Recent News

How Vaccine Hesitancy Spread in My Prison

May 28 2021

Everyone’s being offered the vaccine. It’s Johnson & Johnson — one and done,” a bald administrator announced as he walked through the block. “It’s not mandatory! The officer is coming around with a list. Let him know — yes or no!” It was early April at Sullivan Correctional Facility, the maximum security prison in the Catskills where I am incarcerated. In late March, a judge ruled that New York needed to offer vaccines to all prisoners. But even when we became eligible, many were not exactly eager to get the vaccine.

Source: NYT

Antivaccine activists use a government database on side effects to scare the public

May 28 2021

On 5 May, Fox News host Tucker Carlson delivered a 10-minute monologue casting doubt on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines on his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight. He announced that almost 4000 people had died after getting COVID-19 vaccines, and added that those data “comes from VAERS,”—the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a U.S. government program that collects reports of side effects possibly caused by vaccines.

Source: Science Mag

For Colleges, Vaccine Mandates Often Depend on Which Party Is in Power

May 28 2021

For more than 400 colleges and universities, it is being billed as the ticket to a normal year on campus: Require all students to be vaccinated for the coronavirus before they can matriculate next fall. From just one university in March, to a dozen by the first week of April, the trickle has become a tide over the past month — depending on just where students are attending school.

Source: NYT

Wisconsin Catholic pastor who preached against Covid-19 vaccine ordered to step down

May 28 2021

The pastor of a Roman Catholic parish in Wisconsin who told his congregation to shun the Covid-19 vaccine and preached right-wing politics from the pulpit has been asked to step down by his bishop. The Rev. James Altman, of the St. James the Less Roman Catholic Church in La Crosse, made the announcement during his sermon at Sunday Mass, calling himself a victim of the “cancel culture.”

Source: NBC

Can teens get vaccinated if their parents object?

May 28 2021

Early in the pandemic, 16-year-old Megan Kosar was working at an ice cream shop in Woodbridge, Virginia. The shop required customers to wear face masks, and a customer who didn’t want to wear one began screaming at her. “It was scary, and it was one of my first weeks at the job,” Kosar says. Today she works at a tanning salon and still hears from irate customers who oppose masks. The difference is that now she’s eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, which would reduce her risk of infection from those who won’t mask up.

Source: National Geographic

Concerns about missing work may be a barrier to coronavirus vaccination

May 28 2021

Nearly half of adults in the United States who have not received a coronavirus vaccine are concerned about missing work as a result of side effects from the shot, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released this month. The findings highlight a key obstacle to vaccination, particularly for the 25 percent of American workers who do not have any paid sick leave. [Tracking the covid vaccine: Doses, people vaccinated by state] Economic stimulus legislation created tax credits that reimburse some employers for granting time off to get vaccinated or recover from side effects. But employers are not required to provide this leave. Although many employers are offering time off for employees to receive a vaccine, it’s the recovery that has workers more worried.

Source: WP

The Vaccine Class Gap

May 28 2021

It is common to hear about two different demographic groups that are hesitant to receive a Covid-19 vaccination: Republican voters and racial minorities, especially Black and Latino Americans. The two groups seem to have different motivations. For Republicans, the attitude is connected to a general skepticism of government and science. For Black and Hispanic Americans, it appears to stem from the country’s legacy of providing substandard medical treatment, and sometimes doing outright harm, to minorities.

Source: NYT

Ad Council Launches 'Unprecedented' Latino Outreach Effort to Combat Vaccine Hesitancy

May 28 2021

In the dark days early in the pandemic, Father Manuel Dorantes was part of a group of young priests asked to be an anointer—to give last rites to people dying alone in Chicago hospitals. Known as Father Manny to his congregants, he estimates he did so for 40 to 50 people— one last friendly face before they died. One of those deaths has stayed with him—a 52-year-old Latino father, the family's provider, left alone with the priest by an overwhelmed nurse last May.

Source: Newsweek