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AARP Coronavirus Tele-Town Halls

Experts answer your questions related to COVID-19

John Yang: Hello everybody. I’m John Yang from the PBS NewsHour. And on behalf of AARP, I want to welcome you all to this important discussion about the coronavirus. Before we begin, I want to tell you that if you want to hear this telephone town hall in Mandarin, and you are on a telephone, press *0 on your telephone keypad now for a simultaneous translation in Mandarin. AARP, as we hope you know, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization. It’s been promoting the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. And for the last year in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, AARP has been and continues to provide information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them. Today we’re going to discuss the latest on the pandemic, on vaccine safety and access, and what the continued distribution of vaccines means for Asian-Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

Today’s panel of experts will address these issues and more, and take your questions. If you’ve participated in one of these town halls before, you know what it’s like; it’s like a radio talk show. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions live. And once again, if you’re on a phone and you want to hear a simultaneous Mandarin translation, press *0 on your telephone keypad now. And if you are on the phone with us and you want to ask a question of our experts about the coronavirus pandemic, press *3 on your telephone and you’ll be connected with an AARP staff member. They’ll note your name, your question, and place you in a queue to ask that question live on this town hall. If you’re joining us on Facebook or on YouTube, you can post your question in the comments and your question will be read aloud on this town hall.

We have with us today some outstanding leaders and experts in the field from the University of California San Francisco; the Philippine Nurses Association of America; and the U.S. Public Health Service, and the Surgeon General’s Office in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]. We’re also being joined by AARP’s Jean Setzfand, who will help us with your calls and questions and get them to us tonight.

This event is being recorded. You can watch the recording about 24 hours after we end. You can watch it at aarp.org/coronavirus. That’s aarp.org/coronavirus.

Now let’s bring in our guests. We have some very distinguished guests. First, Adelaida Rosario, and I hope I’m getting all these names correctly. Adelaida Rosario holds a Ph.D. She’s a lieutenant in the U.S. Public Health Service and the Surgeon General’s Office in the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Rosario, welcome.

Adelaida Rosario: Thank you, sir. How are you?

John Yang: Very well, and I hope you are well, too. Dr. Alka Kanaya is a professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco. She focuses her work on a range of health issues, including a research program focused on the health of South Asian adults. Dr. Kanaya, thanks for being with us tonight.

Alka Kanaya: Thank you. Pleasure to be here.

John Yang: And Mary Joy Garcia-Dia, she holds a doctorate in nursing practices. She is the president of the Philippine Nurses Association of America, which has more than 5,000 members and works to uphold and foster the positive image and welfare of Filipino American nurses. And if I may add, they are heroes 365 days a year, but particularly in the past year, they have been superheroes. So Dr. Garcia-Dia, thanks for being with us and thanks for all you do.

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: Thank you so much, John, I really appreciate it.

John Yang: And before we get to your questions for our guests, we think it’s only fair that we get asked a question of you. So we’d like to know, do you live in a multigenerational household? If you’re on the phone, press 1 for yes if you do live in a multigenerational household. Press 2 if you do not live in a multigenerational household. Once again, do you live in a multigenerational household? Press 1 if yes, if you live with multiple generations, and 2 if you do not. We’ll be back with the results of that, and also build on a question depending on how you answer that later on in the town hall.

But right now, let’s get started with our discussion. … So to our guests, I’d like to ask each of you a pretty important question. We have a diverse mix of backgrounds here. We have a diverse mix of expertise here. So I’d like to know from your viewpoint, from each of your viewpoints, what’s the challenge, the biggest challenge or challenges to the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander [AANHPI] community to getting information about the pandemic and getting the vaccine and the availability of the vaccines, and what are the suggestions or solutions for getting over those hurdles, those challenges? Dr. Rosario, let’s start with you.

Adelaida Rosario: Thank you, John. Well, as you can imagine there are several challenges for our AANHPI community. First, there’s the obvious language barriers. This requires the need for translated materials to understand information about the pandemic, and, of course, the availability of the vaccines. A second challenge is that older adults may not be as accustomed to using today’s computer technology. So that’s kind of required different options or mediums for obtaining information, whether it be print or by phone or in-person communication. And finally, AANHPI community is extremely diverse with multiple subgroups, and therefore there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach with communications. And we also have a fourth issue, which is misinformation that is just running rampant about not only the pandemic, but about the vaccine. And then the potential that that creates for scams and fraudulent approaches. So one solution is to continue to be very open and listen to our local communities and make a concerted effort to provide factual information about the COVID-19 vaccines. And point everybody to trusted sources of research and rigorous testing that’s been conducted as we know, by the CDC and FDA, and the education about the availability of the COVID-19 vaccines and the efficacy are always going to be important points to stress.

John Yang: You raised a lot of issues there that we’ll get back to, but just quickly, Dr. Rosario … you talk about the need to have materials in different languages. Does the Public Health Service have these materials in various languages?

Adelaida Rosario: They have. The HHS has been working on a number of print materials and virtual materials targeting the major subgroups and the relevant languages so that we can really penetrate the community in their native tongue. And then they’re already moving into a second wave of a whole second sphere of subgroups, which now includes also American Samoans and some of the smaller islands.

John Yang: Great. Thank you very much. Now, Dr. Kanaya, what about you? What do you see as the biggest challenges, and how do we surmount those challenges?

Alka Kanaya: Yes, thank you. … I definitely agree with what Dr. Rosario just said about these challenges with language and technology and misinformation being rampant. I will add a few other thoughts and that is, trust — trust in the vaccine and in the process of making the vaccine and that whether people trust the science behind it and want to get vaccinated as a result. And that may again … I think things that are undermining trust are misinformation for sure, but there’s many ways to approach this problem. And I agree with Dr. Rosario that having as a community help and other people in the community you trust to help you with understanding what needs to be done to schedule the vaccine appointment and all, but the bigger issue that I think we need to think about is getting real information to people from trusted leaders in the community. And that would be, you know, whether it’s a community organization that has trusted leaders, whether it’s the primary care doctor at the local health centers that someone trusts to give them clear information about the pros and cons of vaccine, and really utilizing these people as the trusted voices to help engage our communities in getting these vaccines that are now available for anyone older than age 16.

John Yang: And, with all due respect to Dr. Rosario from the U.S. Public Health Service, a lot of what I’m hearing in talking to people is that in some cases, a trusted source is not necessarily the government. Is that what you’re finding, Dr. Kanaya?

Alka Kanaya: Yeah, there’s been some community forums done in different community groups, in different race, ethnic groups, and, oftentimes the vaccine-hesitant groups, when they interview them — and these may be Latinos, Asians, all different types of groups — the one thing that keeps coming up is lack of trust in larger governmental organizations, and people saying the people who they trust are people who they’ve known for a long time. And that often becomes their primary care doctor, if they’ve had a long-term relationship with somebody, or their community leaders. And that’s where I think having those, whether it be from faith-based organizations or other community-based organizations, these are where we need people to really help step up to really talk about the truth about the vaccines and about why it’s so important that everyone gets vaccinated.

John Yang: Thank you, Dr. Kanaya. Dr. Garcia-Diaz, is there anything, what would you add to what we’ve heard?

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: I totally agree with those, that trust is really important from a solution perspective. This is where we, as a professional organization, have really worked closely with the American Nurses Association in sharing our own experiences. Why is it important for us to get the vaccine? It’s not (just) because we’re working in the front lines, but also, we want to protect our family and loved ones. As the news … showed in the past that during the height of the pandemic, the Filipino American Nurses Association were impacted by COVID-19. We have the highest rate of that in the nursing workforce, even though we represent 4 percent of the nursing workforce. So it’s really close and personal for us. In addition to that, we know that many of our communities — as our other panel speakers said with regards to the language barrier — we are working with the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum in reaching out to our community so we could assist with translations and disseminating the information through webinar sessions, so people can feel comfortable and ask questions without feeling embarrassed. I think town hall discussions such as this, and also just trying to have the personal conversation with our peers, will make people feel why it’s important for them to take the vaccine and really establish that trust.

John Yang: Thanks, Dr. Garcia-Dia. There are a lot of strains that we’ve been talking about here that we’re going to return to, I’m sure. And I also want to remind folks on the phone that if they want to ask us a question, press the * button and then the 3 button. That will connect you to an AARP staffer who will help you get in a queue to ask your question on the town hall. If you’re on Facebook or on YouTube, you can put your questions into the comments section and Jean will read it aloud for the town hall. One … common thread we heard from all the experts to that first question was misinformation, trust, real information about the vaccine. And I think there has been in recent days a lot of concern by the headlines about what is, I think it’s fair to say, a very rare side effect of some of the vaccines — a very rare blood clot side effect that has led to some concern about two vaccines in particular. Earlier today, there was an AARP town hall event with Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, who’s director of the University of Maryland Center for Vaccine Development. And she was asked about the pause in the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines in the United States and Europe.

Kathleen Neuzil: (from 1 p.m. town hall) You know, I was involved in the clinical trials of both of these vaccines, and just to state that despite the fact that we did enroll 30,000 to 50,000 people in these trials, these are very rare events that are difficult to pick up. I will say that no safety was compromised as part of the trials. Most vaccine-associated side effects do appear within the first few weeks after vaccination, and that is exactly when we’re seeing these rare thromboembolic events. So in fact, it is because they are so rare and not because we didn’t carefully follow participants that we did not pick them up in the clinical trials. These are severe blood clots occurring in unusual places — the cerebral venous sinuses, for example, associated with low platelet counts. And this is a very unusual combination of signs and symptoms. The fact that we could pick up these rare events says a lot about our safety system in both the United States and Europe, and one of the main reasons for the initial pause in the United States is to make recipients of the vaccine and providers aware of this rare side effect, and the fact that we treat it somewhat differently. And so a lot of the reason for the pause was that education about these rare side effects.

John Yang: That answer from Dr. Kathleen Neuzil of the University of Maryland Center for Vaccine Development. But hopefully we’ll break that down.

Dr. Kanaya, I’d like to turn back to you. A lot of concern about the vaccines, a lot of questions about the development of the vaccines, the speed with which the vaccines were developed, about the technology. If someone were to come to you and say, “I really can’t decide whether I’m going to get the vaccine or not,” what would you say?

Alka Kanaya: I actually face this all the time in my own clinic with my patients. I think the biggest reason for people to think about getting vaccinated, and the way I frame this is, it’s about what it means to you and to your family, the people around you. And being vaccinated protects not only you, but protects them as well. And it protects the community. So there’s many reasons that people have to fear the vaccine, but from everything we know about it, and from the studies that now have over six months of follow-up data with the Pfizer vaccine, the vaccine appears to be on the most part, on the hugest amount of data supports safety and efficacy, that it’s working, and it’s working well for up to six months now. And the side effects that occur, occur early and are usually very mild. And these rare, rare side effects that we’ve seen have not been seen in the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. And it’s very important for them to put the fears of side effects and the vaccine science to one side and think about the greater benefits to themselves and to their loved ones around them, and the bigger benefit to us all, to our global community, to be able to have and achieve herd immunity. And that’s hard for people to say that the reason I’m getting vaccinated is because I want the whole world to come back to normal, and it usually takes something a little bit more personal to make people change their mind or to influence and have them move forward. So it’s really about protecting yourself and protecting your family and the people around you.

John Yang: Dr. Rosario, from the public health standpoint, I know that it’s sort of a fine line you have to walk in terms of, on the one hand, warning the public about possible side effects about … these rare events that took place with the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccine. And on the other hand, you want to encourage people to get the vaccine, to protect the public health. How do you balance that in the messaging to people? How do you sort of on the one hand be cautious, but on the other hand, be encouraging?

Adelaida Rosario: Well, I think it’s important to be truthful and honest. So the one thing that is making the news often, the one piece of information that everybody has kind of at the front of their heads — you know, the common piece of conversation, the dinner starter — is kind of all of the negative feedback that you receive that’s out on the news, you know, the smaller numbers that have to do with these rare occurrences and these illnesses. But when you just look at those small numbers in contrast to the millions who have received the vaccine, and who are fully inoculated at this point and are doing fine, and nothing beyond the minor side effects, I mean that is substantial evidence and really encouraging, hopeful evidence, to kind of guide yourself. And that’s always part of our messaging that the benefits so far outweigh these small risks, and the same way that any other vaccine is thought, the COVID vaccine is no different. So this has the same kind of risks that any parent taking their small child to get their series of shots … you’re kind of up against the same numbers. It’s being honest that of course these rare occurrences are happening, not shying away from that, but really celebrating the successes that we’re seeing with the numbers of infections dropping and the successful inoculations at a population level that’s currently occurring, not only in United States but across the world.

John Yang: And Dr. Rosario, I know that that public health is more than just … the symptoms and illness, and there’s sort of a broader impact, particularly as we’ve had in COVID-19. And I’m wondering if you, in your work, have seen the effect on the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community, beyond just health, in terms of finances, economics, housing, security and that sort of thing.

Adelaida Rosario: Oh yes, absolutely. I mean we’re seeing long-term unemployment issues rising. Of course, that impacts all spheres of life. It impacts the kids with their education, their access to education; it impacts housing, stability, etc. And then, of course, in addition to this pandemic, there’s this heightened negative attention right now that’s been kind of focused on the Asian American community because of all the stereotyping. And it’s just, it’s terribly unfortunate. It becomes what equals a double pandemic essentially for all of our older Asian American community members, because they’re dealing with all of this awful discrimination in addition, layered to this health crisis. So there’s something to be said on disproportionate mental health impact that now our community is dealing with a courtesy of these two layers — you know, this other layer of impact aside from the actual pandemic.

John Yang: And Dr. Garcia-Dia … along with that idea of sort of the impact beyond just health, there has been a tremendous, we’ve heard the stories of the frontline health care workers like the nurses you represent, the tremendous psychic toll this pandemic has had on them of caring for people who are desperately ill and cannot be with their loved ones — their loved ones can’t be at their bedsides. A lot of people want to help. Members like your membership. What should they do? What can people do to help frontline workers like your nurses?

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: Thank you so much for asking this question, John. We all know that the level of stress and emotional impact to our health care professionals are very profound. Many of our nurses shared their traumatic experience. Some of the nurses have been infected with COVID-19 and … they are thankful that they were able to make it alive, while others experienced losses within their immediate families. So, for example, individuals like the Justly Project have reached out and fundraised for programs that can provide psychosocial and emotional support through peer-to-peer support. Culturally for Asian American Pacific Islanders [AAPI], and I think more for the Filipinos, there is a stigma associated with seeking mental health. Our organization has conducted an Emotions Behind the Mask Survey to understand what are the challenges that our nurses are experiencing and how can we help unpack these emotions of depression, the moral injury that they feel because they survive versus their other peers or their loved ones, and the frustrations that they continue to feel because the pandemic is not going away. When we kicked off the resilience program, it’s really meant to help them in the long haul. This way they can really refocus and make mindfulness exercises, and a lot of people also practice spirituality. We also sent a survey on what can we do to make them feel appreciated. Surprisingly, amongst the choices of gift cards, one thing that stuck out is the recurring comments that we read — a simple thank you will make us feel better. So this coming May actually, we will be celebrating Nurses Week, and we hope that the audience will express their thank yous to our nurses, to our health care and essential workers, because it will go a long way in reaffirming the reason why we chose to be in the health care profession, to care for our patients and save lives. And we know we can only do our job if everyone will do their share in helping flatten the curve. So really taking the first step to take care of yourself and get your vaccine will help. It will be a huge help. Thank you.

John Yang: Dr. Garcia-Dia … you said that Nurses Week is in May. What week is it? What specific day date?

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: So historically, John, it’s usually the first to second week of May, but because the American Nurses Association continue to celebrate the Year of the Nurse, we are going to have a Nurse Month Celebration. It’s going to be the whole month of May. We are super excited about that.

John Yang: Excellent. And … I hope everyone keeps that in mind and remembers all of May to be thinking and thanking the nurses. Dr. Garcia-Dia, thank you very much. … Now, before we move forward, I want to bring in Daphne Kwok, who’s vice president for Multicultural Markets — excuse me, she is vice president of Multicultural Markets at AARP, to give us an update on what AARP has been doing on the COVID front. Daphne.

Daphne Kwok: Thank you so much, John, and to our distinguished guests and speakers, we’ve had such a rich conversation already tonight. First of all, I want to say that AARP strongly condemns all racially motivated violence and harassment, and AARP stands with the AAPI community. But as Dr. Rosario just said, for our AAPI elders, they are unfortunately having to combat a double pandemic with the COVID-19 as well as the racism and xenophobia that is happening to our community. And racism is a public health issue. The assaults are causing fear in our community, especially for our older members. The fear is keeping them from their appointments and medical appointments. Most importantly, keeping them from getting their vaccines. And I know that volunteers have been helping out at the local level to …  accompany our elders to their appointments, which is so key and critical. This is all part of the public health issue that’s a threat. The entire nation needs to come together to help control COVID spread. So you may be asking, what is AARP doing for AAPI elders? Well, first of all, in May, we will be hosting a Stop Asian Hate forum that will be open to everybody and anybody. We are also working to produce — as we’ve all heard, in-language materials is so key and critical for our elders, and so we are doing that — producing materials to help protect them from becoming a victim while also producing materials for bystanders who may see an incident. Also several of our state AARP offices are engaging with the AAPI community at the local level, and also most importantly, AARP has a tremendous communication channel, whether it’s through these forums or whether it’s through our magazine with 38 million members’ readership, we are able to get information out about the AAPI community. And as we’ve all said … how important it is to shatter the model minority myth, and as well as the perpetual foreigner image, and also really being able to tell and talk about Asian American and Pacific Islander history, the contribution piece in making the United States, back ever since the Civil War. And so for those of you that are AARP members, I hope you get a chance to look at our April/May edition of the Magazine; we actually have a large spread in there of AAPI who are talking about the people that inspired them. It is also on our website as well. So, these are just a few of the examples that we at AARP are doing to really work on behalf of our AAPI elders and their families. Thank you so much.

John Yang: Thank you, Daphne. I just got my copy of AARP The Magazine in the mail today. Haven’t had a chance to look into it, but I certainly will. And thank you, Daphne, for the many important points you made in your remarks. …

And before we take (your) questions, we want to go back to an issue that I think we heard a lot about in the opening round of questions about the challenges facing the community in getting the vaccine, and the availability of the vaccine. We know from not only anecdotal evidence, but we know that there are a lot of people who are having trouble registering for the vaccines where you live, because a lot of this — or most of them, quite frankly — are online, and there are people who don’t have access to a computer or access to the internet, and that can be a challenge. So AARP has come up with an AARP Vaccine Registration Team that can help you if you don’t have a computer, if you don’t have access to the internet. If you’re listening today and you fall into that category — you don’t have a computer, you can’t go online to register for a vaccine — press 1 now. Press 1 on your phone and you’ll be added to the list to receive a phone call from the AARP staff to help you. So once again, if you don’t have a computer, you can’t get online, you don’t have internet access, you can’t sign up for a vaccine online, press 1 now on your telephone, and you’ll be connected with someone — or you’ll be added to a list, I should say — for a call back from the AARP to help you on the phone, in person, get registered, and get an appointment for the vaccine. So we, I urge you to do that. I’ll remind you of that a couple more times before we end this town hall.

And now …  I’ve been asking questions, but let’s now get to the smart questions: your questions. Your questions for Dr. Kanaya, Dr. Rosario and Dr. Garcia-Dia. And now let’s bring in AARP Senior Vice President of Programs Jean Setzfand to help with your calls. Jean, are you there?

Jean Setzfand: I’m here, and thanks so much, John. I’m delighted to be here for this important conversation.

John Yang: Thank you, Jean. So have we got some calls? Have we got some questions? Who’s first?

Jean Setzfand: We certainly do. Our first caller is Varate from New York.

John Yang: Varate from New York. How are you and thanks for the question. Go ahead, please.

Varate: Yes, I’m good, thank you. My question is for Dr. Rosario, that after you are vaccinated, how long is the effect to stay? That is my number one question, and secondly, after the vaccination, what kind of proportions (inaudible) regarding going out.

John Yang: Dr. Kanaya, how about … do we know how long the antibodies last — the immunity lasts, and what can you do after getting the vaccine?

Alka Kanaya: Great questions. So from the most recent data, we think the antibody from the Pfizer mRNA vaccine lasts at least six months. So that’s really good news. It lasts at least six months from after the second shot is given. And hopefully it’s longer. We don’t know, but we will find out soon because those people who were in those first trials for Moderna and Pfizer are being followed, and we will find out every three to six months, they’ll be telling us whether it looks like the immunity is still holding or not. And at the same time, these companies are working on booster vaccines already because everyone knows that at some point, we’re going to need boosters. And then the second question she asked was, what we can advise seniors, what they can do, what precautions they should take. At this point, I advise my senior patients and my parents that if they are fully vaccinated, two weeks after their second dose, that they can get together in small groups with other vaccinated friends and family indoors and not wear a mask. And that means small groups — you know, CDC says six people, I think a little bit more is probably OK, as long as everyone has been vaccinated. You can get together with small groups of other vaccinated people. What do you do about unvaccinated people? So when you’re out in the community walking around doing shopping, I would still wear a mask. I would still socially distance from other people because you don’t know if they’ve been vaccinated or not. And, even though you’re not going to be spreading the virus to them, it’s still a good idea for us to continue to mask until we have reached herd immunity, and that means 80 percent or more of the public has been vaccinated. So in public, I would still mask. When you’re indoors, anywhere with other people, and you don’t know if they’re vaccinated or not, still a good idea to mask.

John Yang: And Dr. Kanaya, can I ask, I have one more question. I know that … the vaccine has not been approved for use in young children yet. Can vaccinated grandparents hug their grandchildren?

Alka Kanaya: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think, you know young children have not been shown to have as much problem with the COVID, with the virus. They seem to have less severe disease. If they get sick, they may be able to transmit, but we don’t know how much they transmit, but that grandparent has been vaccinated. So that grandparent is not going to get very sick from a virus. The chances of them catching a virus from their grandchild is extremely, extremely low. So yes, absolutely hug your grandchild. This is time for grandchildren to see their grandparents once the grandparents are vaccinated. Now, should you have the grandchildren inside, indoors, and you’re not masking with the grandparent, there’s some controversy, some infectious disease doctors say, yes, it’s fine because those kids are so, so, so low risk. I think it also depends on the community where you live. If you live in an area where there’s very low transmission of COVID happening — like I live in the San Francisco Bay area, our counts are now in the 1 percent or lower in terms of COVID rate — I think the risk with grandchildren seeing grandparents who were vaccinated would be extremely low, and I would be comfortable with them being indoors with no masks on because the community rate is so low. If you live in an area, like say parts of Michigan that has much higher community transmission rates, then I would say the grandchildren should probably mask in that case just to be on the careful side. But the grandparent doesn’t need to mask as much. OK, so it’s a complicated answer about masking, but absolutely see your grandchildren and now hug them, because you are not going to get sick from them.

John Yang: Complicated, but I think one that grandchildren and grandparents will like, will welcome. Jean, who’s next?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Patel from California.

John Yang: Patel from California. Go ahead.

Patel: I have one question and it is very easy, and that is, I heard a lot that people are not ready to be vaccinated. And sometimes the fear factor is really important for convincing the people to get vaccinated. And the reason is, it’s not like a freedom we have, it’s a responsibility we have to society, and that is very important. And my feeling is that currently there is a very, very bad results going on in Asian countries, especially India. I’m not sure whether … people are aware of it, but what happened to New York last year in March, same thing is happening to India right now, all over the country. And so because people are not vaccinated enough and did not help control on what they are doing. So I think my question, how are we convincing the people to get vaccinated? That’s very important.

John Yang: And Dr. Rosario, as he mentions, are there lessons from abroad — India having a very tough time right now; on the other hand Israel, sort of coming back to life with their vaccination, widespread vaccinations, and now life is returning to normal.

Adelaida Rosario: Correct. He makes an excellent point. And that’s actually for the comment that Dr. Kanaya had made before, which was … altogether valid about the mistrust that exists in the communities, which this gentlemen is referring to as the fear, and the distrust toward the science, or maybe the misunderstanding toward the science; these are the community and population level evidence that everybody can see. That, you know, just taking away the sophistication of science jargon, you can see the differences and the way that it’s impacting the community, the vaccines versus those with a lower vaccine rates. So Israel versus India, as an excellent example. I was reading just today in the New York Times, the case in India and how they have, I mean, a spike, a COVID infection spike that is just unprecedented. So he just makes a wonderful point. I wish everybody shared that sense of responsibility,  not only just toward our family, but toward the community at large and the population at large as this gentlemen has, because that’s what it comes down to. I mean, each one, every one person who receives this vaccine has a chain reaction within their family, their friends, their network and their community. And it’s a positive one. They’re protecting themselves, they’re protecting their loved ones, they’re protecting the stranger that they stand 6 feet behind in the store — and they are protected from all that’s going on around. And if they do come in contact with the virus, any severity will be averted because of the effectiveness of this vaccine. So I think it just makes wonderful points. And this is the kind of evidence that — you know, for all of that misinformation that is circulating and all of the distrust that, of course, permeates — these are wonderful factual, concrete examples of the benefit of the vaccine, the lower infection rates that it’s creating, and the unfortunate consequence in other communities for those that aren’t, that don’t have the high vaccine levels.

John Yang: And Dr. Rosario, I think you make a good point that I want to follow up on … that the vaccine is not 100 percent effective. It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get the coronavirus, COVID-19, at all, but — like the seasonal flu vaccine — it means you’re not going to get a severe case. Is that right?

Adelaida Rosario: That is precisely right. And it’s 99.9 percent, which can round up to 100 percent. But you’re absolutely right. That if you come into contact with the virus, you can get the virus the exact same way as with the influenza vaccine, the flu vaccine. What it does is completely inoculate you and protect you from it being serious, from it having serious consequences, which with COVID as we’ve seen in our older adult community, has been high — very, very critical cases of hospitalizations and deaths. So with the vaccine, it is absolutely those high hospitalization and death rates that are completely eliminated.

John Yang: Thanks. Now let’s go back to the phones — or no, we’re on the phones. Let’s go back to the line. Jean, who do we have next?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Maryanne from New York City.

John Yang: Maryanne from New York City. Go ahead.

Maryanne: Hello, good evening. I received my first dosage of the Moderna vaccine, which was hard to get — New York City’s really booked up. I received it on Monday afternoon — and the first dosage, I had horrible side effects; chills until 7:30 a.m., I have knee and back arthritis which were exacerbated, I had body aches and a severe headache, and the chills lasted until 7:30 in the morning. That’s finally when I was able to sleep. I wasn’t feeling back to myself until yesterday. That’s three days. Now my concern is this is the Moderna. I’ve heard that the second dosage is worse. Is that going to be the case, because I just wanted to keel over and die from those chills and the body aches. I just, I could barely move. And is it rare to get it? Because I believe I had COVID last year, but my doctor didn’t have any tests last March. They say today that one-fourth of people in New York City had COVID. I think I had it. And would that have something to do with the so-called immune response? Am I going to get worse response after my second dosage? Because the first one was horrible.

John Yang: Dr. Garcia-Dia, do you want to take that — reactions to the shots?

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: Yeah, absolutely. I know that those are the common reactions that have been reported after the COVID 19 vaccine is given — like pain, redness, swelling at the injection site. And to your case, you have experienced fatigue, muscle or joint pain, headaches, chills, which could sometimes people also have fever. So reactions generally last a short time and, in some cases, will respond to Tylenol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The body aches and chills you describe are consistent with the reactions that have been reported. And I would advise you to access the COVID tracker tool; I do believe that you could report your symptoms that you are experiencing. This way, more information can be collected, and that’s very important. This way, we can share this with the CDC as well.

John Yang: Given these side effects — and I was in the Moderna clinical trial, and I had side effects — but given the side effects compared with getting COVID, is there a comparison, Dr. Garcia-Dia?

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: Well, from a professional perspective, I think the symptoms might be the same, but the chances of the mortality rate is better if you have this COVID vaccine. If we could only turn back time and have the vaccine earlier, I am sure that we would have turned the curve of the vaccine — and hopefully with this continuous support and trust that we have, and still with the information that we’re sharing, because just like other medications there will be side effects. Your body will still continue to adopt the immune response system.

John Yang: But I guess what I’m just saying — this is my personal opinion — that given a choice between the relatively mild side effects I had, and getting COVID, I’d rather have the relatively mild side effects. But that’s speaking for myself.

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: Absolutely. And I myself have a fear, having asthma hypertension. I have my own doubts as a nurse. I also hesitated, but I went to see my doctor, and he explained the positive effects that I would have. In fact, because of my chronic asthma, I have 60 percent lung capacity. And if I get COVID, that means that I would probably reduce my lung capacity to another 20 percent, which will really leave me not be able to walk, even just walking the house. So that in itself made me feel more confident that I should really get the vaccine.

John Yang: Yes, I mean one of the reasons why I sought out and applied for the clinical trials was because I have asthma. I have a mild heart condition. I thought it would be better to have a 50/50 chance of getting the vaccine earlier rather than later. And actually, it brings up a question about clinical trials that we’ll talk  about later. But right now, I do want to return to the question that we asked at the beginning of this town hall. You may remember we asked how many of you live in a multigenerational household, and it looks like 21 percent of those of you who responded said that you do live with multiple generations in a single household — 21 percent. So now we’d like to know if living in a house with multiple generations makes you more or less likely to get the vaccine. So please press 1 on your telephone keypad if living in a house with multiple generations makes you more likely to get the vaccine, and press 2 if living in a household with multiple generations makes you less likely to want to get the vaccine. Once again, does living in a house with multiple generations influence your decision to get the vaccine? Press 1 if it makes you more likely, press 2 if it makes you less likely.

And now let’s get back to our experts. Dr. Kanaya, we heard the question or the caller from New York saying that she was trying to get a specific vaccine, and there are differences in the technologies between the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine, of course, hasn’t, they have not applied for authorization in the United States. So Dr. Kanaya, could you explain the differences between these vaccines, and also, I’d be interested in your thoughts — should people like the caller from New York essentially try to shop for a vaccine, try to get one over another? And if they’re given a choice when they go to get a vaccine, what would you advise?

Alka Kanaya: Good questions. So the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine use mRNA technology. They’re very similar to each other, and they’re very different from the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccine that use DNA technology. Now, what does this mean in terms of mRNAs, DNA? These are the genetic materials, they’re small pieces of the genetic code of the virus. And when a vaccine is made with DNA, the DNA has to go inside yourself and rev up the protein-making machinery in the cells. And that’s the protein that your body uses to make antibodies again. And so those antibodies will be helpful when, and if you ever, your body gets exposed to the SARS-CoV-19 virus that causes COVID because then the body has antibodies and can protect against getting a serious infection. So the DNA vaccine gives little pieces of DNA of the virus to the cells in the body to get the protein machinery going, whereas the mRNA vaccines, that’s the Moderna and Pfizer, it’s one step ahead of the DNA because those little pieces of mRNA are already going to be moving that protein machinery forward. So, they are related to each other, but just slightly different in terms of the timing of how the proteins are made from the cells. And then you asked a question about whether people should shop for one vaccine over another. At this point I would not, I would take the first vaccine that is offered to you. And if it’s going to be Moderna or Pfizer at this point, because I believe the J&J is still on pause at least through this week, so if you were offered Moderna or Pfizer, take either one. If you want to say, well, are there any small differences in side effects between the Moderna and Pfizer, in the clinical trials it looks like there were some fewer side effects in people who got the Pfizer vaccine compared to the Moderna vaccine. In terms of the local site reaction, there was some fewer percent of people who got site reactions with the Pfizer vaccine compared to the Moderna vaccine. So there’s maybe a tiny bit of a difference in the local site reactions that people get. In terms of the other reactions with feeling body aches and chills, and this usually comes after dose two, that seems to be fairly similar between the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine. But I overall, I wouldn’t shop. I would just take the first one, but if you’re offered either, you have either Moderna or Pfizer in front of you, I would probably take the Pfizer just because of the more possibly somewhat less side effects.

John Yang: Interesting point. And Dr. Kanaya, I’d like to talk to you about clinical trials, about the development of the vaccines. As I said, I sought out an opportunity to apply for a clinical trial. I ended up in the Moderna clinical trial. But in particular, I’d like you to talk about the importance of having people of color in general and Asian American Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians in particular involved not only in these clinical trials, but in all clinical trials for new medications and drugs.

Alka Kanaya: I think that that’s a critical point … you know, we need to have better representation of AANHPI groups in all types of studies, whether it’s vaccine studies or Alzheimer’s disease studies or whatever. We don’t have enough participants. We don’t have enough volunteers coming from these communities, and we absolutely need to change that narrative. In the trials that were done with Moderna and Pfizer — I looked this up again today to make sure I have the correct numbers — but Moderna, the main trial had 30,000 participants and 5 percent were Asian American. They don’t tell us about Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders in the main study results. I believe there were, there was representation from NHPI groups as well. I don’t have the exact numbers. So about 5 percent of the participants out of 30,000 — that’s about 1,400 people  — were Asian American in that trial. In the Pfizer trial that was 38,000 people, and that was not done in the United States, that was done in many other countries around the world. The Moderna trial was done in the U.S. The Pfizer trial included 4 percent Asians as well, which is good. I mean, we’re seeing 4 or 5 percent. It’s good. It’s not great. We could do better and, you know, Asian Americans and NHPI Asians in general represent 60 percent of the global population in the world. And we need to do better about having representation in all sorts of studies.

John Yang: And is there a scientific medical reason you want to have that representation in the trials?

Alka Kanaya: Absolutely, especially in drug trials and in vaccine trials. It’s really important to have representation from diverse groups and communities, because there may be certain biological differences in how we metabolize medications or how our body develops immune responses to vaccines that cannot be seen unless we have adequate numbers of participants in these trials. That being said, at least 4 to 5 percent of Asian Americans were in these trials, and when they looked to see if there was any signal of any difference in efficacy of the vaccine or in side effects, they weren’t able to find one. Now does that mean that the question’s been completely answered — that there’s no differences for Asian Americans versus other groups? Probably not because we’re basing this on 1,400, 1,600 people in these trials. But it at least gives me some comfort knowing that there was some representation in these studies. We can do better.

John Yang: Very good. Dr. Rosario, I’d like to turn to you as someone from the Public Health Service. We’re hearing a lot about — as always happens in these cases — frauds, scams, people selling phony vaccination cards. What can our community, what can the Asian American, Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander community do to fight that sort of thing — frauds and scams, and also misinformation about the vaccine and about COVID?

Adelaida Rosario: Excellent, excellent question. So yeah, for our community and particularly our elders, who tend to be a little bit more vulnerable, and then, of course, our caretakers who are the ones taking care of our older loved ones, we want to make sure that folks are empowered and have resources and have the right information and not get kind of swayed by this misinformation or become a victim of these frauds and scams. So there’s a lot of stuff out there that that can be accessed. First of all, each state has their health department website, and those websites are kept quite up-to-date with information about who are authorized vaccine providers. And then those are the providers that you’d want to obtain a vaccine. As you’ve mentioned, John, [there are] those that call you with these fake vaccination cards and the such. So you want to avoid that by making sure you know who are the authorized providers. You could always check the FDA’s website — ‘cause they always maintain current information about vaccine emergency use, and who has emergency use authorization — if you’re getting a phone call with somebody posing that they now have a brand new emergency use available vaccine. Always consult your trusted health care provider. As Dr. Kanaya was talking about, go to those people in your community that you trust — that are particularly your doctor, your physician — about any of these concerns, and take the concerns that you have about the vaccines and about your health to them as well. So, of course, don’t ever share personal or health information with anybody other than those who are known trusted medical professionals. Please don’t be giving your Social Security or any such  personal information over the phone with people calling asking. Always just double check your medical bills and the insurance explanations for benefits. You always want to kind of just keep your eyes out for suspicious claims. And, of course, immediately report any errors to your health insurance provider. And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, they always have a list as well of other trusted medical professionals that can be turned to for verification. So we just encourage everybody to become more aware with their most local trusted resources that they could always use to vet and verify when they get approached by these folks trying to run a fraud or a scam.

John Yang: That’s good advice now, and also at any time I think, for all sorts of issues. Thank you very much, Dr. Rosario.

Adelaida Rosario: You’re welcome.

John Yang: Jean, have we got more questions? I hope we have more questions, Jean. Who’s next?

Jean Setzfand: Yep. All right, we have Glenn calling in from Hawaii.

John Yang: Glenn from Hawaii. What’s your question, Glenn?

Jean Setzfand: Hello, Glenn, can you hear us? …  All right? I think we probably lost Glenn. We will now go to Jovita from Florida.

John Yang: Jovita from Florida. I hope you’re with us. And what’s your question?

