While I applaud pres-elect @JoeBiden's commitment to speeding up vaccinations, I'm concerned about the new policy to release all available doses without guarantee of timely administration of 2nd doses for all 1st doses given.

My @PostOpinions op-ed (1/6): washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/…
First, the bottleneck now is not supply, but the "last mile" between getting the vaccine to distribution sites & injecting it into people's arms. Speeding up this process should be the focus, or else vaccines will just sit in different freezers.

I'm also deeply troubled by the idea that we could be rushing first doses out without a guarantee of timely 2nd doses. Clinical trials were conducted with 2nd dose 3- or 4-weeks after the 1st. If we deviate from science, this could fuel vaccine hesitancy.

There is also an ethical consideration. Those who chose to get the 1st dose had the reasonable expectation that they’d receive the 2nd in a certain time frame. Is it ethical to now withhold the 2nd shot, given that they never consented to an unproven, revised protocol?

Biden has not said that he intends to hold back the second dose. However, a policy to release all available doses could end up having that effect if the promised supply of the second dose doesn’t come through or if the speed of vaccine administration cannot keep up.

President-elect @JoeBiden's clear commitment to speeding up #covid19 vaccinations is refreshing & urgently needed. But this policy proposal could create more problems than it solves, and could worsen mistrust and hinder progress at a time when we can least afford it.


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More from @DrLeanaWen

29 Dec 20
At the current rate of #covid19 vaccinations, it will take the U.S. 10 years to inoculate 80% of Americans.

Instead of obfuscating & deflecting responsibility, the federal government needs to take 3 urgent steps.

My @washingtonpost op-ed (1/6): washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
I know ramping up a complex operation is hard. It's possible 2 million is an undercount.

What concerns me most is that officials are backtracking on their promises. It's giving me flashbacks to the testing debacle (remember "everyone who wants a test can get one")? (2/6)
So what can be done? 3 things.

1) Set up a real-time public dashboard to hold the right officials responsible and to target additional resources to where are most needed. (3/6)
Read 6 tweets
10 Jul 20
In my testimony to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee today, I provide 10 actions Congress must take to reduce the unequal impact of #covid19 on Latinos, African-Americans, Native-Americans & other communities of color.

My recommendations: (1/7)
1. Target testing to minority & underserved communities. Congress must instruct FEMA to ramp up testing & set up facilities all across the country.
2. Track demographic information to ensure equitable resource allocation. 
3. Hire contact tracers from minority communities. (2/7)
4. Provide free facilities for isolation & quarantine. 
5. Suspend immigration enforcement for those seeking medical assistance for covid-19. Congress should prohibit ICE from accessing records of those seeking care for covid-19. (3/7)
Read 7 tweets
26 Jun 20
So much wrong with @WhiteHouse presser on #covid19. We have record #s of infections in the U.S.--40,000 yesterday, and if only 1 in 10 being detected, means 400,000 people became infected. Hospitalizations are rising. Deaths will soon follow. Where is the urgency? (1/4)
They're saying testing is important. That's what public health experts have been asking for all along.

But where's the national plan for testing (& tracing + isolation)? We need at least 10X amount of testing we have now. (2/4)
In some areas, testing, tracing, isolation will not be enough: we need aggressive social distancing measures. Yes, it's individual responsibility, but public officials need to emphasize public health messaging + institute policies. Require masks. Limit indoor gatherings. (3/4)
Read 4 tweets
4 Jun 20
Testifying now to U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on #Coronavirus Crisis, on how #covid19 has unmasked long-standing health disparities among African-Africans & other minorities, who now bear the greatest brunt of this pandemic coronavirus.house.gov/news/press-rel… (1/9)
The problems of structural racism & systemic inequities are huge and cannot be solved overnight. But there are concrete actions that can be taken now.

I outline four in my oral testimony. Full written testimony to be posted on @COVIDOversight coronavirus.house.gov/subcommittee-a…. (2/9)
1. The federal government must target public health resources to minority and underserved communities. This includes targeted testing with a real-time dashboard for testing & contact tracing  + providing free housing for those who need to self-isolate. (3/9)
Read 9 tweets
27 May 20
The U.S. has just reached 100,000 deaths from #covid19. What have we learned? A thread of 10 lessons:
1. This is an extremely contagious respiratory illness that spreads rapidly from person-to-person. Containment is very hard.
2. But it can be done. South Korea, New Zealand, Germany & many others have been able to reduce covid-19 infections to low enough levels that they can identify and rein in new infections. It takes strong, consistent & clear national leadership.
Read 11 tweets
26 Feb 19
As a mother to a one-year old, I am disgusted by @RealDonaldTrump’s lies that aim to stoke fear and division. I know his true intention: to shame women, limit our access to health care, and take away our rights.
The President of the United States is lying to the American people about the Sasse bill. What @RealDonaldTrump is saying has no basis in medicine—or reality.
We should all speak up and fight back when @RealDonaldTrump is spreading lies & deliberate misinformation. The Sasse bill is about criminalizing doctors and taking away the right to safe, legal abortion. #ProtectProviders
Read 4 tweets

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