"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 28th Apr 2021
Vaccinations are plateauing, but don't blame it on 'resistance'
- Instead of talking up vaccine hesitancy, it is time to talk about what motivates people to get vaccinated and identify any ongoing barriers to vaccination. Here are three ways to do this:
- First, retire the term 'vaccine hesitancy.' As any crisis communications expert will point out, it is not a good idea to say things you do not want people to be thinking. Repeating the term over and over again unwittingly communicates that there may be something to be hesitant about. The more people talk about it, the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is the same psychology that puts guardrails around using the word suicide, which news media are urged not to put in headlines and to apply with utmost caution.
- Secondly, keep in mind that vaccine confidence is not a fixed mindset. Instead, it describes where someone is in his or her vaccination decision-making period at a specific time. Are people who aren't ready today to get the COVID-19 vaccine sceptics? Or do they just have important questions about the vaccine still unanswered? Did they check the 'no' box in the poll because they knew enough and truly did not want the vaccine, or because they did not know how and where to get a vaccine, were concerned about health insurance bills (USA), did not have time to make an appointment, were worried about missing work, or have had negative encouters with the healthcare system?
- Narratives that assume vaccine hesitancy or resistance also assume that vaccines are easily and equally available to all, that just isn't true.
- Thirdly, looking past the behaviour of individuals can shed light on the more systemic drivers of what prevents people from getting vaccinated against COVID-19, which can include a host of systematic health and information inequalities.
- In new research carried out by Brown University School of Public Health in partnership with the Rockerfeller Foundation fielded by HIT Strategies in communities of colour across five U.S. cities the results are telling. Even though a majority of Black and Latino Americans want to get vaccinated - 72% in the case of this survey - a surprising 63% said they did not have enough information about where to get the shot. In addition, more than 20% said they had regularly been treated with disrespect when getting healthcare in the past, and 20% said they have had trouble finding healthcare when they needed it.
Vaccinations are plateauing. Don’t blame it on ‘resistance’
The U.S. vaccine rollout is plateauing. A remarkable 230 million shots have been given in a few short months, fully vaccinating about 95 million Americans as I write this. The next 100 million shots will be harder. News reports are chronicling a slowdown in appointments across the nation. The number of daily doses administered is down from the peak of 4.6 million on April 10 to about 3 million today. By now, this historic effort has captured the vaccine-hungry individuals who are eager, well-resourced, technologically savvy, and excited to get vaccinated. But as fewer people sign up to get their shots, a dominant narrative is emerging: It’s because of hesitancy — too many people don’t want to get the vaccine. Some even call this vaccine resistance. Those are convenient narratives. But they are false, and can have harmful consequences. Instead of talking up hesitancy, it’s time to talk about what motivates people to get vaccinated and identify the ongoing barriers to vaccination.
New Consumer Research on COVID-19 Vaccination Reveals Barriers in Reaching Herd Immunity
New DISQO research asking COVID-19 unvaccinated U.S. adults about their intentions to get vaccinated raises concerns over the country’s ability to reach the threshold widely believed necessary for herd immunity (70% of the population being vaccinated). DISQO found that 23% of unvaccinated people were “unsure” about whether they will get a vaccine when available to them, and 22% said they “would not.” DISQO fielded the new study, “ Moving the Needle, Persuading the Vaccine Unsure,” to understand COVID-19 vaccine attitudes, trust about information sources, and willingness to be vaccinated at pharmacy retailers. 22,000 U.S. adults answered survey questions and more than 30,000 opted in to share their online browsing, enabling DISQO to understand attitudes and actual behaviors.
