Weekly Roundup
COVID-19 Vaccine Development, Policy, and Public Perception in the United States
CommuniVax Corner

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our latest report, "Carrying Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination Forward: Guidance Informed by Communities of Color," and view our rollout webinar here.

Some media updates from our local teams:

  • NPR & Boise State Public Radio News recently covered the Idaho CommuniVax team's efforts in Aberdeen and American Falls, ID. Read the story here.

  • The Daily Aztec published a piece about the San Diego team's research efforts and findings, as well as the latest CommuniVax report. Read the story here. More details about the team's work are available from San Diego State University's news center.

People, Perceptions, and Polls
Americans are sharply divided over vaccine mandates, CNBC survey shows. The poll of 802 Americans taken from July 24-28 found 49% favoring vaccine mandates and 46% opposing — a difference that's within the survey's 3.5 percentage point margin of error. Five percent said they were unsure. (CNBC, 8/4/21)

We Can Do This: Live with Tenoch Huerta and Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable. Get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines and make the best decisions to protect you, your family, and your community. Watch the full conversation between Tenoch Huerta and Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable on the importance of the COVID-19 vaccines. Visit vaccines.gov (English) or Vacunas.gov (Spanish) to search and find vaccines near you(HHS, 8/2/21)
Young People Do Not Need Shaming to Get Vaccinated. “While considered a monolithic group, young adults’ experiences are shaped by inequality which manifests as differentially distributed resources leading to disparate experiences,” said Dalal Katsiaficas, an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago(New York Times, 8/5/21)
People, Politics & Drinks. Getting a vaccine for COVID is an increasingly urgent conversation during the global pandemic. Hear from anthropologist Dr. Elisa (EJ) Sobo and assistant professor Dr. Timothy Callaghan as they discuss their experience with vaccine hesitancy in an increasingly tumultuous political climate during a global pandemic. This conversation will take place on Tuesday, August 10, 5-6 PM PDT. (Women's March Action, 8/21)
Families of men in notorious syphilis study speak up for vaccination A short-form documentary featuring the descendants of the men involved in the U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee sets the record straight on what happened, what has changed and what current generations can learn from the experience to build confidence in public health within Black communities, especially as it relates to the COVID-19 vaccines. (American Medical Association, 7/23/21)
How Local Media Spreads Misinformation From Vaccine Skeptics. Facebook and other social platforms have in recent weeks attracted attention for vaccine misinformation, as Covid cases surge from the infectious Delta variant and vaccination rates slow. But The Freedom’s Phoenix and The Atlanta Business Journal are two small publications — along with dozens of radio and television stations, and podcasts aimed at local audiences — that have also become powerful conduits for anti-vaccine messaging(New York Times, 8/1/21)
The 4 main fault lines that divide the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. “The most obvious and blatant, and the one I’ve got the most attention for, is the partisan link,” said Charles Gaba, a health care data analyst who has made several charts tracking vaccination that have been widely shared across social media. But there are other fault lines as well. “There have really been persistent gaps between white people compared to Black and Hispanic people, with Black and Hispanic rates lagging behind pretty consistently across states,” said Samantha Artiga, vice president and director of racial equity and health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation(Vox, 7/29/21)
A Student’s Perspective: Universities Must Require Vaccination. Colleges play a central role in promoting upward mobility and fostering economic equality through education. As we think about the consequences of potentially sending students home a second time as a consequence of a new outbreak, we need to recognize the ways in which the pandemic has exacerbated inequalities especially for the most marginalized of students, including Indigenous, people of color, and low-income students(The Hastings Center, 7/30/21)
Public Health Practice
US vaccination rate hits the highest pace in weeks. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Sunday that 816,203 additional doses were administered, the fifth straight day the agency recorded more than 700,000 shots in arms. That brings the total number of doses administered to 346,456,669, according to the CDC numbers released Sunday. (CNN, 8/2/21)

