Infectious Disease

The differences in COVID-19 are “noticeable”.

April 30, 2021

2 min read

Source / information

Source:
Walensky R. COVID: Lessons Learned. Presented at: ACP Internal Medicine Meeting; April 29 – May 1, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosure:
Walensky does not report any relevant financial information.

ADD SUBJECT TO EMAIL ALARMS

Receive an email when new articles are published

Please enter your email address to receive an email when new articles are published . “data-action =” subscribe “> subscribe

We could not process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this problem, please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Back to Healio

After 15 months of service CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, One of the most important lessons she learned is the need for a better understanding of health inequalities in the United States.

Walensky, who made the comments during the AKP internal medicine virtual meeting, also stressed the importance of “following science” in making policy decisions like safely reopening schools.

Influence of COVID-19 on black Hispanic populations

According to Walensky, COVID-19 has drawn even more attention to the numerous challenges faced by underrepresented populations.

“We saw what we in medicine had known for so long: Infectious diseases affect these population groups differently,” she said.

Walensky cited a study that showed that 80% of COVID-19 deaths were reported among blacks, who make up only 12% of the total US population. Another study reported that life expectancy in the US fell by a year in the first six months of 2020 and the effects were even greater in Hispanic and black communities, with life expectancy falling by 1.9 and 2.7, respectively Years has fallen.

Some of the data was “pretty noticeable,” Walensky said. She added that the health differences extend to vaccination efforts. Recent data shows that, for example, only 9% of Hispanics in the US have been fully vaccinated.

“We are working hard to make sure of this [vaccine] Access in all areas, ”she said. “We still have a lot to do.”

consequencesing the science

Walensky used the CDC’s evolving guidelines for schools to illustrate that the agency is taking a science-based approach to preventing the transmission of COVID-19.

She said early data suggested school closings led to a significant decrease in COVID-19 transmission, suggesting schools were doing the right thing when they closed shortly after the public health emergency was declared. Over time, the CDC investigated the transmission of COVID-19 and gave them the data to create the original “blueprint” for safely reopening schools, Walensky said.

However, it became clear that staying 6 feet apart would be difficult for students, teachers, and others in the education sector, she said. Most recently, two studies found that as long as universal masking and other COVID-19 protocols were in place, a 3-foot distance was safe even in areas with high COVID-19 incidence.

“We used this data to update our K-on-12 guide,” said Walensky.

Accelerated vaccine development

Usually a vaccine can take up to 15 years to develop, but amid the pandemic, three vaccines were available in less than a year.

“The reason we were able to condense it is because we have been able to stand on the shoulders of a lot of preclinical research done on mRNA vaccines,” she said. “We were able to superimpose our attempts in phases one, two and three.”

Walensky also recalled how the FDA and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices were speeding up their normal procedures and allowing the vaccine to be distributed more quickly.

All of these efforts taken together showed how hard work benefits public health, she said.

“We need to strengthen our workforce”

Walensky said maintaining an adequate public health workforce was a pre-pandemic challenge – a situation made worse by COVID-19.

“We have been flat rate for 10 years,” she said. “To improve our results on this pandemic and future threats, we need to strengthen our workforce.”

According to Walensky, the CDC offers several health workforce empowerment programs, including public health training programs, laboratory work, and epidemic services.

ADD SUBJECT TO EMAIL ALARMS

Receive an email when new articles are published

Please enter your email address to receive an email when new articles are published . “data-action =” subscribe “> subscribe

We could not process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this problem, please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Back to Healio

Meeting of the American College of Physicians for Internal Medicine

Meeting of the American College of Physicians for Internal Medicine

Related Articles