CDC: Fully vaccinated Americans can go maskless outdoors
Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks during bike rides, runs, small outdoor gatherings with friends, or dining outdoors at restaurants. Though the agency still recommends mask wearing in large outdoor gatherings, such as sports games and concerts, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, said data are clear that being outside poses little threat to fully vaccinated people, meaning those who are 14 days out from their Johnson & Johnson vaccine or received their second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine 14 or more days ago. "Most of transmission is happening indoors than outdoors," Walensky said, explaining that less than 10% of documented COVID-19 transmission has occurred outside. Unvaccinated Americans may also now safely resume exercising outdoors without a mask, the CDC said, and socialize with fully vaccinated friends and family members in small outdoor gatherings. "Today is another day we can take a step back to [the] normalcy of before," Walensky said during a White House press briefing on the guidance change.
A mask break: Federal health officials say vaccinated people can doff face coverings when outside, away from crowds
People who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 no longer need to wear masks while outside in uncrowded areas or in small groups, federal health officials said Tuesday as part of updated guidance. The federal health officials urged people — even those who are vaccinated — to continue wearing masks in indoor settings like the grocery store or houses of worship as a way to protect others who are not yet vaccinated and to reduce transmission. They also said people should continue to use face coverings in crowded areas even if outdoors, at events like sports games or concerts where distancing is more difficult. While the available Covid-19 vaccines are incredibly powerful at preventing illness and are cutting transmission, some people do contract the virus after being immunized. (Researchers are still trying to understand just how efficiently people who have these so-called breakthrough infections can transmit the virus to others; it’s possible the vaccines cut down on how contagious they are.)
Vaccinated Americans can now remove masks outdoors: CDC
Fully vaccinated people in the United States can now safely go out in public without having to wear a mask, unless they are attending a crowded venue, health officials and the US president announced on Tuesday. In newly updated guidelines the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said fully vaccinated Americans can walk, bike, socialise or dine in an outdoor restaurant without having to wear a mask.
West Virginia Will Pay Young People $100 To Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19
Young people who get the COVID-19 vaccine in West Virginia won't just gain protection against a deadly virus — they'll also make money. The state will offer a $100 savings bond to everyone between the ages of 16 and 35 who gets vaccinated, Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, announced at a Monday briefing. It's part of an ongoing push to get shots into the arms of younger residents, who have been largely slow to roll up their sleeves so far. The initiative will apply retroactively to people in this age group who have already gotten their shots. It is funded with money from the CARES Act, with Justice adding that officials have "vetted this in every way that we possibly can."
WHO says ‘perfect storm’ of conditions led to India COVID surge
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the wave of COVID-19 infections in India is the result of a “perfect storm” of mass gatherings, more contagious variants and low vaccination rates. India’s new coronavirus cases remained above 300,000 for a sixth consecutive day on Tuesday, while its armed forces have pledged urgent medical aid to help battle the staggering spike in infections overwhelming its hospitals and crematoriums.
Vital medical supplies reach India as COVID deaths near 200000
Covid-19 live updates: CDC relaxes mask guidelines; India’s crisis deepensThe Washington PostIndia's new COVID-19 cases stay above 300000, army called to helpNasdaqIndia posts 323,144 new COVID-19 casesShepparton NewsSupplies reach India as COVID toll climbsSeymour TelegraphView Full coverage on Google News
Spain to send 7 tonnes of medical aid to India
Spain will send just over seven tonnes of medical supplies to India, the foreign minister said on Tuesday, to help authorities cope with a rampant COVID-19 wave that is killing thousands there every day. "Nobody will be safe until we are all safe," Arancha Gonzalez Laya told a news conference after the weekly cabinet meeting.
India Covid: Delhi builds makeshift funeral pyres as deaths climb
Crematoriums in the Indian capital Delhi have been forced to build makeshift funeral pyres, as the city runs out of space to cremate its dead. Staff are working around the clock, while parks and other empty spaces are also being utilised for cremations. Families have had to wait hours before being allowed to cremate their dead due to the rise in demand. Deaths have been surging in India as a second wave of infections devastates the country. The rising number of deaths - 380 were recorded in Delhi alone on Monday - has left crematoriums in urgent need of space.