Jovita: Yes, thank you for taking my question. I have a problem because the last flu shot I had about seven years ago, I had like a reaction like the Guillain-Barré syndrome. So I’m reluctant about taking the COVID vaccine. What do you, what can you advise me?

John Yang: Dr. Kanaya, what would be your advice? She had a previous bad reaction to a flu shot. What’s your advice?

Alka Kanaya: The technology used for these vaccines is completely different from a flu shot. A flu shot uses killed parts of a flu virus, and this is, again, DNA and RNA technology, which is so different. There’s no relationship with side effects you may have had with the flu shot and how you will do with this new vaccine. So I wouldn’t be scared because of your prior experience with the flu shot.

John Yang: If the Johnson & Johnson vaccine comes back … would your advice be the same, given the different technology?

Alka Kanaya: Yeah, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is DNA technology, and it’s different from what we use for the flu shots in the U.S., so I still would say the prior experience that you had with the flu shot does not really apply to how you will do with any of these vaccines now.

John Yang: Great. Thank you very much. Jean, do we have anybody else?

Jean Setzfand: Absolutely. We have a question coming in from YouTube, and this one’s coming from Diane and she’s asking, “Is there a difference between dose one, dose two, and the booster dose three?”

John Yang: Dr. Kanaya, do you want to take that?

Alka Kanaya: Sure. Do you mind repeating that? I didn’t catch the whole question.

Jean Setzfand: Sure, no problem. The question comes from Diane and she’s asking the difference between the doses. Is there a difference between dose one and dose two? And I guess we’re hearing a lot about a booster dose three. Are there any differences between those shots?

Alka Kanaya: Yeah, it’s not yet developed yet. No, the amount of vaccine in terms of the volume of vaccine you get is the same for dose one and for dose two for the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine. J&J is only a one-dose vaccine. So, yes, in terms of the volume injected is identical for both of these. AstraZeneca had differences in dose one and dose two, but that’s not a vaccine we have here in the U.S.

John Yang: And would, given the variants, given the evolving nature of this virus, will the boosters be any different, or will it essentially be the same?

Alka Kanaya: That’s the hope for these boosters, is we will have smarter boosters that take into account all of these different variants that we have in the world right now so that they will be effective against these variants like the South African variant, the Brazil variant, the Indian variant — there’s many different variants; and variants happen in parts of the world where there’s a lot of transmission of virus. So we’re hopeful that as our communities become more and more vaccinated and we start to reach herd immunity — and that’s usually 80 percent is kind of the goal here, if 80 percent of all Americans get vaccinated, that’s wonderful news because there’ll be less and less transmission of any virus in this country, and we’ll be having less variants, new variants pop up. And we need the whole world to be vaccinated so we can reduce these variants from occurring in other parts of the world as well.

John Yang: Terrific. Jean, do we have any more questions?

Jean Setzfand: Yes, we have a question coming in from Kimberly of Minnesota.

John Yang: Kimberly in Minnesota.

Kimberly: Hi. First, I have a comment and then a question. So my comment is to reassure you about Johnson & Johnson. I went and got mine, but I have no underlying conditions. I got it a couple of weeks ago. I have had no problems whatsoever. And the other thing I want to tell people — I was in their schedule list, but they first tried to schedule me for a city an hour away from where I live, actually where I was born. And I go, I’m not going there. So I walked into the pharmacy, and I introduced myself, and the woman looked at me and she goes, “You’re not old enough.” And I go, “I don’t care. I want to talk to somebody.” And then an older guy came over and he goes, “Walk over here.” And I went to a kiosk and they lined me up for the next week. So to me, it’s persistence in being in person that pays off, because when you’re in a database, people just treat you as a number, you know? So that’s my learning from that. My hard question is, my mother is 88. She still hasn’t had her shot, and she still lives at home. I don’t really want her to live at home, but my brother is the executor of her estate, and he won’t move her out. And he tells me that he doesn’t want her to get the shot because he thinks she’s so frail she’s going to die. What do you do about that?

John Yang: Dr. Garcia-Dia, what’s your advice?

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: I can relate to that. I also live with my parents-in-law. My father-in-law’s 84 years old, and my mother-in-law is 78 years old. Both of them have really hesitated in getting the vaccines themselves. And we had to have the conversation, difficult conversation. And my advice is really to call the primary care provider and discuss these concerns with them. They know the history, the personal health history of your mother, and he can guide you on weighing the risk and benefits in taking the vaccine. There is no cure for COVID-19, and hundreds of thousands of people have died from it. And the vaccine is really a proven and safe way to help our body fight the infectious disease. And ask your brother to go to the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] website and look it up for himself, so this way he can truly understand that this is really our first and best way to protect your mother against COVID-19.

John Yang: Very good. Thank you, Dr. Garcia-Dia. Jean, let’s go back … and see who our next question’s from.

Jean Setzfand: Sounds good. This question is coming on Facebook from Kaiu, and Kaiu’s asking, “How many Asians have been vaccinated in the U.S. — where can we find that information?”

John Yang: Dr. Rosario, was that, I know the CDC has an aggregate number of the number of vaccines and who’s gotten one shot, who’s fully inoculated. Is that sort of information available?

Adelaida Rosario: It is, and what I can say is that this week where we stand is more than 65 percent of people age 65 and older are fully vaccinated. And then 25 [percent] of the general population. However, if we want to look at any specific state, those are available online — CDC’s website has a tracker that is updated daily. And you could always check with your local health department that has local statistics available.

John Yang: And are the numbers broken down by ethnicity and ethnic background?

Adelaida Rosario: On the website, yes, but again, as mentioned early in our conversation, the challenge with our community is the data that we hold for AANHPI doesn’t tend to be disaggregated. So it’s kind of lumped together. We’re not clear on where the statistics stand with each subgroup.

John Yang: Great, thank you very much. Looking at the clock, I think we could keep going for much longer but we do have to bring this to a close. And so I’d like to ask each of you for your closing thoughts, the recommendations, the thoughts you want to leave with our listeners — the most important thing you want to leave with our listeners tonight. Dr. Rosario of the Public Health Service, let’s start with you.

Adelaida Rosario: Yes, sir. What I definitely want to impress upon everybody is how the benefits so far outweigh the risks. It’s an issue of protecting yourself, keeping yourself out of the hospital, being able to go about your day — kind of return to what was your norm with confidence that you won’t end up hospitalized, death won’t be a looming threat. You could interact with your loved ones, your family, your children, your grandkids. And it is a significant, significant step toward returning back to the life that we knew.

John Yang: Very good. Thank you very much. Dr. Kanaya, what would be your closing thoughts?

Alka Kanaya: Well, it’s hard to top that. I would say get vaccinated, get people around you to get vaccinated. Anyone you come into contact with, ask them and help them move that needle toward going and getting activated to get vaccinated, because we need everyone to pitch in here. It’s important that you use your own influence with the people who you know and around you to get them vaccinated, because we’re trying to get the entire world vaccinated. And one more person means one more step closer to getting our life back to normal.

John Yang: And it’s that personal touch, as everyone has said, that’s so important. Dr. Garcia-Dia, what are your closing thoughts?

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: I would encourage everyone to have an honest conversation and have a listening session with people in the community that you could trust, and share experiences with each other. This is really our shot. We can stop the pandemic on its tracks. Let us be part of that solution and make this opportunity to help in preventing the spread of COVID-19, and really getting the COVID-19 vaccine protects you, your family and our community.

John Yang: Very good. Thank you very much. Thank you very much Mary Joy Garcia-Dia, the Philippine Nurses Association of America; Dr. Alka Kanaya of the University of California San Francisco Medical School; and Adelaida Rosario of the U.S. Public Health Service. Thanks to you all for a most informative discussion tonight. Thanks to everyone out there who asked questions. Thanks to the AARP members, the volunteers, and listeners for participating in this discussion. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization. It’s been working to promote the health and well-being for older Americans for more than 60 years. And in the face of the pandemic, it has been providing resources and information to help older adults and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus and prevent its spread to others while taking care of themselves.

All of the resources we’ve talked about, all of the things that we discussed tonight, including a recording of today’s Q&A can be found on the web at aarp.org/coronavirus. The recording of this event will be available on April 23 —  tomorrow, in about 24 hours. Again, that web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. If any of you had questions that were not addressed tonight, and I apologize if that’s the case, go to that website. You’ll find the latest updates as well as information created specifically for older adults and family caregivers. And actually, one more time, I want to repeat the information that if you have trouble getting an appointment or registering for a vaccination because you don’t have a computer, because you don’t have access to the internet, press 1 on your telephone. That will get you on a list for a call back from an AARP staffer who can in-person and on the phone help you get that information, register and get an appointment for a vaccine.

As everyone has said tonight, that is what is going to help us get back to normal, get back on track. We hope that you have learned something tonight that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. There’ll be another conversation about the coronavirus, an AARP tele-town hall meeting May 6 at 1 p.m. That’s May 6 at 1 p.m. And now let me add my personal thanks to Daphne Kwok, Jean Setzfand, Mike Watson from AARP, and especially to Julio in the control room for keeping me straight tonight. I appreciate all the support and the help. That’s it. Thank you all for listening. Have a good day.

John Yang:  Hello everybody. I’m John Yang from the PBS NewsHour. And on behalf of AARP, I want to welcome you all to this important discussion about the coronavirus. Before we begin, I want to tell you that if you want to hear this telephone town hall in Mandarin, and you are on a telephone, press *0 on your telephone keypad now for a simultaneous translation in Mandarin. AARP, as we hope you know, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization. It’s been promoting the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. And for the last year in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, AARP has been and continues to provide information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them. Today we’re going to discuss the latest on the pandemic, on vaccine safety and access, and what the continued distribution of vaccines means for Asian-Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

[00:01:14] Today’s panel of experts will address these issues and more, and take your questions. If you’ve participated in one of these town halls before, you know what it’s like; it’s like a radio talk show. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions live. And once again, if you’re on a phone and you want to hear a simultaneous Mandarin translation, press *0 on your telephone keypad now. And if you are on the phone with us and you want to ask a question of our experts about the coronavirus pandemic, press *3 on your telephone and you’ll be connected with an AARP staff member. They’ll note your name, your question, and place you in a queue to ask that question live on this town hall. If you’re joining us on Facebook or on YouTube, you can post your question in the comments and your question will be read aloud on this town hall.

[00:02:16] We have with us today some outstanding leaders and experts in the field from the University of California San Francisco; the Philippine Nurses Association of America; and the U.S. Public Health Service, and the Surgeon General’s Office in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] . We’re also being joined by AARP’s Jean Setzfand, who will help us with your calls and questions and get them to us tonight.

[00:03:09] This event is being recorded. You can watch the recording about 24 hours after we end. You can watch it at aarp.org/coronavirus. That’s aarp.org/coronavirus.

[00:03:42] Now let’s bring in our guests. We have some very distinguished guests. First, Adelaida Rosario, and I hope I’m getting all these names correctly. Adelaida Rosario holds a Ph.D. She’s a lieutenant in the U.S. Public Health Service and the Surgeon General’s Office in the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Rosario, welcome.

[00:04:07]Adelaida Rosario:  Thank you, sir. How are you?

[00:04:09]John Yang:  Very well, and I hope you are well, too. Dr. Alka Kanaya is a professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco. She focuses her work on a range of health issues, including a research program focused on the health of South Asian adults. Dr. Kanaya, thanks for being with us tonight.

[00:04:29]Alka Kanaya:  Thank you. Pleasure to be here.

[00:04:31]John Yang:  And Mary Joy Garcia-Dia, she holds a doctorate in nursing practices. She is the president of the Philippine Nurses Association of America, which has more than 5,000 members and works to uphold and foster the positive image and welfare of Filipino American nurses. And if I may add, they are heroes 365 days a year, but particularly in the past year, they have been superheroes. So Dr. Garcia-Dia, thanks for being with us and thanks for all you do.

[00:05:01]Mary Joy Garcia-Dia:  Thank you so much, John, I really appreciate it.

[00:05:03]John Yang:  And before we get to your questions for our guests, we think it’s only fair that we get asked a question of you. So we’d like to know, do you live in a multigenerational household? If you’re on the phone, press 1 for yes if you do live in a multigenerational household. Press 2 if you do not live in a multigenerational household. Once again, do you live in a multigenerational household? Press 1 if yes, if you live with multiple generations, and 2 if you do not. We’ll be back with the results of that, and also build on a question depending on how you answer that later on in the town hall.

[00:05:53] But right now, let’s get started with our discussion. … So to our guests, I’d like to ask each of you a pretty important question. We have a diverse mix of backgrounds here. We have a diverse mix of expertise here. So I’d like to know from your viewpoint, from each of your viewpoints, what’s the challenge, the biggest challenge or challenges to the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander [AANHPI] community to getting information about the pandemic and getting the vaccine and the availability of the vaccines, and what are the suggestions or solutions for getting over those hurdles, those challenges? Dr. Rosario, let’s start with you.

[00:06:58]Adelaida Rosario:  Thank you, John. Well, as you can imagine there are several challenges for our AANHPI community. First, there’s the obvious language barriers. This requires the need for translated materials to understand information about the pandemic, and, of course, the availability of the vaccines. A second challenge is that older adults may not be as accustomed to using today’s computer technology. So that’s kind of required different options or mediums for obtaining information, whether it be print or by phone or in-person communication. And finally, AANHPI community is extremely diverse with multiple subgroups, and therefore there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach with communications. And we also have a fourth issue, which is misinformation that is just running rampant about not only the pandemic, but about the vaccine. And then the potential that that creates for scams and fraudulent approaches. So one solution is to continue to be very open and listen to our local communities and make a concerted effort to provide factual information about the COVID-19 vaccines. And point everybody to trusted sources of research and rigorous testing that’s been conducted as we know, by the CDC and FDA, and the education about the availability of the COVID-19 vaccines and the efficacy are always going to be important points to stress.

[00:08:20]John Yang:  You raised a lot of issues there that we’ll get back to, but just quickly, Dr. Rosario … you talk about the need to have materials in different languages. Does the Public Health Service have these materials in various languages?

[00:08:34]Adelaida Rosario:  They have. The HHS has been working on a number of print materials and virtual materials targeting the major subgroups and the relevant languages so that we can really penetrate the community in their native tongue. And then they’re already moving into a second wave of a whole second sphere of subgroups, which now includes also American Samoans and some of the smaller islands.

[00:09:01]John Yang:  Great. Thank you very much. Now, Dr. Kanaya, what about you? What do you see as the biggest challenges, and how do we surmount those challenges?

[00:09:10]Alka Kanaya:  Yes, thank you. … I definitely agree with what Dr. Rosario just said about these challenges with language and technology and misinformation being rampant. I will add a few other thoughts and that is, trust — trust in the vaccine and in the process of making the vaccine and that whether people trust the science behind it and want to get vaccinated as a result. And that may again … I think things that are undermining trust are misinformation for sure, but there’s many ways to approach this problem. And I agree with Dr. Rosario that having as a community help and other people in the community you trust to help you with understanding what needs to be done to schedule the vaccine appointment and all, but the bigger issue that I think we need to think about is getting real information to people from trusted leaders in the community. And that would be, you know, whether it’s a community organization that has trusted leaders, whether it’s the primary care doctor at the local health centers that someone trusts to give them clear information about the pros and cons of vaccine, and really utilizing these people as the trusted voices to help engage our communities in getting these vaccines that are now available for anyone older than age 16.

[00:11:04]John Yang:  And, with all due respect to Dr. Rosario from the U.S. Public Health Service, a lot of what I’m hearing in talking to people is that in some cases, a trusted source is not necessarily the government. Is that what you’re finding, Dr. Kanaya?

[00:11:18]Alka Kanaya:  Yeah, there’s been some community forums done in different community groups, in different race, ethnic groups, and, oftentimes the vaccine-hesitant groups, when they interview them — and these may be Latinos, Asians, all different types of groups — the one thing that keeps coming up is lack of trust in larger governmental organizations, and people saying the people who they trust are people who they’ve known for a long time. And that often becomes their primary care doctor, if they’ve had a long-term relationship with somebody, or their community leaders. And that’s where I think having those, whether it be from faith-based organizations or other community-based organizations, these are where we need people to really help step up to really talk about the truth about the vaccines and about why it’s so important that everyone gets vaccinated.

[00:12:20]John Yang:  Thank you, Dr. Kanaya. Dr. Garcia-Diaz, is there anything, what would you add to what we’ve heard?

[00:12:27]Mary Joy Garcia-Dia:  I totally agree with those, that trust is really important from a solution perspective. This is where we, as a professional organization, have really worked closely with the American Nurses Association in sharing our own experiences. Why is it important for us to get the vaccine? It’s not [just] because we’re working in the front lines, but also, we want to protect our family and loved ones. As the news … showed in the past that during the height of the pandemic, the Filipino American Nurses Association were impacted by COVID-19. We have the highest rate of that in the nursing workforce, even though we represent 4 percent of the nursing workforce. So it’s really close and personal for us. In addition to that, we know that many of our communities — as our other panel speakers said with regards to the language barrier — we are working with the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum in reaching out to our community so we could assist with translations and disseminating the information through webinar sessions, so people can feel comfortable and ask questions without feeling embarrassed. I think town hall discussions such as this, and also just trying to have the personal conversation with our peers, will make people feel why it’s important for them to take the vaccine and really establish that trust.

[00:13:49]John Yang:  Thanks, Dr. Garcia-Dia. There are a lot of strains that we’ve been talking about here that we’re going to return to, I’m sure. And I also want to remind folks on the phone that if they want to ask us a question, press the * button and then the 3 button. That will connect you to an AARP staffer who will help you get in a queue to ask your question on the town hall. If you’re on Facebook or on YouTube, you can put your questions into the comments section and Jean will read it aloud for the town hall. One … common thread we heard from all the experts to that first question was misinformation, trust, real information about the vaccine. And I think there has been in recent days a lot of concern by the headlines about what is, I think it’s fair to say, a very rare side effect of some of the vaccines — a very rare blood clot side effect that has led to some concern about two vaccines in particular. Earlier today, there was an AARP town hall event with Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, who’s director of the University of Maryland Center for Vaccine Development. And she was asked about the pause in the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines in the United States and Europe.

[00:15:39]Kathleen Neuzil:  [from 1 p.m. town hall] You know, I was involved in the clinical trials of both of these vaccines, and just to state that despite the fact that we did enroll 30,000 to 50,000 people in these trials, these are very rare events that are difficult to pick up. I will say that no safety was compromised as part of the trials. Most vaccine-associated side effects do appear within the first few weeks after vaccination, and that is exactly when we’re seeing these rare thromboembolic events. So in fact, it is because they are so rare and not because we didn’t carefully follow participants that we did not pick them up in the clinical trials. These are severe blood clots occurring in unusual places — the cerebral venous sinuses, for example, associated with low platelet counts. And this is a very unusual combination of signs and symptoms. The fact that we could pick up these rare events says a lot about our safety system in both the United States and Europe, and one of the main reasons for the initial pause in the United States is to make recipients of the vaccine and providers aware of this rare side effect, and the fact that we treat it somewhat differently. And so a lot of the reason for the pause was that education about these rare side effects.

[00:17:25]John Yang:  That answer from Dr. Kathleen Neuzil of the University of Maryland Center for Vaccine Development. But hopefully we’ll break that down.

[00:18:04] Dr. Kanaya, I’d like to turn back to you. A lot of concern about the vaccines, a lot of questions about the development of the vaccines, the speed with which the vaccines were developed, about the technology. If someone were to come to you and say, “I really can’t decide whether I’m going to get the vaccine or not,” what would you say?

[00:18:35]Alka Kanaya:  I actually face this all the time in my own clinic with my patients. I think the biggest reason for people to think about getting vaccinated, and the way I frame this is, it’s about what it means to you and to your family, the people around you. And being vaccinated protects not only you, but protects them as well. And it protects the community. So there’s many reasons that people have to fear the vaccine, but from everything we know about it, and from the studies that now have over six months of follow-up data with the Pfizer vaccine, the vaccine appears to be on the most part, on the hugest amount of data supports safety and efficacy, that it’s working, and it’s working well for up to six months now. And the side effects that occur, occur early and are usually very mild. And these rare, rare side effects that we’ve seen have not been seen in the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. And it’s very important for them to put the fears of side effects and the vaccine science to one side and think about the greater benefits to themselves and to their loved ones around them, and the bigger benefit to us all, to our global community, to be able to have and achieve herd immunity. And that’s hard for people to say that the reason I’m getting vaccinated is because I want the whole world to come back to normal, and it usually takes something a little bit more personal to make people change their mind or to influence and have them move forward. So it’s really about protecting yourself and protecting your family and the people around you.

[00:20:36]John Yang:  Dr. Rosario, from the public health standpoint, I know that it’s sort of a fine line you have to walk in terms of, on the one hand, warning the public about possible side effects about … these rare events that took place with the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccine. And on the other hand, you want to encourage people to get the vaccine, to protect the public health. How do you balance that in the messaging to people? How do you sort of on the one hand be cautious, but on the other hand, be encouraging?

[00:21:21]Adelaida Rosario:  Well, I think it’s important to be truthful and honest. So the one thing that is making the news often, the one piece of information that everybody has kind of at the front of their heads — you know, the common piece of conversation, the dinner starter — is kind of all of the negative feedback that you receive that’s out on the news, you know, the smaller numbers that have to do with these rare occurrences and these illnesses. But when you just look at those small numbers in contrast to the millions who have received the vaccine, and who are fully inoculated at this point and are doing fine, and nothing beyond the minor side effects, I mean that is substantial evidence and really encouraging, hopeful evidence, to kind of guide yourself. And that’s always part of our messaging that the benefits so far outweigh these small risks, and the same way that any other vaccine is thought, the COVID vaccine is no different. So this has the same kind of risks that any parent taking their small child to get their series of shots … you’re kind of up against the same numbers. It’s being honest that of course these rare occurrences are happening, not shying away from that, but really celebrating the successes that we’re seeing with the numbers of infections dropping and the successful inoculations at a population level that’s currently occurring, not only in United States but across the world.

[00:23:01]John Yang:  And Dr. Rosario, I know that that public health is more than just … the symptoms and illness, and there’s sort of a broader impact, particularly as we’ve had in COVID-19. And I’m wondering if you, in your work, have seen the effect on the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community, beyond just health, in terms of finances, economics, housing, security and that sort of thing.

[00:23:38]Adelaida Rosario:  Oh yes, absolutely. I mean we’re seeing long-term unemployment issues rising. Of course, that impacts all spheres of life. It impacts the kids with their education, their access to education; it impacts housing, stability, etc. And then, of course, in addition to this pandemic, there’s this heightened negative attention right now that’s been kind of focused on the Asian American community because of all the stereotyping. And it’s just, it’s terribly unfortunate. It becomes what equals a double pandemic essentially for all of our older Asian American community members, because they’re dealing with all of this awful discrimination in addition, layered to this health crisis. So there’s something to be said on disproportionate mental health impact that now our community is dealing with a courtesy of these two layers — you know, this other layer of impact aside from the actual pandemic.

[00:24:36]John Yang:  And Dr. Garcia-Dia … along with that idea of sort of the impact beyond just health, there has been a tremendous, we’ve heard the stories of the frontline health care workers like the nurses you represent, the tremendous psychic toll this pandemic has had on them of caring for people who are desperately ill and cannot be with their loved ones — their loved ones can’t be at their bedsides. A lot of people want to help. Members like your membership. What should they do? What can people do to help frontline workers like your nurses?

[00:25:23]Mary Joy Garcia-Dia:  Thank you so much for asking this question, John. We all know that the level of stress and emotional impact to our health care professionals are very profound. Many of our nurses shared their traumatic experience. Some of the nurses have been infected with COVID-19 and … they are thankful that they were able to make it alive, while others experienced losses within their immediate families. So, for example, individuals like the Justly Project have reached out and fundraised for programs that can provide psychosocial and emotional support through peer-to-peer support. Culturally for Asian American Pacific Islanders [AAPI] , and I think more for the Filipinos, there is a stigma associated with seeking mental health. Our organization has conducted an Emotions Behind the Mask Survey to understand what are the challenges that our nurses are experiencing and how can we help unpack these emotions of depression, the moral injury that they feel because they survive versus their other peers or their loved ones, and the frustrations that they continue to feel because the pandemic is not going away. When we kicked off the resilience program, it’s really meant to help them in the long haul. This way they can really refocus and make mindfulness exercises, and a lot of people also practice spirituality. We also sent a survey on what can we do to make them feel appreciated. Surprisingly, amongst the choices of gift cards, one thing that stuck out is the recurring comments that we read — a simple thank you will make us feel better. So this coming May actually, we will be celebrating Nurses Week, and we hope that the audience will express their thank yous to our nurses, to our health care and essential workers, because it will go a long way in reaffirming the reason why we chose to be in the health care profession, to care for our patients and save lives. And we know we can only do our job if everyone will do their share in helping flatten the curve. So really taking the first step to take care of yourself and get your vaccine will help. It will be a huge help. Thank you.

[00:27:42]John Yang:  Dr. Garcia-Dia … you said that Nurses Week is in May. What week is it? What specific day date?

[00:27:51]Mary Joy Garcia-Dia:  So historically, John, it’s usually the first to second week of May, but because the American Nurses Association continue to celebrate the Year of the Nurse, we are going to have a Nurse Month Celebration. It’s going to be the whole month of May. We are super excited about that.

[00:28:11]John Yang:  Excellent. And … I hope everyone keeps that in mind and remembers all of May to be thinking and thanking the nurses. Dr. Garcia-Dia, thank you very much. … Now, before we move forward, I want to bring in Daphne Kwok, who’s vice president for Multicultural Markets — excuse me, she is vice president of Multicultural Markets at AARP, to give us an update on what AARP has been doing on the COVID front. Daphne.

[00:29:09]Daphne Kwok:  Thank you so much, John, and to our distinguished guests and speakers, we’ve had such a rich conversation already tonight. First of all, I want to say that AARP strongly condemns all racially motivated violence and harassment, and AARP stands with the AAPI community. But as Dr. Rosario just said, for our AAPI elders, they are unfortunately having to combat a double pandemic with the COVID-19 as well as the racism and xenophobia that is happening to our community. And racism is a public health issue. The assaults are causing fear in our community, especially for our older members. The fear is keeping them from their appointments and medical appointments. Most importantly, keeping them from getting their vaccines. And I know that volunteers have been helping out at the local level to … accompany our elders to their appointments, which is so key and critical. This is all part of the public health issue that’s a threat. The entire nation needs to come together to help control COVID spread. So you may be asking, what is AARP doing for AAPI elders? Well, first of all, in May, we will be hosting a Stop Asian Hate forum that will be open to everybody and anybody. We are also working to produce — as we’ve all heard, in-language materials is so key and critical for our elders, and so we are doing that — producing materials to help protect them from becoming a victim while also producing materials for bystanders who may see an incident. Also several of our state AARP offices are engaging with the AAPI community at the local level, and also most importantly, AARP has a tremendous communication channel, whether it’s through these forums or whether it’s through our magazine with 38 million members’ readership, we are able to get information out about the AAPI community. And as we’ve all said … how important it is to shatter the model minority myth, and as well as the perpetual foreigner image, and also really being able to tell and talk about Asian American and Pacific Islander history, the contribution piece in making the United States, back ever since the Civil War. And so for those of you that are AARP members, I hope you get a chance to look at our April/May edition of the Magazine; we actually have a large spread in there of AAPI who are talking about the people that inspired them. It is also on our website as well. So, these are just a few of the examples that we at AARP are doing to really work on behalf of our AAPI elders and their families. Thank you so much.

[00:32:06]John Yang:  Thank you, Daphne. I just got my copy of AARP The Magazine in the mail today. Haven’t had a chance to look into it, but I certainly will. And thank you, Daphne, for the many important points you made in your remarks. …

[00:32:21] And before we take [your] questions, we want to go back to an issue that I think we heard a lot about in the opening round of questions about the challenges facing the community in getting the vaccine, and the availability of the vaccine. We know from not only anecdotal evidence, but we know that there are a lot of people who are having trouble registering for the vaccines where you live, because a lot of this — or most of them, quite frankly — are online, and there are people who don’t have access to a computer or access to the internet, and that can be a challenge. So AARP has come up with an AARP Vaccine Registration Team that can help you if you don’t have a computer, if you don’t have access to the internet. If you’re listening today and you fall into that category — you don’t have a computer, you can’t go online to register for a vaccine — press 1 now. Press 1 on your phone and you’ll be added to the list to receive a phone call from the AARP staff to help you. So once again, if you don’t have a computer, you can’t get online, you don’t have internet access, you can’t sign up for a vaccine online, press 1 now on your telephone, and you’ll be connected with someone — or you’ll be added to a list, I should say — for a call back from the AARP to help you on the phone, in person, get registered, and get an appointment for the vaccine. So we, I urge you to do that. I’ll remind you of that a couple more times before we end this town hall.

[00:34:47] And now … I’ve been asking questions, but let’s now get to the smart questions: your questions. Your questions for Dr. Kanaya, Dr. Rosario and Dr. Garcia-Dia. And now let’s bring in AARP Senior Vice President of Programs Jean Setzfand to help with your calls. Jean, are you there?

[00:35:27]Jean Setzfand:  I’m here, and thanks so much, John. I’m delighted to be here for this important conversation.

[00:35:31]John Yang:  Thank you, Jean. So have we got some calls? Have we got some questions? Who’s first?

[00:35:36]Jean Setzfand:  We certainly do. Our first caller is Varate from New York.

[00:35:41]John Yang:  Varate from New York. How are you and thanks for the question. Go ahead, please.

[00:35:48]Varate:  Yes, I’m good, thank you. My question is for Dr. Rosario, that after you are vaccinated, how long is the effect to stay? That is my number one question, and secondly, after the vaccination, what kind of proportions [inaudible] regarding going out.

[00:36:11]John Yang:  Dr. Kanaya, how about … do we know how long the antibodies last — the immunity lasts, and what can you do after getting the vaccine?

[00:36:26]Alka Kanaya:  Great questions. So from the most recent data, we think the antibody from the Pfizer mRNA vaccine lasts at least six months. So that’s really good news. It lasts at least six months from after the second shot is given. And hopefully it’s longer. We don’t know, but we will find out soon because those people who were in those first trials for Moderna and Pfizer are being followed, and we will find out every three to six months, they’ll be telling us whether it looks like the immunity is still holding or not. And at the same time, these companies are working on booster vaccines already because everyone knows that at some point, we’re going to need boosters. And then the second question she asked was, what we can advise seniors, what they can do, what precautions they should take. At this point, I advise my senior patients and my parents that if they are fully vaccinated, two weeks after their second dose, that they can get together in small groups with other vaccinated friends and family indoors and not wear a mask. And that means small groups — you know, CDC says six people, I think a little bit more is probably OK, as long as everyone has been vaccinated. You can get together with small groups of other vaccinated people. What do you do about unvaccinated people? So when you’re out in the community walking around doing shopping, I would still wear a mask. I would still socially distance from other people because you don’t know if they’ve been vaccinated or not. And, even though you’re not going to be spreading the virus to them, it’s still a good idea for us to continue to mask until we have reached herd immunity, and that means 80 percent or more of the public has been vaccinated. So in public, I would still mask. When you’re indoors, anywhere with other people, and you don’t know if they’re vaccinated or not, still a good idea to mask.

[00:38:40]John Yang:  And Dr. Kanaya, can I ask, I have one more question. I know that … the vaccine has not been approved for use in young children yet. Can vaccinated grandparents hug their grandchildren?

[00:38:55]Alka Kanaya:  Absolutely. Absolutely. I think, you know young children have not been shown to have as much problem with the COVID, with the virus. They seem to have less severe disease. If they get sick, they may be able to transmit, but we don’t know how much they transmit, but that grandparent has been vaccinated. So that grandparent is not going to get very sick from a virus. The chances of them catching a virus from their grandchild is extremely, extremely low. So yes, absolutely hug your grandchild. This is time for grandchildren to see their grandparents once the grandparents are vaccinated. Now, should you have the grandchildren inside, indoors, and you’re not masking with the grandparent, there’s some controversy, some infectious disease doctors say, yes, it’s fine because those kids are so, so, so low risk. I think it also depends on the community where you live. If you live in an area where there’s very low transmission of COVID happening — like I live in the San Francisco Bay area, our counts are now in the 1 percent or lower in terms of COVID rate — I think the risk with grandchildren seeing grandparents who were vaccinated would be extremely low, and I would be comfortable with them being indoors with no masks on because the community rate is so low. If you live in an area, like say parts of Michigan that has much higher community transmission rates, then I would say the grandchildren should probably mask in that case just to be on the careful side. But the grandparent doesn’t need to mask as much. OK, so it’s a complicated answer about masking, but absolutely see your grandchildren and now hug them, because you are not going to get sick from them.

[00:40:57]John Yang:  Complicated, but I think one that grandchildren and grandparents will like, will welcome. Jean, who’s next?

[00:41:05]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Patel from California.

[00:41:09]John Yang:  Patel from California. Go ahead.

[00:41:13]Patel:  I have one question and it is very easy, and that is, I heard a lot that people are not ready to be vaccinated. And sometimes the fear factor is really important for convincing the people to get vaccinated. And the reason is, it’s not like a freedom we have, it’s a responsibility we have to society, and that is very important. And my feeling is that currently there is a very, very bad results going on in Asian countries, especially India. I’m not sure whether … people are aware of it, but what happened to New York last year in March, same thing is happening to India right now, all over the country. And so because people are not vaccinated enough and did not help control on what they are doing. So I think my question, how are we convincing the people to get vaccinated? That’s very important.

[00:42:22]John Yang:  And Dr. Rosario, as he mentions, are there lessons from abroad — India having a very tough time right now; on the other hand Israel, sort of coming back to life with their vaccination, widespread vaccinations, and now life is returning to normal.

[00:42:44]Adelaida Rosario:  Correct. He makes an excellent point. And that’s actually for the comment that Dr. Kanaya had made before, which was … altogether valid about the mistrust that exists in the communities, which this gentlemen is referring to as the fear, and the distrust toward the science, or maybe the misunderstanding toward the science; these are the community and population level evidence that everybody can see. That, you know, just taking away the sophistication of science jargon, you can see the differences and the way that it’s impacting the community, the vaccines versus those with a lower vaccine rates. So Israel versus India, as an excellent example. I was reading just today in the New York Times, the case in India and how they have, I mean, a spike, a COVID infection spike that is just unprecedented. So he just makes a wonderful point. I wish everybody shared that sense of responsibility, not only just toward our family, but toward the community at large and the population at large as this gentlemen has, because that’s what it comes down to. I mean, each one, every one person who receives this vaccine has a chain reaction within their family, their friends, their network and their community. And it’s a positive one. They’re protecting themselves, they’re protecting their loved ones, they’re protecting the stranger that they stand 6 feet behind in the store — and they are protected from all that’s going on around. And if they do come in contact with the virus, any severity will be averted because of the effectiveness of this vaccine. So I think it just makes wonderful points. And this is the kind of evidence that — you know, for all of that misinformation that is circulating and all of the distrust that, of course, permeates — these are wonderful factual, concrete examples of the benefit of the vaccine, the lower infection rates that it’s creating, and the unfortunate consequence in other communities for those that aren’t, that don’t have the high vaccine levels.

[00:44:47]John Yang:  And Dr. Rosario, I think you make a good point that I want to follow up on … that the vaccine is not 100 percent effective. It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get the coronavirus, COVID-19, at all, but — like the seasonal flu vaccine — it means you’re not going to get a severe case. Is that right?

[00:45:08]Adelaida Rosario:  That is precisely right. And it’s 99.9 percent, which can round up to 100 percent. But you’re absolutely right. That if you come into contact with the virus, you can get the virus the exact same way as with the influenza vaccine, the flu vaccine. What it does is completely inoculate you and protect you from it being serious, from it having serious consequences, which with COVID as we’ve seen in our older adult community, has been high — very, very critical cases of hospitalizations and deaths. So with the vaccine, it is absolutely those high hospitalization and death rates that are completely eliminated.

[00:45:50]John Yang:  Thanks. Now let’s go back to the phones — or no, we’re on the phones. Let’s go back to the line. Jean, who do we have next?

[00:45:58]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Maryanne from New York City.

[00:46:01]John Yang:  Maryanne from New York City. Go ahead.

