Media/Policy Watch

Media/Policy Watch
This watch section is intended to alert readers to substantive news, analysis and opinion from the general media and selected think tanks and similar organizations on vaccines, immunization, global public health and related themes. Media Watch is not intended to be exhaustive, but indicative of themes and issues CVEP is actively tracking. This section will grow from an initial base of newspapers, magazines and blog sources, and is segregated from Journal Watch above which scans the peer-reviewed journal ecology.
We acknowledge the Western/Northern bias in this initial selection of titles and invite suggestions for expanded coverage. We are conservative in our outlook in adding news sources which largely report on primary content we are already covering above. Many electronic media sources have tiered, fee-based subscription models for access. We will provide full-text where content is published without restriction, but most publications require registration and some subscription level.

 

The Atlantic
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/
Accessed 2 Jan 2021
Ideas
Growing Old, Alone
Isolation has taken a tremendous emotional toll on many older Americans.
2 Jan 2021
Annie Lowrey
Staff writer at The Atlantic
As the country plunged into a deep and unusual economic recession last year, it also plunged into a deep and unusual social recession: atomizing families and friends, evaporating hours of laughter and care and touch.
This phenomenon hit nobody as hard as America’s seniors, who are much more likely than their younger counterparts to live in care facilities and many of whom have struggled to connect in a socially distanced or virtual fashion. The elderly bore the brunt of the pandemic’s fatalities: COVID-19 has killed nearly 250,000 people over the age of 65. They also bore the brunt of its isolation. Many older Americans spent months discriminated against, frightened, and alone…

 

BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/
Accessed 2 Jan 2021
Covid vaccine in Wales: Doctors’ concerns over 12-week vaccine gap
Health workers are “not certain that they are being adequately protected” with a longer gap between receiving two doses of the Covid vaccine, a doctors’ leader has said.
David Bailey, chairman of the British Medical Association in Wales, said morale had taken a “hit” as a result.
The Welsh Government said it was following advice on introducing a 12-week gap between doses.
All four chief medical officers in the UK have backed the move…

 

The Economist
http://www.economist.com/
Accessed 2 Jan 2021
Sputnik’s orbit
Argentina rolls out a Russian vaccine
The decision to use Sputnik V may have more to do with geopolitics than public health
Jan 2nd 2021 edition
On December 29th Argentina’s government unleashed Sputnik V across the country, issuing some 300,000 doses to all 23 provinces and the city of Buenos Aires. Elsewhere in Latin America, Mexico, Chile, and Costa Rica had been vaccinating on a small scale before the holiday with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. But Argentina, to quote a presidential adviser, “is leading the charge to inoculate all”.
Still, the cavalry has been met with doubts. Alberto Fernández, Argentina’s 61-year-old president, broke his promise to be the country’s first recipient, live on television, after Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, who is 68, said he would put off his jab because of his age. Then Mr Fernández’s government sidestepped the normal procedures of its medical regulatory agency, ANMAT, in authorising Sputnik V.
On the eve of the vaccine’s launch, ANMAT specialists leaked internal memos to the Argentine media, expressing concerns about “adverse effects” of Sputnik V on older patients in trials in Russia. Warnings of “symptoms like influenza” got front-page headlines, though these are common with many vaccines.
Unsurprisingly, Sputnik V has become a political football. Alfredo Cornejo, leader of the Radical party, alleged corruption, suggesting that officials’ demands for bribes had scuppered deals with other producers in Europe and the United States…

 

Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/
Accessed 2 Jan 2021
Coronavirus treatment
UK draws up plans to mix coronavirus vaccines
In event that first dose becomes unavailable people could be given second shot with different product
January 2, 2021
The UK has drawn up plans that would allow patients to be given different coronavirus vaccines for the first and second doses under certain circumstances, a move that highlights a widening rift in public health policy between the UK and rest of the West.
The government’s Green Book for vaccinations says “every effort” should be made to complete the immunisation course with the same vaccine. But it also says: “For individuals who started the schedule and who attend for vaccination at a site where the same vaccine is not available, or if the first product received is unknown, it is reasonable to offer one dose of the locally available product to complete the schedule.”
Health officials said this would only happen under very limited circumstances.
Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisations at PHE, said mixing Covid-19 vaccines was not recommended. “If your first dose is the Pfizer vaccine you should not be given the AstraZeneca vaccine for your second dose and vice versa.
“There may be extremely rare occasions where the same vaccine is not available, or where it is not known what vaccine the patient received,” Dr Ramsay said. “Every effort should be made to give them the same vaccine, but where this is not possible it is better to give a second dose of another vaccine than not at all…