Rep. Khanna Calls For U.S. To Provide More COVID-19 Assistance To India
NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California about India's COVID-19 crisis. Khanna is vice chair of the India caucus, and urges the administration to take action.
‘Cannon fodder’: Medical students in India feel betrayed
Since the beginning of the week, Dr. Siddharth Tara, a postgraduate medical student at New Delhi’s government-run Hindu Rao Hospital, has had a fever and persistent headache. He took a COVID-19 test, but the results have been delayed as the country’s health system implodes. His hospital, overburdened and understaffed, wants him to keep working until the testing laboratory confirms he has COVID-19. On Tuesday, India reported 323,144 new infections for a total of more than 17.6 million cases, behind only the United States. India’s Health Ministry also reported another 2,771 deaths in the past 24 hours, with 115 Indians succumbing to the disease every hour. Experts say those figures are likely an undercount. “I am not able to breathe. In fact, I’m more symptomatic than my patients. So how can they make me work?” asked Tara.
Indian state ‘cracks down’ on hospitals flagging oxygen shortage
The right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in India’s most populous Uttar Pradesh state has ordered a crackdown on individuals and hospitals reporting a shortage of medical oxygen or beds, according to Indian media reports. Over the weekend, the northern state’s saffron-clad Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu monk known for his hate speech, threatened to invoke the stringent National Security Act (NSA) and the Gangster Act against anyone trying to spread fear and panic during the pandemic, local reports said.
India nears 200,000 COVID deaths, daily cases fall, army steps in
India’s coronavirus death toll is nearing the bleak milestone of 200,000 with another 2,771 fatalities reported while its armed forces have pledged urgent medical aid to help battle the staggering spike in infections. Over the past 24 hours, India recorded 323,144 new cases on Tuesday, slightly below a worldwide peak of 352,991 reached on Monday, with overrun hospitals turning away patients due to a shortage of beds and oxygen supplies.
India's daily COVID-19 cases break yet another record
The pace of new COVID-19 cases in India hit a new daily world record today, topping 300,000 for the seventh day in a row as its daily deaths topped 3,000 for the first time. The worst surge of the pandemic has prompted an outpouring of international assistance as more help arrived.
In Covid’s grip, India gasps for air: ‘If there is an apocalypse, this has to be one’
Working hard to keep her composure, Lavanya Sharma tweeted a short video on April 25. “Please please please help,” the teenage girl from New Delhi’s Uttam Nagar neighborhood wrote atop her post as her mother lay gasping for breath and her oximeter blinked a dangerously low reading of 52/100. Sharma’s frantic calls for help didn’t get an official response until the next day, when an ambulance finally arrived to take her mother to the hospital. This harrowing tale highlights the plight of millions of Indians who are being pushed to the brink by the country’s ferocious second wave of the pandemic.
Nestle staff sought to help Lonza production for Moderna vaccine -Swiss TV
Drugmaker Lonza Group under pressure to find workers to help speed production of Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine, is recruiting temporary employees from food giant Nestle to staff Swiss plants making ingredients for the shot, state broadcaster RTS said on Tuesday, citing sources. Moderna last week blamed projected second-quarter delays in shipments of its vaccine to countries including Britain and Canada on production bottlenecks. read more Switzerland's Lonza is the key supplier of ingredients needed to produce the messenger RNA vaccine.
Top U.S. trade negotiator discusses vaccine ramp-up with Novavax exec -USTR
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai discussed increasing COVID-19 vaccine production in a virtual meeting on Tuesday with an executive with drugmaker Novavax (NVAX.O), Tai's office said in a statement. Tai and Novavax Executive Vice President John Trizzino also discussed a proposal before the World Trade Organization to waive certain intellectual property rights in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the USTR statement said. "Ambassador Tai sought Mr. Trizzino’s views on steps Novavax is taking to quickly increase equitable production and distribution of vaccines in the United States and around the world," the statement said.