[00:46:04]Maryanne:  Hello, good evening. I received my first dosage of the Moderna vaccine, which was hard to get — New York City’s really booked up. I received it on Monday afternoon — and the first dosage, I had horrible side effects; chills until 7:30 a.m., I have knee and back arthritis which were exacerbated, I had body aches and a severe headache, and the chills lasted until 7:30 in the morning. That’s finally when I was able to sleep. I wasn’t feeling back to myself until yesterday. That’s three days. Now my concern is this is the Moderna. I’ve heard that the second dosage is worse. Is that going to be the case, because I just wanted to keel over and die from those chills and the body aches. I just, I could barely move. And is it rare to get it? Because I believe I had COVID last year, but my doctor didn’t have any tests last March. They say today that one-fourth of people in New York City had COVID. I think I had it. And would that have something to do with the so-called immune response? Am I going to get worse response after my second dosage? Because the first one was horrible.

[00:47:15]John Yang:  Dr. Garcia-Dia, do you want to take that — reactions to the shots?

[00:47:20]Mary Joy Garcia-Dia:  Yeah, absolutely. I know that those are the common reactions that have been reported after the COVID 19 vaccine is given — like pain, redness, swelling at the injection site. And to your case, you have experienced fatigue, muscle or joint pain, headaches, chills, which could sometimes people also have fever. So reactions generally last a short time and, in some cases, will respond to Tylenol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The body aches and chills you describe are consistent with the reactions that have been reported. And I would advise you to access the COVID tracker tool; I do believe that you could report your symptoms that you are experiencing. This way, more information can be collected, and that’s very important. This way, we can share this with the CDC as well.

[00:48:21]John Yang:  Given these side effects — and I was in the Moderna clinical trial, and I had side effects — but given the side effects compared with getting COVID, is there a comparison, Dr. Garcia-Dia?

[00:48:41]Mary Joy Garcia-Dia:  Well, from a professional perspective, I think the symptoms might be the same, but the chances of the mortality rate is better if you have this COVID vaccine. If we could only turn back time and have the vaccine earlier, I am sure that we would have turned the curve of the vaccine — and hopefully with this continuous support and trust that we have, and still with the information that we’re sharing, because just like other medications there will be side effects. Your body will still continue to adopt the immune response system.

[00:49:27]John Yang:  But I guess what I’m just saying — this is my personal opinion — that given a choice between the relatively mild side effects I had, and getting COVID, I’d rather have the relatively mild side effects. But that’s speaking for myself.

[00:49:46]Mary Joy Garcia-Dia:  Absolutely. And I myself have a fear, having asthma hypertension. I have my own doubts as a nurse. I also hesitated, but I went to see my doctor, and he explained the positive effects that I would have. In fact, because of my chronic asthma, I have 60 percent lung capacity. And if I get COVID, that means that I would probably reduce my lung capacity to another 20 percent, which will really leave me not be able to walk, even just walking the house. So that in itself made me feel more confident that I should really get the vaccine.

[00:50:32]John Yang:  Yes, I mean one of the reasons why I sought out and applied for the clinical trials was because I have asthma. I have a mild heart condition. I thought it would be better to have a 50/50 chance of getting the vaccine earlier rather than later. And actually, it brings up a question about clinical trials that we’ll talk about later. But right now, I do want to return to the question that we asked at the beginning of this town hall. You may remember we asked how many of you live in a multigenerational household, and it looks like 21 percent of those of you who responded said that you do live with multiple generations in a single household — 21 percent. So now we’d like to know if living in a house with multiple generations makes you more or less likely to get the vaccine. So please press 1 on your telephone keypad if living in a house with multiple generations makes you more likely to get the vaccine, and press 2 if living in a household with multiple generations makes you less likely to want to get the vaccine. Once again, does living in a house with multiple generations influence your decision to get the vaccine? Press 1 if it makes you more likely, press 2 if it makes you less likely.

[00:52:26] And now let’s get back to our experts. Dr. Kanaya, we heard the question or the caller from New York saying that she was trying to get a specific vaccine, and there are differences in the technologies between the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine, of course, hasn’t, they have not applied for authorization in the United States. So Dr. Kanaya, could you explain the differences between these vaccines, and also, I’d be interested in your thoughts — should people like the caller from New York essentially try to shop for a vaccine, try to get one over another? And if they’re given a choice when they go to get a vaccine, what would you advise?

[00:53:25]Alka Kanaya:  Good questions. So the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine use mRNA technology. They’re very similar to each other, and they’re very different from the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccine that use DNA technology. Now, what does this mean in terms of mRNAs, DNA? These are the genetic materials, they’re small pieces of the genetic code of the virus. And when a vaccine is made with DNA, the DNA has to go inside yourself and rev up the protein-making machinery in the cells. And that’s the protein that your body uses to make antibodies again. And so those antibodies will be helpful when, and if you ever, your body gets exposed to the SARS-CoV-19 virus that causes COVID because then the body has antibodies and can protect against getting a serious infection. So the DNA vaccine gives little pieces of DNA of the virus to the cells in the body to get the protein machinery going, whereas the mRNA vaccines, that’s the Moderna and Pfizer, it’s one step ahead of the DNA because those little pieces of mRNA are already going to be moving that protein machinery forward. So, they are related to each other, but just slightly different in terms of the timing of how the proteins are made from the cells. And then you asked a question about whether people should shop for one vaccine over another. At this point I would not, I would take the first vaccine that is offered to you. And if it’s going to be Moderna or Pfizer at this point, because I believe the J&J is still on pause at least through this week, so if you were offered Moderna or Pfizer, take either one. If you want to say, well, are there any small differences in side effects between the Moderna and Pfizer, in the clinical trials it looks like there were some fewer side effects in people who got the Pfizer vaccine compared to the Moderna vaccine. In terms of the local site reaction, there was some fewer percent of people who got site reactions with the Pfizer vaccine compared to the Moderna vaccine. So there’s maybe a tiny bit of a difference in the local site reactions that people get. In terms of the other reactions with feeling body aches and chills, and this usually comes after dose two, that seems to be fairly similar between the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine. But I overall, I wouldn’t shop. I would just take the first one, but if you’re offered either, you have either Moderna or Pfizer in front of you, I would probably take the Pfizer just because of the more possibly somewhat less side effects.

[00:56:36]John Yang:  Interesting point. And Dr. Kanaya, I’d like to talk to you about clinical trials, about the development of the vaccines. As I said, I sought out an opportunity to apply for a clinical trial. I ended up in the Moderna clinical trial. But in particular, I’d like you to talk about the importance of having people of color in general and Asian American Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians in particular involved not only in these clinical trials, but in all clinical trials for new medications and drugs.

[00:57:19]Alka Kanaya:  I think that that’s a critical point … you know, we need to have better representation of AANHPI groups in all types of studies, whether it’s vaccine studies or Alzheimer’s disease studies or whatever. We don’t have enough participants. We don’t have enough volunteers coming from these communities, and we absolutely need to change that narrative. In the trials that were done with Moderna and Pfizer — I looked this up again today to make sure I have the correct numbers — but Moderna, the main trial had 30,000 participants and 5 percent were Asian American. They don’t tell us about Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders in the main study results. I believe there were, there was representation from NHPI groups as well. I don’t have the exact numbers. So about 5 percent of the participants out of 30,000 — that’s about 1,400 people — were Asian American in that trial. In the Pfizer trial that was 38,000 people, and that was not done in the United States, that was done in many other countries around the world. The Moderna trial was done in the U.S. The Pfizer trial included 4 percent Asians as well, which is good. I mean, we’re seeing 4 or 5 percent. It’s good. It’s not great. We could do better and, you know, Asian Americans and NHPI Asians in general represent 60 percent of the global population in the world. And we need to do better about having representation in all sorts of studies.

[00:58:57]John Yang:  And is there a scientific medical reason you want to have that representation in the trials?

[00:59:05]Alka Kanaya:  Absolutely, especially in drug trials and in vaccine trials. It’s really important to have representation from diverse groups and communities, because there may be certain biological differences in how we metabolize medications or how our body develops immune responses to vaccines that cannot be seen unless we have adequate numbers of participants in these trials. That being said, at least 4 to 5 percent of Asian Americans were in these trials, and when they looked to see if there was any signal of any difference in efficacy of the vaccine or in side effects, they weren’t able to find one. Now does that mean that the question’s been completely answered — that there’s no differences for Asian Americans versus other groups? Probably not because we’re basing this on 1,400, 1,600 people in these trials. But it at least gives me some comfort knowing that there was some representation in these studies. We can do better.

[01:00:13]John Yang:  Very good. Dr. Rosario, I’d like to turn to you as someone from the Public Health Service. We’re hearing a lot about — as always happens in these cases — frauds, scams, people selling phony vaccination cards. What can our community, what can the Asian American, Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander community do to fight that sort of thing — frauds and scams, and also misinformation about the vaccine and about COVID?

[01:00:53]Adelaida Rosario:  Excellent, excellent question. So yeah, for our community and particularly our elders, who tend to be a little bit more vulnerable, and then, of course, our caretakers who are the ones taking care of our older loved ones, we want to make sure that folks are empowered and have resources and have the right information and not get kind of swayed by this misinformation or become a victim of these frauds and scams. So there’s a lot of stuff out there that that can be accessed. First of all, each state has their health department website, and those websites are kept quite up-to-date with information about who are authorized vaccine providers. And then those are the providers that you’d want to obtain a vaccine. As you’ve mentioned, John, [there are] those that call you with these fake vaccination cards and the such. So you want to avoid that by making sure you know who are the authorized providers. You could always check the FDA’s website — ‘cause they always maintain current information about vaccine emergency use, and who has emergency use authorization — if you’re getting a phone call with somebody posing that they now have a brand new emergency use available vaccine. Always consult your trusted health care provider. As Dr. Kanaya was talking about, go to those people in your community that you trust — that are particularly your doctor, your physician — about any of these concerns, and take the concerns that you have about the vaccines and about your health to them as well. So, of course, don’t ever share personal or health information with anybody other than those who are known trusted medical professionals. Please don’t be giving your Social Security or any such personal information over the phone with people calling asking. Always just double check your medical bills and the insurance explanations for benefits. You always want to kind of just keep your eyes out for suspicious claims. And, of course, immediately report any errors to your health insurance provider. And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, they always have a list as well of other trusted medical professionals that can be turned to for verification. So we just encourage everybody to become more aware with their most local trusted resources that they could always use to vet and verify when they get approached by these folks trying to run a fraud or a scam.

[01:03:23]John Yang:  That’s good advice now, and also at any time I think, for all sorts of issues. Thank you very much, Dr. Rosario.

[01:03:30]Adelaida Rosario:  You’re welcome.

[01:03:33]John Yang:  Jean, have we got more questions? I hope we have more questions, Jean. Who’s next?

[01:03:39]Jean Setzfand:  Yep. All right, we have Glenn calling in from Hawaii.

[01:03:43]John Yang:  Glenn from Hawaii. What’s your question, Glenn?

[01:03:53]Jean Setzfand:  Hello, Glenn, can you hear us? … All right? I think we probably lost Glenn. We will now go to Jovita from Florida.

[01:04:06]John Yang:  Jovita from Florida. I hope you’re with us. And what’s your question?

[01:04:09]Jovita:  Yes, thank you for taking my question. I have a problem because the last flu shot I had about seven years ago, I had like a reaction like the Guillain-Barré syndrome. So I’m reluctant about taking the COVID vaccine. What do you, what can you advise me?

[01:04:34]John Yang:  Dr. Kanaya, what would be your advice? She had a previous bad reaction to a flu shot. What’s your advice?

[01:04:43]Alka Kanaya:  The technology used for these vaccines is completely different from a flu shot. A flu shot uses killed parts of a flu virus, and this is, again, DNA and RNA technology, which is so different. There’s no relationship with side effects you may have had with the flu shot and how you will do with this new vaccine. So I wouldn’t be scared because of your prior experience with the flu shot.

[01:05:13]John Yang:  If the Johnson & Johnson vaccine comes back … would your advice be the same, given the different technology?

[01:05:24]Alka Kanaya:  Yeah, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is DNA technology, and it’s different from what we use for the flu shots in the U.S., so I still would say the prior experience that you had with the flu shot does not really apply to how you will do with any of these vaccines now.

[01:05:44]John Yang:  Great. Thank you very much. Jean, do we have anybody else?

[01:05:47]Jean Setzfand:  Absolutely. We have a question coming in from YouTube, and this one’s coming from Diane and she’s asking, “Is there a difference between dose one, dose two, and the booster dose three?”

[01:06:02]John Yang:  Dr. Kanaya, do you want to take that?

[01:06:08]Alka Kanaya:  Sure. Do you mind repeating that? I didn’t catch the whole question.

[01:06:11]Jean Setzfand:  Sure, no problem. The question comes from Diane and she’s asking the difference between the doses. Is there a difference between dose one and dose two? And I guess we’re hearing a lot about a booster dose three. Are there any differences between those shots?

[01:06:26]Alka Kanaya:  Yeah, it’s not yet developed yet. No, the amount of vaccine in terms of the volume of vaccine you get is the same for dose one and for dose two for the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine. J&J is only a one-dose vaccine. So, yes, in terms of the volume injected is identical for both of these. AstraZeneca had differences in dose one and dose two, but that’s not a vaccine we have here in the U.S.

[01:06:54]John Yang:  And would, given the variants, given the evolving nature of this virus, will the boosters be any different, or will it essentially be the same?

[01:07:07]Alka Kanaya:  That’s the hope for these boosters, is we will have smarter boosters that take into account all of these different variants that we have in the world right now so that they will be effective against these variants like the South African variant, the Brazil variant, the Indian variant — there’s many different variants; and variants happen in parts of the world where there’s a lot of transmission of virus. So we’re hopeful that as our communities become more and more vaccinated and we start to reach herd immunity — and that’s usually 80 percent is kind of the goal here, if 80 percent of all Americans get vaccinated, that’s wonderful news because there’ll be less and less transmission of any virus in this country, and we’ll be having less variants, new variants pop up. And we need the whole world to be vaccinated so we can reduce these variants from occurring in other parts of the world as well.

[01:08:06]John Yang:  Terrific. Jean, do we have any more questions?

[01:08:11]Jean Setzfand:  Yes, we have a question coming in from Kimberly of Minnesota.

[01:08:17]John Yang:  Kimberly in Minnesota.

[01:08:19]Kimberly:  Hi. First, I have a comment and then a question. So my comment is to reassure you about Johnson & Johnson. I went and got mine, but I have no underlying conditions. I got it a couple of weeks ago. I have had no problems whatsoever. And the other thing I want to tell people — I was in their schedule list, but they first tried to schedule me for a city an hour away from where I live, actually where I was born. And I go, I’m not going there. So I walked into the pharmacy, and I introduced myself, and the woman looked at me and she goes, “You’re not old enough.” And I go, “I don’t care. I want to talk to somebody.” And then an older guy came over and he goes, “Walk over here.” And I went to a kiosk and they lined me up for the next week. So to me, it’s persistence in being in person that pays off, because when you’re in a database, people just treat you as a number, you know? So that’s my learning from that. My hard question is, my mother is 88. She still hasn’t had her shot, and she still lives at home. I don’t really want her to live at home, but my brother is the executor of her estate, and he won’t move her out. And he tells me that he doesn’t want her to get the shot because he thinks she’s so frail she’s going to die. What do you do about that?

[01:09:37]John Yang:  Dr. Garcia-Dia, what’s your advice?

[01:09:41]Mary Joy Garcia-Dia:  I can relate to that. I also live with my parents-in-law. My father-in-law’s 84 years old, and my mother-in-law is 78 years old. Both of them have really hesitated in getting the vaccines themselves. And we had to have the conversation, difficult conversation. And my advice is really to call the primary care provider and discuss these concerns with them. They know the history, the personal health history of your mother, and he can guide you on weighing the risk and benefits in taking the vaccine. There is no cure for COVID-19, and hundreds of thousands of people have died from it. And the vaccine is really a proven and safe way to help our body fight the infectious disease. And ask your brother to go to the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] website and look it up for himself, so this way he can truly understand that this is really our first and best way to protect your mother against COVID-19.

[01:10:47]John Yang:  Very good. Thank you, Dr. Garcia-Dia. Jean, let’s go back … and see who our next question’s from.

[01:10:57]Jean Setzfand:  Sounds good. This question is coming on Facebook from Kaiu, and Kaiu’s asking, “How many Asians have been vaccinated in the U.S. — where can we find that information?”

[01:11:09]John Yang:  Dr. Rosario, was that, I know the CDC has an aggregate number of the number of vaccines and who’s gotten one shot, who’s fully inoculated. Is that sort of information available?

[01:11:22]Adelaida Rosario:  It is, and what I can say is that this week where we stand is more than 65 percent of people age 65 and older are fully vaccinated. And then 25 [percent] of the general population. However, if we want to look at any specific state, those are available online — CDC’s website has a tracker that is updated daily. And you could always check with your local health department that has local statistics available.

[01:11:52]John Yang:  And are the numbers broken down by ethnicity and ethnic background?

[01:11:59]Adelaida Rosario:  On the website, yes, but again, as mentioned early in our conversation, the challenge with our community is the data that we hold for AANHPI doesn’t tend to be disaggregated. So it’s kind of lumped together. We’re not clear on where the statistics stand with each subgroup.

[01:12:17]John Yang:  Great, thank you very much. Looking at the clock, I think we could keep going for much longer but we do have to bring this to a close. And so I’d like to ask each of you for your closing thoughts, the recommendations, the thoughts you want to leave with our listeners — the most important thing you want to leave with our listeners tonight. Dr. Rosario of the Public Health Service, let’s start with you.

[01:12:50]Adelaida Rosario:  Yes, sir. What I definitely want to impress upon everybody is how the benefits so far outweigh the risks. It’s an issue of protecting yourself, keeping yourself out of the hospital, being able to go about your day — kind of return to what was your norm with confidence that you won’t end up hospitalized, death won’t be a looming threat. You could interact with your loved ones, your family, your children, your grandkids. And it is a significant, significant step toward returning back to the life that we knew.

[01:13:26]John Yang:  Very good. Thank you very much. Dr. Kanaya, what would be your closing thoughts?

[01:13:32]Alka Kanaya:  Well, it’s hard to top that. I would say get vaccinated, get people around you to get vaccinated. Anyone you come into contact with, ask them and help them move that needle toward going and getting activated to get vaccinated, because we need everyone to pitch in here. It’s important that you use your own influence with the people who you know and around you to get them vaccinated, because we’re trying to get the entire world vaccinated. And one more person means one more step closer to getting our life back to normal.

[01:14:11]John Yang:  And it’s that personal touch, as everyone has said, that’s so important. Dr. Garcia-Dia, what are your closing thoughts?

[01:14:19]Mary Joy Garcia-Dia:  I would encourage everyone to have an honest conversation and have a listening session with people in the community that you could trust, and share experiences with each other. This is really our shot. We can stop the pandemic on its tracks. Let us be part of that solution and make this opportunity to help in preventing the spread of COVID-19, and really getting the COVID-19 vaccine protects you, your family and our community.

[01:14:51]John Yang:  Very good. Thank you very much. Thank you very much Mary Joy Garcia-Dia, the Philippine Nurses Association of America; Dr. Alka Kanaya of the University of California San Francisco Medical School; and Adelaida Rosario of the U.S. Public Health Service. Thanks to you all for a most informative discussion tonight. Thanks to everyone out there who asked questions. Thanks to the AARP members, the volunteers, and listeners for participating in this discussion. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization. It’s been working to promote the health and well-being for older Americans for more than 60 years. And in the face of the pandemic, it has been providing resources and information to help older adults and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus and prevent its spread to others while taking care of themselves.

[01:15:46] All of the resources we’ve talked about, all of the things that we discussed tonight, including a recording of today’s Q&A can be found on the web at aarp.org/coronavirus. The recording of this event will be available on April 23 — tomorrow, in about 24 hours. Again, that web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. If any of you had questions that were not addressed tonight, and I apologize if that’s the case, go to that website. You’ll find the latest updates as well as information created specifically for older adults and family caregivers. And actually, one more time, I want to repeat the information that if you have trouble getting an appointment or registering for a vaccination because you don’t have a computer, because you don’t have access to the internet, press 1 on your telephone. That will get you on a list for a call back from an AARP staffer who can in-person and on the phone help you get that information, register and get an appointment for a vaccine.

[01:17:12] As everyone has said tonight, that is what is going to help us get back to normal, get back on track. We hope that you have learned something tonight that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. There’ll be another conversation about the coronavirus, an AARP tele-town hall meeting May 6 at 1 p.m. That’s May 6 at 1 p.m. And now let me add my personal thanks to Daphne Kwok, Jean Setzfand, Mike Watson from AARP, and especially to Julio in the control room for keeping me straight tonight. I appreciate all the support and the help. That’s it. Thank you all for listening. Have a good day.

[01:18:07]

John Yang: ¡Hola a todos! Soy John Yang de PBS NewsHour, y en nombre de AARP, quiero darles la bienvenida a todos a esta importante discusión sobre el coronavirus. Antes de comenzar, quiero decirles que si quieren escuchar esta teleasamblea en mandarín y están al teléfono, presionen *0 en el teclado de su teléfono ahora para escuchar una traducción simultánea en mandarín.

 

AARP, esperamos que sepan, es una organización de membresía sin fines de lucro ni afiliación política. Ha estado promoviendo la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores en EE.UU. durante más de 60 años. Y durante el último año, frente a la pandemia mundial de coronavirus, AARP ha brindado y continúa brindando información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan.

 

Hoy vamos a discutir lo último sobre la pandemia, la seguridad y el acceso a las vacunas, y lo que significa la distribución continua de vacunas para los estadounidenses de origen asiático, los nativos de Hawái y los isleños del Pacífico. El panel de expertas de hoy abordará estos temas y más y responderá a sus preguntas.

 

Si participaron en alguna de estas teleasambleas antes, ya saben cómo es. Es como un programa de entrevistas de radio y tendrán la oportunidad de hacer preguntas en vivo. Y una vez más, si están al teléfono y desean escuchar una traducción simultánea al mandarín, presionen *0 en el teclado de su teléfono ahora. Y si están al teléfono con nosotros y quieren hacer una pregunta a nuestros expertos sobre la pandemia de coronavirus, presionen *3 en su teléfono. Se les conectará con un miembro del personal de AARP, anotarán su nombre, su pregunta y los colocarán en una cola para hacer esa pregunta en vivo en esta asamblea. Eso es si estás hablando por teléfono, y si te unes a través de Facebook o YouTube, puedes publicar tu pregunta en los comentarios y sus preguntas se leerán en voz alta en esta asamblea.

 

Para aquellos de ustedes que acaban de unirse, soy John Yang de PBS NewsHour, y en nombre de AARP, quiero darles la bienvenida a todos a este importante debate sobre la pandemia mundial de coronavirus. Hablaremos con destacadas expertas y responderemos todas sus preguntas en vivo. Si deseas hacer una pregunta y estás al teléfono, presiona *3. Si estás en Facebook o en YouTube, puedes publicar tu pregunta en los comentarios.

 

Hoy nos acompañan líderes y expertas destacadas en la materia, de University of California San Francisco, Philippine Nurses Association of America y el Servicio de Salud Pública de EE.UU., y la oficina del Cirujano General, Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos. También nos acompaña Jean Setzfand de AARP, quien nos ayudará con las llamadas y preguntas y nos las hará llegar esta noche.

 

Este evento está siendo grabado y podrán ver la grabación aproximadamente 24 horas después de que terminemos, en aarp.org/coronavirus. Eso es aarp.org/coronavirus. Una vez más, si estás hablando por teléfono y quieres hacer una pregunta, presiona *3 en cualquier momento y te conectarás con un miembro del personal de AARP, y si estás en Facebook o YouTube, puedes hacer una pregunta colocándola en los comentarios y se leerá en voz alta durante la llamada.

 

Ahora, traigamos a nuestras invitadas. Tenemos unas invitadas muy distinguidas. Primero, Adelaida Rosario, y espero decir todos estos nombres correctamente. Adelaida Rosario tiene un Ph.D, es teniente en la Oficina del Cirujano General, del Departamento de Salud Y Servicios Humanos de EE.UU. Dra. Rosario, bienvenida.

 

Adelaida Rosario: Gracias. ¿Cómo está?

 

John Yang: Muy bien, y espero que usted esté bien también. La Dra. Alka Kanaya es profesora de Medicina en University of California en San Francisco y centra su trabajo en una variedad de problemas de salud, incluido un programa de investigación centrado en la salud de los adultos del sur de Asia. Dra. Kanaya, gracias por estar con nosotros esta noche.

 

Alka Kanaya: Gracias, es un placer estar aquí.

 

John Yang: Y Mary Joy Garcia-Dia, tiene un doctorado en Prácticas de Enfermería, ella es la presidenta de Philippine Nurses Association of America, que tiene más de 5,000 miembros, y trabaja para defender y fomentar la imagen positiva y el bienestar de los enfermeros filipino-estadounidenses. Y si puedo agregar, son héroes y heroínas los 365 días del año, pero particularmente en el último año. Dra. Garcia-Dia, gracias por estar con nosotros y gracias por todo lo que hace.

 

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: Muchas gracias, John, realmente lo aprecio.

 

John Yang: Y antes de que lleguemos a sus preguntas para nuestras invitadas, creemos que lo justo sería que también nosotros podamos hacerles preguntas. Entonces, nos gustaría saber, ¿vives en un hogar multigeneracional? Si estás al teléfono, presiona uno para responder "Sí" si vives en un hogar multigeneracional. Presiona dos si no vives en un hogar multigeneracional. Una vez más, ¿vives en un hogar multigeneracional? Presiona 1 si vives con varias generaciones y 2 si no es así.

 

Volveremos con los resultados y también construiremos una pregunta dependiendo de cómo respondan esta, más adelante en la teleasamblea. Pero ahora, comencemos con nuestra discusión. Un recordatorio también, una vez más, si estás al teléfono, y quieres hacer una pregunta, presiona *3 en el teclado de tu teléfono. Si estás en Facebook o en YouTube, déjala en la sección de comentarios.

 

A nuestras invitadas, me gustaría hacerles una pregunta muy importante a cada una. Tenemos una mezcla diversa de orígenes aquí. Tenemos una mezcla diversa de experiencias. Así que me gustaría saber, desde su punto de vista, para cada uno de sus puntos de vista, cuál es el desafío, el mayor desafío o desafíos para la comunidad asiático-estadounidense, nativa de Hawái y de las islas del Pacífico a la hora de obtener información sobre la pandemia, la vacunación y la disponibilidad de las vacunas y cuáles son las sugerencias y soluciones para superar esos obstáculos o desafíos. Dra. Rosario, comencemos por usted.

 

Adelaida Rosario: Gracias, John. [Inaudible] y hay varios desafíos para la comunidad de AANHPI. Primero, están las obvias barreras del idioma. Esto requiere la necesidad de traducir materiales para comprender la información sobre la pandemia y, por supuesto, la disponibilidad de las vacunas. Un segundo desafío es que los adultos mayores pueden no estar tan acostumbrados a utilizar la tecnología informática actual. Eso requerirá diferentes opciones o medios para obtener información, ya sea impresa o por teléfono, o comunicación en persona.

 

Y finalmente, la comunidad de AANHPI es extremadamente diversa con múltiples subgrupos, y por lo tanto, no existe un enfoque único para todas las comunicaciones. Y también tenemos un cuarto problema, que es la mala información que se está extendiendo desenfrenadamente, no solo sobre la pandemia sino también sobre las vacunas, y luego el potencial que eso crea para estafas y enfoques fraudulentos.

 

Una solución es seguir siendo muy abiertos y escuchar a nuestras comunidades locales y hacer un esfuerzo concertado para proporcionar información real sobre las vacunas contra la COVID-19, e indicar a todas las fuentes confiables de investigación y pruebas rigurosas que han realizado, como sabemos, los CDC y la FDA. Y la educación sobre la disponibilidad de las vacunas contra la COVID-19 y la eficacia siempre serán puntos importantes para destacar.

 

John Yang: Allí usted plantea muchas cuestiones a las que volveremos. Pero rápidamente, Dra. Rosario, me pregunto, usted habla de la necesidad de tener materiales en diferentes idiomas, ¿el Servicio de Salud Pública tiene estos materiales en varios idiomas?

 

Adelaida Rosario: Sí, el HHS ha estado trabajando en una serie de materiales impresos y materiales virtuales dirigidos a los subgrupos principales y los idiomas relevantes para que realmente podamos penetrar en la comunidad en su lengua materna, y también, ya están pasando a una segunda ola, una segunda esfera de subgrupos, que ahora incluye también a los samoanos- estadounidenses y algunas de las islas más pequeñas.

 

John Yang: Genial, muchas gracias. Ahora, Dra. Kanaya, ¿qué piensa usted? ¿Cuáles cree que son los mayores desafíos y cómo los superamos?

 

Alka Kanaya: Gracias. Definitivamente estoy de acuerdo con lo que la Dra. Rosario acaba de decir sobre estos desafíos con el idioma y la tecnología, y la desinformación desenfrenada. Agregaré algunos otros pensamientos, como la confianza, confianza en la vacuna y en el proceso de fabricación de la vacuna, y si las personas confían en la ciencia detrás de esto y quieren vacunarse como resultado.

 

Una vez más, creo que las cosas que socavan la confianza se relacionan con la desinformación, sin duda. Y hay muchas formas de abordar este problema. Y estoy de acuerdo con la Dra. Rosario en tener, como comunidad, ayuda y otras personas en la comunidad en la que uno confía para ayudarnos a comprender lo que se debe hacer para programar las citas de vacunas y todo eso.

 

Pero el problema más importante en el que creo que debemos enfocarnos es en brindar información real a las personas, de líderes confiables en la comunidad, ya sea de una organización comunitaria que tiene líderes confiables, un médico de atención primaria en los centros de salud locales que alguien confía, que brinden información clara sobre los pros y los contras de las vacunas y utilizar realmente a estas personas como voces confiables para ayudar a involucrar a nuestras comunidades en la obtención de estas vacunas que ahora están disponibles para mayores de 16 años.

 

John Yang: Y con todo respeto, Dra. Rosario, lo que estoy escuchando y hablando con la gente es que, en algunos casos, una fuente confiable no es necesariamente el Gobierno, ¿es eso lo que está encontrando, Dra. Kanaya?

 

Alka Kanaya: Sí, se han realizado algunos foros comunitarios en diferentes grupos comunitarios, diferentes grupos étnicos, y, a menudo, para los grupos que dudan de las vacunas, cuando los entrevistan, y pueden ser latinos, asiáticos, todo tipo de grupos diferentes, lo único que sigue surgiendo es la falta de confianza en organizaciones gubernamentales más grandes y la gente que dice que confía en quienes conocen desde hace mucho tiempo.

 

Y ese a menudo se convierte en su médico de atención primaria, si han tenido una relación a largo plazo con alguien o líderes comunitarios. Y por eso creo que tener esas fuentes, ya sea de organizaciones religiosas u otras organizaciones comunitarias, es donde necesitamos que las personas en realidad ayuden y hablen realmente de la verdad sobre las vacunas y de por qué es tan importante que todos se vacunen.

 

John Yang: Gracias, Dra. Kanaya. Dra. Garcia-Dia, ¿qué agregaría a lo que hemos escuchado?

 

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: Sí, estoy totalmente de acuerdo con ellas, la confianza que es realmente importante desde una perspectiva de solución. Aquí es donde nosotros, como organización profesional, hemos trabajado en estrecha colaboración con American Nurses Association para compartir nuestras propias experiencias. ¿Por qué es importante para nosotros vacunarnos? No es porque estemos trabajando en primera línea, sino también porque queremos proteger a nuestra familia y seres queridos.

 

Como las noticias han demostrado en el pasado, durante el apogeo de la pandemia, Philippine American Nurses Association se vio afectada por la COVID-19. Tenemos la tasa más alta en la fuerza laboral de enfermería a pesar de que representamos el 4% de la fuerza laboral de enfermería. Así que es muy cercano y personal para nosotros.

 

Además de eso, sabemos que muchas de nuestras comunidades, como lo que dijeron las otras oradoras del panel con respecto a la barrera del idioma, estamos trabajando con Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum para llegar a nuestras comunidades para poder ayudar con las traducciones y difundir la información a través de sesiones de seminarios web para que las personas se sientan cómodas y hagan preguntas sin avergonzarse.

Así que creo que las discusiones en asambleas como esta y también tratar de tener esa conversación personal con nuestros compañeros harán que las personas sientan por qué es importante que se vacunen y realmente establezcan esa confianza.

 

John Yang: Gracias, Dr. Garcia-Dia. Hemos tocado muchos temas a los que vamos a volver, estoy seguro. Y también quiero recordarles a los oyentes que si quieren hacernos una pregunta, presionen los botones *3 y eso te conectará con un miembro del personal de AARP y te ayudará a colocarte en turno para hacer tu pregunta en la teleasamblea. Eso es, una vez más, presionando el botón de asterisco seguido del botón tres. Si estás en Facebook o YouTube, puedes poner tus preguntas en la sección de comentarios y Jean las leerá en voz alta para la asamblea.

 

Una cosa que creo que escuchamos, un hilo común que escuchamos de todos los expertos a esa primera pregunta fue la desinformación, la confianza, la información real sobre la vacuna. Y creo que en los últimos días ha habido mucha preocupación por los titulares acerca de lo que es, creo que está bien llamarlo, un efecto secundario muy raro de algunas de las vacunas, un efecto secundario de coágulos de sangre muy poco común que ha generado cierta preocupación sobre las dos vacunas, en particular. Hoy temprano, hubo una teleasamblea de AARP con la Dra. Kathleen Neuzil, quien es la directora de Center for Vaccine Development de University of Maryland, y se le preguntó sobre la pausa en las vacunas de Johnson & Johnson y AstraZeneca en Estados Unidos y Europa.

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Participé en los ensayos clínicos de ambas vacunas y solo quiero decir que, a pesar del hecho de que inscribimos de 30,000 a 50,000 personas en estos ensayos, estos son eventos muy raros que son difíciles de detectar.

 

Diré que ninguna seguridad se vio comprometida como parte de las pruebas. La mayoría de los efectos secundarios asociados a la vacuna aparecen dentro de las primeras semanas después de la vacunación, y es ahí exactamente cuando vemos estos eventos tromboembólicos raros. Entonces, de hecho, es porque son muy raros, y no porque no seguimos cuidadosamente a los participantes, que no los identificamos en los ensayos clínicos.

 

Estos son coágulos de sangre graves que ocurren en lugares inusuales, los senos venosos cerebrales, por ejemplo, asociados con recuentos bajos de plaquetas. Y esta es una combinación muy inusual de signos y síntomas. El hecho de que pudiéramos detectar estos eventos raros dicen mucho sobre nuestros sistemas de seguridad, tanto en Estados Unidos como en Europa.

 

Y una de las principales razones de la pausa inicial en Estados Unidos es que los receptores de la vacuna y los proveedores sean conscientes de estos efectos secundarios poco comunes y del hecho de que lo tratamos de una manera diferente. Y muchas de las razones de la pausa se relacionaron con la educación sobre estos efectos secundarios poco comunes.

 

John Yang: La respuesta de la Dra. Kathleen Neuzil del Center for Vaccine Development de University of Maryland, pero con suerte, lo desglosaremos. Si tienes preguntas, preguntas específicas que deseas que te expliquen, por favor, si estás al teléfono, presiona asterisco y luego tres, y eso te conectará con alguien de AARP que te ayudará a ponerte en la cola para hacer tus preguntas en vivo en esta teleasamblea. Si estás a través de Facebook o YouTube, puedes poner tus preguntas en la sección de comentarios y alguien las leerá en voz alta aquí en la asamblea.

 

Dra. Kanaya, me gustaría volver con usted. Mucha preocupación por las vacunas, muchas preguntas sobre el desarrollo de las vacunas, la velocidad con la que se desarrollaron estas vacunas, sobre la tecnología. si alguien se acercara a usted y le dijera: "Realmente no puedo decidir si voy a ponerme la vacuna o no", ¿qué diría?

 

Alka Kanaya: De hecho, me enfrento a esto todo el tiempo en mi propia clínica con mis pacientes. Creo que la razón más importante para que la gente piense en vacunarse y la forma en que encuadro esto es lo que significaría para tú y tu familia, las personas que te rodean, y estar vacunado no solo te protege a ti, sino que también los protege a ellos y protege a las comunidades.

 

Hay muchas razones por las que la gente le tiene temor a la vacuna, pero por todo lo que sabemos sobre ella y por el estudio, que ahora tiene más de seis meses de datos de seguimiento con la vacuna de Pfizer, la vacuna parece ser, en su mayor parte, la enorme cantidad de datos respalda la seguridad y la eficacia, que está funcionando y está funcionando bien durante hasta seis meses, y los efectos secundarios que ocurren, ocurren temprano y generalmente son muy leves.

