The COVID-19 pandemic has caused healthcare providers to change how they operate to continue to provide essential services to patients. Ensuring immunization services are maintained or reinitiated is essential for protecting individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks and reducing the burden of respiratory illness during the upcoming influenza season.
The following are a collection of federal resources designed to guide vaccine planning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read On
ASSEMBLY DEMOCRATS: DON’T FEAR DOCTOR’S OFFICE; GET CHILDREN VACCINATED ON SCHEDULE TO PROTECT THEIR HEALTH
Representatives Mosquera, Swain, Conaway & Jimenez Urge Parents to Take Children to Doctor’s Offices with Safety Protocols in Place for Important Childhood Vaccinations
(TRENTON) – In response to pediatricians and the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) reporting a drastic decline in the number of children receiving their vaccinations on schedule during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Assembly Women and Children Commitee, Gabriela Mosquera (D-Camden, Gloucester) and Lisa Swain (D-Bergen, Passaic), along with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, Herb Conaway (D-Burlington) and Angelica Jimenez (D-Bergen, Hudson), released the following joint statement:
“In addition to the coronavirus itself, this pandemic has posed another danger to the health and well-being of New Jersey children. Many parents who are understandably worried about their children contracting the virus have avoided taking their kids to the doctor’s office these past few months.
“While it was and still is important for residents to social distance as much as possible to limit the spread of COVID-19, receiving medical care has always been an essential need.
“Not only are parents allowed to leave the house to seek medical care for their children, but they are strongly encouraged to do so if that care cannot be provided through the use of telehealth. Vaccines are not something that can be administered remotely.
“We encourage parents not to fear the doctor’s office right now. Many have put protocols in place to help prevent uninfected children from contracting COVID-19 during their visit. Whether they stagger scheduling so fewer patients are in the office at any given time or even provide care outdoors, there are ways to limit the spread of the virus while still helping children.
“This pandemic has truly highlighted just how important vaccinations are. Though we haven’t yet developed a vaccine for COVID-19, access to one would have saved countless lives.
“What we do have are vaccines for other dangerous illnesses such as measles, meningitis and polio that children need to receive in order to be protected from serious health consequences.
“It’s important for both the well-being of your own child and other children in the community to make sure kids are getting their vaccinations on schedule – especially as daycare centers and camps prepare to reopen. We urge every parent who hasn’t already done so to get in touch with your doctor about how and when to proceed with your child’s vaccinations as soon as possible.”
Senior Catholic leaders in the United States and Canada, along with other antiabortion groups, are raising ethical objections to promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates that are manufactured using cells derived from human fetuses electively aborted decades ago. They have not sought to block government funding for the vaccines, which include two candidate vaccines that the Trump administration plans to support with an investment of up to $1.7 billion, as well as a third candidate made by a Chinese company in collaboration with Canada’s National Research Council (NRC). But they are urging funders and policymakers to ensure that companies develop other vaccines that do not rely on such human fetal cell lines and, in the United States, asking the government to “incentivize” firms to only make vaccines that don’t rely on fetal cells. Full article HERE.
Don’t skip vaccinations: 8 things pediatricians want parents to know during the coronavirus pandemic
In addition to missing appointments, children in the U.S. are also missing vaccines. The number of vaccines administered for diseases including measles, mumps, whooping cough and HPV each dropped by at least 40% during the week of April 5, compared to a week in February of this year, according to data from PCC, a Vermont-based company that develops electronic health records for pediatricians.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which represents 67,000 pediatricians across the U.S., is now sounding the alarm to remind parents that annual pediatrician visits, as well as visits for other issues like flu or cold symptoms, should not stop during the pandemic.
“It’s really critical for parents to remember that their pediatricians and pediatric sub-specialists are out there and available to take care of kids,” Sally Goza, AAP president and a practicing pediatrician in Fayetteville, Georgia, told “Good Morning America.” “We are available to see patients, and yet we know it’s a scary time for parents.” Full Story HERE.
Potential breakthrough in search for a coronavirus vaccine as an Australian treatment is tested on COVID-19 for the first time
Australia could be one step closer to a coronavirus vaccine breakthrough.
