Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.
While describing the efforts of the National Institutes of Health and its partnerships with other agencies and pharmaceutical companies, NIH Director Francis Collins described the endeavor as “the most amazing outpouring of scientific capabilities, determination, talent that I’ve ever seen in my 27 years at NIH.”
During a recorded keynote speech at AHCJ’s Journalism Summit on Infectious Disease on Nov. 18, Collins said “The news [about recently announced vaccine trials] is extremely good. Both of these involving trials of 30,000 or more participants have been able to show that the messenger RNA-based vaccine strategy has resulted in over 90% efficacy for both of these and what appears to be a very reasonable safety record as well.” Continue reading →
Things we all know: The current pandemic can bring on stress, anxiety and fear. Common sense actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel depressed, isolated and lonely.
But then there are the more hidden mental health concerns. In some populations, stigmas against seeking care can become more entrenched when people become more remote. As some providers and clients face economic hardship, connecting with professionals can become near impossible. Continue reading →
The race for COVID-19 vaccines won’t be the last vaccine race we’ll see. Vaccines for HIV are in the pipeline, scientists continue to work toward the elusive universal flu vaccine, and novel viruses we haven’t yet seen are likely in our future.
But the race for a COVID-19 vaccine has been a sprint compared to the marathon style of past vaccine development.
What does that mean for journalists covering development of the COVID-19 vaccine? How does this process differ from past ones, and what lessons and technologies might be applied to future vaccine efforts? How will society react when future vaccines become available? Continue reading →
A “twindemic” is what infectious disease experts are calling the possibility that both the COVID-19 and influenza viruses will sicken Americans this winter. How likely is that possibility and what are public health officials doing about it?
Experts, speaking at AHCJ’s Summit on Infectious Disease in November, discussed expectations about the coming flu season, how the health care system will handle the influx of both COVID-19 and flu patients, and how the flu, like COVID-19, disproportionately impacts Black, Latinx and other vulnerable communities. They also offer insights about what this year’s flu vaccination rates might mean for the anticipated COVID-19 vaccine in 2021. Continue reading →