 

Los efectos secundarios raros que hemos visto no se observaron en la vacuna de Pfizer ni en la de Moderna, y es muy importante para ellos poner en un lado los temores a los efectos secundarios y la ciencia de las vacunas y pensar en los mayores beneficios para ellos mismos y para los seres queridos a su alrededor. Y el mayor beneficio para todos nosotros, para nuestra comunidad global, es poder tener y lograr la inmunidad colectiva.

 

Es difícil para la gente decir que la razón por la que me estoy vacunando es porque quiero que todo el mundo vuelva a la normalidad. Y generalmente se necesita algo un poco más personal para hacer que las personas cambien de opinión o para influir y hacer que avancen, así que realmente se trata de protegerse a uno mismo y proteger a su familia y a las personas que te rodean.

 

John Yang: Dra. Rosario, desde el punto de vista de la salud pública, sé que hay una línea muy fina que hay que caminar en términos de, por un lado, advertir al público sobre los posibles efectos secundarios y estos eventos raros que tuvieron lugar con las vacunas de Johnson & Johnson y de AstraZeneca, pero, por otro lado, desea alentar a las personas a que se vacunen para proteger la salud pública. ¿Cómo se equilibra eso en los mensajes a la gente? ¿Cómo se puede, por un lado, ser cauteloso y, por otro, animar?

 

Adelaida Rosario: Bueno, creo que es importante ser sincero y honesto. Lo único que está apareciendo en las noticias a menudo, la única información que todos tienen al frente, la conversación en común, el primer tema, es toda la retroalimentación negativa que se recibe de las noticias, los números más pequeños que tienen que ver con estos raros sucesos y estas enfermedades.

 

Pero cuando miras esos pequeños números en contraste con los millones que han recibido la vacuna y que están completamente inoculados en este momento y están bien, y nada más allá de los efectos secundarios menores, quiero decir, eso es una evidencia sustancial y realmente alentadora para guiarse. Y eso siempre forma parte de nuestro mensaje, que los beneficios hasta ahora superan estos pequeños riesgos.

 

Y de la misma manera que se piensa en cualquier otra vacuna, la vacuna contra la COVID-19 no es diferente, se corre el mismo tipo de riesgos que cualquier padre que lleve a su hijo pequeño a recibir su serie de vacunas, se enfrenta a los mismos números. Entonces, siendo honesta, por supuesto, estos casos raros están sucediendo, sin alejarnos eso, pero realmente celebrando los éxitos que estamos viendo con la disminución del número de infecciones y las inoculaciones exitosas a un nivel de población que actualmente ocurre no solo en Estados Unidos, sino en todo el mundo.

 

John Yang: Dra. Rosario, sé que la salud pública es más que solo los síntomas y la enfermedad y su impacto más amplio, particularmente respecto a la COVID-19. Y me pregunto si en su trabajo ha visto el efecto en la comunidad asiático-estadounidense, nativa de Hawái e isleña del Pacífico más allá de la salud, en términos de finanzas, economía, vivienda, seguridad y ese tipo de cosas.

 

Adelaida Rosario: Oh, sí, absolutamente, estamos viendo que surgen problemas de desempleo a largo plazo. Por supuesto, eso afecta todas las esferas de la vida. Afecta a los niños con su educación activa, afecta la estabilidad de la vivienda, etcétera. Y luego, por supuesto, además de esta pandemia, existe esta mayor atención negativa en este momento que se ha centrado en la comunidad asiático-estadounidense debido a todos los estereotipos.

 

Y es terriblemente desafortunado, se convierte en lo que equivale a una pandemia doble, esencialmente para todos los miembros de nuestra comunidad asiático-estadounidense de edad avanzada porque están lidiando con una terrible discriminación sumada a esta crisis de salud. Así que hay algo que decir sobre el impacto desproporcionado en la salud mental, con el que ahora nuestra comunidad está lidiando por culpa de estas dos vías, la vía [sutil] de impacto aparte de la pandemia real.

 

John Yang: Dra. Garcia-Dia, siguiendo con esa idea del impacto más allá de la salud, hemos escuchado las historias de los trabajadores de la salud de primera línea, como las enfermeras que usted representa, y el tremendo costo psíquico que esta pandemia ha tenido sobre ellos al cuidar a personas que están desesperadamente enfermas y no pueden estar con sus seres queridos, sus seres queridos no pueden estar junto a su lecho, mucha gente quiere ayudar. Sus miembros, ¿qué deben hacer? ¿Qué pueden hacer las personas para ayudar a los trabajadores de primera línea como sus enfermeras?

 

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: Muchas gracias por hacer esta pregunta, John. Todos sabemos que el nivel de estrés y el impacto emocional en nuestros profesionales de la salud son muy profundos. Mucho de nuestro personal de enfermería comparte sus experiencias traumáticas. Algunos se infectaron con COVID-19 y se recuperaron y están agradecidos de haber podido salir con vida, mientras que otros experimentan pérdidas dentro de su familia inmediata.

 

Entonces, por ejemplo, organizaciones individuales, como The Justly Project, se han acercado y han recaudado fondos para programas que pueden brindar apoyo psicosocial y emocional a través del apoyo entre pares. Culturalmente, para los estadounidenses de origen asiático, los isleños del Pacífico y creo que más para los filipinos, existe un estigma asociado con la búsqueda de ayuda con la salud mental.

 

Nuestra organización había realizado una encuesta sobre las emociones detrás de la mascarilla para comprender cuáles son los desafíos que están experimentando nuestras enfermeras y cómo podemos ayudar a desbloquear estas emociones, de las preguntas, el daño moral que sienten porque sobrevivieron, a diferencia de sus otros compañeros o sus seres queridos, y la frustración que siguen sintiendo porque la pandemia no desaparece.

 

Entonces, cuando lanzamos el programa de resiliencia, realmente está destinado a ayudarlos a largo plazo. De esta manera, realmente pueden reenfocarse y hacer ejercicios de atención plena, y mucha gente también practica la espiritualidad. También les enviamos una encuesta sobre qué podemos hacer para que se sientan apreciados. Sorprendentemente, entre las opciones de tarjetas de regalo, una cosa que se destacó son los comentarios recurrentes que leemos; un simple agradecimiento nos hará sentir mejor.

 

Así que este próximo mes de mayo, de hecho, celebraremos la Semana de la Enfermería. Y esperamos que la audiencia exprese su agradecimiento a todo nuestro personal de enfermería y del cuidado de salud y servicios sociales porque contribuirá en gran medida a reafirmar la razón por la que elegimos estar en el campo de la salud para cuidar de nuestros pacientes y salvar vidas. Y sabemos que solo podemos hacer nuestro trabajo si todos hacen su parte para ayudar a aplanar la curva. Así que realmente será útil dar el primer paso para cuidarse, y vacunarse será de gran ayuda. Gracias.

 

John Yang: Dra. Garcia-Dia, díganos, usted dijo que la Semana de la Enfermería es en mayo, ¿qué semana es? ¿Qué fecha concreta?

 

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: Históricamente, John, suele ser en la primera o segunda semana de mayo, pero debido a que American Nurses Association continúa celebrando el Año del Enfermero, vamos a tener una celebración del Mes de la Enfermería; será todo el mes de mayo. Así que estamos muy emocionados por eso.

 

John Yang: Excelente. Espero que todos tengan eso en cuenta y recuerden durante todo mayo pensar y agradecer al personal de enfermería. Dra. Garcia-Dia, muchas gracias. Una vez más, quiero recordarle a la gente que si están al teléfono y quieren hacer una pregunta, presionen el botón de asterisco seguido del botón tres. Y poco después de eso, escucharán a un miembro del personal de AARP en la línea que los ayudará a ponerse en la cola para responder esa pregunta. Si están en Facebook o en YouTube, dejen la pregunta en la sección de comentarios.

 

Ahora, antes de seguir, quiero traer a Daphne Kwok, vicepresidenta de la Oficina de Diversidad, Equidad e Inclusión Disculpen, ella es vicepresidenta de Liderazgo Multicultural de AARP, para darnos una actualización sobre lo que AARP ha estado haciendo en relación con la COVID-19. ¿Daphne?

 

Daphne Kwok: Muchas gracias, John, y a nuestras distinguidas invitadas y oradoras, ya hemos tenido una conversación tan rica esta noche. En primer lugar, quiero decir que AARP condena enérgicamente toda la violencia y el acoso por motivos raciales, y AARP apoya a la comunidad AAPI. Como acaba de decir la Dra. Rosario, los adultos mayores de la AAPI, lamentablemente están teniendo que combatir la doble pandemia, la COVID-19 así como el racismo y la xenofobia que está existiendo en nuestra comunidad.

 

Y el racismo es un problema de salud pública. Las agresiones están causando temor en nuestra comunidad, especialmente entre los miembros mayores. Este miedo les impide asistir a sus citas, a sus citas médicas, y lo más importante, les impide recibir sus vacunas. Y sé que los voluntarios han estado ayudando a nivel local para acompañar realmente a nuestros mayores a sus citas, lo cual es clave y fundamental. Todo esto es parte del problema de salud pública, esa amenaza. Toda la nación necesita unirse para ayudar a controlar la propagación de COVID-19.

 

Quizás se estén preguntando qué está haciendo AARP por nuestros adultos mayores de AAPI. Bueno, en primer lugar, en mayo, organizaremos un Foro Stop Asian Hate que estará abierto a todos y a cualquiera. También estamos trabajando para producir, como todos hemos escuchado, el idioma en los materiales es clave y fundamental para nuestros mayores, y en eso estamos, produciendo materiales para ayudar a evitar que se conviertan en víctimas, también produciendo materiales para los transeúntes que puedan ver un incidente.

 

Además, algunas de nuestras oficinas estatales de AARP están colaborando con la comunidad de AAPI a nivel local. Y también, lo más importante, AARP tiene un enorme canal de comunicación, ya sea a través de estos foros o de nuestra revista con 38 millones de socios y lectores, y podemos publicar información sobre la comunidad AAPI. Y como hemos mencionado, lo importante que es romper el mito de la minoría modelo, así como la imagen perpetua del extranjero y también poder contar y hablar sobre la historia de los asiáticos-estadounidenses y los isleños del Pacífico, la contribución que hemos estado haciendo en Estados Unidos desde la Guerra Civil.

 

Entonces, para aquellos de ustedes que son socios de AARP, espero que tengan la oportunidad de ver nuestra edición de abril-mayo de la revista, que en realidad tenemos una gran cantidad de gente de AAPI que estarán hablando sobre las personas que los inspiraron. También está en nuestro sitio web. Estos son solo algunos de los ejemplos de lo que estamos haciendo en AARP para trabajar realmente en nombre de nuestros adultos mayores de AAPI y sus familias. Muchas gracias.

 

John Yang: Gracias, Daphne. Hoy recibí mi copia de la revista AARP por correo. No he tenido la oportunidad de mirarla, pero ciertamente lo haré. Y gracias, Daphne, por los muchos puntos importantes que has mencionado en tus comentarios. A medida que avanzamos aquí, un recordatorio, si tienes una pregunta que deseas hacer, presiona asterisco y luego tres. El botón asterisco y luego el botón tres en tu teléfono, o si estás en YouTube o Facebook, déjala en la sección de comentarios.

 

Y antes de responder a esas preguntas, queremos volver a un tema del que creo que escuchamos mucho en la ronda inicial de preguntas, sobre los desafíos que enfrenta la comunidad para obtener la vacuna y la disponibilidad de la vacuna. Sabemos no solo por la evidencia anecdótica, sino que sabemos que hay muchas personas que tienen problemas para registrarse para vacunarse en el lugar donde vive porque mucho de esto, o la mayoría de ello, francamente, están en línea, y hay personas que no tienen acceso a una computadora o acceso a internet, y eso puede presentar un desafío.

 

Entonces, AARP ha creado un equipo de registro de vacunas de AARP que puede ayudarte si no tienes una computadora, o si no tienes acceso a Internet. Si estás escuchando hoy y perteneces a esa categoría que no tiene una computadora, que no puede conectarse a internet para registrarse para una vacuna, oprime 1 ahora. Presiona 1 en tu teléfono y serás agregado a la lista para recibir una llamada telefónica del personal de AARP que te ayudará.

 

Una vez más, si no tienes una computadora, no puedes conectarte, no tienes acceso a internet, no puedes inscribirte en línea para vacunarte, presiona 1 ahora en tu teléfono y te conectarás con alguien o serás agregado a una lista, mejor dicho, para recibir una llamada de AARP para ayudarte por teléfono en persona a registrarte y obtener una cita para la vacuna. Así que les insto a que hagan eso, les recordaré eso una vez más, un par de veces más antes de que terminemos esta teleasamblea.

 

Y ahora recibiremos sus preguntas, he estado haciendo preguntas, pero ahora vayamos a las preguntas inteligentes, a sus preguntas para la Dra. Kanaya, la Dra. Rosario y la Dra. Garcia-Dia. Una vez más, presionen asterisco y luego tres, son dos botones, presionen el botón asterisco y luego el botón tres en cualquier momento, para conectarse con AARP y hacer cola para hacer sus preguntas. Y ahora, traigamos a la vicepresidenta sénior de programas de AARP, Jean Setzfand, para ayudar con sus llamadas. Jean, ¿estás ahí?

 

Jean Setzfand: Estoy aquí, muchas gracias, John. Estoy encantada de estar aquí para esta importante conversación.

 

John Yang: Gracias, Jean, bueno, ¿tenemos algunas llamadas? ¿Tenemos algunas preguntas? ¿Quien comenzará?

 

Jean Setzfand: Ciertamente, nuestra primera llamada es de Baratti de Nueva York.

 

John Yang: Baratti de Nueva York, ¿cómo estás? Y gracias por la pregunta, adelante por favor.

 

Baratti: Estoy bien, gracias, mi pregunta es para la Dra. Rosario. Después de vacunarse, ¿cuánto tiempo durará el efecto? Esa es mi pregunta número uno, y en segundo lugar, después de la vacunación, ¿qué tipo de precauciones deben tomar las personas mayores para viajar o salir?

 

John Yang: Dra. Kanaya, ¿Sabemos cuánto duran los anticuerpos, la inmunidad? ¿Y qué se puede hacer después de recibir la vacuna?

 

Alka Kanaya: Buena pregunta. A partir de los datos más recientes, creemos que el anticuerpo de la vacuna de ARNm de Pfizer dura al menos seis meses. Eso es realmente una buena noticia, dura al menos seis meses desde que se administra la segunda inyección y, con suerte, más. No lo sabemos, pero lo sabremos pronto porque se está siguiendo a las personas que estaban en esas primeras pruebas de Moderna y de Pfizer.

 

Y cada tres o seis meses, nos dirán si parece que la inmunidad aún se mantiene o no. Y al mismo tiempo, estas empresas ya están trabajando en vacunas de refuerzo porque todos saben que en algún momento vamos a necesitarlos. Y luego la segunda pregunta que hizo fue qué podemos aconsejar a las personas mayores, qué pueden hacer y qué precauciones deben tomar.

 

En este punto, les aconsejo a mis pacientes mayores y a mis padres que si están completamente vacunados, dos semanas después de su segunda dosis, pueden reunirse en grupos pequeños con otros amigos vacunados, familiares, en interiores y no usar una mascarilla. Y me refiero a grupos pequeños, según los CDC, seis personas, creo que un poco más probablemente esté bien siempre que todos hayan sido vacunados. Así que pueden reunirse con pequeños grupos de otras personas vacunadas.

 

¿Qué hacemos con las personas no vacunadas? Cuando estés en la comunidad caminando, haciendo compras, todavía usaría una mascarilla. Todavía me distanciaría socialmente de otras personas porque no sabes si han sido vacunadas o no. Y aunque no les va a transmitir el virus, es una buena idea que sigamos usando mascarillas hasta que alcancemos la inmunidad colectiva, y eso significa que el 80 por ciento o más del público haya sido vacunado. Así que, en público, todavía usaría mascarilla, cuando estés adentro en cualquier lugar con otras personas y no sabes si están vacunados o no, es una buena idea usarla.

 

John Yang: Dra. Kanaya, ¿puedo hacer una pregunta más?

 

Alka Kanaya: Sí.

 

John Yang: Sé que la vacuna aún no ha sido aprobada para su uso en niños pequeños.

 

Alka Kanaya: Sí.

 

John Yang: ¿Pueden los abuelos vacunados abrazar a sus nietos?

 

Alka Kanaya: Por supuesto, absolutamente, creo que no se ha demostrado que los niños pequeños tengan tantos problemas con la COVID-19, con el virus. Parecen cursar una enfermedad menos grave. Si se enferman, es posible que puedan contagiar, pero no sabemos cuánto transmiten, y ese abuelo ha sido vacunado, por lo que el abuelo no se va a enfermar gravemente por un virus.

 

Las posibilidades de que contraigan el virus de su nieto son extremadamente, extremadamente bajas. Así que sí, absolutamente, abracen a sus nietos, será bueno para los nietos ver a sus abuelos una vez que los abuelos estén vacunados. Ahora, si tienes a los nietos adentro, adentro sin mascarillas, con los abuelos, existe cierta controversia. Los médicos de enfermedades infecciosas que dicen, sí, está bien porque estos niños tienen muy, muy bajo riesgo, y creo que también depende de la comunidad en la que vivas.

 

Si vives en un área donde hay muy poca transmisión de COVID-19, como yo, que vivo en el Área de la bahía de San Francisco, nuestros condados ahora están al 1% o menos en términos de tasas de COVID-19. Creo que el riesgo con los nietos y abuelos que fueron vacunados sería extremadamente bajo. Y me sentiría cómoda si estuvieran en el interior sin mascarilla porque la tasa comunitaria es muy baja.

 

Si vives en un área como, digamos, partes de Michigan que tienen tasas de transmisión comunitaria mucho más altas, entonces yo diría que los nietos probablemente deberían usar mascarilla en ese caso, solo para tener cuidado. Pero el abuelo no necesita tanto tener mascarilla. ¿De acuerdo? Es una respuesta complicada la de las mascarillas, pero definitivamente vean a sus nietos y abrácenlos porque no se van a enfermar por ellos.

 

John Yang: Complicada, pero una que creo que será bienvenida tanto por nietos como abuelos. Jean, ¿quién sigue?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestro próximo interlocutor es Patel de California.

 

John Yang: Patel de California, adelante.

 

Patel: Tengo una pregunta, y es muy básica. Escuché mucho que hay gente que no está lista para vacunarse. Y a veces el factor miedo es muy importante para convencer a la gente de que se vacune. Y la razón es que no es como una libertad que tenemos, es una responsabilidad que tenemos con la sociedad. Y eso es muy importante, y mi sensación es que actualmente hay un resultado muy, muy malo en los países asiáticos, especialmente en la India.

 

No estoy seguro de si hay gente que lo sepa, pero lo que le sucedió a Nueva York el año pasado en marzo, lo mismo le está sucediendo a India ahora mismo, en todo el país. Y entonces, porque las personas no están lo suficientemente vacunadas y no tienen control sobre lo que están haciendo. Creo que mi pregunta es, ¿cómo estamos convenciendo a la gente de que se vacune? Eso es muy importante.

 

John Yang: Dra. Rosario, como él menciona, ¿hay lecciones del exterior? India está pasando por un momento muy difícil en este momento. Por otro lado, Israel vuelve a la vida con sus vacunaciones generalizadas y ahora la vida está volviendo a la normalidad.

 

Adelaida Rosario: Correcto, es un excelente punto. Para el comentario que hizo la Dra. Kanaya antes, era muy válido sobre la desconfianza que existe en las comunidades a las que este señor se refiere como el miedo y la desconfianza hacia la ciencia o tal vez el malentendido de la ciencia. Estas son las pruebas a nivel de comunidad y población que todo el mundo puede ver.

 

Simplemente quitando la sofisticación de la jerga científica, se pueden ver las diferencias en la forma en que está afectando a la comunidad, las vacunas, frente a las que tienen la tasa de vacunación más baja. Entonces, Israel versus India, como un excelente ejemplo, estaba leyendo en el New York Times sobre el caso en India y cómo tienen un pico de infección por COVID-19 que no tiene precedentes.

 

Entonces, ya sabes, él simplemente plantea un punto maravilloso. Ojalá todos compartieran ese sentido de responsabilidad, no solo hacia nuestra familia, sino hacia la comunidad en general, y la población en general, como lo ha hecho este caballero, porque a eso se reduce todo. Cada una de las personas que recibe su vacuna tiene una reacción en cadena dentro de su familia, sus amigos, su red y su comunidad, y es positiva. Se están protegiendo a sí mismos, están protegiendo a sus seres queridos, están protegiendo y están a dos metros de distancia en la tienda y están protegidos de todo lo que sucede a su alrededor.

 

Y si entran en contacto con el virus, se evitará cualquier gravedad gracias a la eficacia de esta vacuna. Entonces, creo que planteó puntos maravillosos, y este es el tipo de evidencia que, a pesar de toda esa información errónea que está circulando y toda la desconfianza que, por supuesto, se difunde, estos son ejemplos maravillosos, fácticos y concretos del beneficio de la vacuna: las tasas de infecciones más bajas que está generando, y la desafortunada consecuencia en otras comunidades para aquellas que no tienen los niveles de vacunación.

 

John Yang: Y Dra. Rosario, creo que tiene un buen punto al que quiero dar seguimiento. Que la vacuna no es 100% efectiva no significa que no vaya a contraer el coronavirus en absoluto, pero al igual que la vacuna contra la gripe estacional, significa que no va a cursar una enfermedad grave. ¿Es así?

 

Adelaida Rosario: Eso es precisamente correcto, y es 99.9%, que puede redondearse al 100%, pero tienes toda la razón en que si entras en contacto con el virus, puedes contraer el virus, exactamente de la misma manera que con la vacuna contra la influenza. Lo que hace es inocular por completo y proteger de que sea grave, de que tenga graves consecuencias, que con COVID-19, como hemos visto en nuestra comunidad de adultos mayores, ha habido casos altos, muy, muy críticos de hospitalizaciones y muertes. Entonces, con la vacuna, son esas altas tasas de hospitalización y muerte las que se eliminan por completo.

 

John Yang: Gracias, ahora volvamos a la línea telefónica. Jean, ¿a quién tenemos ahora?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es Marianne de la ciudad de Nueva York.

 

John Yang: Marianne de la ciudad de Nueva York, adelante.

 

Marianne: Hola, buenas noches. Recibí mi primera dosis de la vacuna Moderna, que fue difícil de conseguir en la ciudad de Nueva York. Realmente estaba lleno. La recibí el lunes por la tarde y con la primera dosis tuve efectos secundarios horribles, escalofríos hasta las 7:30 a.m., tengo artritis en la rodilla y la espalda, que se agravaron, tuve dolores en el cuerpo y un fuerte dolor de cabeza y los escalofríos duraron hasta las 7:30 en la mañana. Fue entonces cuando finalmente pude dormir. Recién ayer volví a sentirme bien. Fueron tres días.

 

Ahora, mi preocupación es, esta es la Moderna, he escuchado que la segunda dosis es peor. ¿Será ese el caso? Porque solo quería derrumbarme y morir de esos escalofríos y dolor de cuerpo, simplemente, apenas podía moverme. ¿Y es raro que suceda? Porque creo que tuve COVID-19 el año pasado, pero mi médico no tenía pruebas en marzo pasado. Hoy dicen que 1/4 de las personas en la ciudad de Nueva York tuvieron COVID-19. Creo que la tuve, ¿y eso tendría algo que ver con la llamada respuesta inmune? ¿Voy a tener una peor respuesta después de mi segunda dosis? Porque la primera fue horrible.

 

John Yang: Dra. Garcia-Dia, ¿quiere responder? ¿Las reacciones a las vacunas?

 

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: Sí, absolutamente, sé que esas son las reacciones comunes que se han informado después de que se administra la vacuna contra la COVID-19, como dolor, enrojecimiento, hinchazón en el lugar de la inyección. Y en tu caso, has experimentado fatiga, dolores musculares o articulares, dolores de cabeza, escalofríos, que a veces las personas también pueden tener fiebre. Las reacciones generalmente duran poco tiempo y, en algunos casos, responderán al Tylenol o medicamentos antiinflamatorios no esteroides.

 

Los dolores corporales y los escalofríos que describes coinciden con las reacciones que se han informado. Y te aconsejaría que accedas a la herramienta de seguimiento de COVID-19 para que puedas informar los síntomas que estás experimentando. Entonces, de esta manera, se puede recopilar más información y eso es muy importante. De esta manera también podemos compartir esto con los CDC.

 

John Yang: Y dados estos efectos secundarios, y yo estaba en el ensayo clínico de Moderna y tuve efectos secundarios, pero dados los efectos secundarios en comparación con contagiarse de COVID-19, ¿hay una comparación? Dra. Garcia-Dia.

 

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: Desde una perspectiva profesional, creo que los síntomas pueden ser los mismos, pero la probabilidad de mortalidad sería menor si se aplica la vacuna contra la COVID-19. Si tan solo pudiéramos retroceder el tiempo y vacunarnos antes, estoy segura de que hubiéramos cambiado la curva de la vacuna y, con suerte, con este apoyo continuo y la confianza que tenemos y con la información que estamos compartiendo, porque al igual que otros medicamentos, habrá efectos secundarios, tu cuerpo seguirá adaptándose al sistema de respuesta inmunitaria.

 

John Yang: Pero supongo que, y esta es mi opinión personal, dada la opción entre los efectos secundarios relativamente leves que tuve y la COVID-19, preferiría tener los efectos secundarios relativamente leves. Pero eso elegiría yo.

 

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: Absolutamente, y yo misma tengo miedo al tener asma, hipertensión, tengo mis propias dudas como enfermera. Yo también dudé, pero fui a ver a mi médico y me explicó los efectos positivos que tendría. De hecho, debido a mi asma crónica, tengo un 60% de capacidad pulmonar. Y si tengo COVID-19, eso significa que probablemente reduciría mi capacidad pulmonar otro 20%, lo que realmente me dejaría sin poder caminar, incluso simplemente caminar por la casa. Así que eso en sí, me hizo sentir más segura de que realmente debería vacunarme.

 

John Yang: Sí, una de las razones por las que busqué y solicité participar en los ensayos clínicos fue porque tengo asma, y tengo una afección cardíaca leve. Pensé que sería mejor tener una probabilidad del 50/50 de recibir la vacuna lo antes posible. Y de hecho, surge una pregunta sobre los ensayos clínicos, de la que hablaremos más adelante.

 

Pero ahora, sí quiero volver a la pregunta que hicimos al comienzo de esta asamblea. Tal vez recuerden que les preguntamos cuántos de ustedes viven en un hogar multigeneracional. Y parece que el 21% de los que respondieron dijeron que viven con varias generaciones y en un solo hogar, el 21%. Entonces, ahora nos gustaría saber si vivir en una casa con varias generaciones hace que sea más o menos probable que recibas la vacuna.

 

Por lo tanto, presiona 1 en el teclado de tu teléfono si vivir en una casa con varias generaciones aumenta las probabilidades de recibir la vacuna. Y presiona 2 si vivir en un hogar con varias generaciones hace que sea menos probable que desees vacunarte. Una vez más, ¿vivir en una casa con varias generaciones influyó en su decisión de vacunarse? Presiona 1 si lo hace más probable, presiona 2 si lo hace menos probable. Y ahora volvamos a nuestros expertos.

 

Dra. Kanaya, escuchamos la pregunta, la persona que llamó desde Nueva York y dijo que estaba tratando de obtener una vacuna específica. Y existen diferencias en las tecnologías entre las vacunas Moderna y Pfizer y las vacunas Johnson & Johnson y AstraZeneca. La vacuna AstraZeneca, por supuesto, no ha solicitado autorización en los Estados Unidos. Entonces, Dra. Kanaya, ¿podría explicar las diferencias entre estas vacunas?

 

Y también me interesaría saber qué piensa, ¿deberían las personas como la persona que llamaba desde Nueva York intentar comprar una vacuna? ¿Tratar de conseguir una sobre la otra? Y si tienen la opción de elegir cuándo van a vacunarse, ¿qué les aconsejaría?

 

Alka Kanaya: Buena pregunta. Las vacunas de Moderna y de Pfizer usan tecnología de ARNm, son muy similares entre sí y muy diferentes de las vacunas Johnson & Johnson y AstraZeneca que usan tecnología de ADN. Ahora bien, ¿qué significa esto en términos de ARNm y ADN? Estos son los materiales genéticos, son pequeñas piezas del código genético del virus, y cuando se hace una vacuna con ADN, el ADN tiene que entrar en tus células y acelerar la maquinaria de producción de proteínas en las células y esa es la proteína que tu cuerpo usa para producir anticuerpos.

 

Esos anticuerpos serán útiles si tu cuerpo se expone al SARS, COVID-19, el virus que causa la COVID-19, porque entonces el cuerpo tiene anticuerpos y puede protegerse contra una infección grave. Entonces, la vacuna de ADN proporciona pequeños fragmentos de ADN del virus a las células del cuerpo para que comience a funcionar la maquinaria proteica, mientras que la vacuna de ARNm la Moderna y Pfizer, está un paso por delante del ADN porque esos pequeños trozos de ARNm ya van a hacer arrancar esa maquinaria proteica.

 

Entonces, están relacionadas entre sí, pero ligeramente diferentes en términos del momento en que se producen las proteínas a partir de las células. Y luego haz hecho una pregunta sobre si la gente debiera comprar una vacuna en lugar de otra. En este momento, no lo haría. Tomaría la primera vacuna que se les ofrezca y van a ser de Moderna o de Pfizer en este momento, porque creo que la de J&J todavía está en pausa, al menos durante esta semana.

 

Entonces, si te ofrecieron Moderna o Pfizer, cualquiera de las dos, si quieres decir, bueno, ¿existen pequeñas diferencias en los efectos secundarios entre la de Moderna y la de Pfizer? En los ensayos clínicos, arece que hubo menos efectos secundarios en las personas que recibieron la vacuna Pfizer en comparación con la vacuna Moderna en términos de la reacción del sitio local. Hubo un porcentaje menor de personas que tuvieron reacciones en el lugar con la vacuna Pfizer en comparación con la vacuna Moderna.

 

Entonces, tal vez haya una pequeña diferencia en las reacciones de lugar de la inyección. En términos de las otras reacciones, ya sabes, sentir dolores corporales y escalofríos y esto generalmente ocurre después de la segunda dosis, parece ser bastante similar entre la vacuna de Moderna y la de Pfizer. Pero en general, no elegiría, solo tomaría la primera, pero si te ofrecen, y tienes Moderna o Pfizer frente a ti, probablemente tomaría la Pfizer, solo por los efectos secundarios más posiblemente algo menores.

 

John Yang: Es un punto interesante. Dra. Kanaya, me gustaría hablarle sobre los ensayos clínicos, sobre el desarrollo de las vacunas. Como dije, busqué la oportunidad de participar de un ensayo clínico. Terminé en el ensayo clínico de Moderna. Pero en particular, me gustaría que hablara sobre la importancia de que las personas de color en general, y los estadounidenses de origen asiático, los isleños del Pacífico y los nativos de Hawái en particular, participen, no solo en estos ensayos clínicos, sino en todos los ensayos clínicos de nuevos medicamentos y fármacos.

 

Alka Kanaya: Sí, creo que ese es un punto crítico, necesitamos tener una mejor representación de los grupos AANHPI en todo tipo de estudios, ya sean estudios de vacunas o estudios de la enfermedad de Alzheimer o lo que sea. No tenemos suficientes participantes. No tenemos suficientes voluntarios provenientes de estas comunidades. Y necesitamos absolutamente cambiar esa narrativa.

 

En las pruebas que se hicieron con Moderna y Pfizer, busqué esto nuevamente hoy para asegurarme de tener los números correctos, pero Moderna, en la prueba principal, tuvo 30,000 participantes y el 5% eran asiático-estadounidenses. No mencionan a los nativos de Hawái ni de las islas del Pacífico en los resultados principales del estudio. Creo que también hubo representación de los grupos NHPI. No tengo los números exactos.

 

Entonces, aproximadamente el 5% de los participantes de 30,000, eso es aproximadamente 1,400 personas en ese ensayo, eran asiático-estadounidenses En el ensayo de Pfizer, hubo 38,000 personas. Y eso no se hizo en Estados Unidos. Eso se hizo en muchos otros países del mundo. El ensayo de Moderna se realizó en Estados Unidos. La prueba de Pfizer también incluyó un 4% de asiáticos, lo cual es bueno. Estamos viendo un 4 o 5%, está bien, no es genial, podría ser mejor. Y los asiático-estadounidenses y NHPI, los asiáticos en general, representan el 60% de la población en el mundo. Y debemos mejorar la representación en todo tipo de estudios.

 

John Yang: ¿Y hay alguna razón médica científica por la que desean tener esa representación en los ensayos?

 

Alka Kanaya: Absolutamente, especialmente en los ensayos de medicamentos y de vacunas, es realmente importante tener representación de diversos grupos y comunidades porque puede haber ciertas diferencias biológicas en cómo metabolizamos los medicamentos o en cómo nuestro cuerpo desarrolla respuestas inmunes a las vacunas. Eso no se puede ver a menos que tengamos un número adecuado de participantes en estos ensayos.

 

Dicho esto, al menos del 4 al 5% de los estadounidenses de origen asiático participaron en estos ensayos, y cuando se fijaron si había alguna señal de alguna diferencia en la eficacia de la vacuna o algún efecto secundario, no pudieron encontrar nada. Ahora, ¿eso significa que la pregunta ha sido completamente respondida, que no hay diferencias entre los asiático-estadounidenses y otros grupos? Probablemente no, porque basamos esto en 1,400 a 1,600 personas en estos ensayos. Pero al menos me reconforta saber que hubo alguna representación en estos estudios. Podemos hacerlo mejor.

 

John Yang: Muy bien, Dra. Rosario, me gustaría acudir a usted como miembro del servicio de salud pública. Estamos escuchando mucho, siempre sucede en estos casos: fraudes, estafas, personas que venden tarjetas de vacunación falsas. ¿Qué puede hacer nuestra comunidad? ¿Qué puede hacer la comunidad de nativos estadounidenses, la de origen asiático, de Hawái y de las islas del Pacífico para combatir ese tipo de cosas, como fraudes y estafas y también desinformación sobre la vacuna y sobre la COVID-19?

 

Adelaida Rosario: Excelente. Excelente pregunta. Sí, para nuestra comunidad y, en particular, nuestros adultos mayores, que tienden a ser un poco más vulnerables, y luego, por supuesto, nuestros cuidadores, que son los que cuidan a nuestros seres queridos mayores, queremos asegurarnos de que las personas estén empoderadas y que tengan recursos y tengan la información correcta y no se dejen influir por esta información errónea o convertirse en una víctima de estos fraudes y estafas.

 

Hay muchas cosas a las que se puede acceder. En primer lugar, cada estado tiene su sitio web del departamento de salud, y esos sitios web se mantienen bastante actualizados con información sobre quiénes son los proveedores de vacunas autorizados. Entonces, esos son los proveedores de los que se debe obtener una vacuna.

 

Como mencionaste, John, te llaman con estas tarjetas de vacunación falsas y demás, y puedes evitar eso asegurándote de quiénes son los proveedores autorizados. Siempre puedes consultar el sitio web de la FDA porque siempre mantienen información actualizada sobre el uso de vacunas de emergencia y quién tiene autorización de uso de emergencia.

 

Si recibes una llamada telefónica de alguien que dice que ahora tiene una nueva vacuna disponible para uso de emergencia, consulta siempre con tu proveedor de atención médica de confianza. Como saben, como mencionó la Dra. Kanaya, acudan a esas personas en su comunidad en las que confían, que son, en particular, su médico, ante cualquiera de estas inquietudes y toma las inquietudes que tengas sobre las vacunas y sobre tu salud.

 

Entonces, por supuesto, nunca compartan información de salud personal con nadie más que aquellos que son conocidos profesionales médicos de confianza. Por favor, no le den su Seguro Social ni nada parecido, información personal por teléfono a personas que llaman para pedirlo. Siempre verifica dos veces tus facturas médicas y las explicaciones de los beneficios de tu seguro.

 

Siempre debes estar atento a reclamos sospechosos y, por supuesto, informar de inmediato cualquier error a tu proveedor de seguro médico y los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades de EE. UU., los CDC, siempre tengan este y otros médicos confiables profesionales a los que se puede recurrir para verificar. Entonces, simplemente alentamos a todos a que sean más conscientes con sus recursos de confianza más locales que siempre pueden usar para investigar y verificar cuando se acercan personas que intentan ejecutar un fraude o una estafa.

 

John Yang: Ese es un buen consejo ahora y también en cualquier momento, creo, para todo tipo de problemas. Muchas gracias, Dra. Rosario.

 

Adelaida Rosario: De nada.

