[quin visita mi perfil de facebook gratis]Live Q&A: Prevention, Vaccines and the Black Community
2021-07-14 04:25:08

  En espa?ol

  Listen to replays of the live events here.

  Full Transcript: Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall (English)

  Vaccines, Staying Safe & Coping

  Bill Walsh: Hello, I am AARP Vice President Bill Walsh. I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the coronavirus. If you’d like to hear this Telephone Town Hall in Spanish, press *0 on your telephone keypad now. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization has been working to promote the health and well-being of older 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.

  As we enter the second week of the new year, COVID safety, prevention and vaccine distribution continue to pose some major challenges. The virus continues to rage across the country with a more contagious variant fueling the urgency of an efficient and equitable vaccine rollout. Not surprisingly, many Americans continue to feel overwhelmed and anxious, particularly those caring for older loved ones. Today, we’ll dive into these topics and more with our expert panel.

  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 keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member. We’ll 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. If you’re joining on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comments section.

  Hello, if you’re just joining, I’m Bill Walsh with AARP, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the global coronavirus pandemic. We’re talking with leading experts and taking your questions live. To ask your question, please press *3 on your telephone keypad, and if you’re joining on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comments.

  Joining us today, Nancy Messonnier, M.D., director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We also have Donna Benton, Ph.D. She’s the director of the Family Caregiver Support Center at the University of Southern California. 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. Again, to ask your question, please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member. And if you’re joining on Facebook or YouTube, place your question in the comments.

  Now I’d like to welcome our guests. Nancy Messonnier, M.D., is the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Messonnier was a guest on our first COVID Tele-Town Hall, way back in March. Welcome back to the show, Dr. Messonnier.

  Nancy Messonnier: Thank you. And I thank you for inviting me to be here again today to talk about these important issues.

  Bill Walsh: We are delighted to have you. I’d also like to welcome Donna Benton, Ph.D. She is the director of the Family Caregiver Support Center at the University of Southern California. Dr. Benton has also been a guest on the program before. Welcome back, Dr. Benton.

  Donna Benton: Oh, thank you so much, and I’m glad to be back.

  Bill Walsh: All right. Let’s get started with our discussion, and just a reminder to our listeners to ask your question, please press *3 on your telephone keypad, or drop your question in the comments section on Facebook or YouTube. Before we begin, we need to hear from you, our listeners. Please— please take a moment to tell us, will you be taking the COVID-19 vaccine? Press 1 on your telephone keypad if you’ve already taken the vaccine. Press 2 if you plan to take it. Press 3 on your telephone if you’re not sure yet, and press 4 if you do not plan to take the COVID vaccine. So a quick anonymous poll: Do you plan on taking the COVID-19 vaccine? Press 1 if you already took it; press 2 if you plan to take it; press 3 if you’re not sure; and press 4 if you do not plan to take it. Thank you very much.

  All right. Let’s now hear from our experts. Dr. Messonnier, let’s start with you. This week there were two major announcements related to the vaccine distribution. First recommendations were made that the vaccine will be distributed to everyone age 65 and older. And then there was an announcement that the federal government will not be holding back any available vaccines, allowing more people to receive their first injection. What was the rationale for these decisions?

  Nancy Messonnier: Yes, thanks for the opportunity to clarify those announcements. When ACIP [Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices] and CDC make national vaccine recommendations, we understand and expect there will be a level of local adaptation. Our guidelines are frameworks. They’re not walls or barriers between phases, and we meant to be supporting the prioritization of people at higher risk of exposure or a higher risk of severe disease. So the announcement today aligns with the basic goal, which is, and always has been, to safely and effectively vaccinate the public to end this pandemic.

  When ACIP, our advisory committee, and CDC made those recommendations, we anticipated that the program would be dynamic and would require ongoing reassessment as vaccine-supply demands and as epidemiology change to inform the timing of the expansion to subsequent phases. Decisions regarding the specific transition from one phase to the next have to be made at a local, state or territorial level because they are based on factors such as demographic and workforce characteristics and what specifically is going on within that jurisdiction, and the vaccine supply. So things are going to be a little bit different in the short term as you move from one state to the next, but we really expect that, based on what we are learning from our partners at Operation Warp Speed, that we soon should have more available doses of vaccine. And with additional supply of vaccine, we can get vaccine to people faster and move through these phases a lot faster. So we are working with every state and local, territory or tribe to try to ensure access and increased outreach to support fair and equitable administration and delivery of the vaccine that we have and to prepare for more vaccine being available in the near future. Thank you.

  Bill Walsh: Well, thank you very much for that. And you mentioned supply and production. We know that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two vaccinations, two doses. Will the decision to release the available vaccine impact the availability of that second dose? And how will those recommendations be implemented at the state and local level?

  Nancy Messonnier: Yeah, and it just can be confusing to people. Two shots of both of those vaccines are needed to provide the best protection against COVID-19. And those shots are a few weeks apart. One vaccine is given at one day and then 21 days, the other vaccine is given at one day and then 28 days. And the vaccines are not interchangeable. The first shot starts building protection, but you need the second shot to get the most protection a vaccine can offer. And, FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, who are the ones that actually authorized the vaccine, they recently made a very strong statement that we can’t just stop at one dose. People have to get both doses and we need to be planning and preparing for that. So jurisdictions are planning for that. Even while you get the first dose, they’re doing their inventory management to ensure that that second dose is available when you need it. Now, we are going to continue to study this, and we’re going to continue to monitor it, but for now there is no wiggle room. You need both of the shots.

  Bill Walsh: And are you, how confident are you that those second doses will be available when people need them?

  Nancy Messonnier: Yeah, you know, one thing that everyone should understand about what we’re doing is this is an unprecedented event. We’re standing up a vaccine campaign, trying to get from a dead stop from zero to a hundred miles an hour really quickly, and we’re doing it in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of an upsurge of cases, and we released and started this vaccination program in the middle of the Christmas holidays. So we expected some bumps in the road and, as with any immunization program, frankly, not every part goes smoothly. So I’m very confident across the whole country, that those second doses will be available. I think it’s possible that there may be one or two instances in one or two places where there is a lag, but we will do everything we can to work as quickly as we can to ensure that those second doses are there where people need them.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, very good. Thank you so much, Dr. Messonnier. Dr. Benton, let’s turn to you. We’re 10 months into the pandemic and with COVID-19’s frustrating persistence, how do we ensure that loved ones who rely on our support, many from a distance, or those who are in nursing homes, are able to maintain those social connections?

