Weekly Roundup
COVID-19 Vaccine Development, Policy, and Public Perception in the United States
People, Perceptions, and Polls
Under the surface: Covid-19 vaccine narratives, misinformation and data deficits on social media. This report details the narratives and trends unique to each language, as well as the overarching vaccine narratives that appeared across languages. In addition, we explore various features of information disorder related to vaccines, including tactics and key data deficits that are already being filled in with vaccine misinformation(First Draft News, 2/21)

COVID-19 Vaccine And The Black Community: A Tyler Perry Special. In the midst of a world health crisis, Perry sits down with top medical experts Carlos del Rio, MD Executive Associate Dean, Emory School of Medicine at Grady Health System, and Kimberly Dyan Manning, MD Professor of Medicine at Grady Health System to address the public's concerns and fears about the COVID-19 vaccine(Tyler Perry Studios, 1/28/21)

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Science communication in the Covid-19 era is a brave new world, for better and worse. It’s no longer just scientists disagreeing about the finer points of their field. Instead, the pandemic has substantially increased the number of non-scientists tuned in to these conversations. Megan Ranney, an emergency medicine physician and associate professor at Brown University, recently joined STAT’s podcast, “The Readout LOUD,” to discuss that issue and more(STAT, 1/29/21)
Dodger Stadium’s COVID-19 vaccination site temporarily shut down after protesters gather at entrance. Dodger Stadium’s mass COVID-19 vaccination site was temporarily shut down Saturday afternoon when about 50 protesters gathered at the entrance, frustrating hundreds of motorists who had been waiting in line for hours(Los Angeles Times, 1/30/21)

Only 38% of nursing home workers accepted COVID-19 vaccines, new data shows. Many raised concerns about vaccine side effects. Others said they didn't want to be among the first to receive the vaccines, which were first authorized in December. Some said they didn't trust the government, or referenced false claims about the shots(USA TODAY, 2/1/21)
COVID-19 from the Margins. Pandemic Invisibilities, Policies and Resistance in the Datafied Society. Featuring stories of invisibility, injustice, hope and resistance, this book gives voice to communities at the margins in the Global South and beyond. The multilingual, polycentric and pluriversal narration invites the reader to enact and experience “Big Data from the South(s)” as a decolonial lens to read the pandemic(Network Cultures, 2/21)
Research, Development, and Clinical Practice
Johnson & Johnson submits application for Covid-19 vaccine to FDA. J&J revealed in late January that its vaccine was 66% effective at preventing moderate and severe Covid infections, with moderate infections defined as a positive Covid test plus one symptom of serious illness (shortness of breath, a chest scan showing pneumonia) or two more mild symptoms, including fever, chills, loss of taste or smell, or muscle pain(STAT, 2/4/21)
Pregnant Women May Receive Covid Vaccines Safely, W.H.O. Says. The World Health Organization on Friday changed its advice for pregnant women considering a Covid-19 vaccine, abandoning language opposing immunization for most expectant mothers unless they were at high risk(New York Times, 1/29/21)

Comparing the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Earlier STAT published a head-to-head comparison of the vaccines developed by Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech, and by Moderna, which have been in use in the country since December. We’re updating it here with information about the J&J vaccine, with the caveat that some data from this likely new entry to the U.S. vaccination program haven’t yet been made public.(STAT, 2/2/21)

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Immunogenic BNT162b vaccines protect rhesus macaques from SARS-CoV-2. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine candidates protect macaques from SARS-CoV-2 challenge, with BNT162b2 protecting the lower respiratory tract from the presence of viral RNA and with no evidence of disease enhancement. (Nature, 2/1/21)
If You’ve Been Working from Home, Please Wait for Your Vaccine. If you, like me, are not medically compromised and have been working from home over the past year while drawing your full salary, you have two options. You can sit patiently until some institution calls you to get vaccinated. Or, you can proactively organize with other people to make sure your government is distributing vaccines equitably to people who need them the most, especially those who don’t have many advocates—such as the millions of people who are living in congregate care settings, in prisons, or tent cities in the U.S., and the billions of people living in poor countries around the world.(Scientific American, 2/2/21)
The Second COVID-19 Shot Is a Rude Reawakening for Immune Cells. Side effects are just a sign that protection is kicking in as it should(The Atlantic, 2/2/21)
The Folly of Hoarding Knowledge in the COVID-19 Age. Half of the planned 2021 supplies of the leading vaccine candidates have already been gobbled up by a small contingent of wealthy nations, including Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Together, these countries account for just 14 percent of the global population(Foreign Affairs, 1/29/21)

