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The Booster Bulletin: Your Dose of Immunization News

We’re committed to sharing news and information from local and national media about COVID-19, available vaccines, and immunization-related topics. Each edition we’ll review clips from across the U.S., from various news outlets and platforms, and bring you ten timely and relevant links.

This week: Q&A about COVID-19 Vaccines in Nevada; reminders of routine childhood immunizations; initial COVID-19 vaccine safety data; personal experiences of those getting vaccinated; vaccine myths; and watch out for phishing scams. Thanks for reading!

Bookmark this page: "Indy Q+A: When can I expect to receive the COVID-19 vaccine? Who is getting vaccinated now? Is it safe?" The Nevada Independent (January 13th, 2021)
All answers are based on interviews with state and local immunization officials and health care workers and publicly available resources from the state of Nevada, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. This article will be updated as more information on the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available. It was last updated on: Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 at 10:01 a.m.

"The Indy Explains: Why Nevada ranks at the bottom for COVID-19 vaccine doses received, given"  The Nevada Independent (January 26th, 2021)
Nevada has earned a reputation over the years for ranking at the bottom of all the wrong health care lists. But Nevadans have grown increasingly frustrated over the past few days at the fact that the Silver State is both receiving and administering fewer doses per capita than almost every other state in the nation. Nevada ranks second to last for doses received and third to last for shots given per 100,000 residents, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nevada does slightly better when it comes to doses administered as a percentage of doses it has received — ranking 28th — though that number is still only a little more than 55 percent. So, where are the remaining 45 percent of vaccines? 

“In Midst of Pandemic, Fear of Measles Comeback” Medical Daily (January 28, 2021)
Experts are warning that another public health crisis is brewing in this country. Fewer children have been receiving their routine vaccines in 2020, enough so that a possible outbreak, namely of measles, could result. ‘What we fear is having an epidemic within the pandemic,’ explained Angela Shen, ScD, MPH, 'you don't want to have a micro-epidemic of measles [in] the backdrop of the current Covid pandemic.' Dr. Shen is a visiting researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with a background in public health at the CDC and FDA.

“4 Steps Parents Can Take to Protect Their Child’s Immunity Right Now” Stanford Children’s Health (January 28, 2021)
The best thing that parents can do for their child’s immunity is to stick to their immunization schedule: Diphtheria, pertussis, several strains of bacterial pneumonia, rotavirus, meningitis, measles, mumps, and rubella can be harmful and even life-threatening for children. The good news is that these diseases are preventable with routine vaccinations.

“The First 22m Americans Have Been Vaccinated for COVID-19, and Initial Safety Data Shows Everything is Going Well, CDC Says” USA Today (January 28, 2021)
Early safety data from the first month of COVID-19 vaccination finds the shots are as safe as the studies suggested they'd be. Everyone who experienced an allergic response has been treated successfully, and no other serious problems have turned up among the first 22 million people vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The Son of Polio Vaccine Creator Jonas Salk Got the COVID-19 Vaccine. He Wants You to Do It, Too” CNN Health (January 27, 2021)
He had been in a similar situation about 60 years ago. The 73-year-old retired doctor and geneticist living in Seattle remembered waiting in line at school with his classmates for a different vaccine––it was the polio vaccine, which his father, Dr. Jonas Salk, developed.

“With Little Data to Guide Them, Pregnant Health Care Workers Are Stepping up to Get Vaccinated against COVID-19” TIME (January 21, 2021)
Pregnant people have historically been considered a ‘vulnerable” population—a designation also applied to groups, such as children and the incarcerated, who may be coerced into participating in research. OB/GYN and author Dr. Jen Gunter says that label was never appropriate for pregnant people, who are 'more medically complex, for sure,’ but are perfectly capable of deciding whether or not to enroll in a study.

“I'm a Black Doctor Who Didn't Trust the COVID Vaccine. Here's What Changed My Mind.” NBC (January 22, 2021)
I reflected on this complex relationship between racism and mistrust as I considered whether to take the Covid-19 vaccine. As an emergency medicine physician with regular exposure to Covid-19 patients, I knew I would be prioritized for vaccination. However, for many months, I was decidedly and definitely against being among the first to get the shot. Instead, I planned to wait and see how others did with the vaccine. I suppose I am wary of the very system to which I have dedicated nearly two decades of my career.

Opinion: “The False Rumors About Vaccines That Are Scaring Women” New York Times (January 26, 2021)
We empathize with the fear stemming from a lack of data. Many women are being bombarded with social media posts that falsely claimthat coronavirus vaccines cause infertility. They do not want to take chances. These women need reassurance of the benefits of getting vaccinated, and they need clear explanations of why declining the vaccine would be a bigger gamble.

“Anti-Vaccine Activists Peddle Theories that COVID Shots are Deadly, Undermining Vaccination” KHN (January 25, 2021)
Anti-vaccine groups are exploiting the suffering and death of people who happen to fall ill after receiving a covid shot, threatening to undermine the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history… Now, the same groups are blaming patients’ coincidental medical problems on covid shots, even when it’s clear that age or underlying health conditions are to blame, Hotez said. ‘They will sensationalize anything that happens after someone gets a vaccine and attribute it to the vaccine,’ Hotez said.

“Phishing Scams Use the Promise of COVID-19 Vaccines to Trick You” CNET (January 23, 2021)
As we all hope for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, many people are understandably focused on the COVID-19 vaccine. Scammers know that. And while you're dreaming about hugging loved ones, going to concerts or just feeling safe inside a grocery store, they're busy crafting vaccine-related phishing campaigns to trick you into handing over personal information, money or access to your device.

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