The Dose - 3-11-22
An open thread for gentle discussions of all things Covid.
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The surgeon general of Florida, Dr Joseph Ladapo, said on Monday the state will formally recommend against Covid-19 vaccinations for healthy children. Ladapo made the announcement at a roundtable event organized by the Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, that featured doctors who have criticized coronavirus lockdowns and mandate policies.
It was not immediately clear when the state would release its new guidance.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends “everyone ages five years and older get a Covid-19 vaccine to help protect against Covid-19”. ...
The Florida state senate confirmed Ladapo as surgeon general despite criticism that his virus health policy is too aligned with the anti-lockdown and mandate politics of DeSantis.
Late last month, Ladapo and DeSantis announced new virus policy recommendations that discouraged mask-wearing and directed physicians to exercise judgment when treating virus patients, including the use of emerging treatments and off-label medications.
Omicron is receding in the US and states and cities are lifting remaining restrictions. Public health experts, however, are urging leaders to use the lull to prepare for future outbreaks.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced new guidelines for judging community risk, shifting focus from cases to hospitalizations.
More than 90% of the US is now at low risk of overwhelming health systems, which means requirements for masks and other precautions can be loosened, the CDC said. ...
Officials should use this time to prepare for the next surge and the next variant, which could be more severe or more transmissible, Abraar Karan, an infectious disease physician at Stanford University, said. “Once we have another variant, whenever that may be, the amount of spread from that variant will depend on what kind of preparedness we do now. What are we doing to make schools, workplaces and public spaces more safe?”
The US should continue investing in masks, tests, ventilation, vaccination campaigns, wastewater monitoring and other measures to prevent and respond to the next surge, experts said. And when the next wave begins rising, communities should pay careful attention to changing levels of risk.
The Covid-19 pandemic may have claimed 18.2 million lives around the world, more than three times the official death toll, a new study suggests.
The higher figure is a better estimate of the true global casualty figure to the end of 2021, according to an analysis by a consortium of health researchers published in the Lancet.
They have based their calculation on the number of “excess deaths” which they believe were caused directly or indirectly by the pandemic. These are calculated by looking at the difference between the number of deaths recorded from all causes and the number of expected based on previous patterns.
“Our estimates of Covid-19 excess mortality suggest the mortality impact from the Covid-19 pandemic has been more devastating than the situation documented by official statistics,” say the co-authors, who were led by Dr Haidong Wang, an associate professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington.
“Official statistics on reported Covid-19 deaths provide only a partial picture of the true burden of mortality. While the official Covid-19 death toll was 5.9 million between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021, the new study estimates that 18.2 million excess deaths occurred over the same period, suggesting the full impact may have been greater.”
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