 

John Yang: Jean, ¿tenemos más preguntas? Espero que tengamos más preguntas, Jean, ¿quién sigue?

 

Jean Setzfand: Sí, tenemos a Glenn llamando desde Hawái.

 

John Yang: Glenn de Hawái. ¿Cuál es tu pregunta, Glenn? Glenn, ¿estás ahí?

 

Jean Setzfand: Glenn, ¿puedes oírnos? Creo que probablemente perdimos a Glenn. Ahora iremos a Jovita de Florida

 

John Yang: Jovita de Florida. Espero que estés con nosotros. ¿Y cuál es tu pregunta?

 

Jovita: Sí, gracias por responder a mi pregunta. [inaudible] ellos porque la única vacuna contra la gripe que recibí hace unos siete años, tuve como una reacción, como el síndrome de Guillain-Barré. Entonces, soy reacia a recibir la vacuna contra la COVID-19. ¿Cuál puede ser su consejo?

 

John Yang: Dra. Kanaya, ¿cuál sería su consejo? Ella tuvo una mala reacción previa a una vacuna contra la gripe. ¿Cual es tu consejo?

 

Alka Kanaya Sí, esta tecnología utilizada para estas vacunas es completamente diferente a la vacuna contra la gripe. Una vacuna contra la gripe mata partes de un virus de la gripe, y esta es, nuevamente, la tecnología de ADN y ARNm, que es tan diferente. Y no hay relación con los efectos secundarios que pueda haber tenido con la vacuna contra la gripe y los de esta nueva vacuna. Entonces, no me asustaría por esta experiencia previa con la vacuna contra la gripe.

 

John Yang: Si la vacuna Johnson & Johnson regresa, ¿cuál sería su consejo? ¿Sería el mismo dada la tecnología diferente?

 

Alka Kanaya: Sí, la vacuna de Johnson & Johnson es tecnología de ADN y es diferente de la que usamos para las vacunas contra la gripe en EE.UU. Entonces, también diría, la experiencia previa que has tenido con la vacuna contra la gripe no se aplica realmente a cómo te iría con cualquiera de estas vacunas ahora.

 

John Yang: Genial. Muchas gracias, Jean, ¿tenemos a alguien más?

 

Jean Setzfand: Por supuesto, tenemos una pregunta procedente de YouTube. Viene de Diane y ella pregunta si hay alguna diferencia entre la dosis uno, la dosis dos y la dosis de refuerzo tres.

 

John Yang: Dra. Kanaya, ¿quiere responder?

 

Alka Kanaya: Claro, ¿te importaría repetir que no entendí toda la pregunta?

 

Jean Setzfand: Claro, no hay problema. La pregunta proviene de Diane y está preguntando la diferencia entre las dosis. ¿Existe alguna diferencia entre la dosis uno y la dosis dos? Y supongo que estamos escuchando mucho sobre una dosis de refuerzo tres. ¿Hay alguna diferencia entre esas inyecciones?

 

Alka Kanaya: La de refuerzo aún no está desarrollado. No, la cantidad de vacuna en términos del volumen de vacuna que se recibe es la misma para la dosis uno y para la dosis dos para Pfizer y Moderna, la J & J es una vacuna de una sola dosis. Entonces, sí, en términos del volumen inyectado es idéntico para ambos. AstraZeneca tuvo diferencias en la dosis uno y la dosis dos, pero esa no es una vacuna que tenemos aquí en EE.UU.

 

John Yang: Y dada la variación, dada la naturaleza evolutiva de este virus, ¿los refuerzos serán diferentes o serán esencialmente los mismos?

 

Alka Kanaya: Sí. Entonces esa es la esperanza para los refuerzos, tener refuerzos más inteligentes que tengan en cuenta todas estas diferentes variantes que tenemos en el mundo en este momento para que sean efectivas contra estas variantes, como la variante sudafricana, la de Brasil, la variante de india.

 

Hay muchas variantes diferentes y las variantes ocurren en partes del mundo donde hay mucha transmisión de virus. Entonces, tenemos la esperanza de que a medida que nuestras comunidades se vacunen cada vez más y comencemos a alcanzar la inmunidad colectiva, y eso suele ser al 80%, la meta aquí es que el 80% de todos los estadounidenses se vacunen.

 

Esa será una noticia maravillosa porque habrá cada vez menos transmisión de cualquier virus en este país y tendremos menos variantes, aparecerán nuevas variantes. Y necesitamos que todo el mundo esté vacunado para que podamos evitar que estas variantes también ocurran en otras partes del mundo.

 

John Yang: Genial. Jean, ¿tenemos más preguntas?

 

Jean Setzfand: Sí, tenemos una pregunta de Kimberly de Minnesota.

 

John Yang: Kimberly en Minnesota.

 

Kimberly: Primero, tengo un comentario y una pregunta. Mi comentario es para tranquilizarlos sobre Johnson & Johnson. Fui y me la coloqué, pero no tengo condiciones subyacentes, me vacuné hace un par de semanas y no tuve ningún problema. Y la otra cosa que quiero decirle a la gente, es que yo estaba como en una lista pero primero intentaron programarme para una ciudad como a una hora de donde vivo, en realidad donde nací, y yo dije: "No voy a ir allí".

 

Entonces, entré a la farmacia y me presenté y la mujer me miró y dijo que no tenía la edad suficiente. Y yo dije "No me importa, quiero hablar con alguien". Y luego vino un chico mayor y me dijo, ven aquí. Y fui a un quiosco y me pusieron en la cola para la próxima semana. Entonces, para mí, es la perseverancia en estar en persona lo que vale la pena, porque cuando estás en una base de datos, la gente te trata como un miembro, ¿sabes? Así que, por lo general, ese es mi aprendizaje de eso.

 

Mi pregunta es, mi madre tiene 88 años. Todavía no ha recibido una vacuna y todavía vive en casa. Realmente no quiero que viva en casa, pero mi hermano es el ejecutor de su patrimonio y no la saca. Me dice que no quiere que ella reciba la vacuna porque cree que es tan frágil que se va a morir. Entonces, ¿qué se hace al respecto?

 

John Yang: Dra. Garcia-Dia, ¿cuál es su consejo?

 

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: Sí, me identifico con eso, también viví con mis suegros, mi suegro tiene 84 años y mi suegra tiene 78 años. Ambos realmente han dudado en recibir la vacuna. Y tuvimos que tener la conversación difícil. Y mi consejo es realmente llamar al proveedor de atención primaria y discutir estas inquietudes con él. Conocen el historial médico personal de tu madre y puedeb orientarte sobre cómo sopesar los riesgos y los beneficios de la vacuna.

 

No existe cura para la COVID-19 y cientos de miles de personas han muerto por su causa. Y la vacuna es realmente una forma probada y segura de ayudar a nuestro cuerpo a combatir la enfermedad infecciosa. Y pídele a tu hermano que vaya al mismo sitio web del Centro para el Control de Enfermedades y que lo busque él mismo, de esta manera él realmente pueda entender que esta es realmente nuestra primera y mejor manera de proteger a su madre contra la COVID-19.

 

John Yang: Muy bien. Gracias, Dr. Garcia-Dia. Jean, volvamos a los teléfonos o las líneas y veamos de quién es nuestra próxima pregunta.

 

Jean Setzfand: Suena bien. Esta pregunta viene en Facebook de Kiyu, y Kiyu pregunta ¿cuántos asiáticos se han vacunado en EE.UU.? ¿Dónde podemos encontrar esa información?

 

John Yang: Dra. Rosario, sé que los CDC tienen un número agregado de la cantidad de vacunas y quién tiene una inyección, quién está completamente inoculado. ¿Ese tipo de información está disponible?

 

Adelaida Rosario: Así es, y lo que puedo decir es que esta semana más del 65% de las personas de 65 años o más están completamente vacunadas, más de 25% de la población general. Sin embargo, si queremos ver cualquier estado específico, están disponibles en línea. El sitio web de los CDC tiene un rastreador que se actualiza diariamente. Y siempre puedes consultar con tu departamento de salud local, que tiene estadísticas locales disponibles.

 

John Yang: ¿Y los números están desglosados ​​por etnia y origen étnico?

 

Adelaida Rosario: ¿En el sitio web? Sí. Pero como se mencionó al principio de nuestra conversación, el desafío con nuestra comunidad es que los datos que tenemos para AANHPI no tienden a estar desglosados, por lo tanto, está un poco agrupado y no tenemos claro dónde se encuentran las estadísticas con cada subgrupo.

 

John Yang: Genial. Muchas gracias. Mirando el reloj, creo que podríamos seguir por mucho más tiempo, pero tenemos que poner fin a esto, por eso, me gustaría pedirle a cada una de ustedes sus pensamientos finales, las recomendaciones, los pensamientos que desean dejar con nuestros oyentes. Lo más importante que quieren dejar con nuestros oyentes esta noche. Dra. Rosario del Servicio de Salud Pública, empecemos por usted.

 

Adelaida Rosario: Sí, señor. Lo que definitivamente quiero dejarles a todos es cómo los beneficios hasta ahora superan los riesgos. Es una cuestión de protegerse, mantenerse fuera del hospital, ser capaz de regresar a lo que era su normalidad con la confianza de que no terminarán hospitalizados. La muerte no será una amenaza inminente, puedes interactuar con tus seres queridos, tu familia, tus hijos, tus nietos. Y es un paso significativo para regresar a la vida que conocíamos.

 

John Yang: Muy bien. Muchas gracias, Dra. Kanaya, ¿cuáles serían sus pensamientos finales?

 

Alka Kanaya: Vaya, es difícil superar eso. Yo diría que se vacunen, hagan que las personas que los rodean se vacunen, cualquier persona con la que entres en contacto, pregúntale y ayúdala a llegar a vacunarse porque necesitas que todos ayuden aquí. Es importante que uses tu propia influencia con las personas que conoces y que te rodean para vacunarlas, porque estamos tratando de vacunar a todo el mundo, y una persona más, es un paso más cerca de hacer que nuestra vida vuelva a la normalidad.

 

John Yang: Y son los toques personales que todo el mundo ha dicho que es tan importante. Dra. Garcia-Dia, ¿cuáles serían sus pensamientos finales?

 

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia: Animo a todos a tener una conversación honesta y una sesión de escucha. Reúnanse con personas de la comunidad en las que puedan confiar y compartan experiencias entre ustedes. Esta es realmente nuestra oportunidad. Podemos detener la pandemia. Déjanos ser parte de la solución y aprovecha esta oportunidad para ayudar a prevenir la propagación de COVID-19 y realmente recibir la vacuna contra la COVID-19 te protege a ti, protege a tu familia y a nuestra comunidad.

 

John Yang: Muy bien. Muchas gracias. Muchas gracias, Mary Joy Garcia-Dia de Philippine Nurses Association of America, Dra. Alka Kanaya, de la Facultad de Medicina de University of California en San Francisco, y Adelaida Rosario, del Servicio de Salud Pública de EE.UU. Gracias a todas por una discusión muy informativa esta noche. Gracias a todos los que hicieron preguntas, gracias a los socios de AARP, los voluntarios y a nuestra audiencia por participar en esta discusión.

 

AARP, una organización con membresía, no partidista y sin fines de lucro, ha trabajado para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores de EE.UU. durante más de 60 años. Y frente a la pandemia, ha estado brindando recursos e información para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan a protegerse del virus y evitar que se propague a otras personas mientras se cuidan.

 

Todos los recursos de los que hemos hablado, todo lo que hablamos esta noche, incluida una grabación de las preguntas y respuestas de hoy, se pueden encontrar en internet en AARP.org/coronavirus. La grabación de este evento estará disponible mañana 23 en unas 24 horas. Una vez más, esa dirección web es AARP.org/coronavirus. Si alguno de ustedes tiene preguntas que no se abordaron esta noche y me disculpo si ese es el caso, que vaya a ese sitio web. Encontrará las últimas actualizaciones, así como información creada específicamente para adultos mayores y cuidadores familiares.

 

Y de hecho, una vez más, quiero repetir la información de que si tienen problemas para conseguir una cita o registrarse para una vacuna porque no tienen una computadora, porque no tiene acceso a Internet, presionen 1 en su teléfono que te incluirá en una lista para recibir una llamada de un miembro del personal de AARP que puede, en persona y por teléfono, ayudar a obtener esa información, registrarse y obtener una cita para una vacuna.

 

Como todos han dicho esta noche, eso es lo que nos ayudará a volver a la normalidad. Esperamos que hayas aprendido algo esta noche que pueda ayudarte a ti y a tus seres queridos a mantenerse saludables. Habrá otra conversación sobre el coronavirus y AARP ofrecerá otra teleasamblea el 6 de mayo a la 1 p.m. Eso es el 6 de mayo a la 1 p.m. Y ahora permítanme agregar mi agradecimiento personal a Daphne Kwok, Jean Setzfand, Mike Watson de AARP y especialmente a Julio en la sala de control por mantenerme encaminado esta noche. Agradezco todo el apoyo y la ayuda. Eso es todo. Gracias a todos por escuchar. Que tengan un buen día.

 

 

Coronavirus: Vaccines and Asian American and Pacific Islanders

Thursday, April 22, at 7 p.m. ET

Listen to a replay of the live event above.

A panel of experts addressed your questions about coronavirus vaccines and how the pandemic has affecting Asian American and Pacific Islanders.

The experts:

  • Alka Kanaya, M.D.
    Professor of Medicine,
    University of California San Francisco 

  • Mary Joy Garcia-Dia, DNP
    President,
    Philippine Nurses Association of America

  • Adelaida Rosario, Ph.D.
    Lieutenant, U.S. Public Health Service,
    Office of the Surgeon General,
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • Daphne Kwok
    Special Guest,
    Vice President, AARP

  • John Yang
    Moderator,
    Special Correspondent,
    PBS NewsHour

Bill Walsh: Hello. I am AARP Vice President Bill Walsh, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the coronavirus. Before we begin, if you'd like to hear this telephone town hall in Spanish, please press *0 on your telephone keypad now. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, member organization, and we have been working to promote the health and well-being of Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, AARP is providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them. In many states, people 18 and older are now eligible for a vaccine, and access is improving across the country. More than 75 percent of people 65 and older have received at least one dose. While this is encouraging, many people are still struggling to find information on how to sign up. And at the same time, new variants of COVID-19 continue to spread, and misinformation is everywhere.

Today we'll hear from an impressive panel of experts about these issues and more. If you've participated in one of our tele-town halls before, you know this is similar to a radio talk show, and you have the opportunity to ask your questions live. For those of you joining us on the phone, if you'd like to ask your question, press *3 on your telephone now to be connected with an AARP staff member, who will note your name and question and place you in a queue to ask that question live. If you'd like to listen in Spanish, press *0 on your telephone keypad now. And if you're joining on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comments section.

We have some outstanding guests joining us today, including representatives from the University of Maryland's Center for Vaccine Development and the National Association of City and County Health Officials. We'll also be joined by my AARP colleague, Jean Setzfand, who will help facilitate your calls today. This event is being recorded, and you can access the recording at aarp.org\coronavirus 24 hours after we wrap up.

Now I'd like to welcome our guests. Kathleen Neuzil, M.D., is the director of the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland's School of Medicine. She has decades of experience as a leading researcher on vaccines and was recently recognized by the Baltimore Sun as Marylander of the Year for her unprecedented leadership on COVID-19 vaccine research. Welcome to the program, Dr. Neuzil.

Kathleen Neuzil: Thank you. I'm really delighted to be here and looking forward to the next hour.

Bill Walsh: All right, we're delighted to have you. I'd also like to welcome Adriane Casalotti. Adriane is the chief of Government and Public Affairs at the National Association of County and City Health Officials. The organization represents 3,000 local health departments across the country. Welcome back to the program, Adriane.

Adriane Casalotti: Thanks for having me back. I'm excited.

Bill Walsh: All right. We are too. Let's get started with the discussion and just a reminder, to ask your question, please press *3 on your telephone keypad or drop it in the comments section on Facebook or YouTube. Dr. Neuzil, let's start with you. You're among the world's foremost vaccine researchers. Why were the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines suspended in the U.S. and Europe? And how do you think this will impact the availability of vaccines and hesitancy issues?

Kathleen Neuzil: Yeah, you're really starting off with an easy question there.

Bill Walsh: Yeah, we thought we'd dive right into the deep end.

Kathleen Neuzil: No, I mean these are very complex questions, and obviously safety is a top priority here and throughout the world. You know, I was involved in the clinical trials of both of these vaccines, and just to state that despite the fact that we did enroll 30,000 to 50,000 people in these trials, these are very rare events that are difficult to pick up. I will say that no safety was compromised as part of the trials. You know, most vaccine-associated side effects do appear within the first few weeks after vaccination, and that is exactly when we're seeing these rare thromboembolic events. So, in fact, it is because they are so rare, and not because we didn't carefully follow participants, that we did not pick them up in the clinical trials. These are severe blood clots occurring in unusual places, the cerebral venous sinuses, for example, associated with low platelet counts. And this is a very unusual combination of signs and symptoms. The fact that we could pick up these rare events says a lot about our safety systems in both the United States and Europe, and one of the main reasons for the initial pause in the United States is to make recipients of the vaccine and providers aware of this rare side effect and the fact that we treat it somewhat differently. And so a lot of the reason for the pause was that education about these rare side effects.

Bill Walsh: OK, and do you think the pause will have an impact on the availability of vaccine for Americans, and, you know there are some folks who, who are simply hesitant to take a vaccine. Do you think it'll have any impact on those folks?

Kathleen Neuzil: Yeah, it's a really good question. At the moment we have been fortunate that we have plentiful supplies on a national level of the mRNA vaccines. Now this does not mean that we have plentiful supplies at the local level, and Adriane may comment on this. But we are fortunate that the overall supply is good, and we have vaccines for people who want them. If the pause is removed quickly, then again, I think we will be in a fine situation. It certainly could affect vaccine hesitancy. Again, I think the emphasis should be on the robustness of our safety surveillance programs that we were able to detect such a rare outcome, that the government officials acted on it very quickly and are continuing to deliberate. There's an Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ emergency meeting being held tomorrow; it's entirely public. The discussion will occur in a public and transparent way to further discuss these side effects and whether the pause should be lifted or continue.

Bill Walsh: OK, let me follow up on that. I mean with the J&J distribution expected to resume at some point, what new, if any, steps should someone take to monitor themselves following a vaccine and for how long?

Kathleen Neuzil: Yeah, so that's a really great question. Most of the risk is in the first two to three weeks. So really, if you're beyond that period of time, this would be highly, highly unlikely to occur. Now what you should be on the lookout for are severe headache, that is what might occur with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. We know that much of the population routinely gets headaches on a regular basis, but this would really be a severe unremitting headache, certainly blurred vision, fainting, seizures. These blood clots can also occur in unusual veins in the abdomen. So severe pain in your stomach or abdomen or chest should certainly prompt you to visit a health care provider. And then we're more used to seeing clots in the legs or in the lungs, so certainly leg swelling or shortness of breath are other symptoms that might again yield somebody to contact a health care provider.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you for that. That's very helpful. And you had talked a little bit before about how you were involved in the clinical trials for two of these vaccines, I believe. I wonder if you can help our audience understand how the development and the speed of the COVID vaccines differs from the norm or normal discovery and distribution of vaccines.

Kathleen Neuzil: Yeah, it was really quite remarkable that we had vaccines under emergency use authorization and distribution within a year of recognizing this new pathogen. And that was really possible for a number of reasons. One was our investment in science and technology. The fact that we had funded programs here in the United States where we understood the first SARS coronavirus and a related coronavirus, the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome or MERS. We understood about the spike protein and how our body makes an immune response, and even how to make vaccines for those earlier pathogens. Now, those vaccines never made it to licensure because we really didn't have a business reason or public health reason to take them to licensure. But that foundational scientific work allowed scientists to work very quickly when we discovered this new virus and the genetic code. There was unprecedented resources put into these efforts, you know, generally because vaccine development is very costly, hundreds of millions of dollars, we proceed in a very risk averse manner. We want to be convinced that a vaccine is going to work before we move from one phase to the next. And the government investment really took a lot of that risk away and allowed us to work in parallel intent instead of in series. But I will make the comment that I made at the beginning; we really didn't compromise on safety. We moved in a very deliberate manner starting with healthy, young and middle-aged adults, following them closely. We would vaccinate five or six people. We would wait a week, meticulously follow them and laboratory values, then we would gradually vaccinate more people, and we would include larger numbers of people, older people, younger people, people with chronic diseases. So again, and then the very large nature of the studies was also a way to look at safety and to also be confident in the efficacy that these vaccines did work, not only in the youngest, healthiest people, but in the people most likely to get severe disease or die from COVID.

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks very much for that insider's point of view. Let's turn to you, Adriane. With the pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, how have local health departments had to shift their strategy? I know this vaccine was one that was being distributed to some of these larger public facilities around the country.

Adriane Casalotti: You know, luckily in some ways, proportionately, the majority of the vaccine available at this point and last week are the Pfizer and Moderna type of mRNA vaccines that we were just talking about, which weren't affected by the pause. So that meant that relatively few individuals were impacted. That being said, the pause was recommended in the morning. I mean there were people who were set to have vaccination appointments that day with the J&J vaccine, as well as over the course of that week. So, in some places, we saw the existing appointments for J&J shots could easily be filled by switching to one of the other products, the Pfizer or Moderna, but in others, it did mean that some appointments had to be canceled or postponed. For the general population, you know, yes, you have to come back a second time, but in the grand scheme of things, not all that difficult once you can get things rescheduled. But that being said, the J&J vaccine has some unique properties about it that make it easier for certain groups and more attractive for certain patients. So from a provider perspective, we represent the local health departments across the country, and they were really focused on using them in ways for populations that are harder to reach. So folks like people who are experiencing homelessness, who you might not be able to get to come back within three or four weeks for their second dose, or it's harder to contact to keep up with those folks, folks who are homebound, people who work in certain industries like migrant farm workers or seafood workers who go out for long periods of time and they can't necessarily make it back on schedule for the next shot, who are moving where they live over the course of that time. And it was also more attractive to certain patients. So some folks who are concerned about taking time off of work to get two shots would only have to do that one time. Frankly, some people who don't like needles were much more willing to go and get the one shot as opposed to the two shots. And then also for providers, the way that the shots are packaged, so the vials, the way that the vaccines come from the manufacturer to the place for administration also matters. So the J&J vaccine has properties where it really just needs a regular old refrigerator, and it comes in relatively small doses. So what you're able to do, if you don't see a lot of people, you can use up your vial of vaccine without wasting much. So there are some unique properties that made it really preferred for certain locations or for certain populations.

Bill Walsh: OK, and one of those populations you mentioned are folks who are homebound. What are local health departments doing to get the vaccine to people who are unable to leave their homes?

Adriane Casalotti: Yeah, so there's a lot of partnerships that we're hearing to try and best address folks who are homebound. And right now, every American over the age of 16 is eligible for the vaccine. And so, we're wanting to make sure that we are serving and making sure that people get it as soon as they can. And so, homebound individuals do post some challenges, but there are a lot of ways that we're hearing that people are working together to make that work. So, in some areas we're hearing they're partnering with the area agencies on aging or Meals on Wheels to help identify folks who need access to the vaccine, who can't go to a clinic or site to get vaccinated. In some communities there are registries for the emergency management system, say places where there's a lot of wildfires or other natural disasters where people can already be alerted, alert the locality that there are homebound individuals in certain areas, so you can look at that to find people who might need to be vaccinated in their homes. And then partnering with people like the EMS professionals on the ambulances, fire department, public health nurses, the medical reserve corps volunteers, nonprofit organizations and community health centers, and pharmacists to send people out to people's homes. So, they're using their best mapping skills, right, to try and get to as many people as possible within the right amount of time, sending out a couple folks to people's homes to deliver the vaccine, give them all the information they need, wait with them for a little bit and then move to the next household. And, you know, the J&J vaccine was particularly useful here, but we do have other communities that have been able to do this with the two dose mRNA vaccines, but obviously that means you're making all of these trips twice, and you have larger vials that you need to be supporting over the course of the day.

Bill Walsh: For folks who may be on the line today or loved ones of homebound people, do you have any advice for them about where to get information in their community?

Adriane Casalotti: Sure. If they still haven't been able to get an appointment, calling the local health departments, calling the local area agency on aging will be a great way to connect into what some of these resources are. I will also say that they are focused not just on the homebound individual, but also a lot of times they will also vaccinate the caregivers who are there because we want to make sure that everyone is getting vaccinated to keep us all safe. But reaching out in those ways can hopefully get you on the right list and get someone to your home.

Bill Walsh: Great, thanks so much for that Adriane, and just one other resource for our listeners — AARP has been creating state-by-state guides. You can find them on aarp.org/vaccineinfo. Those guides have toll-free numbers, they have information about where and how to sign up for a vaccine, so check that out if you need information. We're going to get to your live questions shortly, but before we do I want to bring in Nancy LeaMond. Nancy is the executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer here at AARP. Welcome, Nancy.

Nancy LeaMond: Hi, Bill, how are ya?

Bill Walsh: I'm very good. Thanks for being with us today. There's been a lot of action on COVID-19 on Capitol Hill over the last few months. What are the big things that our listeners should know about?

Nancy LeaMond: Well, it has been a very busy stretch with a lot of activity after AARP advocated for months for Congress to act to respond to the pandemic. We've seen some positive movement as last month the President signed the American Rescue Plan Act, and we were pleased it includes several AARP priorities: supporting expansion of COVID vaccine efforts, expanding paid leave tax credits, and the child tax credit, allowing more people to receive care in their homes and communities, increasing funding for food assistance and meal-delivery programs, improving infection control in nursing homes, expanding unemployment insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to the pandemic, providing an expansion of subsidies that will make coverage under the Affordable Care Act more affordable and accessible for millions of Americans, this is so important, and delivering payments of $1,400 to millions of older adults, including people who receive benefits through Social Security, Veterans Affairs and other programs. I should say it's a long list, and we're delighted it's a long list. AARP state offices across the country are also continuing this advocacy by working with governors and state legislatures to allocate the funding that was provided to states in ways that continue to address the needs of the 50-plus. Looking forward, Congress will soon begin working on an infrastructure plan, and AARP will continue to fight for the financial and health security of the 50-plus. This includes providing greater assistance to the nation's over 40 million family caregivers, making sure that as people age, they can remain in their homes and communities, and that people have access and can stay connected through high-speed internet. We'll also continue our work to lower prescription drug prices, which continue to cripple family budgets. It's a busy time on Capitol Hill and AARP staff and volunteers will continue to work hard to make sure the needs of older adults across the country are a priority and that your voices are heard as we advocate on the issues that matter most to you.

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks for that, Nancy. As the vaccine distribution process continues, where is AARP focusing its efforts?

Nancy LeaMond: Well, since the vaccine started to be rolled out, AARP has fought for older adults to be prioritized and to make the process easier for people. In every single state, AARP staff and volunteers have fought in state legislatures for transparency and reporting, and we've increased our efforts to provide people 50-plus with trusted information about vaccines. For example, and you mentioned this earlier, we published online guides for every state explaining how to get the vaccine where you live, and you can find those at aarp.org/vaccineinfo. This work has paid off as more than three-quarters of people age 65 and older now have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. However, we know there's still a lot of work to do to ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine can get it, and people who may still have questions can get them answered. As the rollout continues, we will keep the pressure on our elected leaders and continue to provide critical information to our members as we're doing today through this tele-town hall, and we'll be focused on ensuring that older adults, particularly older adults of color and those who are homebound, have access. To stay up to date on all of these efforts, please visit our website, www.aarp.org/coronavirus. Thanks a lot. Really appreciate the time to be with you.

Bill Walsh: All right. Thanks for joining us today, Nancy, and thanks for all the information. And before we turn to live questions, I want to address an important issue. We know that many of you are having challenges registering for vaccines in your state and community because many places require signups through online forums. And if you don't have access to a computer, this can be a real challenge. AARP wants to help. We've established an AARP Vaccine Registration Team to try to assist in these cases. So if you're listening today, and you don't have a computer, and you can't register for a vaccine in your community because you don't have access to technology, please press 1 on your telephone right now to be added to a list to receive a phone call from an AARP staff member to help you out. Again, if you're listening today, and you don't have access to a computer or the internet, and you can't register for a vaccine because of that, please press 1 to be added to a list to receive a phone call, and we will try to help you out.

Thank you for that, and it is now time to address your questions about the coronavirus with Dr. Kathleen Neuzil and Adriane Casalotti. Now I'd like to bring in my AARP colleague, Jean Setzfand, to help facilitate your calls. Welcome, Jean.

Jean Setzfand: Thanks so much, Bill. Delighted to be here.

Bill Walsh: OK, let's take our first question.

Jean Setzfand: All right. Our first question's coming from Grace in California.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Grace. Welcome to the program. Hey, welcome. Go ahead with your question.

Grace: Yes, good morning. Thank you all for doing what you do. That's so fantastic. My question this morning is how long after I have had my second shot should I go and get an antibody test, and what test do I ask for, so I know that they're actually looking for the antibodies?

Bill Walsh: That's an interesting question. Dr. Neuzil, can you help out?

Kathleen Neuzil: Yeah, we actually don't recommend that people get a post-vaccination antibody test, and part of it is for the reasons that you've just alluded to. The tests are really there for a different reason. The tests are primarily to diagnose COVID-19 and not to show that we have antibody from vaccination. We also don't know yet what we call a correlate of protection, in other words, is it antibody, is it a T-cell response, which is a different immune response, that protects you from vaccinations. So the majority of people who receive this vaccination are protected and do very well with the immune response. And I think the listeners out there that may be worried because they're on immunosuppressive drugs, for example, or perhaps they had a transplant, should probably work through their doctor. But if you get a vaccine, most of us are protected but of course we should follow CDC guidelines in terms of continuing to wear masks and socializing in smaller groups.

Bill Walsh: OK, very good. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Garrett from Florida.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Garrett. Welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question. Hey Garrett, go ahead with your question. OK, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Caroline from Illinois.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Caroline. Welcome to the show. Go ahead with your question.

Caroline: Thank you. My question is, I've had my second shot on the 15th, so it's been about a week. I've been told that I needed to stay away from contact for another week. Is that really true?

Bill Walsh: Stay away from, what did you say? I'm sorry, can you repeat that?

Caroline: I've been told that I need to wait two weeks before I do any socializing with my friends.

Bill Walsh: Oh, OK. Dr. Neuzil, what is the latest guidance for folks who have received their full regimen of vaccine?

Kathleen Neuzil: Yeah, so people are considered vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in whatever series they receive. So that would be, or two weeks after they're fully vaccinated, which would be two doses for the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, and two weeks for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is the single dose vaccine. While there certainly are people who are likely protected before then, we need to understand that this this guidance is national guidance. I would also ask people for patience. We've all waited a long time to get to the point where we can start to socialize and have a little bit more freedom, so waiting that extra week is worth it just to be sure you are fully protected.

Bill Walsh: OK, Dr. Neuzil. Thank you very much, and thanks, Caroline, for that question. I understand we have a question on Facebook.

Jean Setzfand: Yes, we do have some questions coming in from YouTube and Facebook, and this one is from Selina, and she's asking, "Has there been equitable distribution of vaccines both in the U.S. as well as the world, and if not, what's being done? This will not be contained unless everybody has a chance of getting a vaccine."

Bill Walsh: Equitable distribution. Adriane, can you address that?

Adriane Casalotti: I'll do my best. I mean I can talk about the United States and then globally. Actually, I'll do globally first. So globally, there are still many countries that are not yet having access to the vaccines and the vaccines that are authorized in the United States for use, Pfizer, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, though that one is on pause as we've talked about, are not necessarily the same vaccines that are authorized for use in other countries, as well. It is a big issue of making sure that we, that the richer countries in the world frankly are getting vaccinated but that everyone is getting vaccinated, because not every country has the ability to make some of the deals with pharmaceutical companies the way that ours have. And in making those deals with what we spoke about earlier about how much investment was put into the creation of these vaccines and the development and the production of the vaccines and doing it so quickly, that also meant that we had deals in place that said now those vaccines have to come to the United States first. So there's definitely a push and it will continue to be a long time before as a globe we are all vaccinated with vaccines that are to the same standards especially as what we have here in the United States. And that's why you'll continue to see CDC guidance recommending against travel globally where there are different variants and different levels of vaccination, as well as the efficacy of the vaccines are being used in different countries also vary. Nationally, we have really stepped up, the federal government has been releasing the vaccine based on population, overall population. And so that has led to some areas where there's been challenges because people are not just being vaccinated where they physically live, but also sometimes where they work, and that can cross barriers. I live in Washington D.C., and that's a huge issue between Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C., for example. Once the vaccines are sent out to the different states based on population, that who's getting the vaccine and the uptake of that vaccine, so who it's being administered to, equitable uptick is a huge issue, and it continues to be so. We know that COVID has not impacted all populations evenly. There are huge existing health disparities and inequities that COVID's really exploited and really shown us very clearly how it impacts across the country. And so there have had to be real concerted efforts to try and make sure that vaccines are getting to those populations that are disproportionately impacted by COVID when they might not be the easiest. So, we know in some local health departments we hear, ‘OK our preregistration line is full, we have so many people who want vaccines,’ but when we look at it, it's not really representative of our whole community. It's really folks who have better access to internet, who are working from home who can take off disproportionately, and not representing the more minority populations. And so there has to be concerted efforts to really reach in and make sure that we're doing so in an equitable way. A lot of communities have been working to partner with community-based organizations and other nonprofits that work in particular parts of the of their region to make sure that they're making connections to all the people who may still need access to vaccines. But it's definitely a focus that people have and that we have to continue to have a focus on, because it's very easy to lose some of that nuance when we're just looking at national numbers.

Bill Walsh: Yeah. OK, thanks for that. Let's go back to the lines. Who is our next caller, Jean?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Jay from Massachusetts.

 Bill Walsh: Hey, Jay, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

Jay: Good afternoon. Hey, I love your calls. This is probably my sixth or seventh one I've listened to over the last year. And I think it's a great service that you guys are doing. My question for the team here is a year from now, or a year and a half from now, or two years from now, do you feel that we are going to need to still worry about COVID-19 and vaccines and like a flu shot every year, we're going to have to get this shot every year for COVID, or is this going to like go away?

Bill Walsh: Yeah, that's a great question, Jay. Dr. Neuzil, what do you think about that booster shots and will we be concerned about COVID 19 in April of 2022?

Kathleen Neuzil: Yeah, it is really great question, and I think when this virus first appeared, we were hoping it would be more like SARS 1, which, as awful as it was, disappeared and hasn't returned. That is looking less and less likely as this virus continues to infect humans, and also as it's shown its ability to adapt to humans. You know, it has adapted very, very well to this this new species that it infected. So we do expect SARS-CoV-2 to likely be around. You know, we are hoping that it is around as more of a nuisance virus, but I believe we do have to prepare for the fact that it will be similar to influenza, and we may need booster doses of this vaccine, whether it's yearly, whether it's every few years. I think it's a little bit too soon to say. I do, however, think that it is likely to be with us because how well, again, it has adapted to humans, how easily it can spread. This virus will become part of the other respiratory viruses that infect the human population on a yearly basis.

Bill Walsh: Well thanks for that, Dr. Neuzil. We were hoping for some more optimistic news, but we appreciate the facts and the realism. All right, well let's go back to the line. Who do we have next, Jean?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Terry from Michigan.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Terry, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

Terry: Yes, thank you for taking my call. In Michigan we've had about 6 million people receive their vaccines, and when we had information on this herd immunity, it's always been told that if we had 70 percent of the country, that we would start seeing some evidence of this herd immunity. Well, Michigan has like 60 percent of their people vaccinated, and we're seeing the reverse. What we're seeing is a surge with the infections going from 6,000 to 8,000 a day. And I was just wondering, one explanation that the governor gives is that we did such a good job early on in protecting our state that, with the masking and social distancing, that there are more people vulnerable in our state. I was just wondering what the experts think about the surge in Michigan.

Bill Walsh: That's interesting, a surge at a time when we're also seeing a surge in vaccinations. Maybe both of our experts want to weigh in on that. Let's start with you, Adriane. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Adriane Casalotti: Yeah, so thanks for the question. I think this is where it really gets into the importance of us having good public health data. So if you remember, it was only about a week ago that now all people over the age of 16 are eligible to be vaccinated, but before then it was really being done by specific populations, so health care workers, teachers in some areas, but then also working down in age. What we're seeing in the Michigan case numbers is a lot of outbreaks that are happening in kids and young adults. So you do see fewer cases in the older population, and those are the populations that were most likely to be vaccinated, and most likely to be fully vaccinated earlier. And so it really shows the importance of vaccination, first of all, of everyone getting vaccinated and making sure their loved ones also get vaccinated if they're eligible to do so, but then also some of the other mitigation measures that still need to be in place, whether that be masking and social distancing. They've found that there are certain areas where there's lots of outbreaks. For example, youth sports, youth wrestling, youth basketball. These are places where it makes sense as to why the virus spreads very quickly there, but even with vaccines there are still certain things that are going to be more risky, especially given that folks under the age of 16 cannot be vaccinated at this point.

