THE DOC IS IN - If you want to be partisan cuss, or if you want to adhere to the hype over the facts, you're welcome to do so, but you're more foolish than factual in the problems we're encountering and how many of the answers lie right in front of us:
1) Healthcare workers are willing to quit, and we're in trouble with respect to our hospitals, our clinics, and our health with regards to staffing.
2) Governors and local officials DO have the right to demand vaccination, but the question of the consequences to our police, firefighting, and educational institutions remains unanswered.
3) The Moderna vaccine appears to be much more tolerated, and more successful, and much less likely to require booster shots than the more well-funded Pfizer shots.
4) While the early COVID-19 variants for the most part spared children, but the Delta Variant hits children--and more are getting hospitalized with this Delta Variant. Hence the need to vaccinate children has suddenly increased dramatically, and to this point Pfizer's vaccine has the edge.
5) The CDC has been all over the place with respect to vaccination, social distancing, and even masks. Hence it's not something too defensible, but not without defense for the many Americans and worldwide residents who are left confused and distrusting about getting vaccinated.
6.) The data from DocWire and other physician/medical online updates report the following: Hospitalizing the unvaccinated, who are the ones getting hospitalized the MOST, and doing MOST of the dying and left disabled, and most of us ought to reconsider the Moderna vaccine, and booster shots are pretty safe after the original vaccination.
7) Booster shots are something that myself and every doggone physician with a modicum of common sense predicted six months ago, particularly for those at risk, medical and other front-line workers, and the elderly!
But two overarching answers lie right before us, and they need not be partisan one whit:
1) Why on earth are those with prior COVID-19 infections, and especially those with detectable serum antibodies, not being counted among those safe and effectively vaccinated the "hard way", but vaccinated, nevertheless?
2) Why on earth are those who fear the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), and with governmental support, recommend and get a two-shot course of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (an older, traditional vaccine), which for about six months was known to be more effective than a one-shot approach?
So where the heck are the CDC and those "who follow the science" embrace the above two realities as a way to bring us all together and fix not all, but most of our partisan and widespread problems.
Individuals of all ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and educational levels need to embrace the above two answers if we really want to get past this pandemic, united as one nation and perhaps as one world.
So why are the facts and the answers so elusive, when they're right in front of us to confront and embrace?
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 8-9 years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)