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The Booster Bulletin: Your Weekly Dose of Immunization News

In our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot let down our guard against preventable childhood diseases. Now is the time to get every child back on track with recommended vaccines. It’s imperative to make sure our children are vaccinated on time throughout their childhood before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases such as rubella, polio, and cancers caused by HPV. Getting children back on track with recommended vaccines is safe, but there may be delays, as many children need to catch-up during this time. Now is the time: catch-up to get ahead on childhood immunizations.

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.

“When Does Flu Season Start In 2020? What You Need To Know, According To Experts” Romper (September 8, 2020)

If you’re wondering how COVID-19 is going to play out alongside the typical flu, you’re not alone. ‘This year’s flu season will be compounded by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and that is why it’s even more important to get your flu shot, for everyone 6 months and older,’ Dr. Syra Madad, a pathogen preparedness expert and infectious disease epidemiologist, tells Romper in an email. ‘This year’s flu vaccine strains have been updated to better match this flu seasons potentially circulating viruses.’

“Mom-to-be's Flu Shot Doesn't Raise Autism Risk” U.S. New and World Report (September 1, 2020)

Pregnant women are understandably worried about everything that goes into their bodies. Here is one worry they can cross off that list: flu shots. A large, new study has confirmed that an expectant woman's flu shot does not increase the risk of autism in her child, and that is true even if the vaccine is given during the first trimester of pregnancy, the Swedish study found. ‘The flu vaccine is safe during pregnancy. This study, as well as many others, have consistently shown that flu vaccine is safe,’ noted vaccine expert Dr. Paul Offit. He is director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and was not involved in the current research.

Editorial: “Go get a flu shot. It’s your patriotic duty” Star-Ledger (NJ) (September 2, 2020)

Here’s a more productive way to fight a deadly virus, than obsessively hoarding hand sanitizer: Go get your flu shot. Because what’s even worse than having COVID-19? Having both COVID and the flu, at the same time. Yet while we ritualistically wipe down every doorknob, how many of us didn’t even bother to get the flu shot last year? This time around, it is your patriotic duty – not just for yourself, but for the general fight against COVID, and the threat of a resurgence this winter.

“Learn Why Some Kids Need 2 Doses of the Flu Vaccine” News4Jax (September 9, 2020)

During the last two flu seasons, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tracked the highest number of pediatric flu-related deaths since the agency began tracking them in 2004. In fact, 187 children nationwide died from complications associated with the flu during the 2019-2020 season, while 188 children died of the same causes the year before that. This year, doctors are expressing concerns about what they’re calling a ‘twindemic’ in light of COVID-19. Chad Neilsen, an epidemiologist for UF Health Jacksonville, said families shouldn’t get too comfortable because there are two tests to pass this school year.

“Vaccines 101: Everything to Know While Waiting for the COVID-19 Vaccine” Healthline (September 8, 2020)

Vaccines have been protecting people from diseases such as polio, smallpox, and measles for decades, but scientists are now developing vaccines that might work against the viruses that cause HIV, Zika, and most recently COVID-19...They train the body’s immune system to respond to an invading microbe, even one that it’s never encountered before. Many vaccines are designed to prevent disease rather than treat an active infection. However, scientists are working on therapeutic vaccines that could be used to treat an illness after you have it. With all eyes focused on a potential vaccine for COVID-19, here is an overview of how vaccines work and the different types of vaccines that are currently used or under development.

"The sprint to create a COVID-19 vaccine started in January. The finish line awaits." USA Today (September 11, 2020)

Drug developers confronting the coronavirus pandemic are fueled by coffee, competitiveness and a chance to protect the world. For nine months now, researchers around the world have been racing to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, which on its deadliest day in the U.S. killed nearly as many people as died on 9/11, 19 years ago today.

Opinion: “Free the FDA and the CDC from political pressure” CNN (September 4, 2020)

We have a problem. Recent developments have caused concern among scientists and experts over the independence of both the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration…At an immediate level, there is a bill before Congress, the SAVE Act, which would, among other things, codify the role of advisory expert committees -- not vulnerable to political manipulation -- in decisions related to the vaccine, and increase transparency.

"With science and scripture, a Baltimore pastor is fighting Covid-19 vaccine skepticism” STAT (August 31, 2020)

Terris King is finally back at Liberty Grace Church of God, surrounded by its familiar wood-paneled walls and red pulpit. This time, he’s speaking straight into a camera, facing rows of empty pews. As a pastor in a church in the area of Baltimore hit hardest by Covid-19, King knows his decision to keep services remote is the right one, even if it’s unpopular…King is hoping he can combat that skepticism the same way he’s convinced his congregants to wear masks and stay home when they can — through his weekly sermons. And he’s hoping to take those teachings national. He’s already working alongside both academic and religious institutions in Baltimore and beyond to broaden his reach before a potential vaccine is approved.

"Moderna slows coronavirus vaccine trial enrollment to ensure minority representation, CEO says” CNBC (September 4, 2020)

Moderna, one of the developers in the lead for a vaccine to prevent Covid-19, is slowing enrollment slightly in its large clinical trial to ensure it has sufficient representation of minorities most at risk for the disease, its chief executive said. The trial is designed to enroll 30,000 people in the U.S. to prove the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. As of Aug. 28, it had enrolled 17,458, 24% of whom are from communities of color.

Opinion: “Believers need to be as prepared for a Covid-19 vaccine as anti-vaxxers are against it” STAT (September 9, 2020)

In the fractious public dialogue about Covid-19, one point of unity stands out: An effective vaccine is what’s needed to stop, or at least control, the pandemic. The anti-vaccine movement could derail that solution. To stop Covid-19, many people — most people, really — would need to have either survived infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease, or been vaccinated against it. By sowing the seeds of doubt and denial, anti-vaxxers could influence many people not to get a vaccine, allowing the virus to persist and be persistently infective.

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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