Good Day BIO: "A pandemic of the unvaccinated"

July 19, 2021
We start a new week bearing bad news: COVID cases are rising across the U.S., and extreme climate events are increasing around the world. Fortunately, biotech can deliver solutions to both challenges—but we have some work to do to get them where they need to go. (766…
BIO

We start a new week bearing bad news: COVID cases are rising across the U.S., and extreme climate events are increasing around the world. Fortunately, biotech can deliver solutions to both challenges—but we have some work to do to get them where they need to go. (766 words, 3 minutes, 49 seconds)

 

“A pandemic of the unvaccinated”

 
 

The COVID vaccines work—but only if people get them. With cases rising across the United States, tackling vaccine hesitancy is our biggest challenge.

“The number of new coronavirus cases is increasing in every state,” reports The New York Times, with around 26,000 new cases per day, compared to 11,000 per day less than one month ago. 

Infections remain low in parts of the U.S. with high vaccination rates—“but the picture is different in pockets of the country where residents are vaccinated at lower rates,” with cases higher in parts of Arkansas and Missouri now than they were in the winter. 

In Arkansas, for example: “Among the 25 counties with the sharpest increases in cases, all but one had vaccinated under 40 percent of residents, and 16 had vaccinated under 30 percent, a New York Times analysis found.” 

“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky during a briefing on Friday

One big reason why: misinformation, says a new report from the U.S. Surgeon General. “Misinformation has caused confusion and led people to decline COVID-19 vaccines, reject public health measures such as masking and physical distancing, and use unproven treatments.” 

But some people have valid questions they feel remain unanswered. BIO partnered with Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick of Grapevine Health to find out what real people think—and questions range from how long immunity will last, to what’s in the vaccines. 

“The truth is, the vaccinations help prevent hospitalizations and death,” said Dr. Lisa. “So when it’s your turn, you have to decide your risk for you, your family, and your community.” 

BIO is working hard to answer these questions and address hesitancy, by training spokespeople to promote vaccine acceptance among hesitant communities as well as answering questions at www.COVIDVaccineFacts.org.

 

More Health Care News: 

NBC News: COVID vaccines for kids under 12 expected midwinter, FDA official says
“After emergency use authorization, the agency hopes to move quickly to full approval.”

 
 
 
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“It’s all connected.”

 
 

Flooding in Europe over the last week has killed more than 125 people and destroyed parts of Germany—just the latest sign of the urgent need to take action on climate.

ICYMI: Over the past week, “extreme downpours” in Germany have caused horrific flooding as rivers have risen to levels not seen in 1,000 years, reports The New York Times—leaving “more than 100 people dead and 1,300 unaccounted for.”

“It’s all connected,” experts say, as the flooding is just the latest in a string of extreme climate events, from “the heat in the American West and Pacific Northwest, intense rainfall and cooler temperatures in the Midwest, and heat waves in Scandinavia and Siberia.”

How so? “For every 1 Celsius degree of warming, air can hold 7 percent more moisture. As a result, said Hayley Fowler, a professor of climate change impacts at Newcastle University in England, ‘These kinds of storm events will increase in intensity.’”

It’s time for bold action to reduce carbon emissions and stop global warming. Governments and industry must make bold pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stop temperature rise. 

Companies and individuals have a role to play, too. “When you go back to your companies, start the internal dialogue about how you can do things in a more sustainable way,” said BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath during BIO Digital. “Let’s all start today, this week, this month, and have the conversations. Can we do our work in a more sustainable way?” 

Luckily, biotech offers solutions—read about them in BIO’s Biotech Solutions for Climate Report.

Listen: During BIO Digital, U.S. and U.K. health and climate leaders discussed how we can fight the climate crisis with supply chain sustainability—and the links between health of the planet and health of people. Catch the whole conversation in this bonus episode of the I am BIO Podcast.

 
 
 
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Today at 12:30 PM ET: The Washington Post LIVE featuring BIO President & CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath
 
 
 
 
 
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BIO Beltway Report
BIO Beltway Report
 
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President Biden’s Monday: Delivering remarks on the nation’s economic recovery, which he’s expected to attribute to the American Rescue Plan while making the case for his infrastructure plan. This afternoon, he’ll welcome Jordan’s King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, Queen Rania Al Abdullah, and Crown Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II to the White House; President Biden and King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein will hold bilateral meetings. 

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: The House Rules Committee is meeting to discuss among other things, H.R. 2467, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, which is designed to set national drinking water standards. In addition, the House Rules Committee is discussing H.R. 2668, the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act, designed to ensure the Federal Trade Commission can recover money for victims of fraud. Both meetings will be at 2:00 PM ET.

 
 
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