Friday, September 18, 2020

In the News: get your flu shot now; COVID-19 vaccine will be a wait

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Think of the doctors and nurses dealing with COVID-19 on a daily basis.

That was Gov. Charlie Baker’s message Thursday after he got a flu shot at a Roslindale CVS and pressed Massachusetts residents to get vaccinated against the flu this fall, which he said will be critical to prevent overburdening the state’s health care system with the flu and COVID-19, which share many symptoms.

Baker has mandated that students in Massachusetts, from pre-school to college, and kids who participate in child care programs, must get their flu vaccine by the end of 2020 but said Thursday that it’s important that others elect to get a flu shot too. The governor said health care workers began talking with his team about a month ago about what it would mean to have flu activity peak at the same time as a second surge of COVID-19 cases. April’s surge in COVID-19 cases came after the bulk of activity associated with the last flu season.

“The point they made to us at that time was from a diagnostic point of view, from a care delivery point of view, from a capacity point of view, having the flu and COVID-19 surge in the commonwealth at exactly the same time would be an incredibly difficult situation for them to manage their way through and they urged us to step up our game — which is already pretty good relative to most of the states around the country — on flu vaccines,” Baker said."

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"FOR MONTHS, a quarantine-weary, virus-ridden nation has been waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine. It’s become the endgame, the antidote to all the death and economic destruction the virus has caused. Massachusetts’s final reopening stage, referred to as the “new normal,” is predicated on having an effective treatment or vaccine.

But experts are beginning to rein in the sky-high expectations, warning that a vaccine will not be the silver bullet that allows us to suddenly remove our masks and once again hug our friends.
“I don’t think we’re going back to normal any time soon, vaccine or no vaccine,” said Shira Doron, hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center. “It’s not going to be like everyone gets vaccinated on Monday, nobody has to wear masks Tuesday.”

Todd Ellerin, director of infectious diseases at South Shore Health, echoes that caution. “Many experts don’t think that the vaccine alone is going to get us out of the pandemic,” he said. "

Gov Baker's press conference on Thursday: 

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