The Atlantic: America Created Its Own Booster Problems

By In the News

From The Atlantic: When the first shots debuted more than a year ago, the message felt mostly uniform. “Everyone was in agreement: These vaccines are fantastic; everyone who’s eligible should get them,” says Gretchen Chapman, a behavioral scientist at Carnegie Mellon University who studies vaccine uptake. And so hundreds of millions of people did. For boosters, experts presented nothing like that unified front. … The erratic narrative on vaccines writ large also hasn’t done the U.S. booster campaign any favors. When the shots were fresh out of the gate, Americans were set up to believe that they could take an…

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The Atlantic: America’s Flu-Shot Problem Is Also Its Next COVID-Shot Problem

By In the News

The Atlantic: About 18 years ago, while delivering a talk at a CDC conference, Gregory Poland punked 2,000 of his fellow scientists. Ten minutes into his lecture, a member of the audience, under Poland’s instruction, raced up to the podium with a slip of paper. Poland skimmed the note and looked up, stony-faced. “Colleagues, I am unsure of what to say,” he said. “We have just been notified of a virus that’s been detected in the U.S. that will take somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 lives this year.” The room erupted in a horrified, cinematic gasp. Poland paused, then leaned…

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NPR: CDC’s new COVID metrics can leave individuals struggling to understand their risk

By In the News

From NPR: Some experts do see the new CDC metrics as a sensible shift toward living with the virus – recognizing that many Americans have no tolerance left for mandates and restrictions. “This is a transition that happens for all public health conditions in some way, a balance between collective responsibility and individual responsibility,” argues Dr. Jay Varma, who directs the Weill Cornell Center for Pandemic Prevention and Response and has advised former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Ultimately, he says, public health decisions are made at the local level, not by federal agencies, he says, so the…

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NPR: Americans Are Stuck in Unhealthy Pandemic Habits. Here’s How To Reboot

By In the News

From NPR: The early days of lockdown restrictions had a profound effect on people’s daily lives. Alcohol sales skyrocketed, physical activity dropped off sharply, and “comfort eating” led to weight gain, too. So, what’s happened since March of 2020? After two years of pandemic life, many of these effects persist. The strategies we used to adapt and cope have cemented into habits for many of us. And this is not a surprise to scientists who study behavior change. “We know when a shock arises and forces a change in our behavior for an extended period of time, there tend to…

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STAT: Florida’s Decision on COVID Vaccines for Healthy Kids Adds to Confusion and Distrust

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From STAT: Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo announced Monday that the state will recommend that healthy children not be vaccinated against Covid-19, further muddying already roiling waters over Covid-19 vaccination for kids. Ladapo’s decision is unlikely to interfere with the efforts of parents who want to have their children vaccinated, experts told STAT. But they added it will likely dissuade some parents who have been on the fence. “There are obviously a lot of pediatricians and pediatric care providers in Florida who are very eager to vaccinate kids over 5. And hopefully that signal is loud — louder than this,”…

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Washington Post: Cities are ditching vaccine mandates to dine out and watch shows. Did they work?

By In the News

From The Washington Post: Alison M. Buttenheim, a behavioral scientist and associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, said vaccine mandates can act as a reward for getting a shot. “One thing we are solving for is allowing people to live as close to a normal, unrestricted life,” Buttenheim said. “For a vaccinated person, that’s good for my mental health, connections, social interactions and feeling reassured my city is watching out for me.” Read more in The Washington Post.

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