Bill Walsh: Hmm, and Dr. Neuzil, I don't know if you want to weigh in on this as well, I was going to follow up with a question about you know what you want every American to know about vaccines. I wonder if you could wrap all that together. Do you see an explanation for the Michigan surge and are there things about the vaccines that you want Americans to know.

Kathleen Neuzil: Yeah, I think Adriane explained it very well, that when we talk about vaccine coverage and talk about transmission of the virus, this is occurring in real life in pockets, right. It's not evenly distributed. We know that older persons have the highest vaccination rates, and they have very nicely followed non-pharmaceutical guidelines of masking and social distancing. We don't have a vaccine for children yet. That point has been made, and we didn't have vaccine for young adults, who were more likely to be circulating in society. Even something like measles that's very rare in the U.S. where our vaccination rates may be 99 percent, if that 1 percent of unvaccinated are all in the same place, you're going to have a sizable outbreak. So again, it's sometimes the numbers can be a little bit misleading there. I think that this really emphasizes a point about infectious diseases and vaccines, in general. You're not only doing it to protect yourself, you're doing it to protect others. And this is why we were telling people, you know, get the first vaccine you can get. I am certainly protected if I get a vaccine. I am more protected if everybody around me also gets a vaccine.

Bill Walsh: That's a great point. That's something we all need to remember, even as vaccines become more available. Adriane, I'd like to turn to you. You know, access to information has been a challenge for many people throughout the distribution process. You know we're several months into it now, but we're at an important moment. What are some of the early lessons learned about communication and engagement that's going to help us with vaccine distribution as the process continues. This has really been like a case study in public health communications.

Adriane Casalotti: For sure. And actually let me just, one thing back to the caller's last question, the other thing that we haven't talked as much about are variants. So there are some variants to the virus that kids tend to be more susceptible toward getting and that tend to spread a little bit easier. So it just really highlights, the vaccines do work against these variants. That really just reemphasizes that anyone who can be vaccinated really needs to be vaccinated to help protect some of the folks who can't in our population.

But that conversation about how do we talk about all of these things, right. Public health has not done a great job of having phrases in like bumper sticker size chunks. And yet, in some ways I absolutely wish we could. We've been having challenges around the public communication for coronavirus since the beginning, since before we even had a name for it. And yet, there are some really focused efforts to try and help figure out both the right messages, but also the right messengers. You know, public health communication is hard. It's nuanced, and we really do need to make sure that folks are hearing the same messages, that they are clear, but you're hearing them from all levels and all sectors. So if you hear something different from your local health official, and your primary care provider, the person at the pharmacy, and the President, and the head of the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, it's super complicated, and these are already complicated messages. So how do we streamline this information top to bottom? Also, public health communication is challenging because we're learning more about the virus every day. And so having messages that evolve does not necessarily mean that we weren't telling the truth two months ago, three months ago, six months ago, it's that we've learned more and now we know what to do and have better recommendations to move forward. You know, that's work that's being done. I think people are right to have questions. And when you're in the middle of a pandemic, sometimes we don't make the space for people to ask them, to really hear the information, both to answer the questions that people have, but also what's unique for their situation, for the situation of their family and of their loved ones. And the more that we can open those lines of communications that people can ask those questions, and get answers in an effectual way that really respect people thinking critically about this, is important. And I think that's one of the ways local health departments have been trying to partner with faith-based organizations, community-based organizations and others to help make sure that where they're the right messenger, they're there, but otherwise, who are the right messengers, do they have the information that they need, and where can we make the space for people to have these one-on-one conversations?

Bill Walsh: All right, well let's get to some of those questions right now. This is time for you to pose your questions to Dr. Kathleen Neuzil and Adriane Casalotti. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

Jean Setzfand: We're going to go to a YouTube question. And Maddy on YouTube is asking, "If you have to get a booster shot next year, do you have to get the same vaccine as the same manufacturer from the first shot that you received?"

Bill Walsh: Oh, that's interesting. Dr. Neuzil.

Kathleen Neuzil: Yes, it's a great question, and we in the research field are trying to stay ahead of the practical public health questions that will emerge. So we are actually looking at that now; whether the booster dose, there are companies, Pfizer and Moderna, who are already looking at booster doses with their own vaccine, and then the NIH will be sponsoring a trial that looks at booster doses if we mix and match with different vaccines. And similarly in the United Kingdom, because they have slightly different vaccines that are approved for use there, they are also looking at these mix and match booster schedules, because we may have additional vaccines that that are authorized certainly by the fall or later if we should recommend a booster dose. So I would say stay tuned for the answer to that question.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you very much. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Another question coming from Facebook from Adele, and she's asking, "Will you please tell us a little more about the current air travel guidelines for people who are fully vaccinated."

Bill Walsh: Ah, people are already thinking about getting back on airplanes. OK, Adriane, what can you tell us about that?

Adriane Casalotti: So, I can tell you a little bit, and then I can point you to where all that information is. So, for domestic travel for fully vaccinated travelers, you no longer need to get tested before or after travel unless your destination requires it. And fully vaccinated travelers should not need to self-quarantine the way that someone who is not fully vaccinated would need to when they get to a new place. That being said, is going on an airplane and anytime you're really in public, you need to be wearing a mask over your nose and mouth, staying six feet apart when you can and avoid crowds and washing your hands often and using hand sanitizer. That's for domestic travel. CDC is really recommending delaying travel domestically even on airlines until you are fully vaccinated because it does increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. And they are continuing to update those guidelines as we get more information. For international travel, CDC is saying that yes, you're less likely to get and spread COVID-19, but international travel poses additional risks for even fully vaccinated travelers. So they're still recommending delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated, but even if you are fully vaccinated, that avoiding it, if possible. There are different recommendations for different countries. You may not have to get tested anymore or quarantining, but their destination might require testing and quarantining. And I mentioned a little bit before — there are different variants that are spreading in other places that you're still protected by, but may make you a little bit more susceptible to. There's also different levels of vaccination in other countries, as well as, the vaccines that other countries are using, some of them are not as strong as the vaccines that we have authorized in the United States. So there is still a risk there, and so the international and the domestic flying guidelines are different. But both of these are very prominent on the CDC website. So if you do have access to the internet, searching for airline travel, COVID-19, CDC gets you to all of this information.

Bill Walsh: Yeah, very good. Thank you for that Adriane; cdc.gov has a great deal of information on travel and other things related to COVID, as does the AARP website. If you go to AARP.org\travel, we have a lot of information on the latest CDC guidelines. We also have tips if you are planning a trip; how to do that safely. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Iris from New York.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Iris, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

Iris: Thank you. I had the Moderna vaccine in February and March. I have also had shingles twice in my life, and I have put off, and also because of lack of availability, the shingles vaccine. Would this be the wrong time to challenge my body, my immune system. Would it be overload if I considered taking the shingles vaccine at this time?

Bill Walsh: Right. Let's ask Dr. Neuzil. Dr. Neuzil, what are your thoughts on that?

Kathleen Neuzil: Yeah, that's a great question, and actually, we've had these sorts of questions a lot. You should absolutely take the shingles vaccine. As you know, if you have had this twice, it's a very serious painful illness. The vaccine is an excellent vaccine in terms of efficacy. It does cause some side effects, and those side effects can actually be similar to the coronavirus vaccine. But if it's been more than 14 days, the CDC tells us, and in fact from the trials we used about that same date range, that it is safe to take the shingles vaccine. So if your last vaccine was in March, then yes, you are cleared for the shingles vaccine, and I would recommend it.

Bill Walsh: OK. Thank you for that, Dr. Neuzil. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Richard from Ohio.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Richard, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

Richard: My question is that I have heard conflicting information about variants. I am fully vaccinated, but some sources say I could still catch COVID from one of the variants, either the South African or U.K. variant. Other sources seem to say that the vaccine, if it didn't prevent it, would at least make it relatively harmless.

Bill Walsh: May I ask which vaccine you received?

Richard: Moderna.

Bill Walsh: Moderna. OK, Adriane Casalotti, I wonder if you could address Richard's question. How effective are the vaccines against these variants we're seeing?

Adriane Casalotti: Sure, I'll take a stab at it, and then I think Dr. Neuzil might have more specifics from the research side, perhaps. So this is exactly one of the public health communication challenges we have. So what we know, the vaccines that are authorized in the United States are effective against the different variants. That being said, vaccines have different levels of how effective they are against different, against the diseases that they're trying to prevent. So these vaccines in general are very, very effective at blocking COVID and the wild types, so the type that was really identified and built to protect against. They might be slightly less effective against the variants for catching them, for getting infected, but they're still effective against them a great deal, it's just not as high. And also, when we look at the vaccines, the vaccines we were looked at were not necessarily are you infected, are you not infected, but are you infected and have severe disease? Are you infected and going to the hospital? Are you infected and what that impacts on whether or not would someone die. And so the ways that the vaccines work is really we're keeping people alive. We're trying to reduce hospitalizations and severe disease, but there is still a chance that you can get infected. And so we're learning more about the variants. We're learning more about the way that the vaccines interact with the variants, but in general, getting vaccinated helps you to not get infected by, or have severe complications from, the variants.

Bill Walsh: Right, and I suppose it underscores the continued CDC guidelines that even if you are vaccinated to continue to take precautions in public with masks and social distancing. Dr. Neuzil, did you want to weigh in on Richard's question?

Kathleen Neuzil: Yeah, just to say, Adriane, you really summarized it beautifully. You know it takes a little more antibody in the test tube to work against these variants, but most of us who get these vaccines make a little more antibody than we have to make. And as the data are rolling in, and they're coming in more slowly because we tested these vaccines in the United States at a time when the variants weren't common in the United States, so we're starting to get data from other countries, and it's really very encouraging that these vaccines do protect against the variants, and particularly against severe disease caused by the variants.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you for that, Dr. Neuzil, and thanks to Adriane as well. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Mary from California.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Mary. Welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

Mary: OK, my question is very simple. I was asked questions and I wanted to ask you of this question. Even after you get the vaccines, I've had the J&J, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is the only one, and we follow up, I'm asking how many days or how many years do we have to follow up on these vaccines, because I'm one of the persons that usually get a strange shot and I'll break out. So with this one I didn't break out or anything, so I'm trying to see the follow-up dates. That's all, is it a year or two or what?

Bill Walsh: A booster shot is what you're talking about, right?

Mary: Yeah, if it's, because they said that we don't have to have it. And I'm just trying to find out is that, you know ...

Bill Walsh: Yeah. Well, let's ask ... yeah, no, that's a good question. Let's ask Dr. Neuzil. We were talking about boosters before. I think we don't entirely know yet. Is that right, Dr. Neuzil?

Kathleen Neuzil: Yeah, that's right. So Mary, you've had the single dose shot, and that is considered to be fully protective at this stage. You know that the clinical trials and the people in the clinical trials are about six to eight months ahead of the rest of us in terms of when they received their vaccine, and we're following those people who got the vaccine early on very carefully to understand duration of immunity. So right now, there is no recommendation for booster doses. And again, because we have these trial participants who are continued to be followed, we will know, and we will have a signal if booster doses are necessary before it would have to be rolled out to the general public.

Bill Walsh: Right. What about the J&J vaccine though, Dr. Neuzil. How long after someone's gotten that, are they considered in the clear, particularly for the blood clots and potentially other side effects?

Kathleen Neuzil: Yeah, so what the CDC and the FDA say is it's the two- to three-week period after receiving that vaccine, that is the risk period for this particular side effect. So if you're beyond that three-week period, then we just haven't seen cases beyond that period.

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks for that. And Mary, I hope that answers your question. Dr. Neuzil and Adriane, I wonder if you have any closing thoughts or recommendations that our listeners should understand most from the conversation today? Why don't we start with you, Adriane.

Adriane Casalotti: Sure. I think first of all, I just love this event, and I'm so glad that so many people are listening and getting their questions answered, and keep asking these great questions because the more you know, the more you can make good choices for you and your family, but also spread the word to your friends and neighbors. I think the key thing that we're focused on now is making sure that everyone who's eligible, meaning everyone over the age of 16 goes out and gets their shots. If you are fully vaccinated yourself, call your kids, call your grandkids, harass the neighbor or the person who mows your lawn, whatever that may be, make sure that they know that they too need to get vaccinated. If there's any way to help them connect them, to do so. We're really all in this together, and those of us who are vaccinated are the best messengers to others about why they should go and do that themselves. So thanks again for having me and let's spread the word on vaccines.

Bill Walsh: All right, Adriane, and thanks so much. Dr. Neuzil, any closing thoughts or recommendations today?

Kathleen Neuzil: Yeah, I just want to also add that this has really been a terrific hour. You have a very educated audience; these were great questions, challenging questions, and I appreciate being on. I think I can't say it better than Adriane. You know, we really need everybody vaccinated, and as we talk about these variants, for example, the more people that are vaccinated, the fewer variants that will emerge. So it's all an interplay between the virus and the population, and really our best weapon here is the vaccine.

Bill Walsh: All right. Thank you both. And you're right about our membership. Only the smartest people join AARP. This has been a really informative discussion. Thanks to each of you for answering our questions. And thank you, our AARP members, volunteers and listeners for participating in the discussion. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, member organization. We have been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of this crisis, we're providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus, prevent its spread to others while taking care of themselves. All of the resources referenced today, including a recording of today's Q&A event, can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus beginning tomorrow, April 23. Again, that web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. Go there if your question was not addressed, and you will find the latest updates, as well as information created specifically for older adults and family caregivers. We hope you've learned something today that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. Please tune in May 6 at 1:00 p.m. for another live event answering your questions about the coronavirus. Until then, thank you and have a great day. This concludes our call.

Bill Walsh:  Hello. I am AARP Vice President Bill Walsh, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the coronavirus. Before we begin, if you'd like to hear this telephone town hall in Spanish, please press *0 on your telephone keypad now. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, member organization, and we have been working to promote the health and well-being of Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, AARP is providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them. In many states, people 18 and older are now eligible for a vaccine, and access is improving across the country. More than 75 percent of people 65 and older have received at least one dose. While this is encouraging, many people are still struggling to find information on how to sign up. And at the same time, new variants of COVID-19 continue to spread, and misinformation is everywhere.

[00:01:29] Today we'll hear from an impressive panel of experts about these issues and more. If you've participated in one of our tele-town halls before, you know this is similar to a radio talk show, and you have the opportunity to ask your questions live. For those of you joining us on the phone, if you'd like to ask your question, press *3 on your telephone now to be connected with an AARP staff member, who will note your name and question and place you in a queue to ask that question live. If you'd like to listen in Spanish, press *0 on your telephone keypad now. And if you're joining on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comments section.

[00:02:29] We have some outstanding guests joining us today, including representatives from the University of Maryland's Center for Vaccine Development and the National Association of City and County Health Officials. We'll also be joined by my AARP colleague, Jean Setzfand, who will help facilitate your calls today. This event is being recorded, and you can access the recording at aarp.org\coronavirus 24 hours after we wrap up.

[00:03:13] Now I'd like to welcome our guests. Kathleen Neuzil, M.D., is the director of the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland's School of Medicine. She has decades of experience as a leading researcher on vaccines and was recently recognized by the Baltimore Sun as Marylander of the Year for her unprecedented leadership on COVID-19 vaccine research. Welcome to the program, Dr. Neuzil.

[00:03:42]Kathleen Neuzil:  Thank you. I'm really delighted to be here and looking forward to the next hour.

[00:03:47]Bill Walsh:  All right, we're delighted to have you. I'd also like to welcome Adriane Casalotti. Adriane is the chief of Government and Public Affairs at the National Association of County and City Health Officials. The organization represents 3,000 local health departments across the country. Welcome back to the program, Adriane.

[00:04:06]Adriane Casalotti:  Thanks for having me back. I'm excited.

[00:04:08]Bill Walsh:  All right. We are too. Let's get started with the discussion and just a reminder, to ask your question, please press *3 on your telephone keypad or drop it in the comments section on Facebook or YouTube. Dr. Neuzil, let's start with you. You're among the world's foremost vaccine researchers. Why were the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines suspended in the U.S. and Europe? And how do you think this will impact the availability of vaccines and hesitancy issues?

[00:04:39]Kathleen Neuzil:  Yeah, you're really starting off with an easy question there.

[00:04:43]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, we thought we'd dive right into the deep end.

[00:04:46]Kathleen Neuzil:  No, I mean these are very complex questions, and obviously safety is a top priority here and throughout the world. You know, I was involved in the clinical trials of both of these vaccines, and just to state that despite the fact that we did enroll 30,000 to 50,000 people in these trials, these are very rare events that are difficult to pick up. I will say that no safety was compromised as part of the trials. You know, most vaccine-associated side effects do appear within the first few weeks after vaccination, and that is exactly when we're seeing these rare thromboembolic events. So, in fact, it is because they are so rare, and not because we didn't carefully follow participants, that we did not pick them up in the clinical trials. These are severe blood clots occurring in unusual places, the cerebral venous sinuses, for example, associated with low platelet counts. And this is a very unusual combination of signs and symptoms. The fact that we could pick up these rare events says a lot about our safety systems in both the United States and Europe, and one of the main reasons for the initial pause in the United States is to make recipients of the vaccine and providers aware of this rare side effect and the fact that we treat it somewhat differently. And so a lot of the reason for the pause was that education about these rare side effects.

[00:06:38]Bill Walsh:  OK, and do you think the pause will have an impact on the availability of vaccine for Americans, and, you know there are some folks who, who are simply hesitant to take a vaccine. Do you think it'll have any impact on those folks?

[00:06:54]Kathleen Neuzil:  Yeah, it's a really good question. At the moment we have been fortunate that we have plentiful supplies on a national level of the mRNA vaccines. Now this does not mean that we have plentiful supplies at the local level, and Adriane may comment on this. But we are fortunate that the overall supply is good, and we have vaccines for people who want them. If the pause is removed quickly, then again, I think we will be in a fine situation. It certainly could affect vaccine hesitancy. Again, I think the emphasis should be on the robustness of our safety surveillance programs that we were able to detect such a rare outcome, that the government officials acted on it very quickly and are continuing to deliberate. There's an Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ emergency meeting being held tomorrow; it's entirely public. The discussion will occur in a public and transparent way to further discuss these side effects and whether the pause should be lifted or continue.

[00:08:17]Bill Walsh:  OK, let me follow up on that. I mean with the J&J distribution expected to resume at some point, what new, if any, steps should someone take to monitor themselves following a vaccine and for how long?

[00:08:32]Kathleen Neuzil:  Yeah, so that's a really great question. Most of the risk is in the first two to three weeks. So really, if you're beyond that period of time, this would be highly, highly unlikely to occur. Now what you should be on the lookout for are severe headache, that is what might occur with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. We know that much of the population routinely gets headaches on a regular basis, but this would really be a severe unremitting headache, certainly blurred vision, fainting, seizures. These blood clots can also occur in unusual veins in the abdomen. So severe pain in your stomach or abdomen or chest should certainly prompt you to visit a health care provider. And then we're more used to seeing clots in the legs or in the lungs, so certainly leg swelling or shortness of breath are other symptoms that might again yield somebody to contact a health care provider.

[00:09:46]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you for that. That's very helpful. And you had talked a little bit before about how you were involved in the clinical trials for two of these vaccines, I believe. I wonder if you can help our audience understand how the development and the speed of the COVID vaccines differs from the norm or normal discovery and distribution of vaccines.

[00:10:08]Kathleen Neuzil:  Yeah, it was really quite remarkable that we had vaccines under emergency use authorization and distribution within a year of recognizing this new pathogen. And that was really possible for a number of reasons. One was our investment in science and technology. The fact that we had funded programs here in the United States where we understood the first SARS coronavirus and a related coronavirus, the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome or MERS. We understood about the spike protein and how our body makes an immune response, and even how to make vaccines for those earlier pathogens. Now, those vaccines never made it to licensure because we really didn't have a business reason or public health reason to take them to licensure. But that foundational scientific work allowed scientists to work very quickly when we discovered this new virus and the genetic code. There was unprecedented resources put into these efforts, you know, generally because vaccine development is very costly, hundreds of millions of dollars, we proceed in a very risk averse manner. We want to be convinced that a vaccine is going to work before we move from one phase to the next. And the government investment really took a lot of that risk away and allowed us to work in parallel intent instead of in series. But I will make the comment that I made at the beginning; we really didn't compromise on safety. We moved in a very deliberate manner starting with healthy, young and middle-aged adults, following them closely. We would vaccinate five or six people. We would wait a week, meticulously follow them and laboratory values, then we would gradually vaccinate more people, and we would include larger numbers of people, older people, younger people, people with chronic diseases. So again, and then the very large nature of the studies was also a way to look at safety and to also be confident in the efficacy that these vaccines did work, not only in the youngest, healthiest people, but in the people most likely to get severe disease or die from COVID.

[00:12:57]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks very much for that insider's point of view. Let's turn to you, Adriane. With the pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, how have local health departments had to shift their strategy? I know this vaccine was one that was being distributed to some of these larger public facilities around the country.

[00:13:18]Adriane Casalotti:  You know, luckily in some ways, proportionately, the majority of the vaccine available at this point and last week are the Pfizer and Moderna type of mRNA vaccines that we were just talking about, which weren't affected by the pause. So that meant that relatively few individuals were impacted. That being said, the pause was recommended in the morning. I mean there were people who were set to have vaccination appointments that day with the J&J vaccine, as well as over the course of that week. So, in some places, we saw the existing appointments for J&J shots could easily be filled by switching to one of the other products, the Pfizer or Moderna, but in others, it did mean that some appointments had to be canceled or postponed. For the general population, you know, yes, you have to come back a second time, but in the grand scheme of things, not all that difficult once you can get things rescheduled. But that being said, the J&J vaccine has some unique properties about it that make it easier for certain groups and more attractive for certain patients. So from a provider perspective, we represent the local health departments across the country, and they were really focused on using them in ways for populations that are harder to reach. So folks like people who are experiencing homelessness, who you might not be able to get to come back within three or four weeks for their second dose, or it's harder to contact to keep up with those folks, folks who are homebound, people who work in certain industries like migrant farm workers or seafood workers who go out for long periods of time and they can't necessarily make it back on schedule for the next shot, who are moving where they live over the course of that time. And it was also more attractive to certain patients. So some folks who are concerned about taking time off of work to get two shots would only have to do that one time. Frankly, some people who don't like needles were much more willing to go and get the one shot as opposed to the two shots. And then also for providers, the way that the shots are packaged, so the vials, the way that the vaccines come from the manufacturer to the place for administration also matters. So the J&J vaccine has properties where it really just needs a regular old refrigerator, and it comes in relatively small doses. So what you're able to do, if you don't see a lot of people, you can use up your vial of vaccine without wasting much. So there are some unique properties that made it really preferred for certain locations or for certain populations.

[00:15:55]Bill Walsh:  OK, and one of those populations you mentioned are folks who are homebound. What are local health departments doing to get the vaccine to people who are unable to leave their homes?

[00:16:06]Adriane Casalotti:  Yeah, so there's a lot of partnerships that we're hearing to try and best address folks who are homebound. And right now, every American over the age of 16 is eligible for the vaccine. And so, we're wanting to make sure that we are serving and making sure that people get it as soon as they can. And so, homebound individuals do post some challenges, but there are a lot of ways that we're hearing that people are working together to make that work. So, in some areas we're hearing they're partnering with the area agencies on aging or Meals on Wheels to help identify folks who need access to the vaccine, who can't go to a clinic or site to get vaccinated. In some communities there are registries for the emergency management system, say places where there's a lot of wildfires or other natural disasters where people can already be alerted, alert the locality that there are homebound individuals in certain areas, so you can look at that to find people who might need to be vaccinated in their homes. And then partnering with people like the EMS professionals on the ambulances, fire department, public health nurses, the medical reserve corps volunteers, nonprofit organizations and community health centers, and pharmacists to send people out to people's homes. So, they're using their best mapping skills, right, to try and get to as many people as possible within the right amount of time, sending out a couple folks to people's homes to deliver the vaccine, give them all the information they need, wait with them for a little bit and then move to the next household. And, you know, the J&J vaccine was particularly useful here, but we do have other communities that have been able to do this with the two dose mRNA vaccines, but obviously that means you're making all of these trips twice, and you have larger vials that you need to be supporting over the course of the day.

[00:18:02]Bill Walsh:  For folks who may be on the line today or loved ones of homebound people, do you have any advice for them about where to get information in their community?

[00:18:13]Adriane Casalotti:  Sure. If they still haven't been able to get an appointment, calling the local health departments, calling the local area agency on aging will be a great way to connect into what some of these resources are. I will also say that they are focused not just on the homebound individual, but also a lot of times they will also vaccinate the caregivers who are there because we want to make sure that everyone is getting vaccinated to keep us all safe. But reaching out in those ways can hopefully get you on the right list and get someone to your home.

[00:18:45]Bill Walsh:  Great, thanks so much for that Adriane, and just one other resource for our listeners — AARP has been creating state-by-state guides. You can find them on aarp.org/vaccineinfo. Those guides have toll-free numbers, they have information about where and how to sign up for a vaccine, so check that out if you need information. We're going to get to your live questions shortly, but before we do I want to bring in Nancy LeaMond. Nancy is the executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer here at AARP. Welcome, Nancy.

[00:19:27]Nancy LeaMond:  Hi, Bill, how are ya?

[00:19:28]Bill Walsh:  I'm very good. Thanks for being with us today. There's been a lot of action on COVID-19 on Capitol Hill over the last few months. What are the big things that our listeners should know about?

[00:19:40]Nancy LeaMond:  Well, it has been a very busy stretch with a lot of activity after AARP advocated for months for Congress to act to respond to the pandemic. We've seen some positive movement as last month the President signed the American Rescue Plan Act, and we were pleased it includes several AARP priorities: supporting expansion of COVID vaccine efforts, expanding paid leave tax credits, and the child tax credit, allowing more people to receive care in their homes and communities, increasing funding for food assistance and meal-delivery programs, improving infection control in nursing homes, expanding unemployment insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to the pandemic, providing an expansion of subsidies that will make coverage under the Affordable Care Act more affordable and accessible for millions of Americans, this is so important, and delivering payments of $1,400 to millions of older adults, including people who receive benefits through Social Security, Veterans Affairs and other programs. I should say it's a long list, and we're delighted it's a long list. AARP state offices across the country are also continuing this advocacy by working with governors and state legislatures to allocate the funding that was provided to states in ways that continue to address the needs of the 50-plus. Looking forward, Congress will soon begin working on an infrastructure plan, and AARP will continue to fight for the financial and health security of the 50-plus. This includes providing greater assistance to the nation's over 40 million family caregivers, making sure that as people age, they can remain in their homes and communities, and that people have access and can stay connected through high-speed internet. We'll also continue our work to lower prescription drug prices, which continue to cripple family budgets. It's a busy time on Capitol Hill and AARP staff and volunteers will continue to work hard to make sure the needs of older adults across the country are a priority and that your voices are heard as we advocate on the issues that matter most to you.

[00:22:08]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks for that, Nancy. As the vaccine distribution process continues, where is AARP focusing its efforts?

[00:22:16]Nancy LeaMond:  Well, since the vaccine started to be rolled out, AARP has fought for older adults to be prioritized and to make the process easier for people. In every single state, AARP staff and volunteers have fought in state legislatures for transparency and reporting, and we've increased our efforts to provide people 50-plus with trusted information about vaccines. For example, and you mentioned this earlier, we published online guides for every state explaining how to get the vaccine where you live, and you can find those at aarp.org/vaccineinfo. This work has paid off as more than three-quarters of people age 65 and older now have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. However, we know there's still a lot of work to do to ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine can get it, and people who may still have questions can get them answered. As the rollout continues, we will keep the pressure on our elected leaders and continue to provide critical information to our members as we're doing today through this tele-town hall, and we'll be focused on ensuring that older adults, particularly older adults of color and those who are homebound, have access. To stay up to date on all of these efforts, please visit our website, www.aarp.org/coronavirus. Thanks a lot. Really appreciate the time to be with you.

[00:23:53]Bill Walsh:  All right. Thanks for joining us today, Nancy, and thanks for all the information. And before we turn to live questions, I want to address an important issue. We know that many of you are having challenges registering for vaccines in your state and community because many places require signups through online forums. And if you don't have access to a computer, this can be a real challenge. AARP wants to help. We've established an AARP Vaccine Registration Team to try to assist in these cases. So if you're listening today, and you don't have a computer, and you can't register for a vaccine in your community because you don't have access to technology, please press 1 on your telephone right now to be added to a list to receive a phone call from an AARP staff member to help you out. Again, if you're listening today, and you don't have access to a computer or the internet, and you can't register for a vaccine because of that, please press 1 to be added to a list to receive a phone call, and we will try to help you out.

[00:24:58] Thank you for that, and it is now time to address your questions about the coronavirus with Dr. Kathleen Neuzil and Adriane Casalotti. Now I'd like to bring in my AARP colleague, Jean Setzfand, to help facilitate your calls. Welcome, Jean.

[00:25:22]Jean Setzfand:  Thanks so much, Bill. Delighted to be here.

[00:25:24]Bill Walsh:  OK, let's take our first question.

[00:25:26]Jean Setzfand:  All right. Our first question's coming from Grace in California.

[00:25:30]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Grace. Welcome to the program. Hey, welcome. Go ahead with your question.

[00:25:34]Grace:  Yes, good morning. Thank you all for doing what you do. That's so fantastic. My question this morning is how long after I have had my second shot should I go and get an antibody test, and what test do I ask for, so I know that they're actually looking for the antibodies?

[00:25:54]Bill Walsh:  That's an interesting question. Dr. Neuzil, can you help out?

[00:25:58]Kathleen Neuzil:  Yeah, we actually don't recommend that people get a post-vaccination antibody test, and part of it is for the reasons that you've just alluded to. The tests are really there for a different reason. The tests are primarily to diagnose COVID-19 and not to show that we have antibody from vaccination. We also don't know yet what we call a correlate of protection, in other words, is it antibody, is it a T-cell response, which is a different immune response, that protects you from vaccinations. So the majority of people who receive this vaccination are protected and do very well with the immune response. And I think the listeners out there that may be worried because they're on immunosuppressive drugs, for example, or perhaps they had a transplant, should probably work through their doctor. But if you get a vaccine, most of us are protected but of course we should follow CDC guidelines in terms of continuing to wear masks and socializing in smaller groups.

[00:27:26]Bill Walsh:  OK, very good. Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:27:30]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Garrett from Florida.

[00:27:33]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Garrett. Welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question. Hey Garrett, go ahead with your question. OK, who is our next caller?

[00:27:47]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Caroline from Illinois.

[00:27:52]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Caroline. Welcome to the show. Go ahead with your question.

[00:27:56]Caroline:  Thank you. My question is, I've had my second shot on the 15th, so it's been about a week. I've been told that I needed to stay away from contact for another week. Is that really true?

[00:28:12]Bill Walsh:  Stay away from, what did you say? I'm sorry, can you repeat that?

[00:28:15]Caroline:  I've been told that I need to wait two weeks before I do any socializing with my friends.

[00:28:21]Bill Walsh:  Oh, OK. Dr. Neuzil, what is the latest guidance for folks who have received their full regimen of vaccine?

[00:28:32]Kathleen Neuzil:  Yeah, so people are considered vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in whatever series they receive. So that would be, or two weeks after they're fully vaccinated, which would be two doses for the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, and two weeks for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is the single dose vaccine. While there certainly are people who are likely protected before then, we need to understand that this this guidance is national guidance. I would also ask people for patience. We've all waited a long time to get to the point where we can start to socialize and have a little bit more freedom, so waiting that extra week is worth it just to be sure you are fully protected.

[00:29:26]Bill Walsh:  OK, Dr. Neuzil. Thank you very much, and thanks, Caroline, for that question. I understand we have a question on Facebook.

[00:29:34]Jean Setzfand:  Yes, we do have some questions coming in from YouTube and Facebook, and this one is from Selina, and she's asking, "Has there been equitable distribution of vaccines both in the U.S. as well as the world, and if not, what's being done? This will not be contained unless everybody has a chance of getting a vaccine."

[00:29:52]Bill Walsh:  Equitable distribution. Adriane, can you address that?

[00:29:55]Adriane Casalotti:  I'll do my best. I mean I can talk about the United States and then globally. Actually, I'll do globally first. So globally, there are still many countries that are not yet having access to the vaccines and the vaccines that are authorized in the United States for use, Pfizer, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, though that one is on pause as we've talked about, are not necessarily the same vaccines that are authorized for use in other countries, as well. It is a big issue of making sure that we, that the richer countries in the world frankly are getting vaccinated but that everyone is getting vaccinated, because not every country has the ability to make some of the deals with pharmaceutical companies the way that ours have. And in making those deals with what we spoke about earlier about how much investment was put into the creation of these vaccines and the development and the production of the vaccines and doing it so quickly, that also meant that we had deals in place that said now those vaccines have to come to the United States first. So there's definitely a push and it will continue to be a long time before as a globe we are all vaccinated with vaccines that are to the same standards especially as what we have here in the United States. And that's why you'll continue to see CDC guidance recommending against travel globally where there are different variants and different levels of vaccination, as well as the efficacy of the vaccines are being used in different countries also vary. Nationally, we have really stepped up, the federal government has been releasing the vaccine based on population, overall population. And so that has led to some areas where there's been challenges because people are not just being vaccinated where they physically live, but also sometimes where they work, and that can cross barriers. I live in Washington D.C., and that's a huge issue between Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C., for example. Once the vaccines are sent out to the different states based on population, that who's getting the vaccine and the uptake of that vaccine, so who it's being administered to, equitable uptick is a huge issue, and it continues to be so. We know that COVID has not impacted all populations evenly. There are huge existing health disparities and inequities that COVID's really exploited and really shown us very clearly how it impacts across the country. And so there have had to be real concerted efforts to try and make sure that vaccines are getting to those populations that are disproportionately impacted by COVID when they might not be the easiest. So, we know in some local health departments we hear, ‘OK our preregistration line is full, we have so many people who want vaccines,’ but when we look at it, it's not really representative of our whole community. It's really folks who have better access to internet, who are working from home who can take off disproportionately, and not representing the more minority populations. And so there has to be concerted efforts to really reach in and make sure that we're doing so in an equitable way. A lot of communities have been working to partner with community-based organizations and other nonprofits that work in particular parts of the of their region to make sure that they're making connections to all the people who may still need access to vaccines. But it's definitely a focus that people have and that we have to continue to have a focus on, because it's very easy to lose some of that nuance when we're just looking at national numbers.

[00:33:33]Bill Walsh:  Yeah. OK, thanks for that. Let's go back to the lines. Who is our next caller, Jean?

[00:33:40]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Jay from Massachusetts.

[00:33:42] Bill Walsh: Hey, Jay, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

[00:33:46]Jay:  Good afternoon. Hey, I love your calls. This is probably my sixth or seventh one I've listened to over the last year. And I think it's a great service that you guys are doing. My question for the team here is a year from now, or a year and a half from now, or two years from now, do you feel that we are going to need to still worry about COVID-19 and vaccines and like a flu shot every year, we're going to have to get this shot every year for COVID, or is this going to like go away?

[00:34:25]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, that's a great question, Jay. Dr. Neuzil, what do you think about that booster shots and will we be concerned about COVID 19 in April of 2022?

[00:34:38]Kathleen Neuzil:  Yeah, it is really great question, and I think when this virus first appeared, we were hoping it would be more like SARS 1, which, as awful as it was, disappeared and hasn't returned. That is looking less and less likely as this virus continues to infect humans, and also as it's shown its ability to adapt to humans. You know, it has adapted very, very well to this this new species that it infected. So we do expect SARS-CoV-2 to likely be around. You know, we are hoping that it is around as more of a nuisance virus, but I believe we do have to prepare for the fact that it will be similar to influenza, and we may need booster doses of this vaccine, whether it's yearly, whether it's every few years. I think it's a little bit too soon to say. I do, however, think that it is likely to be with us because how well, again, it has adapted to humans, how easily it can spread. This virus will become part of the other respiratory viruses that infect the human population on a yearly basis.

[00:36:11]Bill Walsh:  Well thanks for that, Dr. Neuzil. We were hoping for some more optimistic news, but we appreciate the facts and the realism. All right, well let's go back to the line. Who do we have next, Jean?

