- In today’s Recommendations for Industry, we discuss the current status of vaccinations across the U.S. and the importance of education. Read more below.
- The New York Times discusses vaccine alarmism that addresses the conflicting messages that “may be dissuading people from getting vaccinated.” According to NYT polls, “nearly half of Americans would refuse a shot if one were offered to them.”
- Canada fined two travelers who boarded a plane with falsified coronavirus tests $13,500. Additionally, some tourists from the U.S. mainland tried to bribe officials to allow them into Hawaii and skip the quarantine period after not being able to procure negative COVID-19 test results. For the safety of others, please do not falsify test or vaccine information before traveling. Please respect the quarantine period as required by the place you are visiting!
- A recent JAMA Psychiatry study shows that about 30% of COVID-19 patients in Rome, Italy, who had received hospital care have been diagnosed with PTSD, 17% with depression, and 7% with generalized anxiety. Mental health, especially throughout this pandemic, has been important to be aware of. Please check in with your employees.
- On Friday, Johnson & Johnson (one-shot vaccine) submitted its materials to the WHO for assessment as an emergency listing.
Recommendations for Industry
Vaccine Progress and Education
COVID-19 vaccinations are continuing with an average of just over 63 million people fully vaccinated in the U.S. – with a fairly even spread across the states of just under 6% of the populations.
With each state setting its own plan for distribution, businesses should keep an eye on the priorities set by their local and state health departments to determine when a vaccine is available for your essential workers, and get in line as soon as possible.
With FDA scheduled to discuss the request for emergency use authorization (EUA) for the single-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Biotech on February 26, vaccines may become more available more quickly if the EUA is approved. (TAG will be keeping an eye on this and will provide updated information as it becomes available.)
As you prepare for vaccine availability, it also is critical that you provide accurate, balanced education for your workforce on the vaccines. This is one of the most important things the food industry can do to help encourage those who are hesitant and counter the misinformation that is spread.
If you need assistance with this, give us a call – TAG has developed vaccine-education videos and conducted presentations and can assist your company as well.
In Case You Missed It
- In Friday’s Recommendations for Industry, we discussed the continued need for mask wearing in offices.
- FDA and HHS have reiterated that there is no current epidemiologic and scientific information of food or food packaging as associated with or being a likely source of viral transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus causing COVID-19. Thus, despite some media reports out of China, there is no credible evidence of COVID-19 transmission through food or food packaging that the virus is not spreading through food
- In two letters published in the New England Journal of Medicine, CIDRAP reported that both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be less effective against the B1351 variant first identified in South Africa. However, the Moderna vaccine seems to offer good proection against the B117 variant first identified in the United Kingdom.
- A new New England Journal of Medicine letter finds that the Pfizer vaccine is effective up to 92.6% after the first dose!
- Two studies have identified that: (A) consuming high doses of zinc and vitamin C will not improve mild COVID-19 infections (it won’t make you get better faster); and (B) a single dose of Vitamin D does not significantly effect moderate to sever COVID-19 infections. Continue to be cognizant of supplemental claims that claim to improve and heal COVID-19.
- A CDC Emerging Infectious Disease report finds that risk mitigation measures (including universal masking policies and installing physical barriers at facilities) instilled at meat poultry processing plants (that were deeply affected by the COVID-19 spread), signifincaltly reduced the incindence of COVID-19 in <10 days.
- Cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), resulting from COVID-19, are increasing at a striking rate.
- In Monday’s Recommendations for Industry, we discussed COVID-19 variants identified around the world continuing to raise questions, those studied appear to be variations in the spike protein. Read More.