A new vaccine developed by University of Queensland researchers will soon be tested on the live virus for the first time in a biosecurity facility in the Netherlands.
The School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences team has joined forces with Dutch company Viroclinics Xplore to conduct pre-clinical studies to get a better understanding of how the vaccine performs before it’s tested on humans.
It comes as testing of another potential coronavirus vaccine began at the CSIRO lab in regional Victoria last week.
As a service organisation, we have committed to realigning our resources, equipment and materials to initiatives to test promising vaccines, anti-virals and immune modulators in the battle against COVID-19 and we have developed a number of preclinical models of COVID-19 infection,’ Viroclinics spokesperson Dr Koert Stittelaar said.
University researchers used rapid response technology from the Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to develop a vaccine, which took three weeks to produce.
The vaccine was developed usinng molecular clamp technology that locks the ‘spike’ protein into a shape which allows the immune system to be able to recognise and then neutralise the virus.
The researchers announced earlier this year it hopes to develop the vaccine within six months through its recently invented rapid response technology. Read More.
Abbott Laboratories is unveiling a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as five minutes, and is so small and portable it can be used in almost any health-care setting.
Public Health Reminder
Healthcare facilities and clinicians should prioritize urgent and emergency visits and procedures now and for the coming several weeks. The following actions can preserve staff, personal protective equipment, and patient care supplies; ensure staff and patient safety; and expand available hospital capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Delay all elective ambulatory provider visits
- Reschedule elective and non-urgent admissions
- Delay inpatient and outpatient elective surgical and procedural cases
- Postpone routine dental and eyecare visits
Tools and resourcesexternal icon exist as part of healthcare system preparedness plans and are often referred to as Pandemic Plans. Consult your state or local health department about specific plans for your community. More
Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.
If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider (doctor, physician assistant, etc.).
Certain people are at high risk of serious flu-related complications (including young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions). This is true both for seasonal flu and novel flu virus infections. (For a full list of people at high risk of flu-related complications, see People at High Risk of Developing Flu–Related Complications). If you are in a high risk group and develop flu symptoms, it’s best for you to contact your doctor early in your illness. Remind them about your high risk status for flu. CDC recommends that people at high risk for complications should get antiviral treatment as early as possible, because benefit is greatest if treatment is started within 2 days after illness onset. More.
Let us pray, now, for science. Pray for empiricism and for epidemiology and for vaccines. Pray for peer review and controlled double-blinds. For flu shots, herd immunity and washing your hands. Pray for reason, rigor and expertise. Pray for the precautionary principle. Pray for the N.I.H. and the C.D.C. Pray for the W.H.O.
And pray not just for science, but for scientists, too, as well as their colleagues in the application of science — the tireless health care workers, the whistle-blowing first responders, the rumpled, righteous public servants whose long-ignored warnings we will learn about only when the 12-part coronavirus docu-disaster series drops on Netflix. Wish them all well in the fights ahead. Their weapons, the weapons of science, are all we have left — perhaps the only true weapons our kind has ever marshaled against encroaching oblivion.
It may sound paradoxical to plead for divine sanction of scientific pursuit. But these are dicey times for science and for scientists, and they need all the help they can get. Read On.
So far this season,105 children have died from the flu, according to data released Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is the highest number of child flu deaths at this point in the season since the CDC started keeping records in 2004, except for the 2009 flu pandemic.
Flu leaves a 4-year-old girl blind in Iowa
Flu leaves a 4-year-old girl blind in Iowa
It has been an “unusual” flu season with a higher proportion of children and young adults affected than the older population, according to Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. More.
The National HPV Vaccination Roundtable (HPV Roundtable) is a coalition of public, private, and voluntary organizations and experts dedicated to reducing incidence of and mortality from HPV-associated cancer in the United States. Over 75 organizations have joined forces with the American Cancer Society to increase awareness, educate providers and the public, and implement systems changes. Together, Roundtable members are collaborating and leveraging opportunities to prevent cancer through HPV vaccination. Learn more.