[00:36:23]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Terry from Michigan.

[00:36:26]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Terry, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

[00:36:30]Terry:  Yes, thank you for taking my call. In Michigan we've had about 6 million people receive their vaccines, and when we had information on this herd immunity, it's always been told that if we had 70 percent of the country, that we would start seeing some evidence of this herd immunity. Well, Michigan has like 60 percent of their people vaccinated, and we're seeing the reverse. What we're seeing is a surge with the infections going from 6,000 to 8,000 a day. And I was just wondering, one explanation that the governor gives is that we did such a good job early on in protecting our state that, with the masking and social distancing, that there are more people vulnerable in our state. I was just wondering what the experts think about the surge in Michigan.

[00:37:34]Bill Walsh:  That's interesting, a surge at a time when we're also seeing a surge in vaccinations. Maybe both of our experts want to weigh in on that. Let's start with you, Adriane. Do you have any thoughts on that?

[00:37:44]Adriane Casalotti:  Yeah, so thanks for the question. I think this is where it really gets into the importance of us having good public health data. So if you remember, it was only about a week ago that now all people over the age of 16 are eligible to be vaccinated, but before then it was really being done by specific populations, so health care workers, teachers in some areas, but then also working down in age. What we're seeing in the Michigan case numbers is a lot of outbreaks that are happening in kids and young adults. So you do see fewer cases in the older population, and those are the populations that were most likely to be vaccinated, and most likely to be fully vaccinated earlier. And so it really shows the importance of vaccination, first of all, of everyone getting vaccinated and making sure their loved ones also get vaccinated if they're eligible to do so, but then also some of the other mitigation measures that still need to be in place, whether that be masking and social distancing. They've found that there are certain areas where there's lots of outbreaks. For example, youth sports, youth wrestling, youth basketball. These are places where it makes sense as to why the virus spreads very quickly there, but even with vaccines there are still certain things that are going to be more risky, especially given that folks under the age of 16 cannot be vaccinated at this point.

[00:39:16]Bill Walsh:  Hmm, and Dr. Neuzil, I don't know if you want to weigh in on this as well, I was going to follow up with a question about you know what you want every American to know about vaccines. I wonder if you could wrap all that together. Do you see an explanation for the Michigan surge and are there things about the vaccines that you want Americans to know.

[00:39:36]Kathleen Neuzil:  Yeah, I think Adriane explained it very well, that when we talk about vaccine coverage and talk about transmission of the virus, this is occurring in real life in pockets, right. It's not evenly distributed. We know that older persons have the highest vaccination rates, and they have very nicely followed non-pharmaceutical guidelines of masking and social distancing. We don't have a vaccine for children yet. That point has been made, and we didn't have vaccine for young adults, who were more likely to be circulating in society. Even something like measles that's very rare in the U.S. where our vaccination rates may be 99 percent, if that 1 percent of unvaccinated are all in the same place, you're going to have a sizable outbreak. So again, it's sometimes the numbers can be a little bit misleading there. I think that this really emphasizes a point about infectious diseases and vaccines, in general. You're not only doing it to protect yourself, you're doing it to protect others. And this is why we were telling people, you know, get the first vaccine you can get. I am certainly protected if I get a vaccine. I am more protected if everybody around me also gets a vaccine.

[00:41:08]Bill Walsh:  That's a great point. That's something we all need to remember, even as vaccines become more available. Adriane, I'd like to turn to you. You know, access to information has been a challenge for many people throughout the distribution process. You know we're several months into it now, but we're at an important moment. What are some of the early lessons learned about communication and engagement that's going to help us with vaccine distribution as the process continues. This has really been like a case study in public health communications.

[00:41:43]Adriane Casalotti:  For sure. And actually let me just, one thing back to the caller's last question, the other thing that we haven't talked as much about are variants. So there are some variants to the virus that kids tend to be more susceptible toward getting and that tend to spread a little bit easier. So it just really highlights, the vaccines do work against these variants. That really just reemphasizes that anyone who can be vaccinated really needs to be vaccinated to help protect some of the folks who can't in our population.

[00:42:16] But that conversation about how do we talk about all of these things, right. Public health has not done a great job of having phrases in like bumper sticker size chunks. And yet, in some ways I absolutely wish we could. We've been having challenges around the public communication for coronavirus since the beginning, since before we even had a name for it. And yet, there are some really focused efforts to try and help figure out both the right messages, but also the right messengers. You know, public health communication is hard. It's nuanced, and we really do need to make sure that folks are hearing the same messages, that they are clear, but you're hearing them from all levels and all sectors. So if you hear something different from your local health official, and your primary care provider, the person at the pharmacy, and the President, and the head of the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, it's super complicated, and these are already complicated messages. So how do we streamline this information top to bottom? Also, public health communication is challenging because we're learning more about the virus every day. And so having messages that evolve does not necessarily mean that we weren't telling the truth two months ago, three months ago, six months ago, it's that we've learned more and now we know what to do and have better recommendations to move forward. You know, that's work that's being done. I think people are right to have questions. And when you're in the middle of a pandemic, sometimes we don't make the space for people to ask them, to really hear the information, both to answer the questions that people have, but also what's unique for their situation, for the situation of their family and of their loved ones. And the more that we can open those lines of communications that people can ask those questions, and get answers in an effectual way that really respect people thinking critically about this, is important. And I think that's one of the ways local health departments have been trying to partner with faith-based organizations, community-based organizations and others to help make sure that where they're the right messenger, they're there, but otherwise, who are the right messengers, do they have the information that they need, and where can we make the space for people to have these one-on-one conversations?

[00:44:38]Bill Walsh:  All right, well let's get to some of those questions right now. This is time for you to pose your questions to Dr. Kathleen Neuzil and Adriane Casalotti. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

[00:45:01]Jean Setzfand:  We're going to go to a YouTube question. And Maddy on YouTube is asking, "If you have to get a booster shot next year, do you have to get the same vaccine as the same manufacturer from the first shot that you received?"

[00:45:12]Bill Walsh:  Oh, that's interesting. Dr. Neuzil.

[00:45:15]Kathleen Neuzil:  Yes, it's a great question, and we in the research field are trying to stay ahead of the practical public health questions that will emerge. So we are actually looking at that now; whether the booster dose, there are companies, Pfizer and Moderna, who are already looking at booster doses with their own vaccine, and then the NIH will be sponsoring a trial that looks at booster doses if we mix and match with different vaccines. And similarly in the United Kingdom, because they have slightly different vaccines that are approved for use there, they are also looking at these mix and match booster schedules, because we may have additional vaccines that that are authorized certainly by the fall or later if we should recommend a booster dose. So I would say stay tuned for the answer to that question.

[00:46:13]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you very much. Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:46:18]Jean Setzfand:  Another question coming from Facebook from Adele, and she's asking, "Will you please tell us a little more about the current air travel guidelines for people who are fully vaccinated."

[00:46:30]Bill Walsh:  Ah, people are already thinking about getting back on airplanes. OK, Adriane, what can you tell us about that?

[00:46:37]Adriane Casalotti:  So, I can tell you a little bit, and then I can point you to where all that information is. So, for domestic travel for fully vaccinated travelers, you no longer need to get tested before or after travel unless your destination requires it. And fully vaccinated travelers should not need to self-quarantine the way that someone who is not fully vaccinated would need to when they get to a new place. That being said, is going on an airplane and anytime you're really in public, you need to be wearing a mask over your nose and mouth, staying six feet apart when you can and avoid crowds and washing your hands often and using hand sanitizer. That's for domestic travel. CDC is really recommending delaying travel domestically even on airlines until you are fully vaccinated because it does increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. And they are continuing to update those guidelines as we get more information. For international travel, CDC is saying that yes, you're less likely to get and spread COVID-19, but international travel poses additional risks for even fully vaccinated travelers. So they're still recommending delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated, but even if you are fully vaccinated, that avoiding it, if possible. There are different recommendations for different countries. You may not have to get tested anymore or quarantining, but their destination might require testing and quarantining. And I mentioned a little bit before — there are different variants that are spreading in other places that you're still protected by, but may make you a little bit more susceptible to. There's also different levels of vaccination in other countries, as well as, the vaccines that other countries are using, some of them are not as strong as the vaccines that we have authorized in the United States. So there is still a risk there, and so the international and the domestic flying guidelines are different. But both of these are very prominent on the CDC website. So if you do have access to the internet, searching for airline travel, COVID-19, CDC gets you to all of this information.

[00:49:00]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, very good. Thank you for that Adriane; cdc.gov has a great deal of information on travel and other things related to COVID, as does the AARP website. If you go to AARP.org\travel, we have a lot of information on the latest CDC guidelines. We also have tips if you are planning a trip; how to do that safely. Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:49:25]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Iris from New York.

[00:49:28]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Iris, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

[00:49:32]Iris:  Thank you. I had the Moderna vaccine in February and March. I have also had shingles twice in my life, and I have put off, and also because of lack of availability, the shingles vaccine. Would this be the wrong time to challenge my body, my immune system. Would it be overload if I considered taking the shingles vaccine at this time?

[00:50:01]Bill Walsh:  Right. Let's ask Dr. Neuzil. Dr. Neuzil, what are your thoughts on that?

[00:50:05]Kathleen Neuzil:  Yeah, that's a great question, and actually, we've had these sorts of questions a lot. You should absolutely take the shingles vaccine. As you know, if you have had this twice, it's a very serious painful illness. The vaccine is an excellent vaccine in terms of efficacy. It does cause some side effects, and those side effects can actually be similar to the coronavirus vaccine. But if it's been more than 14 days, the CDC tells us, and in fact from the trials we used about that same date range, that it is safe to take the shingles vaccine. So if your last vaccine was in March, then yes, you are cleared for the shingles vaccine, and I would recommend it.

[00:50:58]Bill Walsh:  OK. Thank you for that, Dr. Neuzil. Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:51:02]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Richard from Ohio.

[00:51:05]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Richard, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

[00:51:10]Richard:  My question is that I have heard conflicting information about variants. I am fully vaccinated, but some sources say I could still catch COVID from one of the variants, either the South African or U.K. variant. Other sources seem to say that the vaccine, if it didn't prevent it, would at least make it relatively harmless.

[00:51:39]Bill Walsh:  May I ask which vaccine you received?

[00:51:42]Richard:  Moderna.

[00:51:44]Bill Walsh:  Moderna. OK, Adriane Casalotti, I wonder if you could address Richard's question. How effective are the vaccines against these variants we're seeing?

[00:51:55]Adriane Casalotti:  Sure, I'll take a stab at it, and then I think Dr. Neuzil might have more specifics from the research side, perhaps. So this is exactly one of the public health communication challenges we have. So what we know, the vaccines that are authorized in the United States are effective against the different variants. That being said, vaccines have different levels of how effective they are against different, against the diseases that they're trying to prevent. So these vaccines in general are very, very effective at blocking COVID and the wild types, so the type that was really identified and built to protect against. They might be slightly less effective against the variants for catching them, for getting infected, but they're still effective against them a great deal, it's just not as high. And also, when we look at the vaccines, the vaccines we were looked at were not necessarily are you infected, are you not infected, but are you infected and have severe disease? Are you infected and going to the hospital? Are you infected and what that impacts on whether or not would someone die. And so the ways that the vaccines work is really we're keeping people alive. We're trying to reduce hospitalizations and severe disease, but there is still a chance that you can get infected. And so we're learning more about the variants. We're learning more about the way that the vaccines interact with the variants, but in general, getting vaccinated helps you to not get infected by, or have severe complications from, the variants.

[00:53:49]Bill Walsh:  Right, and I suppose it underscores the continued CDC guidelines that even if you are vaccinated to continue to take precautions in public with masks and social distancing. Dr. Neuzil, did you want to weigh in on Richard's question?

[00:54:04]Kathleen Neuzil:  Yeah, just to say, Adriane, you really summarized it beautifully. You know it takes a little more antibody in the test tube to work against these variants, but most of us who get these vaccines make a little more antibody than we have to make. And as the data are rolling in, and they're coming in more slowly because we tested these vaccines in the United States at a time when the variants weren't common in the United States, so we're starting to get data from other countries, and it's really very encouraging that these vaccines do protect against the variants, and particularly against severe disease caused by the variants.

[00:54:47]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you for that, Dr. Neuzil, and thanks to Adriane as well. Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:54:53]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Mary from California.

[00:54:56]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Mary. Welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

[00:55:00]Mary:  OK, my question is very simple. I was asked questions and I wanted to ask you of this question. Even after you get the vaccines, I've had the J&J, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is the only one, and we follow up, I'm asking how many days or how many years do we have to follow up on these vaccines, because I'm one of the persons that usually get a strange shot and I'll break out. So with this one I didn't break out or anything, so I'm trying to see the follow-up dates. That's all, is it a year or two or what?

[00:55:28]Bill Walsh:  A booster shot is what you're talking about, right?

[00:55:31]Mary:  Yeah, if it's, because they said that we don't have to have it. And I'm just trying to find out is that, you know ...

[00:55:35]Bill Walsh:  Yeah. Well, let's ask ... yeah, no, that's a good question. Let's ask Dr. Neuzil. We were talking about boosters before. I think we don't entirely know yet. Is that right, Dr. Neuzil?

[00:55:45]Kathleen Neuzil:  Yeah, that's right. So Mary, you've had the single dose shot, and that is considered to be fully protective at this stage. You know that the clinical trials and the people in the clinical trials are about six to eight months ahead of the rest of us in terms of when they received their vaccine, and we're following those people who got the vaccine early on very carefully to understand duration of immunity. So right now, there is no recommendation for booster doses. And again, because we have these trial participants who are continued to be followed, we will know, and we will have a signal if booster doses are necessary before it would have to be rolled out to the general public.

[00:56:34]Bill Walsh:  Right. What about the J&J vaccine though, Dr. Neuzil. How long after someone's gotten that, are they considered in the clear, particularly for the blood clots and potentially other side effects?

[00:56:49]Kathleen Neuzil:  Yeah, so what the CDC and the FDA say is it's the two- to three-week period after receiving that vaccine, that is the risk period for this particular side effect. So if you're beyond that three-week period, then we just haven't seen cases beyond that period.

[00:57:13]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks for that. And Mary, I hope that answers your question. Dr. Neuzil and Adriane, I wonder if you have any closing thoughts or recommendations that our listeners should understand most from the conversation today? Why don't we start with you, Adriane.

[00:57:31]Adriane Casalotti:  Sure. I think first of all, I just love this event, and I'm so glad that so many people are listening and getting their questions answered, and keep asking these great questions because the more you know, the more you can make good choices for you and your family, but also spread the word to your friends and neighbors. I think the key thing that we're focused on now is making sure that everyone who's eligible, meaning everyone over the age of 16 goes out and gets their shots. If you are fully vaccinated yourself, call your kids, call your grandkids, harass the neighbor or the person who mows your lawn, whatever that may be, make sure that they know that they too need to get vaccinated. If there's any way to help them connect them, to do so. We're really all in this together, and those of us who are vaccinated are the best messengers to others about why they should go and do that themselves. So thanks again for having me and let's spread the word on vaccines.

[00:58:28]Bill Walsh:  All right, Adriane, and thanks so much. Dr. Neuzil, any closing thoughts or recommendations today?

[00:58:33]Kathleen Neuzil:  Yeah, I just want to also add that this has really been a terrific hour. You have a very educated audience; these were great questions, challenging questions, and I appreciate being on. I think I can't say it better than Adriane. You know, we really need everybody vaccinated, and as we talk about these variants, for example, the more people that are vaccinated, the fewer variants that will emerge. So it's all an interplay between the virus and the population, and really our best weapon here is the vaccine.

[00:59:13]Bill Walsh:  All right. Thank you both. And you're right about our membership. Only the smartest people join AARP. This has been a really informative discussion. Thanks to each of you for answering our questions. And thank you, our AARP members, volunteers and listeners for participating in the discussion. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, member organization. We have been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of this crisis, we're providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus, prevent its spread to others while taking care of themselves. All of the resources referenced today, including a recording of today's Q&A event, can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus beginning tomorrow, April 23. Again, that web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. Go there if your question was not addressed, and you will find the latest updates, as well as information created specifically for older adults and family caregivers. We hope you've learned something today that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. Please tune in May 6 at 1:00 p.m. for another live event answering your questions about the coronavirus. Until then, thank you and have a great day. This concludes our call.

[01:00:44]

Bill Walsh: ¡Hola! Soy el vicepresidente de AARP, Bill Walsh, y quiero darles la bienvenida a esta importante discusión sobre el coronavirus. Antes de comenzar, si deseas escuchar esta teleasamblea en español, presiona *0 en el teclado de tu teléfono ahora.

 

AARP es una organización de membresía, sin fines de lucro y no partidista, y hemos trabajado para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos durante más de 60 años. Frente a la pandemia mundial de coronavirus, AARP proporciona información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan.

 

En muchos estados, las personas mayores de 18 años ahora son aptos para recibir una vacuna y el acceso está mejorando en todo el país. Dentro del 75% de las personas, los mayores de 65 años han recibido al menos una dosis. Si bien esto es alentador, muchas personas todavía tienen dificultades para encontrar información sobre cómo registrarse. Y al mismo tiempo, continúan propagándose nuevas variantes de COVID-19 y la mala información está por todas partes. Hoy escucharemos a un impresionante panel de expertas hablar sobre estos temas y más.

 

Si has participado anteriormente en alguna de nuestras teleasambleas, sabes que es similar a un programa de entrevistas de radio, y tienes la oportunidad de hacer tus preguntas en vivo. Para aquellos de ustedes que se unan a nosotros por teléfono, si desean hacer una pregunta, presionen *3 en su teléfono ahora para comunicarse con un miembro del personal de AARP que anotará su nombre y pregunta y los colocará en una cola para hacer esa pregunta en vivo. Si deseas escuchar en español, presiona *0 en el teclado de tu teléfono ahora. Y si te unes a través de Facebook o YouTube, puedes publicar tu pregunta en la sección de comentarios.

 

¡Hola! Si acabas de unirte, soy Bill Walsh de AARP y quiero darte la bienvenida a esta importante discusión sobre la pandemia mundial de coronavirus. Estaremos hablando con principales expertas y respondiendo sus preguntas en vivo. Para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3. Y si te unes a través de Facebook o YouTube, puedes publicar tu pregunta en los comentarios.

 

Tenemos unas invitadas sobresalientes que nos acompañan hoy, incluidas representantes del Center for Vaccine Development de University of Maryland y The National Association of County and City Health Officials. También nos acompañará mi colega de AARP, Jean Setzfand, quien ayudará a facilitar sus llamadas hoy. Este evento está siendo grabado y se podrá acceder a la grabación en aarp.org/elcoronavirus 24 horas después de que terminemos. Nuevamente, para hacer una pregunta, presiona *3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP, o si te unes a través de Facebook o YouTube, coloca tu pregunta en la sección de comentarios.

 

Ahora, me gustaría dar la bienvenida a nuestras invitadas. La Dra. Kathleen Neuzil es la directora del Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health de la Facultad de Medicina de University of Maryland. Tiene décadas de experiencia como investigadora líder en vacunas y recientemente fue reconocida por el Baltimore Sun como Marylander del año por su liderazgo sin precedentes en la investigación de la vacuna contra la COVID-19. Bienvenida al programa, Dra. Neuzil.

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Gracias, estoy realmente encantada de estar aquí y espero con ansias la próxima hora.

 

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo, y estamos encantados de tenerte. También me gustaría dar la bienvenida a Adriane Casalotti. Adriane es la jefa de Gobierno y Asuntos Públicos de The National Association of County and City Health Officials. La organización representa a 3,000 departamentos de salud locales en todo el país. Bienvenida de nuevo al programa, Adriane.

 

Adriane Casalotti: Gracias por volver a invitarme. Estoy emocionada.

 

Bill Walsh: Muy bien. Nosotros también. Comencemos con la discusión. Y solo un recordatorio, para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono, o déjala en la sección de comentarios en Facebook o YouTube. Dra. Neuzil, comencemos por usted. Está entre los investigadores de vacunas más importantes del mundo. ¿Por qué se suspendieron las vacunas Johnson & Johnson y AstraZeneca en EE.UU. y Europa? ¿Y cómo cree que esto afectará la disponibilidad de vacunas y los problemas de indecisión?

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Sí, realmente estás comenzando con una pregunta fácil.

 

Bill Walsh: Pensamos lanzarnos directamente en lo profundo.

 

Kathleen Neuzil: No, quiero decir, estas son preguntas muy complejas. Y, obviamente, la seguridad es una prioridad absoluta aquí y en todo el mundo. Participé en los ensayos clínicos de ambas vacunas y solo quiero decir que, a pesar del hecho de que inscribimos de 30,000 a 50,000 personas en estos ensayos, estos son eventos muy raros que son difíciles de detectar.

 

Diré que ninguna seguridad se vio comprometida como parte de las pruebas. La mayoría de los efectos secundarios asociados a la vacuna aparecen dentro de las primeras semanas después de la vacunación, y es ahí exactamente cuando vemos estos eventos tromboembólicos raros. Entonces, de hecho, es porque son muy raros, y no porque no seguimos cuidadosamente a los participantes, que no los identificamos en los ensayos clínicos.

 

Estos son coágulos de sangre graves que ocurren en lugares inusuales, los senos venosos cerebrales, por ejemplo, asociados con recuentos bajos de plaquetas. Y esta es una combinación muy inusual de signos y síntomas. El hecho de que pudiéramos detectar estos eventos raros dice mucho sobre nuestros sistemas de seguridad tanto en Estados Unidos como en Europa.

 

Y una de las principales razones de la pausa inicial en Estados Unidos es que los receptores de la vacuna y los proveedores sean conscientes de estos efectos secundarios poco comunes y del hecho de que lo tratamos de una manera diferente. Y muchas de las razones de la pausa fueron la educación sobre estos efectos secundarios poco comunes.

 

Bill Walsh: ¿Y cree que la pausa tendrá un impacto en la disponibilidad de vacunas para las personas en el país? Y hay algunas personas que simplemente dudan en vacunarse. ¿Crees que tendrá algún impacto en esa gente?

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Sí. Es una muy buena pregunta. Por el momento, hemos tenido la suerte de contar con abundantes suministros a nivel nacional de la vacuna de ARNm. Ahora, esto no significa que tengamos abundantes suministros a nivel local, y Adriane puede comentar sobre esto. Pero tenemos la suerte de que el suministro general sea bueno y tengamos vacunas para las personas que las deseen.

 

Si la pausa se levanta rápidamente, entonces, nuevamente, creo que estaremos en una buena situación. Sin duda, podría afectar la vacilación ante las vacunas. Una vez más, creo que el énfasis debería estar en la solidez de nuestros programas de vigilancia de seguridad, que pudimos detectar un resultado tan poco común, que los funcionarios del Gobierno actuaron en consecuencia muy rápidamente y continúan deliberando.

 

Mañana se celebrará una reunión de emergencia del comité asesor sobre prácticas de inmunización; es completamente público. La discusión se llevará a cabo de manera pública y transparente para discutir más a fondo estos efectos secundarios y si la pausa debe levantarse o continuar.

 

Bill Walsh: Déjame seguir con eso. Quiero decir, con la distribución de la vacuna de J&J que se espera que se reanude en algún momento, ¿qué pasos nuevos, si es que hay alguno, debería tomar alguien para monitorearse después de una vacuna, y por cuánto tiempo?

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Esa es una buena pregunta. La mayor parte del riesgo se presenta en las primeras dos o tres semanas. Entonces, realmente, si está más allá de ese período de tiempo, es muy, muy poco probable que esto ocurra. Ahora, a lo que debes estar atento es a un fuerte dolor de cabeza, eso es lo que podría ocurrir con la trombosis del seno venoso cerebral.

 

Sabemos que gran parte de la población sufre dolores de cabeza de forma habitual, pero esto realmente sería un dolor de cabeza severo e incesante; ciertamente, visión borrosa, desmayos, convulsiones. Estos coágulos de sangre también pueden ocurrir en venas inusuales del abdomen. Por lo tanto, el dolor severo en el estómago, el abdomen o el pecho sin duda debe hacer que visites a un proveedor de atención médica.

 

Y luego estamos más acostumbrados a ver coágulos en las piernas o en los pulmones. Entonces, la hinchazón o la dificultad para respirar son otros síntomas que podrían hacer que alguien contacte a un proveedor de atención médica.

 

Bill Walsh: Gracias por eso, es muy útil. Y usted habló un poco antes sobre cómo participó en los ensayos clínicos de dos de estas vacunas, creo. Me pregunto si puede ayudar a nuestra audiencia a comprender en qué se diferencia el desarrollo y la velocidad de las vacunas contra la COVID-19 difiere de la norma o del descubrimiento y distribución normales de las vacunas.

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Sí, fue realmente notable que tuviéramos vacunas con autorización de uso de emergencia y distribución antes de cumplirse un año de reconocer este nuevo patógeno, y eso fue realmente posible por varias razones. Una fue nuestra inversión en ciencia y tecnología.

 

El hecho de que habíamos financiado programas aquí en Estados Unidos donde entendimos el primer coronavirus del SARS y un coronavirus relacionado, The Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome o MERS, entendimos sobre la proteína de espiga y cómo nuestro cuerpo produce una respuesta inmunitaria, e incluso cómo hacer vacunas para esos patógenos anteriores.

 

Ahora, esas vacunas nunca llegaron a obtener la licencia porque realmente no teníamos una razón comercial o de salud pública para llegar a licenciarlas. Pero ese trabajo científico fundamental permitió a los científicos trabajar muy rápidamente cuando descubrimos este nuevo virus y el código genético.

 

En general, se invirtieron recursos sin precedentes en estos esfuerzos porque el desarrollo de vacunas es muy costoso, cientos de millones de dólares, y procedemos de una manera muy reacia ante el riesgo. Queremos estar convencidos de que una vacuna va a funcionar antes de pasar de una fase a la siguiente. Y la inversión del Gobierno realmente eliminó gran parte de ese riesgo y nos permitió trabajar en paralelo en lugar de en serie.

 

Pero haré el comentario que hice al principio. Realmente no comprometimos la seguridad. Nos movimos de una manera muy deliberada comenzando con adultos saludables jóvenes y de mediana edad, siguiéndolos de cerca. Vacunábamos a cinco o seis personas, esperábamos una semana, y las seguíamos meticulosamente junto a los valores de laboratorio.

 

Luego, procedíamos a vacunar gradualmente a más personas. E incluíamos un mayor número de personas: personas mayores, personas más jóvenes, personas con enfermedades crónicas. Y la idea en sí de los estudios también fue una forma de observar la seguridad y también de tener confianza en la eficacia de que estas vacunas funcionaban, no solo en las personas más jóvenes y sanas, sino en las personas con más probabilidades de contraer una enfermedad grave o morir por COVID-19.

 

Bill Walsh: Muchas gracias por el punto de vista desde adentro. Vamos contigo, Adriane. Con la pausa en la vacuna de Johnson & Johnson, ¿cómo han tenido que cambiar su estrategia los departamentos de salud locales? Sé que esta vacuna era una que se estaba distribuyendo en algunas de las instalaciones públicas más grandes en todo el país.

 

Adriane Casalotti: Afortunadamente, de alguna manera proporcionalmente, la mayoría de las vacunas disponibles en este momento y la semana pasada son del tipo de vacunas de ARNm de Pfizer y Moderna de las que acabamos de hablar, no se vieron afectadas por la pausa. Eso significó que relativamente pocas personas se vieron afectadas. Dicho esto, se recomendó la pausa por la mañana, y había personas que estaban programadas para tener citas de vacunación ese día con la vacuna de J&J, así como durante el transcurso de esa semana.

 

Entonces, en algunos lugares, vimos que las citas programadas para las vacunas de J&J podrían resolverse fácilmente cambiando a uno de los otros productos, Pfizer o Moderna. Pero en otros, sí significó que algunas citas debieron cancelarse o posponerse. Para la población en general, sí, tienes que regresar por segunda vez, pero en general no es tan difícil cuando puedes reprogramar las cosas.

 

Pero dicho esto, la vacuna de J&J tiene algunas propiedades mudas que la hacen más fácil para ciertos grupos y más atractiva para ciertos pacientes. Entonces, desde la perspectiva del proveedor, representamos al departamento de salud local en todo el país y ellos realmente se enfocaron en usarlas para las poblaciones a las que es más difícil llegar: para que personas como quienes no tienen hogar que quizás no se puede logar que regresen dentro de tres o cuatro semanas para su segunda dosis, o son más difíciles de contactar para hacer un seguimiento, personas que están confinadas en casa, personas que trabajan en ciertas industrias, como trabajadores agrícolas migrantes o trabajadores del mar que salen por largos períodos de tiempo y no pueden regresar a la fecha prevista para la siguiente vacuna, personas que se mudan del lugar donde viven durante ese tiempo. Y también resultó más atractiva para diferentes pacientes.

 

Como a algunas personas que les preocupa tomarse un tiempo libre del trabajo para recibir dos inyecciones, solo tendrán que hacerlo una vez. Francamente, algunas personas a las que no les gustan las agujas estaban mucho más dispuestas a ir y obtener la vacuna simple más que la doble. Y también para los proveedores, la forma en que se empaquetan las inyecciones, los viales, la forma en que las vacunas llegan del fabricante al lugar para su administración también es importante.

 

Entonces, la vacuna de J&J tiene propiedades que requerirán el refrigerador normal y viene en dosis relativamente pequeñas. Entonces, lo que puedes hacer si ves a mucha gente, puede usar un vial de vacuna sin desperdiciar mucho. Entonces, tiene algunas propiedades únicas por las que se la prefiere para ciertos lugares o para ciertas poblaciones.

 

Bill Walsh: Y una de las poblaciones que mencionó son las personas confinadas en sus hogares. ¿Qué están haciendo los departamentos de salud locales para administrar la vacuna a las personas que no pueden salir de su hogar?

 

Adriane Casalotti: Sabemos de muchas asociaciones que tratan de abordar mejor la situación de las personas que están confinadas en casa. En este momento, todos los adultos mayores de 16 años son aptos para recibir la vacuna, por lo que nos aseguraremos de que la obtengan tan pronto como puedan. Las personas confinadas a su hogar presentan algunos desafíos, pero escuchamos que hay muchas formas en que las personas están trabajando juntas para que eso funcione.

 

En algunas áreas, sabemos que se están asociando con las agencias del área sobre envejecimiento o Meals on wheels para ayudar a identificar a las personas que necesitan acceso a la vacuna, que no pueden ir a una clínica o estado para vacunarse. En algunas comunidades, existen registros para el sistema de gestión de emergencias, por ejemplo, lugares con incendios forestales u otros desastres naturales donde las personas ya pueden alertar a las localidades que hay personas confinadas en su hogar en ciertas áreas, se puede mirar eso para encontrar personas que podrían necesitar ser vacunados en su hogar.

 

Y luego asociarse con personas como EMF, profesionales en ambulancias, departamento de bomberos, enfermeras de salud pública, voluntarios del cuerpo de reserva médica, organizaciones sin fines de lucro y centros de salud comunitarios y farmacéuticos para enviar personas a los hogares de las personas.

 

Entonces, están usando sus mejores habilidades de mapeo para tratar de llegar a la mayor cantidad de gente posible en el tiempo correcto, enviando un par de personas a los hogares para administrar la vacuna, brindarles toda la información que necesitan, esperar con ellos por un tiempo y luego seguir a la siguiente casa. Y la vacuna de J&J fue particularmente útil en este caso.

 

Pero tenemos otras comunidades que han podido hacer esto con las vacunas de ARNm de dos dosis. Pero, obviamente, eso significa que harán todos estos viajes dos veces y tienen viales más grandes que deben mantener el transcurso del día.

 

Bill Walsh: Para las personas que pueden estar en la línea hoy o los seres queridos de personas confinadas en su hogar, ¿tiene algún consejo para ellos sobre dónde obtener información en su comunidad?

 

Adriane Casalotti: Claro, si aún no han podido obtener una cita, llamar al departamento de salud local, llamar a la agencia local sobre el envejecimiento será una excelente manera de conectarse con algunos de estos recursos. También diré que se centran no solo en las personas confinadas en el hogar, sino que también, muchas veces, también vacunarán a los cuidadores que están allí porque quieren asegurarse de que todos se vacunen para mantenernos a salvo. Pero, con suerte, comunicarse de esa manera puede ponerte en la lista correcta y hacer que alguien se acerque a tu hogar.

 

Bill Walsh: Genial, muchas gracias, Adriane, y solo para agregar otro recurso para nuestros oyentes, AARP ha estado creando una guía para cada estado. Pueden encontrarlas en aarp.org/infovacuna. Esas guías tienen números gratuitos. Tienen información sobre dónde y cómo inscribirse para recibir una vacuna. Así que fíjense allí si necesitan información.

 

Y como recordatorio, para hacer una pregunta, presiona *3. Vamos a llegar a sus preguntas en vivo en breve, pero antes de eso, voy a traer a Nancy LeaMond. Nancy es la vicepresidenta ejecutiva y directora de Promoción y Participación aquí en AARP. Bienvenida, Nancy.

 

Nancy LeaMond: ¡Hola, Bill! ¿Cómo estás?

 

Bill Walsh: Estoy muy bien. Gracias por estar hoy con nosotros. Ha habido mucha acción sobre la COVID-19 en el Capitolio durante los últimos meses. ¿Cuáles son las cosas importantes que nuestros oyentes deben saber?

 

Nancy LeaMond: Bueno, ha sido un período muy ocupado con mucha actividad. Después de que AARP abogó durante meses para que el Congreso actuara para responder a la pandemia, hemos visto algunos movimientos positivos. Como el mes pasado, el presidente firmó la American Rescue Plan Act y nos complació que incluyera varias prioridades de AARP: apoyar la expansión de los esfuerzos de la vacuna contra la COVID-19, expandir los créditos tributarios por licencia pagada y el crédito tributario por hijos, permitir que más personas reciban atención en su hogar y su comunidad, aumentar los fondos para la asistencia alimentaria y los programas de entrega de comidas, mejorar el control de infecciones en los hogares de ancianos, ampliar los beneficios del seguro por desempleo para las personas que están sin trabajo debido a la pandemia, proporcionar una expansión de los subsidios que hará la cobertura de la Ley del Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio más asequible y accesible para millones de personas.

 

Esto es muy importante; y entregar pagos de $1,400 a millones de adultos mayores, incluidas las personas que reciben beneficios a través del Seguro Social, Asuntos de Veteranos y otros programas. Debo decir que es una lista larga, y estamos encantados de que sea una lista larga. Las oficinas estatales de AARP en todo el país también continúan con esta promoción al trabajar con los gobernadores y las legislaturas estatales para asignar los fondos que se proporcionaron al estado de manera que continúen abordando las necesidades de los mayores de 50 años.

 

De cara al futuro, el Congreso pronto comenzará a trabajar en un plan de infraestructura, y AARP continuará luchando por la seguridad financiera y sanitaria de las personas mayores de 50 años. Esto incluye brindar mayor asistencia a los más de 40 millones de cuidadores familiares del país, asegurándose de que a medida que las personas envejezcan, puedan permanecer en su hogar y su comunidad, y que todos tengan acceso y puedan permanecer conectados a través de internet de alta velocidad.

 

También continuaremos nuestro trabajo para reducir los precios de los medicamentos recetados, que continúan paralizando los presupuestos familiares. Es una época muy ocupada en el Capitolio, y el personal y los voluntarios de AARP continuarán trabajando arduamente para asegurarnos de que las necesidades de los adultos mayores de todo el país sean nuestra prioridad y que sus voces sean escuchadas mientras abogamos por los problemas que más les importan.

 

Bill Walsh: Gracias por eso, Nancy. A medida que continúa el proceso de distribución de vacunas, ¿dónde está enfocando AARP sus esfuerzos?

 

Nancy LeaMond: Bueno, desde que se comenzaron a implementar las vacunas, AARP ha luchado para que se priorice a los adultos mayores y para facilitar el proceso a las personas. En todos los estados, el personal y los voluntarios de AARP han luchado en las legislaturas estatales por la transparencia en los informes. Y hemos aumentado nuestros esfuerzos para brindar información confiable sobre las vacunas a las personas mayores de 50 años.

 

Por ejemplo, y lo mencionaste anteriormente, publicamos guías en línea para cada estado que explican cómo obtener la vacuna en el lugar donde vives. Y puedes encontrarlas en aarp.org/nfovacuna. Este trabajo ha dado sus frutos, ya que más de las tres cuartas partes de las personas de 65 años o más han recibido al menos una dosis de la vacuna contra la COVID-19.

