December 2020 Newsletter
The end of 2020 is near and words are not enough to describe it. In this issue our President’s insights on International day of persons with disabilities, highlights from the first VOSH Chapters symposium, how Californian ODs are working to be allowed to administer COVID-19 vaccinations and how you can help us with a matching fundraiser.
President's Insights
Each December 3rd, the United Nations observes the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. President Twelker reflects on how optometry plays an important role addressing visual impairment and also how we work with persons with disabilities. Read the whole article here.
First VOSH chapters Symposium is a success
The VOSH Chapters Relations Committee organised this online gathering to discuss our updated clinical guidelines and share information on our Mentorship Program. Dr Vicki Weiss, co-chair of the VOSH chapters Relations Committee commented that “It was exciting & fun to share ideas and start building more connections between Chapters during this first symposium. We are taking full advantage of Zoom enabling our Chapters across the U.S. and even overseas to share and exchange. I look forward to our second VOSH Chapter Symposium in late Spring. Watch the space for additional sessions on our special collaboration with Key Travel and strengthening our cultural competences skills”. You can access the recording of the session here.
And the winner is...
Thanks to all 7 enthusiastic US VOSH chapters that participated in the survey. After counting the entries, we are glad to announce that VOSH-Arizona is the winner of the portable phoropter with 15 complete entries. Congratulations!!!
We will be in touch with VOSH-AZ to send the prize.
California ODs push to administer COVID vaccines
To vaccinate the approximate 40 million California residents, assistance will be required. The statute in this US state already authorises certified optometrists to administer flu, shingles and pneumonia immunizations. The expansion of this scope of practise is the subject of this article of Review of Optometry. Read it here.
This time we need your help
This year has been extraordinary. Unable to organise humanitarian clinics, we focused on connecting, networking and preparing for the future. We are proud of the resilience of our chapters.

VOSH/International needs your help to raise $10,000 by end of December to match a generous donation from an anonymous benefactor. Please consider donating. Read more information here.
Webinar on Eye Health in China
IAPB and the National Committee for the Prevention of Blindness in China are hosting a webinar for the Global Launch of the White Paper on Eye Health in China to celebrate the successful conclusion of the 13th Five Year Plan and look ahead to the launch of the next Five Year Plan. More information here. 
Interesting publication on ocular symptoms related to COVID-19
A recent research published by the British Medical Journal of Ophthalmology highlights sore eyes as the most significant ocular symptom experienced by people with COVID-19 in a comparison between pre-COVID-19 and during COVID-19 states. While conjunctivitis has been reported in people suffering from COVID-19, many ocular symptoms associated with the term ‘conjunctivitis’ may be misleading. It is also unknown whether ocular symptoms were different in chronic sufferers of anterior eye diseases, when they were experienced or how long they lasted for compared with other COVID-19 symptoms. Read the paper here.