Apr 13, 2020

The Booster Bulletin: Your Weekly Dose of Immunization News

Welcome to another week where we are saving lives by staying at home, washing our hands, and physical distancing when in public. An immense message of gratitude for those working on the front lines in our community to keep us all healthy, fed, and safe.

The CDC recently issued guidance on wearing cloth face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19. Download instructions here.  Don't have time or the materials to make one? Check online as many local retailers are making and selling masks (and matching sales with donations) such as Truckee Love, Custom Ink, Los Angeles Apparel, Project Repat, and more

Want to help make masks? The Mask Task Force in Las Vegas is taking donations, as are many local hospitals, clinics, and nonprofit organizations. 

*Cloth face masks photo credit: Tim Abel. Made with this pattern

 

During this pandemic, we remain committed to sharing news and information from local and national media about COVID-19 and immunization-related topics. Additionally, we join the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in reminding everyone to stay up to date on recommended immunizations to prevent dangerous diseases.

Each week we’ll continue to review clips from across the U.S., from various news outlets and platforms, and bring you ten timely and relevant links. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, and check out this week’s picks.


Prepare, Don’t Panic. To inform Nevadans statewide, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Governor's Office have created this website to better share information and resources as it pertains to the current status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact within the state of Nevada. https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/


"The 87-year-old doctor who invented the rubella vaccine now working to fight the coronavirus  CNBC (April 9, 2020)

Stanley Plotkin, dubbed the ‘Godfather of Vaccines,’ has worked on vaccines for anthrax, polio, rabies and rotavirus. In the 1960s, at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, Plotkin invented the rubella vaccine, which is credited with eradicating the disease in the United States. Plotkin, a pediatrician and vaccinologist, is consulting for pharmaceutical companies on vaccine development to halt the COVID-19 pandemic.

"More Coronavirus Vaccines and Treatments Move Toward Human Trials"  The New York Times  (April 8, 2020)

Just three months after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, several biotech companies are beginning trials of promising vaccines and treatments.

"Developing a COVID-19 Vaccine is Only Half the Battle  Shot of Prevention (April 8, 2020)

Rising cases of COVID-19 across the country have many people asking the same question: where’s the vaccine? Experts have suggested a vaccine may be 12 to 18 months away, an optimistic timeline given the intense scrutiny vaccines undergo prior to approval. Once approved, additional questions such as how will the vaccine be distributed and who will be prioritized to receive the vaccine will soon follow. By planning for a vaccine now, our country can be better prepared to quickly protect everyone in the U.S. from this deadly pandemic.

"Parents weigh children’s immunization health against risk of exposure to Covid-19”  The Guardian (April 9, 2020)

Parents and pediatricians across the US are not vaccinating their children during the coronavirus pandemic, leading experts to warn that such delays could cause outbreaks of preventable diseases later in the year.

"Opinion: “Please, Don’t Intentionally Infect Yourself. Signed, an Epidemiologist.”  The New York Times (April 8, 2020)

Here are seven reasons your “coronavirus party” is a bad idea. As the coronavirus continues to spread, epidemiologists like me are starting to field a remarkable question: Would people be better off if they just contracted the virus and got it over with? I’ve heard rumblings about people avoiding physical distancing or hosting a version of ‘chickenpox parties,’ where noninfected people mingle with an infected person in an effort to catch the virus.

"How do vaccines work? The scientific process behind how vaccines are made”  The Insider (April 7, 2020) 

Vaccines are vital to fighting disease, not only for each individual, but also for entire communities. For reference, the World Health Organization suggests that vaccines prevented at least 10 million deaths worldwide between 2010 and 2015.  However, the process of making a vaccine is difficult, complicated, and takes time. Here's what you need to know about how different types of vaccines work and how they're made.

"How America Brought the 1957 Influenza Pandemic to a Halt” JSTOR Daily (April 7, 2020)

In the spring of 1957, American microbiologist Maurice Hilleman was alarmed by a photo he saw in the New York Times. The photo depicted sick patients being brought into the Hong Kong hospitals by the thousands, with long lines of people waiting to be admitted. 'They said, babies had glassy-eyed stares [and I thought], my God this is the pandemic, it’s here,' he had said in an interview years later.

"Editorial: “’Corona memes’? Why does this anti-vaxx California doctor think COVID-19 is a joke?”  The Sacramento Bee (April 6, 2020)

Doctors and nurses around the country are struggling to handle a surge of COVID-19 patients, but Dr. Bob Sears of Orange County has extra time on his hands. Sears, a prominent figure in California’s anti-vaccination movement, announced on Facebook last week that his business has been slow due to the coronavirus shutdown. 

"Echoes of the past: the 1918 Influenza Epidemic in Nevada"  Reno Gazette-Journal (April 11, 2020)

The COVID-19 outbreak doesn't represent the first quarantine order implemented in Nevada to combat an infectious disease. Similar to COVID-19, the 1918 Influenza Epidemic spread around the world. The epidemic arrived in Nevada in the spring of 1918 and returned even deadlier in October and November that year before tapering off in the spring of 1919.

"As COVID-19 Creeps into Rural Life, Small Towns Reckon with the Pandemic’s Uncertainties"  The Nevada Independent (April 12, 2020)

The modern-day fireside chat is one way rural communities are adjusting to the coronavirus-triggered closures that have upended life in places big and small across the state. In Nevada’s sparsely populated communities, health and economic fears aren’t all that different from those in Reno or Las Vegas. But the closures add an extra wrinkle to daily routines in places where many people know each other by name and rely on that neighborly culture.

 

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