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 sheer volume of vaccine and pandemic-related coverage is extraordinary. We will strive to present the most substantive analysis and commentary we encounter.

 

The Atlantic
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
[No new, unique, relevant content]

 

BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
[No new, unique, relevant content]

 

The Economist
http://www.economist.com/
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
The rule of six
More evidence emerges of India’s true death toll from covid-19
New surveys corroborate earlier estimates that the number is some six times higher
Asia Jun 12th 2021 edition

 

Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
G7’s vaccine pledge for poor nations branded inadequate by campaigners
Offer of 1bn jabs is not enough to close supply divide and stem pandemic’s spread, say critics
Michael Peel in Brussels, Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe in Cornwall and David Pilling in London
June 11, 2021
Top of Form
Bottom of Form

 

Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
Coronavirus   
Jun 11, 2021
A Pivot Point For Global Leadership On Covid-19
The United States has finally taken the lead in the global fight to control the Covid-19 pandemic and delivering vaccines to all those in need.
By William A. Haseltine Contributor

 

Foreign Affairs
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
Essay July/August 2021
The Forever Virus
Global herd immunity is now unreachable. How should governments’ strategy in the fight against COVID-19 change in response?
Larry Brilliant, Lisa Danzig, Karen Oppenheimer, Agastya Mondal, Rick Bright, and W. Ian Lipkin
It is time to say it out loud: the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic is not going away. SARS-CoV-2 cannot be eradicated, since it is already growing in more than a dozen different animal species. Among humans, global herd immunity, once promoted as a singular solution, is unreachable. Most countries simply don’t have enough vaccines to go around, and even in the lucky few with an ample supply, too many people are refusing to get the shot. As a result, the world will not reach the point where enough people are immune to stop the virus’s spread before the emergence of dangerous variants—ones that are more transmissible, vaccine resistant, and even able to evade current diagnostic tests. Such supervariants could bring the world back to square one. It might be 2020 all over again.
Rather than die out, the virus will likely ping-pong back and forth across the globe for years to come. Some of yesterday’s success stories are now vulnerable to serious outbreaks. Many of these are places that kept the pandemic at bay through tight border controls and excellent testing, tracing, and isolation but have been unable to acquire good vaccines. Witness Taiwan and Vietnam, which experienced impressively few deaths until May 2021, when, owing to a lack of vaccination, they faced a reversal of fortune. But even countries that have vaccinated large proportions of their populations will be vulnerable to outbreaks caused by certain variants. That is what appears to have happened in several hot spots in Chile, Mongolia, the Seychelles, and the United Kingdom. The virus is here to stay. The question is, What do we need to do to ensure that we are, too?…

 

Foreign Policy
http://foreignpolicy.com/
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
Vaccine Diplomacy Boosts China’s Standing in Latin America
Beijing has increased its leverage in the region—but Washington can still stage a comeback.
By Oliver Stuenkel, an associate professor of international relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo.
June 11, 2021, 9:17 AM

 

New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com/
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
Annals of Medicine
Heidi Larson, Vaccine Anthropologist
The world’s richest countries are now its most vaccine-hesitant. Can we learn to trust our shots before the next pandemic?
By Danielle Ofri June 12.2021

 

New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
World
F.D.A. details failures at a Baltimore plant that led to unusable vaccine doses.
The F.D.A. advised Johnson & Johnson on Friday that it should throw out the equivalent of 60 million doses produced at the Baltimore plant.
By Sharon LaFraniere June 12, 2021

World
Russia scrambles to contain a new surge, as most of its people appear to be avoiding the Sputnik vaccine.
Moscow’s mayor said the city’s situation had “sharply worsened” in the past week.
By Anton Troianovski June 12, 2021

Africa
Without a big boost, many African nations may not meet a vaccination goal.
The World Health Organization set a target that each country should be able to give shots to at least 10 percent of its people by September.
By Abdi Latif Dahir June 10, 2021

Opinion
Guest Essay
What I Learned in 33 Years at the C.D.C.
June 10, 2021

By Anne Schuchat
Dr. Schuchat is the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She’s retiring from the agency at the end of June after 33 years.

Nearly 15 years ago, during a ceremony in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Atlanta campus auditorium, I was promoted to rear admiral in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. My father, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, positioned my new gold epaulets on the shoulders of my service dress blue uniform while my mother, a cultural anthropologist, observed the ritual from the audience. I said to the people gathered, “Public service is a privilege. For me, it has also been a joy.” After 33 years, I’m retiring from the agency, and that’s the same message I would like to send to the American public.

My father, like many in his generation, enlisted in the U.S. Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Another call to national service, for another generation, followed President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address. My route to public service was more private and less intentional than those. I initially planned to apply my medical training to clinical practice. But the C.D.C.’s disease detective program — the Epidemic Intelligence Service — got me hooked on public health.

