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The Booster Bulletin: Your Weekly Dose of Immunization News

Fall means foliage and, unfortunately, flu.
 This year, the double-whammy of the seasonal respiratory ailment and a predicted second wave of COVID-19 has infectious disease experts urging Americans to rally against quarantine fatigue, maintain safe practices and get a flu shot.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, people need to “hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it’s not going to be easy.”  Because the flu shot takes two to three weeks to be effective, said Keith Grant, HHC’s senior system director of infection prevention, it’s time to plan to get one. “We start to see the beginnings of influenza in October,” he said, “so I would advise, especially people who have any level of vulnerability, to get vaccinated as soon as possible. It’s available in the community. There are statistics that show these are good times to take it and I would.”

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.

"Gov. Sisolak signs emergency regulation to support immunization efforts" KTNV (September 14, 2020)

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an emergency regulation on Monday to support widespread immunization efforts to help Nevada prepare for a potential COVID-19 vaccine. The regulation, approved and requested by the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy, authorizes pharmaceutical technicians with appropriate training to administer immunizations under the direct supervision of a pharmacist.

"Preparing for the Worst, Health Agencies Mount Unprecedented Flu Shot Drives" Stateline, PEW Charitable Trusts (September 10, 2020)

Armed with 9 million free flu shots acquired by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this year — compared with 500,000 free shots in a typical year — and $140 million in additional flu vaccination funding from Congress, states are taking extraordinary measures to get people inoculated.

"How Flu Shots Can Help in the Fight Against Covid-19" The New York Times (September 14, 2020)

Experts worry that the two diseases could overwhelm the health care system and create a new shortage of hospital beds and personal protective equipment.

"Yes, you can have Covid-19 and the flu at the same time. Here's what that could do to your body" CNN (September 11, 2020)

As doctors worry about a coronavirus-and-flu "twin-demic" that could overwhelm the health care system, Americans must contend with another possibility: fighting both viruses at the same time. "You can certainly get both the flu and Covid-19 at the same time, which could be catastrophic to your immune system," said Dr. Adrian Burrowes, a family medicine physician in Florida.

“USA Today's Expert Panel Sees Steady Progress toward a Safe and Effective COVID Vaccine, Urge Public's Patience as Trials Proceed and Data Comes In” USA Today (September 17, 2020)

They know the country longs for normalcy, which widespread use of a vaccine that makes the majority of Americans immune to COVID-19 can bring. But they remind us a viable vaccine can come only when there’s solid, verifiable and freely accessible research results showing it works and helps more than harms.

"The Atlantic – Herd Immunity Is Not a Strategy" (September 2, 2020)

Herd immunity is an important public-health concept, developed and used to guide vaccination policy. It involves a calculation of the percentage of people in a population who would need to achieve immunity in order to prevent an outbreak. The same concept offers little such guidance during an ongoing pandemic without a vaccine. If it were a military strategy, it would mean letting the enemy tear through you until they stop because there’s no one left to attack.

"Minorities much more likely than white people to test positive for COVID – study"  The Guardian (September 16, 2020)

People of colour are significantly more likely than white people to test positive for Covid-19 – and are at higher risk of hospitalisation and death when they are diagnosed – according to a new study that lays bare the racial disparities among millions of coronavirus patients across America.

“Some Pediatricians Refuse to Treat Kids if Parents Reject Vaccines, Study Finds” CNN (September 15, 2020)

More than half of pediatricians' offices in the United States included in a new study published in the medical journal JAMA reported having a dismissal policy for families who refuse to vaccinate their children. Some physicians say this house policy is a way to encourage parents to vaccinate their children, while many also use it as a safeguard against unvaccinated kids who might endanger their other patients.

"10 Facts about the Way Vaccines Are Made, How They Work, and Why They Save Lives” Prevention (September 13, 2020) 

With high hopes that a vaccine against COVID-19 will be available soon—and a small but vocal group of vaccine skeptics expressing doubts about the safety of vaccines in general—Prevention wanted to be sure our readers are well-informed. Check out these 10 facts about the way vaccines are made, how they work, and why they save lives.

"Vaccines more essential than ever during COVID-19 pandemic | Aryel" RGJ (September 2, 2020)

This year, it is essential that we all work together to get our children, and ourselves, vaccinated. First, understand taking your child, and yourself, to the doctor or to a vaccine clinic is safe and the vaccines can save your child’s life as well as your own, and those of the people around you. Make sure your child receives every single shot on the CDC’s schedule on time. Set the proper example for your children by being vaccinated yourself.

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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