Immunity to COVID?; Inside Vaccine Safety

  • If coronavirus antibodies fade, will people be immune? Apoorva Mandavilli digs into what we know about our immune response to COVID-19 and the tests that detect antibodies ~ Your Coronavirus Antibodies Are Disappearing. Should You Care? (The New York Times)
  • Researchers have been working at top speed to develop a coronavirus vaccine, but should we be concerned about vaccine safety? Noam Tau, MD, and colleagues explore the history of vaccine approvals and find those developed over the past 2 decades have been “remarkably safe,” with most issues identified through postmarket surveillance ~ Postmarketing Safety of Vaccines Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Annals of Internal Medicine)
  • Patients often face a combination of medical and social issues. That’s why prescribing lifestyle changes is so important, according to Martin Roland, DM, and colleagues who examine how to engage patients’ non-medical needs ~ Social Prescribing — Transforming the Relationship between Physicians and Their Patients (New England Journal of Medicine)
  • “To insist on color blindness is to deny the experience of people of color in a highly racialized society and to absolve oneself of any role in the process,” according to Emily Cleveland Manchanda, MD, MPH, and colleagues who discuss how crisis standards of care exacerbate racial inequities and how to reduce the risk of bias ~ Inequity in Crisis Standards of Care (New England Journal of Medicine)
  • Before going back to the classroom, Ana Aguilar declined to sign a form that she wouldn’t sue her employer if she got COVID-19 from her students who are not required to wear face masks. Days later, Ana was fired. But, Harris Meyer explains, this type of liability waiver is unenforceable in California ~ Employers Require COVID Liability Waivers as Conflict Mounts Over Workplace Safety (Kaiser Health News/Fortune)
  • As a medical student, Randy A. Vince Jr., MD, “listened with great discomfort and despair to countless lectures describing the health conditions that disproportionately harm African Americans.” Vince proposes 5 steps to eradicate racial health disparities in medicine ~ Eradicating Racial Injustice in Medicine — If Not Now, When? (JAMA)
  • During a public health emergency, in what scenarios do researchers need to obtain informed consent from patients? Mary Catherine Beach, MD, MPH, and colleagues discuss how to prevent “unnecessary sacrifice of fundamental human rights under the pretext of public health” ~ Desperate Times: Protecting the Public From Research Without Consent or Oversight During Public Health Emergencies (Annals of Internal Medicine)

Fred N. Pelzman, MD, of Weill Cornell Internal Medicine Associates and weekly blogger for MedPage Today, follows what’s going on in the world of primary care medicine. Pelzman’s Picks is a compilation of links to blogs, articles, tweets, journal studies, opinion pieces, and news briefs related to primary care that caught his eye.