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‘It’s a mess’: Biden’s first 10 days dominated by vaccine mysteries. After a week on the job, Biden’s team is still trying to locate upwards of 20 million vaccine doses that have been sent to states — a mystery that has hampered plans to speed up the national vaccination effort. They're searching for new ways to boost production of a vaccine stockpile that they've discovered is mostly empty. And they're nervously eyeing a series of new Covid-19 strains that threaten to derail the response(Politico, 1/30/21)

Anthony Fauci: "Get Teachers Vaccinated as Quickly as We Possibly Can." In a town hall, hosted by the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, Fauci said there is “some light at the end of the tunnel” with the availability of effective vaccines, and that reopening school buildings is a critical part of the administration’s response to controlling the coronavirus pandemic(Education Week, 1/28/21)
President Biden Announces Increased Vaccine Supply, Initial Launch of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, and Expansion of FEMA Reimbursement to States. Starting on February 11, those eligible for the vaccine will have the opportunity to be vaccinated at select pharmacies across the country through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination. This program is a public-private partnership with 21 national pharmacy partners and networks of independent pharmacies representing over 40,000 pharmacy locations nationwide(The White House, 2/2/21)

DHS Statement on Equal Access to COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccine Distribution Sites. DHS and its Federal government partners fully support equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution sites for undocumented immigrants. It is a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine. DHS encourages all individuals, regardless of immigration status, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once eligible under local distribution guidelines(Department of Homeland Security, 2/1/21)
Coming Soon: The "Vaccine Passport." It isn’t just governments that are suggesting vaccine passports. In a few weeks, Etihad Airways and Emirates will start using a digital travel pass, developed by the International Air Transport Association, to help passengers manage their travel plans and provide airlines and governments documentation that they have been vaccinated or tested for Covid-19. (New York Times, 2/4/21)
Public Health Practice
Accelerating Digital Health To Achieve Equitable Delivery Of The COVID-19 Vaccine. With the advent of multiple vaccine options that have early evidence of high efficacy, a pressing question for policy makers is the role, if any, of digital health in delivering vaccines equitably. In this piece, we argue that digital health has the potential to facilitate a more widely distributed model of vaccine delivery that can help reach traditionally underserved populations(Health Affairs, 1/29/21)

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Essential workers get lost in the vaccine scrum as states prioritize the elderly. Delaying vaccinations for front-line workers, especially food and grocery workers, has stark consequences for communities of color disproportionately affected by the pandemic(Washington Post, 2/1/21)
Public Health Systems Still Aren’t Ready for the Next Pandemic. The chaotic execution of state and local vaccination programs is only the latest in a series of missteps by public health departments during the worst pandemic in more than a century. They include lackluster testing, contact tracing and data collection, and the failure to protect minority communities, which have borne the brunt of this disease(Pew Trusts, 1/27/21)
Back of the line: Chicago’s COVID-19 vaccine plan put polluted communities last. According to an analysis of data released by Chicago and the state of Illinois in January, residents in Little Village’s 60623 and 60608 ZIP codes are up to 15 times more likely to die from the coronavirus compared to their Near North Side and downtown counterparts. Yet they have received 20 percent fewer vaccinations than the city’s more affluent downtown communities(Grist, 2/1/21)
Rapid Implementation of a Vaccination Superstation. Teams were challenge to imagine, develop, and implement this concept with an urgency borne from the region’s deep need to administer COVID-19 vaccines to the local community after UC San Diego Health had already vaccinated more than 10,000 of its own health care workers over a 4-week period. Five days later, the teams opened the first large-scale vaccination site in California, and 2 weeks later more than 58,000 community members have been vaccinated. This Viewpoint describes lessons learned in this rapid implementation with the hope this experience will catalyze similar centers across the country at a time when COVID-19 has become a leading cause of death in some age groups(JAMA, 1/28/21)

This newsletter supports CommuniVax, a research coalition convened by the
Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Texas State University Department of Anthropology,
with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.