  Donna Benton: Oh, thank you so much. You know, as you said, we are 10 months in and in many ways, we’ve developed new ways of communicating over time. So I think that some of the things that we started early on, which is making sure that wherever the facility is that they have a way of perhaps using an iPad or some kind of technology so that you can see the person. I know at one time I had talked about having the, doing something different, like hand writing cards again, sending letters, being able to talk to the— If you can’t get into the facility, some of the facilities, I know, are having outdoor visits so that they’re taking people out on the lawn and, of course, that’s going to vary from state to state, but socially distanced, safe visits. I saw one facility where they had erected a barrier that actually, and everybody’s covered in like almost a space suit so that they could actually hug each other. But that’s just, you know, I think those are the exceptions. For the most part, that communication has to be very, very consistent so that your relative, if there’s distance, that they look forward to: we’re always going to talk on Mondays at 10, and then there’ll be an evening discussion, and then we’ll have something on the weekend.

  And also, I think that it’s good to plan what you’re going to do. You know, sometimes we’re just chitchatting and just keeping up on what’s going on in the family, things like that, but some of those discussions could be around a topic during this time, some reminiscing if the person’s able to, because many times people have dementia, and keeping it short if the person has dementia. Involving the caregivers at the nursing home. You know, they’re, these essential workers are highly stressed during this time and even now, and with 10 months going on, I don’t think anyone expected that the level would continue to just increase over time. So some of the conversations could be with the person who is able to talk to your relative and convey messages. Some of that extra food could be given to the workers, some of the carbs, some of the candy that you send over, just doing those little extra things to say thank you, you’re our eyes and ears now on our behalf, and I think that, so you, you kind of build that community. And we’re going to have to continue this for a little while, while everybody is getting vaccinated. The good thing is that the priorities are, at least here in California, and I think everywhere, is for people over 65 and those that are in facilities. So the vaccination will kind of get us back to where we can begin to see our loved ones again.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, well, thank you for that. Thank you for that. Let’s talk about the caregivers themselves. I mean, of course we’re in the throes of winter and people are stuck inside, many with kids who are learning remotely, and people are caring for older loved ones at the same time. How do family caregivers combat burnout and ensure they’re getting a break?

  Donna Benton: I think a lot of people have some very good pillows that they’re screaming into, which I think is important. So we just have to have general stress relief. And that’s okay, you know, it’s better than screaming at the people around you, so we, so we need a little private, you know, or you have something that, you know, physically, you can— pillows are really nice. On the other hand, we need things to hug, too. So find something soft and cozy and hug. having family things that are very, very different than what’s taking place during this, what’s like the school day and the workday, so that in the evening, when you can, make sure that everything is off. You know, we’re all getting tired, even kids, I think are getting tired of looking at their phones and computers and laptops. And maybe order those old-fashioned games that are on board games. And have favorite TV shows now, favorite music; I think music really can— having a dance party in the middle of the week just for a few minutes, it gets you some exercise, but it also is a different way of releasing tensions in the house. And be willing to listen to all types of music. So you can introduce your music from your generation and listen to your kids’ generation’s music. And, you know, even and, and share in a, in a very different way. So let everybody take a day to be that person that comes up with the activities, and relax so that you don’t feel as the caregiver that you have to do at all. Share the, share the relaxation activities around.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, well, very good. Thank you, Dr. Benton, for that. And as a reminder to our listeners, press *3 on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member and ask your question. We will get to those questions, briefly, but before we do, I want to bring in AARP’s executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer, Nancy LeaMond. Welcome, Nancy.

  Nancy LeaMond: Oh, thanks, Bill, great to be here.

  Bill Walsh: Great to have you. Nancy, what can you tell us about what AARP is doing in the fight for people 50 and older on COVID vaccines?

  Nancy LeaMond: Sure. As the death toll, hospitalization rates, case numbers and the economic impact of the pandemic continue to rise, it is a desperate moment in our country’s history. And at the same time, the remarkable speed at which COVID-19 vaccines and treatments were developed, and continue to be developed, is an incredible achievement. Vaccines are being distributed nationwide, but this is not the time for delay or roadblocks, and it is not the time for Americans to cease to be vigilant with our prevention measures. AARP is redoubling our efforts to provide people over the age of 50 with trusted information and is fighting for older Americans to be prioritized in getting COVID-19 vaccines, because the science has clearly shown that older people are at higher risk of death. We’re following the science. There have been 374,000 deaths from COVID-19, and Americans 50-plus account for 95 percent of those deaths. People who live and work in nursing homes make up 40 percent of the deaths. So AARP is advocating at the federal and state level to ensure vaccine access to all who wish to take it.

  And I want to share a few examples. Staff and committed volunteers from 16 AARP state offices are engaged in work groups led by their governors and state health departments. This includes Idaho, North Carolina, Tennessee, California and many others. And AARP advocates in every single state are fighting in state legislatures for transparency and reporting on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. And we will be showing up virtually in capitol domes across the country to protect funding for programs like aging services, home and community-based care, low-income, energy assistance and unemployment and job assistance programs. None of this work fighting for our nearly 38 million members would be possible without the dedication and passion of AARP staff, volunteers and grassroots advocates nationwide. To stay up to date on all of these efforts and find summaries of your state’s plans for vaccine distribution, please visit aarp.org/coronavirus. And thanks so much. Have a great day, everybody.

  Bill Walsh: All right. Thanks for joining us, Nancy. I appreciate your being here. We have the results of that poll we conducted the beginning of our broadcast. We asked whether you would take the vaccine. It looks like 7 percent of you already have, 72 percent said that you plan to, 4 percent said they did not plan to take the vaccine, and 17 percent are unsure. Thank you for those answers. And now, let’s get to your questions. As a reminder, press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member to share your question. I’d like to bring in my AARP colleague Jean Setzfand to help facilitate your calls today. Welcome, Jean.

  Jean Setzfand: Thanks, Bill, delighted to be here.

  Bill Walsh: All right, let’s go ahead and take our first question.

  Jean Setzfand: Our first caller is Jerri from New York.

  Bill Walsh: Hey, Jerri, welcome to the show. Go ahead with your question.

  Jerri: Yeah. Hi. My question is I qualify to get the vaccine, I’m on Long Island, and I have tried to get in touch with every place giving it and they’re all filled up, they’re not taking any for months. What do I do now?

  Bill Walsh: Dr. Messonnier, do you have any advice for Jerri?