Coronavirus pandemic
European leaders under pressure to speed up mass vaccination
Slow pace of immunisation criticised while jab makers warn of supply bottlenecks
January 1, 2021
Top of Form
Bottom of Form

Coronavirus treatment
Experts question UK decision on Covid vaccine dosing regimen
Health authorities argue that broader, if slightly lower, immunity for more people is needed
January 1, 2021

 

Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/
2 Jan 2020
Large Numbers Of Health Care And Frontline Workers Are Refusing Covid-19 Vaccine
Topline
Despite the Covid-19 death count in the United States rapidly accelerating, a startlingly high percentage of health care professionals and frontline workers throughout the country—who have been prioritized as early receipts of the coronavirus vaccine—are reportedly hesitant or outright refusing to take it, despite clear scientific evidence that the vaccines are safe and effective.
By Tommy Beer Forbes Staff

Coronavirus  |  
Dec 31, 2020
Trump Administration Has Reached Only 7% Of Its 2020 Covid-19 Vaccination Goals
Has Operation Warp Speed been Operation Too Slow Speed when it has come to getting people vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccines?
By Bruce Y. Lee Senior Contributor

 

Foreign Affairs
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/
Accessed 2 Jan 2021
Snapshot December 31, 2020
How U.S. Pandemic Restrictions Became a Constitutional Battlefield
After 100 Years, Public Health Controls Are Under Attack
John Fabian Witt and Kiki Manzur

Snapshot December 29, 2020
Vaccine Nationalism Will Prolong the Pandemic
A Global Problem Calls for Collective Action
Thomas J. Bollyky and Chad P. Bown

 

Foreign Policy
http://foreignpolicy.com/
Accessed 2 Jan 2021
Analysis
The World After the Coronavirus
As the pandemic enters a new phase, we asked 12 leading global thinkers to predict what happens in 2021 and beyond.
By John R. Allen, Laurie Garrett, Richard N. Haass, G. John Ikenberry, Kishore Mahbubani, Shivshankar Menon, Robin Niblett, Joseph S. Nye Jr., Shannon K. O’Neil, Kori Schake, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Stephen M. Walt
January 2, 2021, 6:00 AM

 

The Guardian
http://www.guardiannews.com/
Accessed 2 Jan 2021
[No new, unique, relevant content]

 

New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com/
Accessed 2 Jan 2021
Brazil death toll passes 195,000 in world’s third worst outbreak …
1 Jan 2021

India approves Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine | India | The …
1 Jan 2021
Country with second-highest number of infections has run vaccine drills to prepare for immunisation campaign.

 

New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/
Accessed 2 Jan 2021
World
Under fire, the Netherlands is speeding up the start of its lagging vaccination campaign.
The government said that shots would begin sooner than Jan. 8, and that it would announce the new start date on Monday.
By Thomas Erdbrink
Jan. 1, 2021

World
Israel has vaccinated more of its population, by far, than any other country in the world.
By Isabel Kershner
Jan. 1, 2021

Dr. Fauci advises against the British approach of delaying a second dose of vaccine.
Jan. 1, 2021
By Katherine J. Wu
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told CNN on Friday that the United States would not follow Britain’s lead in front-loading first vaccine injections, potentially delaying the administration of second doses.
Britain announced a plan this week to delay second shots of its two authorized vaccines, developed by Pfizer and AstraZeneca, in an attempt to dole out to more people the partial protection conferred by a single dose.
“I would not be in favor of that,” Dr. Fauci told CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen. “We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing.”…

World

The U.S. enters 2021 playing catch-up with its vaccine distribution, prompting sharp words from Mitt Romney.
Jan. 1, 2021
By Rebecca Robbins, Frances Robles and Tim Arango

U.S.
AstraZeneca and Sinopharm clear regulatory hurdles in a week of vaccine milestones.
By Katherine J. Wu

Health
U.S. Officials Say Covid-19 Vaccination Effort Has Lagged
“We know that it should be better, and we’re working hard to make it better,” said Moncef Slaoui, a leader of the federal effort to accelerate vaccine development and distribution.
By Rebecca Robbins
Dec. 30, 2020

 

Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/
Accessed 2 Jan 2021
How Vaccine Nationalism Could Extend the Pandemic’s Run
By James Paton | Bloomberg
Dec 26, 2020

Pope on COVID-19 vaccine: Needy, vulnerable must come first
Dec 25, 2020

Vaccine opponents outline online campaigns to sow distrust in coronavirus vaccine
The pandemic has catalyzed anti-vaccine advocates with huge social media followings, new report finds
Elizabeth Dwoskin · Technology · Dec 23, 2020