See also:
Understanding Diverse Communities and Supporting Equitable and Informed COVID-19 Vaccination Decision-Making. This project, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Horizon Foundation, is focused on how public health and other stakeholders can best understand and support decision-making as individuals consider if and under what conditions COVID-19 vaccination is right for them(NACCHO, ASTHO, AIM, National Indian Health Board, Institute for Vaccine Safety, 8/21)
Achieving Racial and Ethnic Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination. Achieving racial and ethnic equity in COVID-19 vaccination requires both individual and health system readiness. Individuals must be ready to get vaccinated, and systems administering vaccines must be ready to reach historically marginalized populations to ensure equitable access. Readiness is often viewed as a static proposition. Individuals are characterized as being either vaccine willing or hesitant, systems as prepared or unprepared. Our work with community members, patients, public health departments, and health care organizations has led us to conclude that for both individuals and systems, vaccination readiness is a dynamic and deliberative process(JAMA, 7/30/21)
People chasing Covid-19 vaccine boosters create headaches for the health care system Some anxious patients are nonetheless trying to get them — either by asking a health care provider willing to prescribe an extra shot, or by lying about their earlier vaccination. That puts the onus on hospital systems to make prescribing policies, on vaccination sites to check people’s vaccine records, and insurers to decide whether they will cover vaccines outside of the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization(STAT, 8/3/21)

See also:
We found a way to vaccinate way more people: All it took was a block party. The block party model of public health work is not new. Historically block parties have cultivated community bonding, identity and solidarity, especially in low-income and urban neighborhoods. Designed as by-the-community, for-the-community spaces, block parties have been particularly effective vectors for public engagement efforts for everything from violence prevention to voter registration(Washington Post, 8/5/21)

Guidance for Implementing COVID-19 Prevention Strategies in the Context of Varying Community Transmission Levels and Vaccination Coverage. Given the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, local decision-makers should assess the following factors to inform the need for layered prevention strategies across a range of settings: level of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission, health system capacity, vaccination coverage, capacity for early detection of increases in COVID-19 cases, and populations at risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19(MMWR, 7/27/21)
Law, Policy, and Politics
President Biden Announces Major Milestone in Administration’s Global Vaccination Efforts: More Than 100 Million U.S. COVID-⁠19 Vaccine Doses Donated and Shipped Abroad. These more than 110 million doses – that are already saving lives around the world – are just the beginning of the Administration’s efforts to provide vaccines to the world. Starting at the end of this month, the Administration will begin shipping a half a billion Pfizer doses that the United States has pledged to purchase and donate to 100 low- income countries in need(White House, 8/3/21)
Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement. While labor groups representing government employees have urged their members to get vaccinated, most of the leading public sector unions either oppose the vaccine requirement or say it must first be negotiated. (The Hill, 7/31/21)

See also:
Bill De Blasio Is Somehow Bolder Than Biden on Vaccines. Since Biden refuses to do more, de Blasio—the same person who ran for president and could not garner any support, and botched his coronavirus response—could become a model for cities and states throughout America to follow. Imagine if we could sit down to dine, go to the gym, or see a movie or concert knowing that everyone around us is fully vaccinated. That would allow Americans to feel safe and secure. Rather than infringe on freedom, it would enhance it(Daily Beast, 8/4/21)

See also:
Federation of State Medical Boards: Spreading COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation May Put Medical License at Risk. Due to their specialized knowledge and training, licensed physicians possess a high degree of public trust and therefore have a powerful platform in society, whether they recognize it or not. They also have an ethical and professional responsibility to practice medicine in the best interests of their patients and must share information that is factual, scientifically grounded and consensus-driven for the betterment of public health. Spreading inaccurate COVID-19 vaccine information contradicts that responsibility, threatens to further erode public trust in the medical profession and puts all patients at risk(FSMB, 7/29/21)
Research, Development, and Clinical Practice
FDA, under pressure, plans ‘sprint’ to accelerate review of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for full approval. Under heavy pressure, the Food and Drug Administration center that reviews vaccines is planning to deprioritize some of its existing work, like meetings with drug sponsors and plant inspections, in an effort to accelerate its review of Pfizer’s application for the formal approval of its Covid-19 vaccine(STAT, 7/30/21)
COVID-19 Vaccine Safety in Adolescents Aged 12–17 Years — United States, December 14, 2020–July 16, 2021. Local and systemic reactions after vaccination with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were commonly reported by adolescents aged 12–17 years to U.S. vaccine safety monitoring systems, especially after dose 2. A small proportion of these reactions are consistent with myocarditis. (MMWR, 8/6/27)
Moderna says its Covid vaccine booster produced ‘robust’ immune response against delta. In a phase two trial, Moderna is testing a 50-microgram dose of three vaccine booster candidates in previously vaccinated individuals. The booster shots produced a promising immune response against three variants, including delta, with antibody levels approaching those seen in previously unvaccinated people who received two 100-microgram doses, the company said(CNBC, 8/5/21)

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 and The Rockefeller Foundation.