  Nancy Messonnier: You know, Jerri, I am so sorry to hear that it’s been difficult to access the vaccine. I know it’s frustrating for you. I can tell you that my parents are in their 80s and I also sort of tried to get them signed up rapidly to get the vaccine since they’re eligible, and they’re also in the same position that you are; they’re just waiting. And I’m frustrated also on their behalf, and on behalf of everybody. I wish that there was enough supply for everybody who wants it and needs it, but today there just isn’t. And so we’re asking people to be patient. There should be more supply soon and also as supply increases, the places where vaccine is available should also be increasing. So if you haven’t done so already, please check in with your local health department. Many of them are either have or are starting registration processes where you can register now so that you’ll know when vaccine again becomes available. And I think even the lines that you’re looking at, you know, saying that basically you can’t get an appointment anytime soon, I really think that as our partners in Operation Warp Speed have told us, we should see much greater supply as we move forward into the spring, and more supply means that we can make that vaccine available to you and to everybody else. Thank you. Thank you for your patience.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you, Dr. Messonnier. Jean, who’s our next caller?

  Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Cindy from Michigan.

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

  Cindy: Hi, thanks for taking my call. My, it’s more of a statement, not a question, but I myself find myself, find that I am not prioritized in line to get the vaccine, but my comment is, staff and seniors living in long-term care have rightfully so been prioritized to the top of the list, but it seems like their primary social and emotional support in families is nowhere on the list. And I’m myself am 60 and don’t have underlying health conditions, so I see that our reunification of our family is, might be pushed out for months, if not next fall, at the very earliest. And it’s pretty scary.

  Bill Walsh: Yeah. All right, Cindy, well, thank you for that. Why don’t I have Dr. Benton address that from the caregiving point of view, but maybe Dr. Messonnier can weigh in on the prioritization that Cindy was asking about. Dr. Benton.

  Donna Benton: Oh, yeah, you know, I really feel for you because I think that is, as you said, it’s so frustrating because we aren’t going to be able to get that prioritization for family caregivers. And I hope that as the months go by, some of the policymakers begin to see the importance of getting families back together and maybe looking at which families can work together as a team because they’re doing a lot of the caregiving and emotional support that helps us thrive. I think that, you know, it’s hard to put in that thrive factor and that emotional support factoring into the practical things that can be measured by disease state. But we know that a lot of the social isolation that we’ve been discussing over the years and how social isolation can be as damaging to our health, and so the sooner we can break that isolation and reunite families, I think that we also will see an improvement in health overall.

  Bill Walsh: Thank you for that, and Dr. Messonnier, we, too, have heard a number of questions like Cindy’s from family caregivers. Why aren’t they prioritized? When will they become prioritized? Is there anything you can say to that?

  Nancy Messonnier: Again, I would express the fact that I completely understand the frustration, and respect the fact that you’ve kept separated from your family in order to protect them, which I think is actually in the list of heroic things that folks have been through this year. I wish there were easy answers to this, and I wish that there was enough vaccine for everybody on the first day. I think the problem is, of course, that there are lots of folks that can make really great arguments for why they should get the vaccine, and it’s difficult to weigh all of those against each other. So, I just don’t think there are easy answers right now. I would say that everything that I have seen says that the supply of vaccine should start to go up substantially in the spring. And so I don’t think it’ll be a matter of waiting until the fall, but I do think that it’ll be, you know, late spring, perhaps, until you’re able to get the vaccine.

  That said, it depends a little bit about how many people want it. You know, this is a safe and effective vaccine. You all haven’t asked me that yet but I just want to say that, you know, there’s really good data both from before the vaccine was authorized and as we rolled it out that says that this is, continues to be a very safe vaccine. I’m hoping that that means lots of people will want it, and I’m happy with the numbers that you said about how much of your audience even today is interested in getting the vaccine. But in some places, perhaps supply will outstrip demand, and I would suggest that you keep in touch with your health department and don’t stop looking for it, ’cause it’s still possible that you will be able to access it earlier than you’re expecting.

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

  Jean Setzfand: We have quite a few questions coming in from YouTube. And I have a question from Steve on YouTube asking, “After someone has received both injections, will they still be able to transmit the virus?” And similarly, there’s a question around wearing masks related to that.

  Bill Walsh: Should they wear masks after having been vaccinated? Dr. Messonnier, would you want to tackle those two questions?

  Nancy Messonnier: Yeah. Those are really great questions and really important. So, like all of you, I am certainly tired of wearing a mask and socially distancing, and I would love to be able to rip that mask off and hug my neighbors, but the truth is that we don’t completely know yet whether the vaccine protects you from transmitting the virus. The data that we have so far says that the vaccine is very effective at protecting you as an individual, but it is still possible that you could transmit the virus to somebody else. And, of course, none of us want to be in the position of getting somebody else sick.

  So for now, we are saying that we’re asking people to continue after they get the first dose, and even after they get the second dose, to practice social distancing, washing their hands, wearing a mask. But we’re studying that closely. There is some preliminary good data suggesting that the vaccine might be effective in preventing transmission. But until we know for sure, this is just not the right time to let down our guard. And I feel like this is a time for all of us to kind of do the whole layers of protection, if doing that means that we can have a path to get back to normal. So I have to ask people to continue to do the social distancing even if they get vaccinated, but as soon as we have more information, we will certainly communicate it. And I am looking forward to changing those recommendations as soon as that data is available.

  Bill Walsh: All right. Thank you very much for that. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

  Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Sondra from Michigan.

  Bill Walsh: Hey, Sondra, go ahead with your question.

  Sondra: Hi, how are you doing today?

  Bill Walsh: Very good.

  Sondra: My question is, I understand the frontline people getting all of their shots and everything like that; I understand that. I stay in Warren, Michigan, and I’m 74, I’ll be 74 years old this year. And every time I go to my doctor’s office, I ask him about the shots, he say, we don’t have them. Why is it that there’s hundreds of doctor’s offices in Warren, and nobody, the doctors in Warren don’t have any shots to give the senior? Why is that? Every, they’re sending them to every place else but the— everybody goes to the doctors in Warren, why don’t they have them?

  Bill Walsh: Okay. Dr. Messonnier, do you want to address that? I mean, she’s asking in part, a question about where should people be able to get the vaccine, not just about the supply issues you’ve already addressed.

