July 22, 2021
Last week Friday, the highly-regarded US Centre for Disease Control Director Dr Rochelle Walensky offered: "There is a clear message that is coming through: This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated", which is becoming a term of art in the medical field.
Her remarks were later echoed by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, but he was pilloried by some for saying generally the same thing. Perhaps those who criticized the Prime Minister might wish to similarly criticize Dr Walensky or perhaps they were blithely ill-informed or unaware of her comments.
Walensky, a physician-scientist, has an impressive resume, including as an expert on HIV/AIDS. She served as a medical professor at Harvard Medical School and at the well-known teaching hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, as Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases.
Perhaps those who were quick and pat in criticizing the Prime Minister’s comment, even suggesting it was “curious”, might wish to reconsider their ill-advised and somewhat knee-jerk commentary, given a number of medical experts have generally the same view, though some might soft pedal their views.
It is not that the pandemic is mostly over. The larger point is that it is overwhelmingly the unvaccinated who are suffering the worst health effects, with many succumbing to COVID-19 dying tragically and needlessly.
Those who opine for a living should be as judicious and as nuanced as possible, providing context and greater understanding. Dr Walensky also noted of the pandemic in the US: “We are seeing outbreaks in parts of the country where we’re seeing low vaccination coverage. The good news is, if you’re fully vaccinated, you’re protected … our biggest concern is we are going to continue to see preventable cases, hospitalizations and, sadly, deaths among the unvaccinated.”
The virus and its variants are overwhelmingly being spread by and are infecting the unvaccinated.
John Hopkins Centre for Health Security Senior Fellow D Amesh Adalja stressed: “It’s likely that COVID-19 is now moving into a phase where it’s a regional problem and not a systemic problem for the country, because of the differential in vaccinations. Fully vaccinated areas are going to see a very blunted impact of Delta.”
And Boston Children’s Hospital’s John Brownstein, PhD, noted: “The impact of the more transmissible Delta variant will not be felt in a uniform way across the country. Major pockets of unvaccinated people will continue to be the main hosts that will allow this virus to circulate.”
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