 

Sin embargo, sabemos que todavía queda mucho trabajo por hacer para garantizar que todos los que quieran la vacuna puedan recibirla. Y las personas que aún puedan tener preguntas, pueden obtener respuestas. A medida que continúe la implementación, mantendremos la presión sobre nuestros líderes electos y continuaremos brindando información crítica a nuestros socios como lo hacemos hoy a través de esta teleasamblea.

 

Y nos centraremos en garantizar que los adultos mayores, en particular los adultos mayores de color y aquellos que están confinados a su hogar, tengan acceso. Para mantenerse al día sobre todos estos esfuerzos, visiten nuestro sitio web, www... www.aarp.org/elcoronavirus. Muchas gracias, realmente aprecio el tiempo para estar con ustedes.

 

Bill Walsh: Gracias por acompañarnos hoy, Nancy. Y gracias por toda la información. Y antes de pasar a las preguntas en vivo, quiero abordar un tema importante. Sabemos que muchos de ustedes tienen dificultades para registrarse para recibir vacunas en su estado y comunidad porque muchos lugares requieren suscripciones a través de foros en línea. Y si no tienes acceso a una computadora, esto puede presentar un verdadero desafío. AARP quiere ayudar.

 

Hemos establecido un equipo de registro de vacunas de AARP para tratar de ayudar en estos casos. Entonces, si estás escuchando hoy y no tienes una computadora y no puedes registrarte para una vacuna en tu comunidad porque no tienes acceso a la tecnología, presiona 1 en tu teléfono ahora mismo para agregarte a una lista para recibir una llamada telefónica de un miembro del personal de AARP que te ayudará.

 

Nuevamente, si estás escuchando hoy y no tienes acceso a una computadora o internet y no puedes registrarte para recibir una vacuna debido a eso, presiona 1 para agregarte a una lista para recibir una llamada telefónica y nosotros trataremos de ayudarte. Gracias por eso. Y ahora es el momento de abordar sus preguntas sobre el coronavirus con la Dra. Kathleen Neuzil y Adriane Casalotti.

 

Presiona *3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP y compartir tus preguntas en vivo. Ahora, me gustaría traer a mi colega de AARP, Jean Setzfand, para ayudar a facilitar sus llamadas. Bienvenida, Jean.

 

Jean Setzfand: Muchas gracias, Bill, encantada de estar aquí.

 

Bill Walsh: Tomemos nuestra primera pregunta.

 

Jean Setzfand: Muy bien, nuestra primera pregunta viene de Grace en California.

 

Bill Walsh: ¡Hola, Grace! Bienvenida al programa. Hola, bienvenida, continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Grace: Buenos días. Gracias a todos por hacer lo que hacen. Eso es fantástico. Mi pregunta esta mañana es ¿cuánto tiempo después de haber recibido mi segunda inyección debo ir a hacerme una prueba de anticuerpos? ¿Y qué pruebas pido para saber que de hecho están buscando los anticuerpos?

 

Bill Walsh: Esa es una pregunta interesante. Dra. Neuzil, ¿puede ayudarme?

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Sí, en realidad, no recomendamos que las personas se realicen una prueba de anticuerpos después de la vacunación. Y parte de ello se debe a las razones a las que se acaba de aludir. Las pruebas existen por una razón diferente. Las pruebas son principalmente para diagnosticar COVID-19 y no para mostrar que tenemos anticuerpos de la vacunación. Tampoco sabemos todavía lo que llamamos el correlato de protección, en otras palabras, ¿es un anticuerpo, es una respuesta de células T, que es una respuesta inmunitaria diferente, que protege la vacunación?

 

Entonces, la mayoría de las personas que recibieron esta vacuna están protegidas y les va muy bien con la respuesta inmunitaria. Y creo que hay oyentes que pueden estar preocupados porque están tomando medicamentos inmunosupresores, por ejemplo, o tal vez se hayan sometido a un trasplante, probablemente deberían consultar con su médico. Pero si recibes una vacuna, la mayoría de nosotros estamos protegidos, pero, por supuesto, debemos seguir las pautas de los CDC en términos de continuar usando mascarillas y socializar en grupos más pequeños.

 

Bill Walsh: Muy bien. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Garrett de Florida.

 

Bill Walsh: ¡Hola, Garrett! Bienvenido al programa. Continúa con tu pregunta. ¡Hola, Garrett! Continúa con tu pregunta. ¿Quién es nuestro próximo oyente?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Caroline de Illinois.

 

Bill Walsh: ¡Hola, Caroline! Bienvenida al programa. Continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Caroline: Gracias. Mi pregunta es que recibí mi segunda inyección el día 15, así que ha pasado aproximadamente una semana. Me han dicho que debo mantenerme alejada de mis contactos durante una semana más. ¿Es eso realmente cierto?

 

Bill Walsh: ¿Mantenerte alejada de qué has dicho? Lo siento, ¿puedes repetir eso?

 

Caroline: Me han dicho que debo esperar dos semanas antes de socializar con mis amigos.

 

Bill Walsh: Ah, está bien. Dra. Neuzil, ¿cuál es la última directiva para las personas que han recibido su régimen completo de vacuna?

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Las personas se consideran vacunadas dos semanas después de su segunda dosis en cualquier serie que hayan recibido, por lo que sería, dos semanas después de que estén completamente vacunadas, que serían dos dosis para las vacunas de Moderna o de Pfizer y dos semanas para la vacuna de Johnson & Johnson, que es la vacuna de dosis única.

 

Si bien ciertamente hay personas que probablemente estén protegidas antes de esa fecha, debemos comprender que se trata de una guía nacional. También le pediría a la gente que tenga paciencia. Todos hemos esperado mucho tiempo para llegar al punto en el que podamos empezar a socializar y tener un poco más de libertad. Por lo tanto, vale la pena esperar esa semana más solo para asegurarse de estar completamente protegidos.

 

Bill Walsh: Dra. Neuzil, muchas gracias y gracias a Caroline por esa pregunta. Entiendo que tenemos una pregunta en Facebook.

 

Jean Setzfand: Sí, tenemos algunas preguntas provenientes de YouTube y Facebook. Y esta es de Selena y ella pregunta: "¿Ha habido una distribución equitativa de las vacunas tanto en EE.UU. como en el mundo? Y si no es así, ¿qué se está haciendo? Esto no se contendrá a menos que todos tengan la oportunidad de obtener una vacuna.

 

Bill Walsh: Distribución equitativa, Adriane, ¿puedes abordar eso?

 

Adriane Casalotti: Daré lo mejor de mí. Quiero decir, puedo hablar sobre Estados Unidos y luego globalmente. En realidad, lo haré globalmente primero. A nivel mundial, todavía hay muchos países que aún no tienen acceso a las vacunas, y las vacunas que están autorizadas en Estados Unidos para su uso, Pfizer, Moderna y Johnson & Johnson, aunque esa estaba en pausa como mencionamos, no son necesariamente las mismas vacunas que están autorizadas para su uso en otros países.

 

Y es un gran problema asegurarse de que los países más ricos del mundo se están vacunando, pero no todos se vacunan porque no todos los países tienen la capacidad de hacer tratos con las empresas farmacéuticas como hizo el nuestro. Y luego está lo que hablamos antes, sobre cuánto se invirtió en la creación de estas vacunas y el desarrollo y la producción de las vacunas y hacerlo rápidamente, eso también significó que teníamos tratos en marcha que decían ahora las vacunas tienen que llegar a Estados Unidos primero.

 

Así que definitivamente hay un impulso y pasará mucho tiempo antes de que, en el mundo, todos estemos vacunados con vacunas que cumplan con los mismos estándares, especialmente con los que tenemos aquí en Estados Unidos. Y es por eso que seguirán viendo en la guía de los CDC, que se recomienda no viajar a nivel mundial donde hay diferentes variantes y diferentes niveles de vacunación, así como también la eficacia de las vacunas que se utilizan en diferentes países también varía.

 

A nivel nacional, realmente el Gobierno federal ha estado lanzando las vacunas en función de la población, la población en general. Y eso ha llevado a algunas áreas donde ha habido desafíos porque las personas no solo están siendo vacunadas donde viven físicamente, sino también depende en dónde trabajan y eso puede cruzar barreras.

 

Estuve en Washington, D.C. y hay un gran problema entre Maryland, Virginia y Washington, D.C., por ejemplo. Las vacunas se envían a los diferentes estados según la población, quién recibe la vacuna y la aceptación de esa vacuna. Entonces, ¿a quién se le administra? La asimilación equitativa es un gran problema y sigue siéndolo. Sabemos que la COVID-19 no ha impactado a todas las poblaciones de manera uniforme. Hay enormes disparidades e inequidades de salud existentes que la COVID realmente ha explotado y realmente nos ha mostrado muy claramente cómo afecta a todo el país.

 

Por lo tanto, tenía que haber un esfuerzo bien concertado para tratar de asegurarse de que las vacunas lleguen a las poblaciones que se ven afectadas de manera desproporcionada por la COVID-19 cuando es posible que no sean las más fáciles. Sabemos que en algunos departamentos de salud locales escuchamos: "Oh, nuestra cola de preinscripción está llena. Tenemos tanta gente que quiere vacunas".

 

Pero cuando lo miramos, no es realmente representativo de toda nuestra comunidad. Realmente son las personas que tienen mejor acceso a internet, las que trabajan desde casa, sin representar proporcionadamente a las poblaciones más minoritarias. Por lo tanto, tiene que haber un esfuerzo concertado para llegar realmente y asegurarnos de que lo estamos haciendo de manera equitativa.

 

Muchas comunidades han estado trabajando para asociarse con organizaciones comunitarias y otras organizaciones sin fines de lucro que trabajan en partes particulares de su región para asegurarse de que se están haciendo conexiones con todas las personas que aún pueden necesitar acceso a las vacunas. Pero definitivamente es un enfoque que la gente tiene y en el que tenemos que seguir centrándonos, porque es muy fácil utilizar algunos de esos [nuevos] y sólo estamos mirando las cifras nacionales.

 

Bill Walsh: Gracias. Volvamos a las líneas. ¿De quién es nuestra próxima llamada, Jean?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Jay de Massachusetts.

 

Bill Walsh: Hola, Jay, bienvenido al programa. Continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Jay: ¡Buenas tardes! ¡Hola! Amo sus llamadas. Esta es probablemente la sexta o séptima que escuché durante el último año.

 

Bill Walsh: ¡Oh, genial!

 

Jay: Creo que es un gran servicio el que están brindando. Mi pregunta para el equipo aquí es, dentro de un año, o dentro de un año y medio, dentro de dos años, ¿creen que todavía tendremos que preocuparnos por la COVID-19 y las vacunas? Como la vacuna contra la gripe cada año, ¿vamos a tener que ponernos la vacuna todos los años contra la COVID-19, o esto desaparecerá?

 

Bill Walsh: Esa es una buena pregunta, Jay. Dra. Neuzil, ¿qué piensa de esas inyecciones de refuerzo? ¿Y estaremos preocupados por la COVID-19 en abril del 2022?

 

Adriane Casalotti: Es una buena pregunta. Y creo que cuando apareció este virus por primera vez, esperábamos que se pareciera más al SARS-1, que, tan terrible como era, desapareció y no ha regresado. Eso parece cada vez menos probable a medida que este virus continúa infectando a los seres humanos y también a medida que se muestra su capacidad para adaptarse a los humanos. Se ha adaptado muy, muy bien a esta nueva especie que infectó. Así que se espera que el SARS-CoV-2 esté presente.

 

Esperamos que sea más bien un virus molesto, pero creo que tenemos que prepararnos para el hecho de que será similar a la influenza. Y es posible que necesitemos dosis de refuerzo de esta vacuna, ya sea anualmente, ya sea cada pocos años, creo que es demasiado pronto para decirlo. Sin embargo, creo que es probable que nos acompañe debido a lo bien que se ha adaptado a los seres humanos y lo fácil que se puede propagar. Este virus pasará a formar parte de los otros virus respiratorios que infectan a la población humana anualmente.

 

Bill Walsh: Bueno, gracias Dra. Neuzil. Esperábamos noticias más optimistas, pero apreciamos los hechos y el realismo. Bueno, volvamos a la línea. ¿A quién tenemos ahora, Jean?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Terry de Míchigan.

 

Bill Walsh: ¡Hola, Terry! Bienvenido al programa. Continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Terry: Gracias por atender mi llamada. En Míchigan, aproximadamente seis millones de personas recibieron sus vacunas. Y cuando hemos tenido información sobre esta inmunidad colectiva, siempre se ha dicho que si tuviéramos el 70% del país, comenzaríamos a ver alguna evidencia de esta inmunidad colectiva.

 

Bueno, Míchigan tiene como el 60% de su gente vacunada y estamos viendo lo contrario. Lo que estamos viendo es un aumento de las infecciones que van de 6,000 a 8,000 por día. Y me preguntaba... Una explicación que da el gobernador es que hicimos un trabajo tan bueno al principio en la protección de nuestro estado con el uso de mascarillas y el distanciamiento social que hay más personas vulnerables en nuestro estado. Me preguntaba qué piensan las expertas sobre este aumento en Míchigan.

 

Bill Walsh: Eso es interesante. Un aumento en un momento en el que también estamos viendo un aumento en las vacunas, tal vez nuestras dos expertas quieran opinar sobre eso. Empecemos contigo, Adriane.

 

Adriane Casalotti: Sí, gracias por la pregunta. Creo que aquí es donde realmente entra en juego la importancia de que tengamos buenos datos de salud pública. Si recuerdan, fue hace solo una semana que dijeron que ahora todas las personas mayores de 16 años son aptos para vacunarse. Pero antes de eso, realmente lo estaba haciendo una población específica, es decir los trabajadores de la salud, los maestros en algunas áreas, pero también dependiendo de la edad.

 

Lo que estamos viendo en los números de casos de Míchigan es una gran cantidad de brotes que están ocurriendo en niños y adultos jóvenes. Sí se ven menos casos en las poblaciones mayores, y esas son las poblaciones que tenían más probabilidades de ser vacunadas y con mayor probabilidad de estar completamente vacunadas antes. Y entonces, realmente muestra la importancia de la vacunación, en primer lugar, que todos se vacunen y se aseguren de que sus seres queridos también se vacunen si califican para hacerlo, pero también, algunas de las otras medidas de mitigación aún deben aplicarse, ya sea el uso de mascarillas o distanciamiento social.

 

Descubrieron que hay ciertas áreas donde hay muchos brotes, por ejemplo, deportes de jóvenes, lucha juvenil, baloncesto juvenil, estos son lugares en los que resulta lógico que el virus se propague muy rápidamente allí. Pero incluso con las vacunas, todavía hay ciertas cosas que van a ser más riesgosas, especialmente dado que las personas menores de 16 años no pueden vacunarse en este momento.

 

Bill Walsh: Y Dra. Neuzil, no sé si usted también quiere opinar sobre esto. Iba a continuar con una pregunta sobre lo que quiere que todas las personas sepan sobre las vacunas. Me pregunto si podrías juntar todo eso. ¿Ve una explicación para el aumento repentino de Míchigan y hay cosas sobre las vacunas que desea que las personas sepan?

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Sí, creo que Adriane explicó muy bien que cuando hablamos de cobertura de vacunas y hablamos de transmisión del virus, esto ocurre en la vida real y en los bolsillos. No está distribuido de manera uniforme. Sabemos que las personas mayores tienen las tasas de vacunación más altas y han seguido muy bien las pautas no farmacéuticas de uso de mascarillas y distanciamiento social.

 

Todavía no tenemos una vacuna para niños, ese punto ya se ha dicho. Y no teníamos una vacuna para los adultos jóvenes que tenían más probabilidades de estar circulando en la sociedad. Incluso algo como el sarampión, eso es muy raro en EE.UU., donde las tasas de vacunación pueden ser del 99%, si ese 1% de los no vacunados están todos en el mismo lugar, habrá un brote considerable. Entonces, nuevamente, a veces los números pueden ser un poco engañosos.

 

Creo que esto realmente enfatiza un punto sobre las enfermedades infecciosas y las vacunas en general. No solo lo haces para protegerte; lo estás haciendo para proteger a los demás. Y es por eso que le decíamos a la gente que se vacune con la primera que puedan. Ciertamente estoy protegida si me ponen una vacuna. Estoy más protegida si todos los que me rodean también se vacunan.

 

Bill Walsh: Ese es un buen punto, es algo que todos debemos recordar incluso a medida que las vacunas estén más disponibles. Adriane, me gustaría volver a ti. El acceso a la información ha sido un desafío para muchas personas durante todo el proceso de distribución. Llevamos varios meses, pero estamos en un momento importante.

 

¿Cuáles son algunas de las primeras lecciones aprendidas sobre la comunicación y el compromiso que nos ayudarán con la distribución de vacunas a medida que avanza el proceso? Esto realmente ha sido como un caso de estudio en comunicaciones de salud pública.

 

Adriane Casalotti: Seguro, y de hecho, solo una cosa, volviendo a la pregunta de la última persona que llamó. La otra cosa de la que no hemos hablado mucho son las variantes. Hay algunas variantes del virus que los niños tienden a ser más susceptibles de contraer y que tienden a propagarse un poco más fácilmente. Entonces, realmente, las vacunas funcionan contra estas variantes, pero en realidad solo enfatiza que cualquier persona que pueda vacunarse realmente necesita vacunarse para ayudar a proteger a las personas que no pueden hacerlo en nuestra población.

 

Pero esa conversación sobre cómo hablamos de todas estas cosas, la salud pública no ha hecho un buen trabajo de tener frases del tamaño de una pegatina para el parachoques y sin embargo, de alguna manera, desearía absolutamente que pudiéramos. Hemos tenido desafíos en torno a la comunicación pública sobre el coronavirus desde el principio, incluso antes de que tuviéramos un nombre para él.

 

Y, sin embargo, hay algunos esfuerzos realmente enfocados para tratar de ayudar a descubrir tanto los mensajes correctos como los mensajeros correctos. La comunicación sobre la salud es difícil y matizada y realmente necesitamos asegurarnos de que la gente esté escuchando los mismos mensajes, que sean claros, que se escuchen desde todos los niveles y todos los sectores.

 

Entonces, si escuchas algo diferente de tu funcionario de salud local y tu proveedor de atención primaria, la persona de la farmacia y el presidente, y el director de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades, es muy complicado y todos estos son mensajes realmente complicados. Entonces, ¿cómo optimizamos esta información, de arriba a abajo?

 

La comunicación de salud pública es un desafío porque cada día aprendemos más sobre el virus. Entonces, tener mensajes que evolucionan no significa necesariamente que no estuviéramos diciendo la verdad hace dos meses, hace tres meses, hace seis meses; es que hemos aprendido más y ahora sabemos qué hacer y tenemos mejores recomendaciones para seguir adelante.

 

Ese trabajo se ha hecho, creo que también está bien que haya personas que tengan preguntas. Y cuando estás en medio de una pandemia, a veces no haces el espacio para que las personas las hagan, para escuchar realmente la información, tanto para responder la pregunta que tienen las personas, como para saber qué es único para su situación, para la situación de su familia y sus seres queridos. Y cuanto más podamos abrir esas líneas de comunicación para que las personas puedan hacer esas preguntas y obtener respuestas de una manera objetiva, que realmente se respete a las personas que piensan críticamente sobre esto, es importante.

 

Y creo que esa es una de las formas en que el departamento de salud local ha estado tratando de asociarse con organizaciones religiosas, organizaciones comunitarias y otros para ayudar a asegurarse, ¿quiénes son los mensajeros correctos? ¿tienen la información que necesitan y dónde pueden hacer el espacio para que las personas tengan estas conversaciones personales?

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Bueno, vayamos a algunas de esas preguntas ahora mismo. Este es el momento para que planteen sus preguntas a la Dra. Kathleen Neuzil y Adriane Casalotti, y como recordatorio, presionen *3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de su teléfono para conectarse con un miembro del personal de AARP. Jean, ¿a quién tenemos ahora en la línea?

 

Jean Setzfand: Vamos a ir a una pregunta de YouTube. Y Maddie en YouTube pregunta: "Si tienes que recibir una vacuna de refuerzo el próximo año, ¿tienes que recibir la misma vacuna del mismo fabricante que la primera vacuna que recibes?"

 

Bill Walsh: Oh, eso es interesante, ¿Dra. Neuzil?

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Es una gran pregunta, y nosotros, en el campo de la investigación, estamos tratando de adelantarnos a las cuestiones prácticas de salud pública que surgirán, así que ahora estamos analizando si la dosis de refuerzo, las empresas Pfizer y Moderna ya están analizando dosis de refuerzo de su propia vacuna, y luego los NIH patrocinarán un ensayo que analiza las dosis de refuerzo con la combinación de diferentes vacunas.

 

Y de manera similar, en el Reino Unido, debido a que tienen vacunas ligeramente diferentes que están aprobadas para su uso allí, también están considerando estos programas de refuerzo combinado porque es posible que tengamos vacunas adicionales que estén autorizadas para el otoño o más tarde si debiéramos recomendar una dosis de refuerzo. Así que diría que estén atentos para la respuesta a esa pregunta.

 

Bill Walsh: Muchas gracias. Jane, ¿quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Jean Setzfand: Otra pregunta procedente de Facebook, de Adele, y está preguntando: "¿Podrían contarnos un poco más sobre las pautas actuales de transporte aéreo para las personas que están completamente vacunadas?"

 

Bill Walsh: La gente ya está pensando en volver a los aviones. Adriane, ¿qué puedes decirnos sobre eso?

 

Adriane Casalotti: Puedo contarte un poco y luego indicarte dónde está toda esa información. Para viajes nacionales para viajeros completamente vacunados, ya no necesitas hacerse la prueba antes o después del viaje, a menos que tu destino lo requiera. Y los viajeros completamente vacunados no deberían tener que ponerse en cuarentena de la forma en que lo haría alguien que no está completamente vacunado cuando llegue a un nuevo lugar.

 

Dicho esto, al ir en avión, y cada vez que se esté en público, utilizar una mascarilla sobre la nariz y la boca, mantenerse a seis pies de distancia cuando se pueda y evitar la multitud, y lavarse las manos con frecuencia con un desinfectante para manos, eso es para viajes nacionales. Los CDC realmente recomiendan retrasar los viajes a nivel nacional, incluso en aerolíneas, hasta que esté completamente vacunado, ya que aumenta sus posibilidades de contraer y propagar la COVID-19. Y continúan actualizando esas pautas a medida que obtenemos más información.

 

Para los viajes internacionales, se piensa que sí, es menos probable que contraiga y propague la COVID-19, pero los viajes internacionales presentan otros riesgos incluso para los viajeros completamente vacunados. Por lo tanto, hay personas que recomiendan retrasar los viajes internacionales hasta que uno esté completamente vacunado. Pero incluso si estás completamente vacunado, evítalo en lo posible.

 

Existen diferentes recomendaciones para diferentes países. Es posible que ya no tenga que hacerse la prueba o ponerse en cuarentena, pero su destino puede requerir pruebas y cuarentena. Y nuevamente, mencioné esto antes, hay diferentes variantes que se están propagando en otros lugares, de las que todavía estás protegido, pero que también pueden hacerte un poco más susceptible.

 

También hay diferentes niveles de vacunación en otros países, así como las vacunas que están usando otros países. Algunas de ellas no son tan fuertes como las vacunas que hemos autorizado en Estados Unidos. Pero, todavía existe un riesgo y las pautas de vuelo nacionales e internacionales son diferentes. Ambas están en el sitio web de los CDC, que se accede por internet buscando viajes en avión, COVID-19, CDC, y así se accede a toda esta información.

 

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, gracias, Adriane. CDC.gov tiene una gran cantidad de información sobre viajes y otras cosas relacionadas con la COVID-19, al igual que el sitio web de AARP. Si visitas aarp.org/viajes, tenemos mucha información sobre las últimas pautas de los CDC. También tenemos consejos si estás planeando un viaje, de cómo hacerlo de manera segura. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Iris de Nueva York.

 

Bill Walsh: ¡Hola, Iris! Bienvenida al programa. Continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Iris: Gracias, recibí la vacuna de Moderna en febrero y marzo y también he tenido herpes zóster dos veces en mi vida. Y he pospuesto por falta de disponibilidad la vacuna contra el herpes zóster. ¿Sería este un mal momento para desafiar a mi cuerpo, mi sistema inmunitario? ¿Estaría sobrecargado si considerara tomar la vacuna contra el herpes zóster en este momento?

 

Bill Walsh: Preguntémosle a la Dra. Neuzil, Dra. Neuzil, ¿qué piensa al respecto?

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Esa es una buena pregunta y, de hecho, hemos tenido mucho este tipo de preguntas. Absolutamente debes recibir la vacuna contra el herpes zóster. Como sabes, si la has tenido dos veces, es una enfermedad muy dolorosa. La vacuna es excelente en términos de eficacia. Causa algunos efectos secundarios que en realidad pueden ser similares a los de la vacuna contra el coronavirus.

 

Pero si han pasado más de 14 días, los CDC nos dicen, y de hecho, a partir de los ensayos, usamos aproximadamente ese mismo rango de fechas que es seguro recibir la vacuna contra el herpes zóster. Entonces, si tu última vacuna fue en marzo, entonces sí, estás autorizada para la vacuna contra el herpes zóster y la recomendaría.

 

Bill Walsh: Gracias por eso, Dra. Neuzil. Jean, ¿quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestro próximo interlocutor es Richard de Ohio.

 

Bill Walsh: ¡Hola, Richard! Bienvenido al programa. Continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Richard: Mi pregunta es que he escuchado información contradictoria sobre las variantes. Estoy completamente vacunado, pero algunas fuentes dicen que aún podría contraer COVID-19 de una de las variantes, ya sea una variante sudafricana o británica. Otras fuentes parecen decir que si la vacuna no previene, al menos la haría relativamente inofensiva.

 

Bill Walsh: ¿Puedo preguntar qué vacuna recibió?

 

Richard: Moderna.

 

Bill Walsh: Moderna. Adriane Casalotti, me pregunto si podrías abordar la pregunta de Richard. ¿Qué tan efectivas son las vacunas contra estas variantes que estamos viendo?

 

Adriane Casalotti: Claro, lo haré, y creo que la Dra. Neuzil quizás tenga más detalles desde el lado de la investigación. Estos son exactamente los desafíos de comunicación de salud pública que tenemos. Lo que sabemos es que las vacunas autorizadas son ​​efectivas contra las diferentes variantes. Dicho esto, las vacunas tienen diferentes niveles de efectividad contra las enfermedades que están tratando de prevenir.

 

Entonces, estas vacunas, en general, son muy, muy efectivas para bloquear la COVID-19 y el tipo salvaje, el tipo que realmente se identificó y construyó para protegerse contra él. Quizás sean un poco menos efectivas contra las variantes, contra infectarse, pero siguen siendo efectivas contra ellas en gran medida, simplemente la eficacia no es tan alta. Y cuando hemos analizado las vacunas, no necesariamente analizamos si uno se infecta o no, sino si te infectas y cursas una enfermedad grave, si te infectas y terminas en el hospital, si uno se infecta y cómo eso impacta en si alguien murió o no.

 

Y entonces, la forma en que funcionan las vacunas es realmente manteniendo a la gente con vida. Estamos tratando de reducir las hospitalizaciones y las enfermedades graves, pero aún existe la posibilidad de que pueda infectarse. Y, entonces, estamos aprendiendo más sobre las variantes, estamos aprendiendo más sobre la forma en que las vacunas interactúan con las variantes. Pero, en general, vacunarse ayuda a no infectarse o no tener complicaciones graves por las variantes.

 

Bill Walsh: Supongo que subraya las pautas continuas de los CDC de que incluso si estás vacunado, debes seguir tomando precauciones en público con mascarillas y distanciamiento social. Dra. Neuzil, ¿quería opinar sobre la pregunta de Richard?

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Sí. Solo para decir, Adriane, realmente lo resumiste maravillosamente. Se necesitan un poco más de anticuerpos en el tubo de ensayo para combatir estas variantes. Pero la mayoría de nosotros que recibimos estas vacunas producimos un poco más de anticuerpos de los que tenemos que producir.

 

Y a medida que los datos van llegando, y están llegando más lentamente, porque probamos estas vacunas en Estados Unidos en un momento en que las variantes no eran comunes en Estados Unidos, por lo que estamos comenzando a obtener datos de otros países, y es realmente muy alentador que estas vacunas protejan contra las variantes y, en particular, contra las enfermedades graves causadas por las variantes.

 

Bill Walsh: Gracias, Dra. Neuzil y también gracias a Adriane. Jean, ¿quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

 

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Mary de California.

 

Bill Walsh: ¡Hola, Mary! Bienvenida al programa. Continúa con tu pregunta.

 

Mary: Mi pregunta es muy simple. Me hicieron una pregunta y quiero hacerles esta pregunta. Incluso después de recibir la vacuna, me pusieron la vacuna de J&J, la vacuna de Johnson & Johnson fue la única, y hacemos un seguimiento. Me pregunto ¿cuántos días o cuántos años hacemos constantemente un seguimiento de estas vacunas? Porque soy una de las personas que [solían recibir] una inyección extraña y me asusto. Pero con esta, no me asusté ni nada. Entonces estoy tratando de ver estas fechas de seguimiento, eso es todo el año [inaudible] ¿qué?

 

Bill Walsh: Una inyección de refuerzo es de lo que estás hablando, ¿verdad?

 

Mary: Sí. Si es una de refuerzo, entonces no es necesario que la tengamos. Y solo estoy tratando de averiguar si eso [inaudible].

 

Bill Walsh: No, es una buena pregunta, preguntémosle a la Dra. Neuzil. Estuvimos hablando de refuerzos antes, creo que aún no lo sabemos del todo, ¿es cierto, Dra. Neuzil?

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Sí, es cierto. Mary, has recibido la inyección de dosis única y se considera que es completamente protectora en este momento. Los ensayos clínicos y los participantes de los ensayos clínicos están entre seis y ocho meses por delante del resto de nosotros en términos de cuándo recibieron su vacuna. Y estamos siguiendo a las personas que recibieron la vacuna desde el principio con mucho cuidado para comprender la duración de la inmunidad.

 

Entonces, en este momento, no hay ninguna recomendación para recibir dosis de refuerzo porque tenemos estos participantes del ensayo a los que se les sigue haciendo un seguimiento. Lo sabremos y tendremos una señal de si son necesarias las dosis de refuerzo antes de que tenga que distribuirse al público en general.

 

Bill Walsh: ¿Qué hay de la vacuna de J&J, Dra. Neuzil? ¿Cuánto tiempo después de que alguien la recibió se lo considera a salvo, en particular por los coágulos de sangre y potencialmente otros efectos secundarios?

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Lo que dicen los CDC y la FDA es que es el período de dos a tres semanas después de recibir esa vacuna. Ese es el período de riesgo de este efecto secundario en particular. Entonces, si está más allá de ese período de tres semanas, entonces no hemos visto casos más allá de ese período.

 

Bill Walsh: Gracias por eso. Y Mary, espero que responda a tu pregunta. Dra. Neuzil y Adriane, me pregunto si tienen algún pensamiento o recomendación final que nuestros oyentes deban entender más de la conversación de hoy. ¿Por qué no empezamos contigo, Adriane?

 

Adriane Casalotti: Claro. Creo que, en primer lugar, me encanta este evento. Y estoy muy contenta por eso, gracias por escuchar y obtener respuestas a sus preguntas. Y sigan haciendo preguntas porque cuanto más sepan, más podrán tomar buenas decisiones para ustedes y su familia, pero también correr la voz entre sus amigos y vecinos.

 

Creo que la cuestión clave en la que nos centramos ahora es asegurarnos de que todos sean aptos, lo que significa que todos los mayores de 16 años salgan y reciban su vacuna. Si estás completamente vacunado, llama a tus hijos, llama a tus nietos, acosa a un vecino, a la persona que corta el césped, sea lo que sea, asegúrate de que ellos sepan que ellos también deben vacunarse. Si hay alguna forma de ayudarlos, conéctalos, continúa haciéndolo.

 

Realmente estamos todos juntos en esto. Y aquellos de nosotros que estamos vacunados somos los mejores mensajeros para los demás sobre por qué deberían hacerlo ellos. Así que gracias de nuevo por invitarme y hagamos correr la voz sobre las vacunas.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien, Adrian, muchas gracias. Dra. Neuzil, ¿alguna reflexión o recomendación final hoy?

 

Kathleen Neuzil: Solo quiero agregar que esta ha sido realmente una hora maravillosa. Tienen una audiencia muy educada, con buenas preguntas, preguntas desafiantes. Y agradezco estar aquí, creo que no puedo decirlo mejor que Adriane, realmente necesitamos que todos estén vacunados. Y mientras hablamos de estas variantes, por ejemplo, cuantas más personas se vacunen, menos variantes surgirán. Así que todo es una interacción entre el virus y la población. Y realmente, nuestra mejor arma aquí es la vacuna.

 

Bill Walsh: Está bien, gracias a las dos. Y tienen razón sobre nuestros socios, solo las personas más inteligentes se unen a AARP. Esta ha sido una discusión realmente informativa. Gracias a cada una de ustedes por responder a nuestras preguntas. Y gracias a nuestros socios, voluntarios y oyentes de AARP por participar en la discusión.

 

AARP es una organización una organización de membresía, sin fines de lucro y no partidista. Hemos trabajado para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores durante más de 60 años. Ante esta crisis, estamos brindando información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan a protegerse del virus, evitando que se contagie a otros mientras se cuidan ellos.

 

Todos los recursos a los que se hizo referencia hoy, incluida una grabación del evento de preguntas y respuestas de hoy, se podrán encontrar en aarp.org/elcoronavirus a partir de mañana, 23 de abril. Una vez más, esa dirección web es aarp.org/elcoronavirus. Ve allí si tu pregunta no fue respondida, y encontrarás las últimas actualizaciones, así como información creada específicamente para adultos mayores y cuidadores familiares.

 

Esperamos que haya aprendido algo hoy que pueda ayudarte a ti y a tus seres queridos a mantenerse saludables. Sintoniza el 6 de mayo a la 1:00 p.m. para otro evento en vivo que responda a tus preguntas sobre el coronavirus. Hasta entonces, gracias y que tengas un gran día. Con esto concluye nuestra llamada.

 

 

Coronavirus: Your Vaccine Questions Answered

Thursday, April 22, at 1 p.m. ET

Listen to a replay of the live event above.

This live Q&A event provided the latest news on the coronavirus vaccine, distribution plans and how to stay safe as activities resume.

The experts:

  • Kathleen Neuzil, M.D.
    Director,
    Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health,
    University of Maryland School of Medicine

  • Adriane Casalotti
    Chief of Government and Public Affairs,
    The National Association of County and City Health Officials

  • Nancy LeaMond
    Special Guest, 
    Executive Vice President, 
    Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer, AARP

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, go to AARP.org/coronavirus.


Replay previous AARP Coronavirus Tele-Town Halls

  • May 20 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Variants and Coping
  • May 6 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Variants and Coping
  • April 22 - Your Vaccine Questions Answered and Coronavirus: Vaccines and Asian American and Pacific Islanders
  • April 8 - Coronavirus and Latinos: Safety, Protection and Prevention and Vaccines and Caring for Grandkids and Loved Ones
  • April 1Coronavirus and The Black Community: Your Vaccine Questions Answered
  • March 25Coronavirus: The Stimulus, Taxes and Vaccine
  • March 11 - One Year of the Pandemic and Managing Personal Finances and Taxes
  • February 25Coronavirus Vaccines and You
  • February 11 - Coronavirus Vaccines: Your Questions Answered
  • January 28 - Coronavirus: Vaccine Distribution and Protecting Yourself
    & A Virtual World Awaits: Finding Fun, Community and Connections
  • January 14 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Staying Safe & Coping and Prevention, Vaccines & the Black Community
  • January 7 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Stimulus & Staying Safe
  • Dec 3 - Coronavirus: Staying Safe & Coping This Winter
  • Nov 19 - Coronavirus: Vaccines, Staying and A Caregiver's Thanksgiving
  • Nov 12 - Coronavirus: Coping and Maintaining Your Well-Being
  • Oct 1 - Coronavirus: Vaccines & Coping During the Pandemic
  • Sept 17 - Coronavirus: Prevention, Treatments, Vaccines & Avoiding Scams
  • Sept 3 - Coronavirus: Your Finances, Health & Family (6 months in)
  • Aug 20 - Your Health and Staying Protected
  • Aug 6 - Coronavirus: Answering Your Most Frequent Questions
  • July 23 - Coronavirus: Navigating the New Normal
  • July 16 - The Health and Financial Security of Latinos
  • July 9 - Coronavirus: Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
  • June 18 and 20 - Strengthening Relationships Over Time and  LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Protections
  • June 11 – Coronavirus: Personal Resilience in the New Normal