The year was 1947 – the last smallpox invasion in America. Ground zero: New York City. The carrier: an ex-pat named Eugene LeBar, who had arrived from Mexico on March 1. By the time his diagnosis was confirmed, more than a month later, he had likely exposed thousands of New Yorkers. Even before arriving in New York, LeBar had traveled through seven major American population centers, exposing probably hundreds more.
This will come as a shock to you; it did for me. As a physician, not everyone followed my advice. In fact, some people sought second opinions choosing other paths and other physicians! Why would that be?!
Since the start of 2021, the media has regularly urged Americans to get their COVID shots as soon as possible. But this effort won't be very effective unless reporters begin changing how they frame their coverage.
The CDC just announced the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the U.S. because of six blood clots among seven million people vaccinated. If you're shaking your head trying to figure out why the CDC pulled a life-saving vaccine after a few adverse events so rare -- where you'd have a much greater risk from dying from crossing the street or getting into a car -- you are not alone. Is the U.S. shifting regulatory policy to the Precautionary Principle?
It remains a mystery to me why workers in “the business” of healthcare would be hesitant to be vaccinated. After all, they have high-risk exposure daily.
You would think that healthcare workers, those in “the business,” would be jumping at getting a COVID-19 vaccine – you would be wrong. Here are a few of the facts.
The day before Thanksgiving, "[t]he US reported more than 2,100 deaths in a single day [and] things are projected to get worse," especially with the December holidays plus New Year's coming up. We've got a season of merry-making ahead of us – which used to include family travel, vacations, and partying – all behaviors associated with COVID-19- spread. Things were looking gloomy – until three vaccine manufacturers recently reported promising and exciting vaccine trial results, which should be ready by spring. If we can just hang on till then, we'll be OK …., that is, if we can motivate the vaccine-hesitant.
Hearts don’t open and minds don’t change when you yell at people. Or berate them. Or chastise them. Not with vaccination, or any other medical intervention.
When what's absent in a story carries equal or more weight than what is actually reported, the damage goes beyond ratings. It undermines public health.
A new study analyzes U.S. vaccination rates in children, specifically focusing on nonmedical exemptions in states and counties. The recommendations, however, fall short of the realities of medical practice.
To get us closer to an answer to that question, consider this example: The American Academy of Pediatrics’ recent strategy that makes it acceptable for doctors – as a last resort – to refuse to allow families who decline vaccination to be a part of their practice.