Denmark to produce COVID-19 vaccines in 2022, PM says
Denmark aims to start producing coronavirus vaccines in 2022, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said, adding that a tender would be made public in a few weeks. "As everyone can see, read, feel and hear, we need more vaccines," Frederiksen told the business daily Borsen late on Monday. "That is why we need to set up production." The vaccines will be produced by private companies, she said.
Pharma Gilead, Merck step in to help India's drug manufacturers fight surging COVID-19 outbreak
India is in the midst of one of the world’s grimmest COVID-19 outbreaks so far, but for weeks the country has struggled to meet local demand for life-saving drugs and vaccines. Now, drugmakers reliant on India for their own production needs are stepping in to help. Gilead Sciences on Monday said it would help local manufacturers boost production of its COVID-19 antiviral drug remdesivir, marketed as Veklury. The drug is authorized in India for hospitalized adults and children with severe disease. Seven companies in India already produce the drug, but they're not able to keep up with demand amid the crisis. Gilead plans to donate at least 450,000 vials of remdesivir “to help ease the immediate need for treatment.” Supplies of remdesivir in India have been so tight a thriving black market has cropped up.
Australia's Perth to exit COVID-19 lockdown
The government of Western Australia state said it will lift a three-day COVID-19 lockdown in Perth and neighbouring Peel region as planned from midnight on Monday after no new cases were found in the past two days. Perth and the Peel region were placed into a hard lockdown from Saturday after an infected traveller from overseas, who likely contracted the novel coronavirus during his two-week quarantine in a Perth hotel, visited several venues while unknowingly infectious.
Vienna easing lockdown cautiously, with swipe at government plans
Vienna will cautiously loosen its coronavirus lockdown next week a month after it was introduced, its left-wing mayor said on Tuesday, criticising the conservative-led government's plans for a broad easing of restrictions nationally next month. Austria has had three national lockdowns, the last of which eased in February. Vienna, however, reintroduced a full lockdown on April 1 to help hospitals facing rising cases, particularly of the more dangerous so-called British variant. Infections nationally have eased this month but remain stubbornly high at more than 1,500 a day. Despite that, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz last week said restaurants, hotels and theatres will reopen nationally on May 19, though provinces can have stricter rules locally if needed.
France's Macron expected to announce easing of COVID rules in coming days - minister
French President Emmanuel Macron will probably make an announcement on plans to relax COVID-19 restrictions in the next few days, employment minister Elisabeth Borne told BFM TV on Tuesday. France, the euro zone's second biggest economy, started its third national lockdown at the end of March after suffering a spike in COVID-19 deaths and case numbers. Macron is hoping the effects of that lockdown, along with an accelerated vaccination campaign, will improve France's COVID-19 figures, which would then allow certain businesses and leisure activities - such as outdoors dining - to reopen in mid May.
Amid green shoots, Chile keeps borders closed but eases capital's lockdowns
Chilean authorities announced that they would extend the closure of the country’s borders for another 30 days as hospitals remain near-full and COVID-19 cases high despite a gradual improvement in recent weeks. Health Minister Enrique Paris said seven and 14-day averages each showed a 7% decrease in confirmed cases and COVID-19 positivity test rates were down. On Monday, 6,078 new infections were identified, compared to a record high of 9,171 cases on April 9. “The health situation is showing some signs of improvement. We are seeing changes but that doesn’t mean we can stop fighting,” Paris said. Chile is running one of the world’s fastest vaccination campaigns, with half of its target population already inoculated with one shot and 38.8% with two
Harry and Meghan to lead ‘Vax Live’ fundraising concert
Prince Harry and Meghan will serve as the campaign chairs of Global Citizen’s effort to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to medical workers in the world’s poorest countries. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will appear at “Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World,” to be taped Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and air on ABC, CBS, FOX, YouTube and iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations on May 8, Global Citizen, the anti-poverty nonprofit, announced Tuesday. Harry and Meghan are also leading an effort to raise money for the vaccine-sharing program COVAX, which hopes to produce $19 billion to pay for the vaccines for medical workers.