  Nancy Messonnier: Yeah. I think this is really important. You know, I talk to a lot of people about their preferences, and many people, especially older adults, would prefer to get the vaccine at their provider’s office; they trust their provider to give them health information, and they trust their provider to give them shots. The problem with this vaccine, one of the problems with this vaccine, is it’s slightly complicated in the way that it is stored and handled. And that’s both of these shots. They come in multi-dose vials — most of our vaccines come in single-dose vials — and that means you don’t want to open a vial unless you can be sure that you actually have enough patients to give all the shots. And they require some very specific storage in actually special temperature freezers, which are not something that most doctor’s offices have. And that’s why, at least in this early phase of rollout, instead of bringing the vaccine to every private provider’s offices, most jurisdictions are putting those vaccines in central locations where they can be assured that they’re stored and handled under the right conditions — we don’t want to waste any vaccines — and where we can be sure that they can use the supply that they have. And that’s why so far a lot of the vaccination is going on in health care systems and in pharmacies. I think as more vaccines become available — some of the vaccines that we anticipate being available soon don’t require such careful management in the cold chain, and are much more suitable for private providers’ offices — and I think that as supply increases, we’ll be able to push that, those vaccines out to every provider’s office. But right now it is the specific conditions and the limitations of supply. Those are the reasons why you can’t find it in every provider’s office.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you for that, Dr. Messonnier, and thank you for all your questions. We’re going to get back to more questions in a moment. A reminder, please press *3 on your telephone keypad if you’d like to get into the queue to ask that question live. Let’s turn back to our experts.

  Dr. Messonnier, what do we know about this new strain that we’ve been hearing about? You know, people have begun to acclimate to the new normal, including wearing masks and social distancing. How does a more contagious virus change the game for people?

  Nancy Messonnier: Yeah, so thanks for that question. I think one thing that folks should understand is that viruses, and COVID-19 is a virus, they do constantly change over time through a process called mutation. So we expect new variants of a virus to occur. And there are now multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 that have been identified in the United States and globally through the pandemic. Most of those variants haven’t changed the virus behavior, and many have disappeared, but you are correct that the new variants that we’re seeing, there is data suggesting that they may be more contagious. But those analyses are still really ongoing, and I think important for this conversation about vaccines is that these mutations do not appear to impact the effectiveness of the vaccine. So there’s no evidence yet that these vaccines would be any less effective against these new strains, or I guess to put it in the other direction, data so far says that these vaccines will be effective against the new strains. We are still working to better understand how easily these viruses will be transmitted and to better understand if, what the illness associated with these variants are. But for now, the best protection is still to do the basic things of wearing masks, staying distant, avoiding crowds and getting a vaccine as soon as it’s possible.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you for that Dr. Messonnier. Dr. Benton, how has this pandemic highlighted the need for policy changes? And I’m thinking about paid family leave, for example, things that can benefit family caregivers. Have you seen any movement on policies like that?

  Donna Benton: You know, it’s really one of the shining lights is that there has been more discussion and more bills and passage of bills to combat this disease, and it’s more related to having paid sick days for more people across the board in different working environments. I think that under, that the disease has brought to light the, that we didn’t have a very good policy to help people not have to choose between caring for a loved one and their employment. So I have absolutely seen national, at the national levels and local levels, big policy changes that are supporting family caregivers who are working and trying to also care and protect older adults who are susceptible to COVID. Many of these have been temporary or COVID-related, but I think that now that the doors are open, it’s going to be difficult to reverse this because it’s not just going to be this pandemic.

  We’re going to see that as people live longer, we do need to have that ability to take this temporary time to stabilize someone when they’re sick and be able to go back. And what happens is they’re finding through research, that for employers, the ability for someone to have flexibility and being able to care for somebody, to have paid sick time or paid family leave time, that there’s more loyalty to the organization, and productivity is actually increased because you’re not dealing so much with presenteeism, which is, you know, people being there, but not really being there and working. So, it has not, it’s actually quite, it improves the relationship between the employer, the employee and overall productivity. And, of course, it’s going to help the economy because you won’t have people leaving prematurely from the work environment and impacting both currently the economy, but also the overall person’s long-term impact and their own retirement in the future.

  Bill Walsh: All right, well, thank you for that, Dr. Benton. Now it’s time to address more of your questions with Drs. Nancy Messonnier and Dr. Donna Benton. Please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member. Jean, who’s on the line?

  Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Georgette from Pennsylvania.

  Bill Walsh: Hey, Georgette. Go ahead with your question.

  Georgette: Hi, I was wondering what they mean when they say the vaccine is 95 percent effective.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, well let’s get an answer to that. Dr. Messonnier?

  Nancy Messonnier: Yeah, thanks. That’s a really great question. A vaccine that is a hundred percent effective in a clinical trial means that every person that got vaccinated was, did not get disease. And some people who didn’t get vaccinated would get disease. So the hundred percent protective, that means it protects you every single time if you’re exposed to COVID. Most vaccines are just not a hundred percent protective, and what that means is, if you vaccinate a hundred people and you expose all of them to COVID, 95 of them will be protected against getting COVID, and the other five will get COVID. However, I want to just make a point that for many vaccines, even though there are some people who get vaccinated who get ill, for many vaccines if you get ill, you get more mildly ill than you would have if you weren’t vaccinated. So, in other words, the vaccine gives you some level of partial protection.

  The other important thing is that the number, that 95, which is actually frankly, a great number, most people when they were anticipating these vaccines, they were saying they would be happy if a vaccine was 50 percent effective. And so 95 percent effective is really a high number for a vaccine, especially one in the middle of a pandemic. So I actually think that’s a really, that number heartens me a lot and as I recommend that people go ahead and get vaccinated.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you. Jean, who is our next caller?

  Jean Setzfand: Oh, again, we have a lot of questions coming in from YouTube and Facebook. So this one is about, Catherine, who’s asking, “What can I do for our mom-in-law who can’t get visitors in a dementia care, and is out of state? How do I help her mental state while she’s feeling trapped inside her facility?”

  Bill Walsh: Hmm, Dr. Benton, can you take that question?

  Donna Benton: Yeah, I think that, again, for, you know, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom and, and being in that situation because this is a really challenging time. For your mom, I think again, it’s regular predictable times when you’re going to call and try to contact her, becomes very important because then you have something to look forward to. You know, if we have some, something that we can look forward to, then we know that, okay, it’s not going to be five days before I hear from somebody, it’s going to be, you know, it’s a couple of days. So that predictability. And then anytime you can send anything that’s tangible, that might be a surprise. Maybe they, you know, I know people may think it’s silly but I always say this is a good time to send a stuffed animal because it’s something that you can hug, it’s tangible, and now they even have, you can put a little message in there where somebody could hear your voice and just to say, I love you. And it’s just a tangible reminder. It may not last forever but it’s something that’s different. Sending any kind of little surprise during this time, I think, is very helpful. So, yeah, but it, and just listening to her frustrations. When you are, you know, don’t say, “Oh, everything—” you know, “Oh, don’t, don’t be like that, or don’t worry.” Listen to the frustrations because we’re all feeling that, and sometimes we just need to be able to say how we’re feeling without someone kind of cutting that off. So I know it’s difficult to hear the sadness and the frustration of your relative, but I’m saying really that you understand, and we wish that it was different, but it will be. You know, the vaccine is here.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, Dr. Benton, thanks for that advice. Who is our next caller, Jean?

  Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is David from Arizona.

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

  Jean Setzfand: All right, I think, let me try again.

  David: Hello? This is David.

  Bill Walsh: Hey, David, go ahead with your question.

  David: Yes, with this more contagious, with these more contagious strains of COVID out there, are the current protocols of distancing and mask wearing, are those sufficient for protection or should you take extra care somehow?

  Bill Walsh: Dr. Messonnier, do you want to tackle that one for David?

  Nancy Messonnier: Sure. David, thank you for asking that. We have no evidence so far that the current protocols aren’t still appropriate for these strains. And, you know, right now, frankly, lots of people in the U.S. are getting tired of those precautions. I hope that you and your friends and your family and your community continue to adhere to those precautions, ’cause if we all would follow them, if we all would socially distance, wear our masks, wash our hands, stay home when we’re sick, we would really be able to stop transmission, slow it down, really have a major impact on this pandemic today, especially as we wait for there to be enough vaccines that are available for all of us. So please keep at it. It is still the right thing to do, even with these new strains circulating.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you for that. Who is our next caller?

  Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Thelma from Arkansas.

  Bill Walsh: Hey, Thelma, welcome. Go ahead with your question.

  Beverly: Can you hear me?

  Bill Walsh: I sure can. Go ahead with your question.

  Beverly: Well, actually this is Beverly, Thelma’s my mother. I’m a caregiver for my mother, and just been kind of frustrated with, I’m in Arkansas, and our, the first tier of shots has said they include home health personal care, but I have left messages at the health department, the governor’s office, and I have not been able to get an answer. Apparently, I called one pharmacy that was giving the shots and they said it is their assumption that you have to be certified home health. So it kind of leaves me— I’m 61, I do have high blood pressure, but my concern is I have to go do the shopping, and I have to be out, and so my mother’s 84 and thankfully, she’ll be able to get the shot, hopefully soon. She’s on a waiting list, but it, you know, it may, it sounds like it may be spring or later for me.

  Bill Walsh: Sure. All right, Beverly, let’s have our experts talk about those issues. Dr. Benton, do you want to talk about Beverly’s role as a caregiver and what she can do, and then maybe Dr. Messonnier can weigh in on this distinction that seems to be made between just sort of unpaid family caregivers and, you know, certified professional caregivers.

  Donna Benton: Oh, you know, Beverly. Thank you. Beverly, I really can hear your frustration, but I also hear your love for your mom because you’ve, for the last 10 months you’ve really done a lot to keep her safe and well. And this is just another effort on your part, right, you know, reaching out wherever you can to get vaccinated and get her a vaccine, too. I think that, I tend to agree that it is difficult that we have not seen the family caregivers as a priority or essential worker, and then some way that we need certification, and maybe that’s going to have to be a policy discussion or a larger discussion for another time, but we don’t have that right now. But I think that it’s something to advocate for when you have the energy. So do not, you know— What you’re doing is very important; you’re speaking for a lot of caregivers who I’ve heard this from, and I hope that you continue to speak up on behalf of yourself, but know that you’re not alone. And as you bring this issue forward, maybe we can have some policy changes about how family caregivers are recognized as part of the health care system.

  Bill Walsh: Dr. Messonnier?

  Nancy Messonnier: Yeah, this sounds like you have just spent the year taking care of your family and that’s a wonderful thing, and I’m sorry that this phase of having the vaccine available is difficult to you. I wish that we had enough vaccine today for everybody. I think we should remember that a year ago, we started this endeavor to make a vaccine, and having a vaccine available and used within a year of a new infection being discovered is actually pretty remarkable. My goal is to make vaccine available to anyone who works one-to-one, but the supply is limited. And what that means is to date more than 30 million doses have been distributed, and 10 million people have gotten started on their vaccinations. I think those numbers are great, but it’s clearly not everybody. And the rollout, I know, is slower than any of us would like. I think that every jurisdiction is handling some of these really complicated issues differently. And I think it’s one thing to have national policy but, in the end, somebody says, you get to be in the line ahead of you. And I know that’s frustrating. I’ve heard, again, lots of folks that have great reasons why they should be getting the vaccine earlier, and I wish there was an easier way to manage all of those. What I would say is that, please do try to exercise patience. We’re close. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. It’s just going to be a lot of hard work to get there. And I think we just all need to stick together because we are going to make it through this. Thank you.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you for that. Jean, what’s our, who’s our next caller?

  Jean Setzfand: Again, several questions on Facebook and YouTube, and I’ll pair two into one. A lot of questions focused on underlying conditions and Harriet, in particular, is asking that— Her husband has a kidney transplant. So is the vaccine recommended for them. And vice versa, somebody else is going in for cancer surgery; should they wait some time before getting the vaccine? So it’s extreme underlying conditions and how they interact with the vaccine.

  Bill Walsh: Hmm, Dr. Messonnier, I wonder if you could take that, and it’s interesting, we’ve heard an increasing number of questions about whether one of the two approved vaccines is better for certain, and for people who have certain underlying conditions than for others. Can you address that?

  Nancy Messonnier: Yeah, I’m happy to start there and then kind of go on to the specific questions. These two vaccines are really similar. They have been, they have similar modes of operation and similar ingredients, and the clinical trials to authorize these vaccines were very similar, and they found that the vaccines were safe in adults of all ages and races and ethnicities, and they did include people with chronic health conditions but not every condition in enough numbers to be able to really do the rigorous assessments that you’re asking for. So, for example, there’s no reason to think that having, that the kidney disease would in any way impact whether or not, the safety of the vaccine. For somebody having cancer therapy, it depends a little bit specifically on what that therapy is and whether it wipes out your immune system. What I would tell anybody who has a question is, please talk to your own health care provider. It’s difficult to sit where I sit and be able to understand everybody’s specific history, health history enough to tailor recommendations to every individual. So please, reach out to your health care provider, discuss your own specific situation, and I hope that they’ll be able to help you work through it. So far, we have not found there to be any contraindications to getting vaccinated, except if you have a specific allergic reaction to any of the components of the vaccine.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you so much for that. Jean, let’s hear from our next listener.

  Jean Setzfand: Our caller is Gene from Illinois.

  Bill Walsh: Go ahead, Gene.

  Gene: My wife and I are 71. We both tested positive on the 28th of December. And on the 28th, we both received monoclonal antibody treatment. Since then, on January 6th, my wife received remdesivir, three treatments. My question is, how does having received these therapeutics change the timing or the effectiveness or anything to do with our ultimately getting and benefiting from the vaccine?

