If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
There is no evidence that a chickenpox or varicella vaccine will protect you against monkeypox, although that rumor seems to be widely circulating. It’s just unfounded, according to what we know at this time.
The two diseases are caused by different and unrelated viruses - the orthopox for monkeypox and varicella-zoster for chickenpox. So the likelihood of a vaccine for one of them protecting you from the other is very low. The World Health Organization has stated that several observational studies have shown that the smallpox vaccine appears to be 85% effective against monkeypox. However, we stopped giving smallpox vaccines in the US in 1972 (when it was eradicated).
At some point, there will likely be Paxlovid-resistant virus, as in the case in many antivirals after a certain amount of time, especially those like the coronavirus that can mutate easily. What we don’t know is whether resistant strains will spread widely, or whether antiviral-resistant variants will be relatively few and far between, mutating independently and not spreading too far. Some doctors are concerned that the number of Paxlovid prescriptions have skyrocketed in the past few weeks. While that almost certainly means saving lives and preventing hospital visits, some fear that it means doctors are prescribing it to relatively low-risk patients. The more people who take this drug, the higher the chances that the virus develops some sort of resistance, and sooner. One thing that’s important to keep in mind, just as with antibiotics, is that it’s very important to take the full five days of pills and not to stop taking the pills early, even if you’re feeling better. Either way, it’s likely that some sort of resistance will emerge, and doctors and public health experts will be closely watching to respond when it does.
The FDA’s advisory committee unanimously approved both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for young children on the same day. Young children (less than age 5) were disproportionately hospitalized compared to other kids’ age groups during Omicron. There are real differences between these two vaccines - particularly that one has more side effects in young children than the other (Moderna) and one is three doses instead of two (Pfizer).
We are huge fans of Dr. Katelyn Jetelina (Your Local Epidemiologist). She has given incredibly sound advice, particularly surrounding kids and COVID, throughout the pandemic. Here is a link to her very good summary which provides excellent information for making these decisions.
Your Local Epidemiologist: The FDA Meeting for <5 COVID Vaccine
We’re getting this question much more frequently, as Hep A is in the news with tainted strawberries, and as other illnesses start to make the rounds again. When you do collect Hep A vaccination info and have it readily accessible (securely stored like through ZHH’s vaccination tracking dashboard or your own system), it means that producing a report quickly if the health department shows up may keep you open. In the event of a Hep A case among your employees, it also lets you know exactly how many employees at a location were already vaccinated and how many you may need to vaccinate, which allows you to make better decisions quickly on next steps, including how and where to vaccinate them. It's definitely something we’ll be discussing further in the coming months. If you need support on secure storage and tracking of your vaccination records, including Hep A, you can chat in through the app.
Stat News: A CDC Monkeypox Expert Answers Questions
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