It was another busy month for us, as we dove into topics ranging from COVID-19 vaccines and their relative effectiveness (as compared to viral infection), to pain medication, to questions related to toxicology. Here are some of the media outlets in the U.S., on Wall Street, and even in Europe that recently featured, interviewed or referenced ACSH during the month of March.
Is 'Natural' Immunity or Vaccination Better? -- Partially in reaction to comments made by Sen. Rand Paul, ACSH's Chuck Dinerstein dove into a comparison of the immunity conferred on individuals through these two sources. This article by our Director of Medicine, we are proud to point out, quickly made its way to the top of all science stories posted on Real Clear Science.
"For the COVID-19 vaccines, there remain two questions. How long will the immunity last? We don’t know yet, but only time will tell," wrote Dr. Dinerstein, in an excerpt from his article. "Again, most vaccines confer equally long-lasting immunity. The two mRNA vaccines are targeted at the spike protein. Natural immunity can target the spike and other viral shapes, which might allow natural immunity to protect against some variants; again, we do not know. What we do know is that getting your immunity by contracting COVID-19 is a crapshoot; being vaccinated is exceedingly efficacious and safe."
Amazon Directs Customers to Vaccine Misinformation, Study Finds -- Meanwhile, Dr. Dinerstein received significant attention earlier in the month in Europe, when he was interviewed by Euronews, a major media outlet on the European continent following the posting of an article he wrote in February. He told the agency that often when would-be purchasers shop on Amazon for publications relating to vaccinations, the global shopping behemoth frequently directs the consumer to anti-vaccine material. And then it does so over and over.
“Among the most popular things often are anti-vax misinformation," said Dr. Dinerstein, "[and] once you’ve got that in the algorithm it gives you more, and more, and more.”
Stop Making Surgeons Undertreat Postoperative Pain -- Once again teaming up with Dr. Jeff Singer, our Dr. Josh Bloom co-authored this Op-Ed that appeared in General Surgery News on March 23.
"According to statistics from the CDC, the number of all opioid prescriptions dropped roughly 42% from 2012 to 2019, a year when overdose deaths hit a new peak of 71,327," the doctors wrote. "The top four implicated drugs—illicit fentanyl and its analog, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine—were involved in far more deaths than any prescription opioid. Yet surgeons are repeatedly encouraged to use IV acetaminophen—which is simply Tylenol—to treat postoperative pain in order to spare their patients the risk for addiction."
At What Level Does a Safe Chemical Become Harmful? -- This opinion piece, written by Michael Dourson, Ph.D., appeared on March 8 in the Mansfield News Journal, based in Mansfield, OH. Dr. Dourson, who serves as an ACSH scientific adviser, is a toxicologist and president of the nonprofit Toxicology Education Foundation.
Could Cassava Sciences Be a Millionaire-Maker Stock? -- In its financial coverage of a company involved in Alzheimer's drug R&D, The Motley Fool referenced ACSH's previous coverage of central nervous system therapy in Phase 3 development.