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The Booster Bulletin: Your Weekly Dose of Immunization News

Have you received a call from a contact tracer? Contact tracing is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and helps keep you, your family, and your community safe. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease (cases) and people who they came in contact with (contacts) and working with them to interrupt disease spread. This includes asking people with COVID-19 to isolate and their contacts to quarantine at home voluntarily. Nevada’s contact tracers will walk you through all the steps you need to take if you’ve been exposed and can connect you to additional resources.

During this pandemic, we remain committed to sharing news and information from local and national media about COVID-19 and immunization-related topics. Each week we’ll continue to review clips from across the U.S., from various news outlets and platforms, and bring you ten timely and relevant links.

“Coronavirus contextualized, 15th edition: Exploring, through data, COVID-19 in Nevada and beyondThe Nevada Independent  (July 17, 2020)

Welcome to the 15th installment of “Coronavirus Contextualized,” a recurring feature in which we explore some of the numbers swirling around in the time of coronavirus. Through these stories, we hope to parse the numbers, including confirmed cases of COVID-19, people tested, number of hospitalizations and deaths, and provide some context to them. You can view the prior editions of “Coronavirus Contextualized” here on our coronavirus page.

“Survey: Most VFC providers open, offering vaccinations” American Academy Of Pediatrics (July 9, 2020)

As schools consider re-entry, a new survey found many pediatric practices are open and offering vaccinations children may have delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Resumption of vaccination activities is critical to protecting children and adolescents from vaccine-preventable diseases as well as to preventing outbreaks,’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers wrote in a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Opinion: “Amid rush for COVID-19 vaccine, preventable childhood disease risks grow” The Hill (July 15, 2020)

Ava is four years old and can't catch her breath. Without a vaccine, 1 in 5 children like her are hospitalized; 1 in 20 have pneumonia, and 2 in 1,000 die from swelling of the brain or respiratory failure. I am not describing an infection with SARS-CoV-2 or the vaccine we are seeking, but another highly-contagious respiratory virus with a preventative vaccine that has already helped contain the disease's spread. Ava has measles.

“'We know it's coming' | What virus expert has learned about influenza versus COVID-19” ABC 10 (July 15, 2020)

There's still a lot we don't know about COVID-19 and scientists around the world are studying it and monitoring the novel coronavirus. One of those experts is Assistant Professor Samuel Díaz-Muñoz in UC Davis' Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics who studies the social lives of viruses. ‘Viruses frequently affect the same host,’ said Díaz-Muñoz. When different viruses meet in your body, they may learn, morph and exchange genes to mutate create a new strain. This is part of the reason there's a new and different flu vaccine every year.

“CDC director predicts this fall and winter will be 'one of the most difficult times we've experienced in American public health'” MSN (July 14, 2020)

Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Tuesday that he's worried about the co-occurrence of coronavirus infections and influenza cases starting in the fall. ‘I do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we've experienced in American public health,’ Redfield said during a webinar with the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“Anatomy of a COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory” NPR (July 10, 2020)

Conspiracy theories need just the right ingredients to take off within a population, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been a breeding ground for them. A Pew Research Center survey recently asked people if they had heard the theory that the COVID-19 outbreak was intentionally planned by people in power. Seventy-one percent of U.S. adults said they had. And a third of those respondents said it was ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ true.

“How to differentiate coronavirus vaccine news from hype” Salon (July 12, 2020)

Every week since the start of the pandemic has brought new headlines about a coronavirus vaccine. In early June, there was news about human trials starting for a Johnson & Johnson vaccine; also in June, a vaccine made by Moderna was supposedly reaching ‘phase 3 trials,’ the last phase in a drug development before government approval. Just this week, Novavax, a vaccine development company headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, made news headlines for inking a $1.6 billion public-private agreement as part of the Health and Human Services' Operation Warp Speed, which aims to deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines in 2021 in a collaborative effort with the private sector.

Officials gird for a war on vaccine misinformation” Science Magazine (July 3, 2020)

Within days of the first confirmed novel coronavirus case in the United States on 20 January, antivaccine activists were already hinting on Twitter that the virus was a scam—part of a plot to profit from an eventual vaccine…But the most effective tools may lie outside the digital realm. Real-world nudges and infrastructure, such as phone call reminders to come in for a shot, may be more powerful than any social media campaign, Brewer says. Social media doesn't have ‘as much of an effect as you would imagine from the noise it's generating,’ he adds.

“Are anti-maskers the new anti-vaxxers? How a piece of cloth in the pandemic became so politicized”  National Post  (July 7, 2020)

The world, as usual, seems starkly polarized. Some people see mandatory masks as a sign that we are all in this together. Others see them as communist propaganda prioritizing collective good over individual rights.

"How quickly will there be a vaccine? And what if people refuse to get it?"   The Guardian (July 16, 2020)

Experts are hopeful a coronavirus vaccine could be released early next year – but that doesn’t mean things will return to normal. 

“Politico – From anti-vax to anti-mask: School districts brace for parent resistance”  Politico (July 2, 2020)

The same parents who loudly opposed school vaccine requirements in Sacramento last year are turning their attention to mask recommendations that districts are considering as they figure out how to send kids back to the classroom in the middle of a pandemic. The anti-vaccine movement has seized on mask orders and stay-at-home restrictions as similar infringements on their bodily autonomy and constitutional rights. Those arguments could complicate matters when school returns in the fall, as activists become a vocal force in opposing new mandates on student facial coverings and other preventative efforts.

Prepare, Don’t Panic. To inform Nevadans statewide, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Governor's Office have created this website to better share information and resources as it pertains to the current status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact within the state of Nevada.

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