We cannot just impose restrictions whenever COVID-19 is high. Here’s a better plan for 2022

Appearance Omicron, the newest and most contagious COVID-19 variant to date, underscores the enormous need for an updated COVID-19 policy in the United States. We’ve always known that it would be difficult to stop a highly transmissible respiratory virus before Omicron. The appearance of the Delta variant forced us to abandon our goal of “herd immunity”. With the arrival of Omicron, the more appropriate goal of protecting those at risk of serious disruptive infections has now been realized. A new framework based on Omicron will help move us beyond the continuum of remove and restore COVID restrictions based on data that are no longer clinically relevant.
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Highly transmissible variants, such as Delta and Omicron, will result in high numbers of mild or asymptomatic infections among vaccinated individuals. This breakthrough infection should not be considered a “vaccination failure”. Instead, they should be recognized as telltale signs of a highly effective vaccine that is working exactly as intended – to prevent serious illness or death.

We have to make sure Americans understand that this is a very different time from March 2020, especially in highly vaccinated areas. Instead, these very similar regions are schools are closed again. A strategy that examines who is at serious risk of disruption and protects that population at all costs will help us make this important transition.

What strategies make sense at this stage of the pandemic?

New stats

This new strategy is meant to use different metrics as the basis for COVID-19 restrictions. In a vaccinated population, the relationship between the number of cases and the number of hospital admissions was unconnected. Because so many vaccinated people can test positive for COVID-19 with few or no symptoms, the number of infections in a community is no longer predictive of hospitalizations or deaths. This separation means that we should not focus on COVID-19 infection numbers as a prediction of the need for lockdowns, physical adjustments, or use of masks. Instead, we can follow the path of Singapore, wherechanged their index from cases to hospitalizations in September to both protect the population of the country and to avoid unnecessary harm to the economy, therefore,direct impact on health. A similar path has recently been accepted in Marin County, California. If public health officials tie policies to hospital admissions, not cases, the media obsession with case counts could ease and help refocus attention on the disease. Simply serious, as I said. here. With this clearer focus, we can better spend time immunizing the unvaccinated and strengthen as soon as possible the most vulnerable, such as residents of nursing homes, people over 65 and people with chronic health problems. However, this new strategy underscores the need for CDC to increase tracking and reporting of disruptive severe infections according to the health status of individuals so that the most vulnerable can be identified. rapid and prioritization of life-saving treatment, such as Paxlovid and other powerful antiviral therapies.

Retired duty of blanket mask

Protecting those at serious risk of breakthrough also means ending the face covering duty. Our adult population has had access to highly effective vaccines for almost a year and, more recently, all children 5 years and older eligible for vaccination. Using N95, KN95, KF94, or even double mask, should be encouraged among selected high-risk populations, but permanent face covering for the entire population is unsustainable or unnecessary. Our children, the demographic group with the lowest risk of severe COVID-19 illness, continue to endure more hours of continuous mask wearing than higher-risk adults. This strategy means sons optional mask 12 weeks after the last school-age child is eligible for immunization.

Reasonable inspection policy

We need to drop our policy of closing schools and canceling school sporting events based on asymptomatic testing. While testing and quarantine may have been streamlined into sensible strategies prior to a vaccine, these disruptions can no longer be justified as having any direct impact on health outcomes. reduce the risk of life-threatening illness among those who are disrupted, namely students, athletes, or even spectators.

Although schools have reopened in 2021, parents and students continue to be impacted by the loss of education and work disruption due to the school’s testing and isolation policies. CDC recently confirmed check to stay as a safe and sound policy for keeping children in school and minimizing educational disruption. This policy will quickly become the norm until school-based testing is completely eliminated. Similarly, testing protocols should be updated for all workplaces, shortening the post-contamination quarantine period. Returning to work (or school) as soon as quick test is negative, reflecting when COVID-19 is no longer being transmitted, would be more appropriate out of date within a period of 7 days (with a negative test) of isolation.

Nuanced Booster Policies and Distance

This updated roadmap also includes revising immunization policies to better reflect our nuanced understanding of vaccine effectiveness and population risk. Our extensive advertising of booster vaccination for all individuals over the age of 16 should ensure we target those most vulnerable to severe breakthrough infections first, including mass-intensification campaigns in nursing homes and among people are taking care of chronic illnesses. The interval between doses of vaccine in youth and careful attention to any side effects from the booster for men under the age of 30, should be taken into account regardless of the reduced absorption of the vaccine.

This new roadmap will also recognize natural immunity from infection prior to vaccine missions (such as recommending 1 dose after natural infection to strengthen immunity but minimize side effects). This policy will increase public confidence, especially among more vaccine-hesitating communities, as it more accurately reflects evidence now.

Read more: Why the number of COVID-19 cases doesn’t mean they’re used to

Ultimately, this new roadmap aligns our policy toward harm reduction and away from zero COVID policies. Policies like travel bans are not effective at reducing transmission speeds and are fundamentally unfair, punishing other countries for commendable practices like data sharing. Receive Authorized Paxlovid said we were unvaccinated that we wanted to provide compassionate care to this group. And finally, a booster dose for healthier young adults equitable distribution of vaccines globally is counterproductive to prevent the emergence of variations and runs counter to the view that all human beings are of equal value.

We encourage the Biden Administration to take a sensible approach to the COVID-19 pandemic on the eve of 2022. President Biden said in his speech on December 21 that the administration will renew efforts to increase access to rapid testing and expand the mutation capacity of hospitals in low-vaccination areas, both important commitments and welcome. In addition to responding to these immediate realities of the pandemic, we hope that the administration will recognize that it is time to reframe our approach, beyond the number of cases and the community-based restrictions and revised policies specifically aimed at protecting vulnerable populations and ensuring that the nation’s children stay in school. We hope this new route will enable a streamlined, science-based approach to the next phase of our response. We cannot just impose restrictions whenever COVID-19 is high. Here’s a better plan for 2022

Aila Slisco

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