I’ve written previously on Covering Health about the potential harms of reporting on surveys and polls about people’s intent to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In late September, the FDA had not yet authorized any vaccines, so any poll or survey questions were theoretical. Now that vaccines are in distribution, however, does that change things?
There is a growing amount of concern in the U.S. about SARS-CoV-2 variants and the possibility they may diminish the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
The story is evolving. On Jan. 25, the Minnesota Department of Health said a variant, first found in Brazil, was found in a patient in Minnesota. On Jan. 28, the CDC announced that a variant, first found in South Africa, was found in South Carolina. Both variants have shown a potential to reduce vaccine effectiveness. [See this piece by AHCJ’s Tara Haelle on understanding the nuances of vaccine efficacy.] Continue reading
The Association of Health Care Journalists has announced a “no-expiration policy” during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Memberships that would normally have expired between February and June will be kept active, said AHCJ Executive Director Len Bruzzese.
“Many of our members are on the front lines of this health crisis and their expertise is being called upon during some extra-long days and nights,” Bruzzese said.
On New Year’s Eve, an infectious disease story emerged from China involving a mysterious pneumonia that has sickened dozens and raised alarm bells across Asia.
While the Chinese government says the outbreak, which began on Dec. 12, hasn’t resulted in any deaths, the strange illnesses are a cause of concern because China was the epicenter of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003. SARS sickened 3,100 people and killed 774 in 37 countries in less than a year. Continue reading
With about 14 million new infections a year, human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually-transmitted virus in the United States.
HPV has long been linked to cervical cancer. Certain strains of the virus cause an estimated 12,000 cases of cervical cancer annually among women in the U.S. Now, rising rates of HPV-linked mouth and throat cancers – known as oropharyngeal cancers – are receiving increased attention, as are efforts to get Americans up to age 45 vaccinated to reduce the spread of HPV-related diseases. Continue reading
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CNN that “in general, we get in our season what the Southern Hemisphere got in the season immediately preceding us and an intelligent guess” is that North America will most likely have a bad flu season.
Further, Dr. Daniel Jernigan, influenza chief at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Associated Press that: “We don’t know what’s going to happen, but there’s a chance we could have a season similar to Australia.” Continue reading