan, where there are more cases, and for people who are unprotected, including children under 12 and people with a weak immune systems, Dr. Rivers said.

“People who are unvaccinated should continue to wear masks in public indoors and avoid crowds,” she said.

In Nacogdoches, Texas, Dr. Ahammed Hashim fretted that only 36 percent of the population was immunized and the pace seemed to have stalled. And yet only one or two people in 10 in the local shops wore masks.

“I think the C.D.C. might send a wrong message saying that everything’s OK,” said Dr. Hashim, a pulmonologist. “It would feel much better if we had a 60 or 70 percent vaccination.”

The C.D.C.’s guidance is intended for fully vaccinated individuals, and should only be interpreted as such, Dr. Sharfstein cautioned. Nationwide, only 36 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

“What we’re just seeing is a little bit of the distance between advice that is entirely appropriate for people who are vaccinated, and the reality that there are places that still are seeing viral transmission and a lot of people who aren’t vaccinated,” he said.

Individuals may make choices based on their perception of their own risks, but state and local leaders must decide what’s best for the community based on the rate of infections. “Those are two different things,” Dr. Sharfstein said. “And when they get conflated, that’s when people may make bad judgments about policy.”

The new guidelines should serve as a reminder to health officials to step up their outreach and investment to ensure that everyone has access to vaccines, Dr. McLaren said. Parents of children under 12 should continue to urge them to wear masks indoors.

The C.D.C.’s new policy shifts the onus onto the immunocompromised as well, to protect themselves from unmasked and unvaccinated people.

“When we make policy, we need to balance the needs and desires of everyone,” Dr. McLaren said. “We could keep masking forever, but there are benefits to getting back to a life that looks more normal.”

Health officials should emphasize that the situation may yet change, and official recommendations with it, she added: “We really need to practice being good at responding to changing situations.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/14/heal ... iants.html
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: New SARS type virus spreading in China

2725
Hard to believe how far we've come, this time last year everyone was very skeptical of the messenger RNA vaccines. Adenovirus vaccines were the gold standard (AstraZeneca, J&J etc.) and messenger RNA vaccines were new and untested. When Pfizer announced in December that the data showed their vaccine was 95% effective, they were doubters same with the Moderna vaccine, but study after study proves their data was correct. And Pfizer's bargain with Israel has been a data goldmine and added to their success.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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