Vaccination

Dear Research Advocate, Clarity is all-too elusive right now. On so many decisions, it can feel like we’re staring through soot-covered glass. Clarity — unvarnished truths and concrete solutions — is the thread that ties together every feature of our 2021 National Health Research Forum. See more on the Forum below. A Welcome Piece of Clarity : The FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week for ages 16 and up. The fast-paced, but thorough approval process is testament to the speed at which research and policy can move in concert when urgency brings sufficient resources to bear. We’re grateful the FDA is applying the same level of diligence to ensuring vaccines will be safe...
Dear Research Advocate, As the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, taking more lives and impacting us all, the urgency of conveying accurate, persuasive information, as well as effectively combating mis- and dis-information, has reached ‘code red’ levels. Complicating the situation further is that scientific and policy decision-making is playing out in real time, and not always in a way that engenders confidence among the public. (The most recent case in point is conflicting views on booster shots.) The science and public health community is learning a new communications skill set, albeit more trial-and-error based than we’d all like. Improving our public engagement and communication skills...
Mary Woolley, President and CEO of Research!America, opened the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) annual meeting by leading a conversation on “Combating Anti-Science Thinking” with Georges C. Benjamin, MD , Executive Director of the American Public Health Association, and Bruce Gellin, MD , Chief of Global Public Health Strategy at the Rockefeller Foundation. The panelists addressed disturbing trends in anti-science thinking; the prevalence of misinformation and disinformation; and ongoing efforts within their organizations to address science skepticism, with emphasis on vaccine hesitancy. Here are a few highlights from their discussion, but you can also watch the entire...
Dear Research Advocate, On the Hill: The House has begun its August recess while the Senate remains in session. After attempting to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) plans to take up a budget resolution containing the topline number the Senate will use to allocate FY22 appropriations. No text has been released yet, but adopting a budget resolution will allow Senate appropriators to advance their FY22 spending bills with concrete numbers. We’ll continue to keep you informed. ARPA-H: Research!America provided comments during an ARPA-H listening session with NIH and OSTP leaders yesterday. As Ellie Dehoney, our VP of Policy and Advocacy, stated...
Americans across much of the U.S. might feel as if they are finally waking from a bad dream. COVID-19 cases are at their lowest levels since March 2020, vaccines are widely available, workplaces are reopening, social life has resumed, and domestic travel neared an all-time high over the July 4 holiday weekend. This “return to normal” is far from the case in many areas: countries from India to the United Kingdom to Argentina have experienced recent spikes in COVID-19 cases, with sometimes devastating results. First in India and then in the U.K., spikes in infection rates resulting in new lockdown restrictions were driven by the Delta variant – a mutation of the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. The...
Dear Research Advocate, Even as the death toll rises and hospitals are overwhelmed, we can feel optimistic as the first COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized by the FDA is being delivered into the arms of Americans. Some recipients have cried in relief and gratitude. I like thinking about this vaccine metaphorically as a “double shot” – to protect against COVID-19 and as a booster shot in the arm for science. The vaccine truly brings home the value of science. Leading at the FDA : Science has delivered and so has the FDA. We hosted Dr. Peter Marks, the director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) on Monday to discuss the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the...
When planning began for the 2020 Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research sponsored by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19 had yet to emerge. Since then, the world has changed dramatically. There have been more than 1.8 million cases and more than 100,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the U.S. alone since December 2019, with nearly 1,000 new deaths reported each day. COVID-19 has devastated economies across the globe, and here in the U.S., more than 36 million individuals have lost their jobs. Lives have been disrupted, and cultures have had to adapt. Meetings, weddings, and graduation ceremonies are now held virtually...
As part of ongoing work to keep a finger of the pulse of public opinion, Research!America has commissioned numerous questions over the years to determine what Americans know about vaccines and immunization as well as how they feel about vaccines and vaccine safety. The findings reveal a decidedly negative shift over the last decade in Americans’ attitudes towards vaccines. While this public opinion research predates the novel coronavirus pandemic, it certainly suggests that deploying effective strategies to improve the public’s confidence in vaccines must occur now and not wait until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed. Our national survey commissioned in January 2020 shows that respondents...
“Every two minutes, one more woman dies from cervical cancer,” stressed Anna Giuliano, PhD, of the Moffitt Cancer Center . One of several speakers at the briefing “Let’s End HPV-Related Cancers” on June 27, Dr. Giuliano emphasized the severity of cervical cancer and other cancers that are linked to human papillomavirus (HPV). This should give us pause because HPV is the most common STI – most people will be exposed at some point in their lifetime, and it has been referred to as the “common cold of STIs.” Like the common cold, HPV has different strains that have different effects on humans. At its least harmful, HPV can result in no symptoms, but at its most dangerous, it can lead to deadly...
Did you know that since 2004, close to 1,500 children have died in the United States due to flu? Year after year, I hear people say “Oh, it’s just the flu” or “I’m healthy, I don’t need a flu shot.” And yet, we continue to lose innocent lives, many of whom are healthy children and adults, to this vaccine-preventable disease. I know first-hand because I lost my 5-year-old, healthy son, Joseph, to the flu. And now I’m Chief Operating Officer of Families Fighting Flu (FFF), an organization dedicated to educating people about the seriousness of influenza and the importance of annual vaccination for everyone 6 months and older, per the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and...

Sidebar Quote

We have health challenges in this country that science will provide answers for if given the chance and we haven't given science that opportunity
Mary Woolley, President and CEO, Research!America