  Bill Walsh: Hmm, okay, Gene, thank you very much. Dr. Messonnier, do you want to address that?

  Nancy Messonnier: Yeah, thank you for asking a complicated question, but that’s something that folks need to realize that there is the potential for those monoclonal antibodies to impact the timing that we’re recommending for the vaccine. And we are actually in the process right now of working on our clinical guidelines to specifically try to address some of these questions. So it reminds me to tell you to please take a look at the CDC website and specifically the page that starts with COVID-19 vaccines, ’cause we will continue to get those kinds of questions just like you asked, and as we get them, our experts will continue to sort through the science and make the best recommendations that we have. As new data becomes available, we always update those recommendations, but that is the best place to look. And again, please do talk to your own health care provider about your own specific situation.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you for that. And that CDC website of course, is CDC.gov. We are near the top of the hour. Dr. Messonnier and Dr. Benton, any closing thoughts, or recommendations for our listeners that they should take away from our conversation today? Dr. Messonnier, do you want to go first?

  Nancy Messonnier: Thanks and I really appreciate being invited back. I think if I think back to March, none of us expected the year to be like this, and it really has been difficult, remarkably so for everybody across the country. This vaccine is the way in which I believe we can get things back to normal. It’s safe, it’s effective and, unfortunately, it’s in sparse supply right now. But the good news is that we expect supply to increase through the spring. So I would ask for your patience as this is an imperfect process, but we really believe that we are on a pathway towards getting us all back to normal. And in the meantime, unfortunately, I have to ask for you to continue to exercise social distancing, mask wearing, washing your hands and staying home while you’re sick, but know that we are working as hard as we can every day to get this vaccine out, to get it into the arms of people who need it, so that we can all get over this pandemic, and I certainly look forward to that day myself. Thank you.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, thank you, Dr. Messonnier. Dr. Benton, any closing thoughts?

  Donna Benton: I just want to say that I’m really grateful for being invited back but also I think for all of us, I read somewhere that someone said that last year and probably going forward through spring, we’re still, we’re trying to survive, but then we’re going to thrive because we have built a lot of resiliency during this time. We’ve gone through hard times, we’re learning. It’s surprising that we’re finding new wells of strength that we didn’t know we had. We’ve built new communities. And the bright spot— Sometimes it’s hard to focus on all of the things that during this time people have actually bonded and brought together the goodness of us. And so, let’s move from our surviving to thriving and really, thank you for, you know, the vaccine that’s coming to help us.

  Bill Walsh: Okay, and, and thank you to both of our experts. This has been a really informative discussion. And thank you, our AARP members, volunteers and listeners for participating today. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization has 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 the Q&A portion of the event, can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus beginning tomorrow, January 15th. That web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. Go there if your question was not answered and you will find the latest updates as well as information created specifically for older adults and family caregivers. We hope you learned something that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. Please tune in tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern Time for another live event where we’ll discuss COVID-19 vaccines and the Black community. Thank you and have a good day. This concludes our call.

  Full Transcript: Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall (English with timings)

  Tele-Town Hall 011421 1 PM Vaccines, Staying Safe & Coping?

  Bill Walsh: ?Hello, I am AARP Vice President Bill Walsh. I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the coronavirus. If you’d like to hear this Telephone Town Hall in Spanish, press *0 on your telephone keypad now. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization has been working to promote the health and well-being of older 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.

  [00:00:34] As we enter the second week of the new year, COVID safety, prevention and vaccine distribution continue to pose some major challenges. The virus continues to rage across the country with a more contagious variant fueling the urgency of an efficient and equitable vaccine rollout. Not surprisingly, many Americans continue to feel overwhelmed and anxious, particularly those caring for older loved ones. Today, we’ll dive into these topics and more with our expert panel.

  [00:01:04] 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 keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member. We’ll 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. If you’re joining on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comments section.

  [00:01:38] Hello, if you’re just joining, I’m Bill Walsh with AARP, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the global coronavirus pandemic. We’re talking with leading experts and taking your questions live. To ask your question, please press *3 on your telephone keypad, and if you’re joining on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comments.

  [00:02:00] Joining us today, Nancy Messonnier, M.D., director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We also have Donna Benton, Ph.D. She’s the director of the Family Caregiver Support Center at the University of Southern California. 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. Again, to ask your question, please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member. And if you’re joining on Facebook or YouTube, place your question in the comments.

  [00:02:52] Now I’d like to welcome our guests. Nancy Messonnier, M.D., is the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Messonnier was a guest on our first COVID Tele-Town Hall, way back in March. Welcome back to the show, Dr. Messonnier.

  [00:03:12]Nancy Messonnier: ?Thank you. And I thank you for inviting me to be here again today to talk about these important issues.

  [00:03:18]Bill Walsh: ?We are delighted to have you. I’d also like to welcome Donna Benton, Ph.D. She is the director of the Family Caregiver Support Center at the University of Southern California. Dr. Benton has also been a guest on the program before. Welcome back, Dr. Benton.

  [00:03:33]Donna Benton: ?Oh, thank you so much, and I’m glad to be back.

  [00:03:36]Bill Walsh: ?All right. Let’s get started with our discussion, and just a reminder to our listeners to ask your question, please press *3 on your telephone keypad, or drop your question in the comments section on Facebook or YouTube. Before we begin, we need to hear from you, our listeners. Please— please take a moment to tell us, will you be taking the COVID-19 vaccine? Press 1 on your telephone keypad if you’ve already taken the vaccine. Press 2 if you plan to take it. Press 3 on your telephone if you’re not sure yet, and press 4 if you do not plan to take the COVID vaccine. So a quick anonymous poll: Do you plan on taking the COVID-19 vaccine? Press 1 if you already took it; press 2 if you plan to take it; press 3 if you’re not sure; and press 4 if you do not plan to take it. Thank you very much.

  [00:04:31] All right. Let’s now hear from our experts. Dr. Messonnier, let’s start with you. This week there were two major announcements related to the vaccine distribution. First recommendations were made that the vaccine will be distributed to everyone age 65 and older. And then there was an announcement that the federal government will not be holding back any available vaccines, allowing more people to receive their first injection. What was the rationale for these decisions?

  [00:05:02]Nancy Messonnier: ?Yes, thanks for the opportunity to clarify those announcements. When ACIP [Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices] and CDC make national vaccine recommendations, we understand and expect there will be a level of local adaptation. Our guidelines are frameworks. They’re not walls or barriers between phases, and we meant to be supporting the prioritization of people at higher risk of exposure or a higher risk of severe disease. So the announcement today aligns with the basic goal, which is, and always has been, to safely and effectively vaccinate the public to end this pandemic.