UK survey finds rising unease about AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
British enthusiasm for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has faded in the past month, reflecting rising unease about its possible links to rare adverse side effects, though overall UK confidence in vaccines is high, an updated survey has found. The survey of almost 5,000 people showed a significant increase in the proportion who said they want to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible, but also found that almost a quarter of those asked now believe the AstraZeneca vaccine causes blood clots – up from 13% last month.
In fight against virus, Biden looks for path back to normal
President Joe Biden spent his first 100 days in office encouraging Americans to mask up and stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus. His task for the next 100 days will be to lay out the path back to normal. When he entered office, Biden moved swiftly to overcome problems with vaccine supply and more than tripled the country’s ability to administer them. But ending the coronavirus pandemic, the central challenge of his presidency, will require not only putting shots into arms — a task now growing more difficult as demand sags — but also a robust plan to help the nation emerge from a year of isolation, disruption and confusion.
In Africa, vaccine hesitancy adds to slow rollout of doses
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 0rganization.
Racism on the frontline: Britain’s Asian healthcare workers
It was just after eating Christmas dinner with her son last year, that Bristol-based care home nurse Carine started experiencing the worst headache of her life. Carine, 65, who is from the Philippines but has lived in the UK for more than 30 years, cast her mind back to the moment three days prior, when she had learned that a resident she had just been helping wash himself had tested positive for COVID-19. “But you told me he was negative just half an hour ago,” she recalls saying to the duty manager who broke the news to her.
Research suggests shift workers are three time more likely to test positive for Covid 19 in Hospital
Scientists from Manchester University have discovered that patients are up to three times more likely to test positive for Covid 19 in hospital if they were shift workers during their career. Researchers used data from UK Biobank - the world’s largest biomedical database. It showed that shift work increased the likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19 in hospitalised patients 2-3 fold, depending on the nature of shift work. Though there are several known risk factors for COVID-19, they do not always explain why COVID-19 outbreaks happen in factories or healthcare settings which is why they investigated the role of shift work.
The most promising coronavirus vaccine you've never heard of
Hopes are growing that a dark-horse coronavirus vaccine from a tiny U.S. drugmaker can shore up supplies in the U.S. and globally as safety concerns and production problems shadow shots from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. The vaccine’s developer, Novavax, has never brought a product to market. The shot entered late-stage clinical trials months after candidates from bigger names like Pfizer and Moderna. But the Novavax vaccine proved just as potent as those mRNA shots in a U.K. trial, and the company is now preparing to file for U.S. authorization in a matter of weeks — potentially leapfrogging AstraZeneca, a former frontrunner.
Turkey announces "full lockdown" from April 29 to curb COVID spread
Turks will be required to stay mostly at home under a nationwide "full lockdown" starting on Thursday and lasting until May 17 to curb a surge in coronavirus infections and deaths, President Tayyip Erdogan announced on Monday. Turkey logged 37,312 new COVID-19 infections and 353 deaths in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed, sharply down from mid-April but still the world's fourth highest number of cases and the worst on a per-capita basis among major nations. Announcing the new measures after a cabinet meeting, Erdogan said all intercity travel would require official approval, all schools would shut and move lessons online, and a strict capacity limit would be imposed for users of public transport.
Counties with Oregon's biggest cities moved to extreme risk
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday rising COVID-19 hospitalizations threaten to overwhelm doctors, and she is moving 15 counties into the extreme risk category, which imposes restrictions that include banning indoor restaurant dining. Some of the state’s biggest cities, including Portland, Salem, Bend and Eugene, are in the counties that will be in the most dire category, effective Friday. “If we don’t act now, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other health care providers in Oregon will be stretched to their limits treating severe cases of COVID-19,” Brown said in a statement. The move comes, ironically, as the supply of vaccines is exceeding demand. “There are appointments available right now all across the state,” Brown said.