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News Too Real 5-26-21: Can America’s bubble stay intact while the world grapples with COVID-19?

By ONME Newswire

In this episode of News Too Real, with producer host, Julia Dudley Najieb, four experts give their best advice from a professional opinion of where the pandemic will lead next related to the COVID-19 virus's traveling pattern, the lack of vaccinations worldwide, herd immunity and the bubble.

The U.S. is experiencing a drop in new daily infection rates and deaths from the COVID-19 virus, even as the nation is unlikely to reach herd immunity. The question will be, can the United States maintain its protective bubble, even as much of the world experiences surges in COVID-19 infections and deaths.

During an Ethnic Media Services (EMS) briefing in early May, speakers addressed the necessity for vaccinating the world, why it is in America's best interests to do so, and the challenges of this enormous undertaking. This official CDC recommendation followed the FDA decision to authorize emergency use of this vaccine in 12- through 15-year-old adolescents, and is another important step to getting out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and closer to normalcy.

Dr. Lipsitch is a professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is on the editorial advisory boards/associate editor of PLoS Medicine, the Journal of Infectious Diseases, the American Journal of Epidemiology, Epidemiology, and Epidemics. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Pandemics, and he served on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Working Group on H1N1 Influenza.

Dr. Lipsitch explained the medical scientific concept of "herd immunity"; this would be a difficult task to reach in his professional opinion because children under 12 still remain unvaccinated, until further studies show a clearance for such age groups, as well as concerns with other disadvantaged groups who have yet to be vaccinated.

Dr. Rosane Guerra is at the Department of Pathology, Biological and Health

Sciences Center at the Federal University of Maranhao (UFMA), Brazil. At the time of the EMS briefing, only 17% of the Brazilian population had been vaccined; as of May 26, 2021, there have been over 452K COVID-19 related deaths on record. Dr. Guerra explained how the mixture of bad information and politics is causing grave danger for the Brazilian people who are greatly suffering due to the lack of access to vaccines.

Dr. Ben Neuman, chief virologist at the Global Health Research Complex at Texas A&M University, having joined the Department in 2021. He received his B.S. from the University of Toledo in Biology, his Ph.D. from the University of Reading (UK), and his Animal and Microbial Sciences Postdoctoral Research at the Scripps Research Institute, Virology.

Dr. Newman said they so far had studied 11 weeks worth of variant sequences; some factors are still yet to be known in regards to the variants and vaccination immunity length. Although the CDC guidelines suggest that people who are vaccinated can stop wearing masks, he recommended for safety precautions, and as they continue to experiment with the unknown, people should probably continue to wear mask in public places, even if they have been vaccinated. The known factor, according to Dr. Newman, is that people who are vaccinated, can still get COVID-19 symptoms and pass it along to others who are not vaccinated, continuing the cycle of possibly new variants and spreads..

Peter Maybarduk is director of Public Citizen's Access to Medicines Group. He helps partners around the world overcome high-price pharmaceutical monopolies. His work has yielded HIV/AIDS medicine price reductions, new state access to medicines policies and global shifts toward anti-counterfeiting policies that safeguard generic competition. He is a visiting fellow with the Information Society Program at Yale Law School.

Maybarduk said the projection estimates put out by vaccine manufacturers is not accurate; he is skeptical and feels that most of world will not be totally vaccinated until 2023.



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