  [00:05:39] When ACIP, our advisory committee, and CDC made those recommendations, we anticipated that the program would be dynamic and would require ongoing reassessment as vaccine-supply demands and as epidemiology change to inform the timing of the expansion to subsequent phases. Decisions regarding the specific transition from one phase to the next have to be made at a local, state or territorial level because they are based on factors such as demographic and workforce characteristics and what specifically is going on within that jurisdiction, and the vaccine supply. So things are going to be a little bit different in the short term as you move from one state to the next, but we really expect that, based on what we are learning from our partners at Operation Warp Speed, that we soon should have more available doses of vaccine. And with additional supply of vaccine, we can get vaccine to people faster and move through these phases a lot faster. So we are working with every state and local, territory or tribe to try to ensure access and increased outreach to support fair and equitable administration and delivery of the vaccine that we have and to prepare for more vaccine being available in the near future. Thank you.

  [00:07:03]Bill Walsh: ?Well, thank you very much for that. And you mentioned supply and production. We know that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two vaccinations, two doses. Will the decision to release the available vaccine impact the availability of that second dose? And how will those recommendations be implemented at the state and local level?

  [00:07:28]Nancy Messonnier: ?Yeah, and it just can be confusing to people. Two shots of both of those vaccines are needed to provide the best protection against COVID-19. And those shots are a few weeks apart. One vaccine is given at one day and then 21 days, the other vaccine is given at one day and then 28 days. And the vaccines are not interchangeable. The first shot starts building protection, but you need the second shot to get the most protection a vaccine can offer. And, FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, who are the ones that actually authorized the vaccine, they recently made a very strong statement that we can’t just stop at one dose. People have to get both doses and we need to be planning and preparing for that. So jurisdictions are planning for that. Even while you get the first dose, they’re doing their inventory management to ensure that that second dose is available when you need it. Now, we are going to continue to study this, and we’re going to continue to monitor it, but for now there is no wiggle room. You need both of the shots.

  [00:08:38]Bill Walsh: ?And are you, how confident are you that those second doses will be available when people need them?

  [00:08:44]Nancy Messonnier: ?Yeah, you know, one thing that everyone should understand about what we’re doing is this is an unprecedented event. We’re standing up a vaccine campaign, trying to get from a dead stop from zero to a hundred miles an hour really quickly, and we’re doing it in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of an upsurge of cases, and we released and started this vaccination program in the middle of the Christmas holidays. So we expected some bumps in the road and, as with any immunization program, frankly, not every part goes smoothly. So I’m very confident across the whole country, that those second doses will be available. I think it’s possible that there may be one or two instances in one or two places where there is a lag, but we will do everything we can to work as quickly as we can to ensure that those second doses are there where people need them.

  [00:09:42]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, very good. Thank you so much, Dr. Messonnier. Dr. Benton, let’s turn to you. We’re 10 months into the pandemic and with COVID-19’s frustrating persistence, how do we ensure that loved ones who rely on our support, many from a distance, or those who are in nursing homes, are able to maintain those social connections?

  [00:10:03]Donna Benton: ?Oh, thank you so much. You know, as you said, we are 10 months in and in many ways, we’ve developed new ways of communicating over time. So I think that some of the things that we started early on, which is making sure that wherever the facility is that they have a way of perhaps using an iPad or some kind of technology so that you can see the person. I know at one time I had talked about having the, doing something different, like hand writing cards again, sending letters, being able to talk to the— If you can’t get into the facility, some of the facilities, I know, are having outdoor visits so that they’re taking people out on the lawn and, of course, that’s going to vary from state to state, but socially distanced, safe visits. I saw one facility where they had erected a barrier that actually, and everybody’s covered in like almost a space suit so that they could actually hug each other. But that’s just, you know, I think those are the exceptions. For the most part, that communication has to be very, very consistent so that your relative, if there’s distance, that they look forward to: we’re always going to talk on Mondays at 10, and then there’ll be an evening discussion, and then we’ll have something on the weekend.

  [00:11:36] And also, I think that it’s good to plan what you’re going to do. You know, sometimes we’re just chitchatting and just keeping up on what’s going on in the family, things like that, but some of those discussions could be around a topic during this time, some reminiscing if the person’s able to, because many times people have dementia, and keeping it short if the person has dementia. Involving the caregivers at the nursing home. You know, they’re, these essential workers are highly stressed during this time and even now, and with 10 months going on, I don’t think anyone expected that the level would continue to just increase over time. So some of the conversations could be with the person who is able to talk to your relative and convey messages. Some of that extra food could be given to the workers, some of the carbs, some of the candy that you send over, just doing those little extra things to say thank you, you’re our eyes and ears now on our behalf, and I think that, so you, you kind of build that community. And we’re going to have to continue this for a little while, while everybody is getting vaccinated. The good thing is that the priorities are, at least here in California, and I think everywhere, is for people over 65 and those that are in facilities. So the vaccination will kind of get us back to where we can begin to see our loved ones again.

  [00:13:20]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, well, thank you for that. Thank you for that. Let’s talk about the caregivers themselves. I mean, of course we’re in the throes of winter and people are stuck inside, many with kids who are learning remotely, and people are caring for older loved ones at the same time. How do family caregivers combat burnout and ensure they’re getting a break?

  [00:13:44]Donna Benton: ?I think a lot of people have some very good pillows that they’re screaming into, which I think is important. So we just have to have general stress relief. And that’s okay, you know, it’s better than screaming at the people around you, so we, so we need a little private, you know, or you have something that, you know, physically, you can— pillows are really nice. On the other hand, we need things to hug, too. So find something soft and cozy and hug. having family things that are very, very different than what’s taking place during this, what’s like the school day and the workday, so that in the evening, when you can, make sure that everything is off. You know, we’re all getting tired, even kids, I think are getting tired of looking at their phones and computers and laptops. And maybe order those old-fashioned games that are on board games. And have favorite TV shows now, favorite music; I think music really can— having a dance party in the middle of the week just for a few minutes, it gets you some exercise, but it also is a different way of releasing tensions in the house. And be willing to listen to all types of music. So you can introduce your music from your generation and listen to your kids’ generation’s music. And, you know, even and, and share in a, in a very different way. So let everybody take a day to be that person that comes up with the activities, and relax so that you don’t feel as the caregiver that you have to do at all. Share the, share the relaxation activities around.

  [00:15:38]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, well, very good. Thank you, Dr. Benton, for that. And as a reminder to our listeners, press *3 on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member and ask your question. We will get to those questions, briefly, but before we do, I want to bring in AARP’s executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer, Nancy LeaMond. Welcome, Nancy.