Public service is difficult. The past year and a half left many among our ranks exhausted, threatened, saddened and sometimes sidelined. The Covid-19 pandemic is not the first time the U.S. public health system has had to surge well beyond its capacity, but with the worst pandemic in a century and, initially, a heavily partisan political context, the virus collided with a system suffering from decades of underinvestment. A recent report from the National Academy of Medicine revealed that state and local public health departments have lost an estimated 66,000 jobs since around 2008.

With prior responses — including the hantavirus outbreak and bioterrorist anthrax, pandemic H1N1 influenza and the Ebola and Zika epidemics — the public health front line has been the little engine that could. For each of those responses, state and local public health departments absorbed the initial shock until emergency funding came through — and then repeatedly watched resources ebb as the crisis abated. Over the past few decades, public health experienced a progressive weakening of our core capacities while biomedical research and development accelerated into the future. With Covid-19, we were the little engine that couldn’t.

Infections, hospitalizations and deaths are declining in the United States, thanks to extraordinary vaccination efforts. These recent improvements might make it too easy to forget just how much we have collectively been through. But I hope that it has become clear to the nation and its policymakers that when we don’t invest in public health, everyone is vulnerable.

The nation’s public health system needs major upgrades. We need to modernize our data systems, enhance our laboratory capacities for detection and genomic sequencing of infectious threats like viruses and better integrate public health’s information and response efforts with clinical, commercial and academic sectors. America needs a renewed and expanded public health work force that reflects advanced skills as well as the diversity of the communities we serve.

The C.D.C. and public health departments are now receiving critical financial resources on an emergency basis. But these investments and improvements must be sustained. Long-term commitments to resources and innovation are essential. The Covid-19 pandemic will not be the last major threat our nation will face.
Public service is deeply meaningful. In my first several years at the C.D.C., I conducted surveillance and epidemiologic studies of an infection, group B strep, that harms newborns. It is passed to infants from women during childbirth. Although research during the 1980s identified the benefit of providing antibiotics to high-risk women during labor, the practice was not put in place. I spearheaded the C.D.C.’s efforts, leading to the 1995 meeting where we brought together obstetric and pediatric organizations as well as parents who had lost babies to the infection. In 1996, the C.D.C., the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics issued the first consensus guidelines that made prevention of group B strep a standard of care for the nation.

Because of this new practice standard and the updated guidance requiring prenatal group B strep screening of all women during pregnancy, over 100,000 of those life-threatening infections have been prevented. A generation of babies has been born since then, and public health efforts (not a new biomedical discovery) protected most of them from this condition. I was lucky early in my career to meet several parents whose personal losses reminded me why our work matters and how urgently our

Public service is also joyful. Ask the people who have been administering Covid-19 vaccinations what they feel as one recipient after another experiences the relief of getting an immunization that offers high-level protection and the promise of getting their lives back. The teams carrying out data analysis and field investigations and launching communication drives or laboratory studies have experienced the joy of knowing their collective efforts can achieve something none of them could do on their own.

I have experienced that kind of joy over and over — where my limited skills were complemented by team members with the full breadth of disciplines that public health requires — and where we eventually achieved so much progress. I felt this joy when, with the College of Medical and Allied Health Sciences in Sierra Leone, our team successfully carried out a clinical trial in Sierra Leone called STRIVE to introduce a vaccine to protect against Ebola during the devastating epidemic that began in 2014.

Public health successes usually take place out of the spotlight and under the radar, which for most of us in this field is just fine; victory often means preventing something bad from happening. If no one knows about it, that is often an indication of success. I was not a student athlete, though we have some superstars at the C.D.C. who were. Being part of the public health team provided the most cherished aspect of my 33 years at the C.D.C. We did not always win, but we always showed up. We celebrated one another’s efforts and remained humble in the face of threats to the public’s health, some opponents, like SARS-CoV-2, proving more devastating than others.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been as large a disrupter as a world war, and its effect on life expectancy exceeds any threat we have faced since the last “great” pandemic of 1918. Nevertheless, I hope this is also a moment when a new generation is called to action, to experience the difficulty and meaning and joy of public service. Our world needs you.

 

Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
Politics
The Latest: WHO chief says vaccine need outstrips G7 pledges
By Associated Press
June 12, 2021 at 3:25 p.m. EDT
FALMOUTH, England — The head of the World Health Organization has welcomed the vaccine-sharing announcements coming out of the Group of Seven summit but says “we need more, and we need them faster.”
“The challenge, I said to the G-7 leaders, was that to truly end the pandemic, our goal must be to vaccinate at least 70% of the world’s population by the time the G-7 meets again in Germany next year,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters Saturday at the summit in southwest England.
“To do that, we need 11 billion doses,” Tedros said, adding that it was “essential” for countries to temporarily waive intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the summit’s host, has said the group would pledge at least 1 billion doses, with half that number coming from the United States and 100 million from Britain over the next year.