  [00:16:03]Nancy LeaMond: ?Oh, thanks, Bill, great to be here.

  [00:16:05]Bill Walsh: ?Great to have you. Nancy, what can you tell us about what AARP is doing in the fight for people 50 and older on COVID vaccines?

  [00:16:14]Nancy LeaMond: ?Sure. As the death toll, hospitalization rates, case numbers and the economic impact of the pandemic continue to rise, it is a desperate moment in our country’s history. And at the same time, the remarkable speed at which COVID-19 vaccines and treatments were developed, and continue to be developed, is an incredible achievement. Vaccines are being distributed nationwide, but this is not the time for delay or roadblocks, and it is not the time for Americans to cease to be vigilant with our prevention measures. AARP is redoubling our efforts to provide people over the age of 50 with trusted information and is fighting for older Americans to be prioritized in getting COVID-19 vaccines, because the science has clearly shown that older people are at higher risk of death. We’re following the science. There have been 374,000 deaths from COVID-19, and Americans 50-plus account for 95 percent of those deaths. People who live and work in nursing homes make up 40 percent of the deaths. So AARP is advocating at the federal and state level to ensure vaccine access to all who wish to take it.

  [00:17:34] And I want to share a few examples. Staff and committed volunteers from 16 AARP state offices are engaged in work groups led by their governors and state health departments. This includes Idaho, North Carolina, Tennessee, California and many others. And AARP advocates in every single state are fighting in state legislatures for transparency and reporting on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. And we will be showing up virtually in capitol domes across the country to protect funding for programs like aging services, home and community-based care, low-income, energy assistance and unemployment and job assistance programs. None of this work fighting for our nearly 38 million members would be possible without the dedication and passion of AARP staff, volunteers and grassroots advocates nationwide. To stay up to date on all of these efforts and find summaries of your state’s plans for vaccine distribution, please visit aarp.org/coronavirus. And thanks so much. Have a great day, everybody.

  [00:18:50]Bill Walsh: ?All right. Thanks for joining us, Nancy. I appreciate your being here. We have the results of that poll we conducted the beginning of our broadcast. We asked whether you would take the vaccine. It looks like 7 percent of you already have, 72 percent said that you plan to, 4 percent said they did not plan to take the vaccine, and 17 percent are unsure. Thank you for those answers. And now, let’s get to your questions. As a reminder, press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member to share your question. I’d like to bring in my AARP colleague Jean Setzfand to help facilitate your calls today. Welcome, Jean.

  [00:19:35]Jean Setzfand: ?Thanks, Bill, delighted to be here.

  [00:19:37]Bill Walsh: ?All right, let’s go ahead and take our first question.

  [00:19:42]Jean Setzfand: ?Our first caller is Jerri from New York.

  [00:19:45]Bill Walsh: ?Hey, Jerri, welcome to the show. Go ahead with your question.

  [00:19:48]Jerri: ?Yeah. Hi. My question is I qualify to get the vaccine, I’m on Long Island, and I have tried to get in touch with every place giving it and they’re all filled up, they’re not taking any for months. What do I do now?

  [00:20:06]Bill Walsh: ?Dr. Messonnier, do you have any advice for Jerri?

  [00:20:09]Nancy Messonnier: ?You know, Jerri, I am so sorry to hear that it’s been difficult to access the vaccine. I know it’s frustrating for you. I can tell you that my parents are in their 80s and I also sort of tried to get them signed up rapidly to get the vaccine since they’re eligible, and they’re also in the same position that you are; they’re just waiting. And I’m frustrated also on their behalf, and on behalf of everybody. I wish that there was enough supply for everybody who wants it and needs it, but today there just isn’t. And so we’re asking people to be patient. There should be more supply soon and also as supply increases, the places where vaccine is available should also be increasing. So if you haven’t done so already, please check in with your local health department. Many of them are either have or are starting registration processes where you can register now so that you’ll know when vaccine again becomes available. And I think even the lines that you’re looking at, you know, saying that basically you can’t get an appointment anytime soon, I really think that as our partners in Operation Warp Speed have told us, we should see much greater supply as we move forward into the spring, and more supply means that we can make that vaccine available to you and to everybody else. Thank you. Thank you for your patience.

  [00:21:31]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, thank you, Dr. Messonnier. Jean, who’s our next caller?

  [00:21:35]Jean Setzfand: ?Our next caller is Cindy from Michigan.

  [00:21:38]Bill Walsh: ?Hey, Cindy, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question.

  [00:21:43]Cindy: ?Hi, thanks for taking my call. My, it’s more of a statement, not a question, but I myself find myself, find that I am not prioritized in line to get the vaccine, but my comment is, staff and seniors living in long-term care have rightfully so been prioritized to the top of the list, but it seems like their primary social and emotional support in families is nowhere on the list. And I’m myself am 60 and don’t have underlying health conditions, so I see that our reunification of our family is, might be pushed out for months, if not next fall, at the very earliest. And it’s pretty scary.

  [00:22:41]Bill Walsh: ?Yeah. All right, Cindy, well, thank you for that. Why don’t I have Dr. Benton address that from the caregiving point of view, but maybe Dr. Messonnier can weigh in on the prioritization that Cindy was asking about. Dr. Benton.

  [00:22:56]Donna Benton: ?Oh, yeah, you know, I really feel for you because I think that is, as you said, it’s so frustrating because we aren’t going to be able to get that prioritization for family caregivers. And I hope that as the months go by, some of the policymakers begin to see the importance of getting families back together and maybe looking at which families can work together as a team because they’re doing a lot of the caregiving and emotional support that helps us thrive. I think that, you know, it’s hard to put in that thrive factor and that emotional support factoring into the practical things that can be measured by disease state. But we know that a lot of the social isolation that we’ve been discussing over the years and how social isolation can be as damaging to our health, and so the sooner we can break that isolation and reunite families, I think that we also will see an improvement in health overall.

  [00:24:08]Bill Walsh: ?Thank you for that, and Dr. Messonnier, we, too, have heard a number of questions like Cindy’s from family caregivers. Why aren’t they prioritized? When will they become prioritized? Is there anything you can say to that?

  [00:24:23]Nancy Messonnier: ?Again, I would express the fact that I completely understand the frustration, and respect the fact that you’ve kept separated from your family in order to protect them, which I think is actually in the list of heroic things that folks have been through this year. I wish there were easy answers to this, and I wish that there was enough vaccine for everybody on the first day. I think the problem is, of course, that there are lots of folks that can make really great arguments for why they should get the vaccine, and it’s difficult to weigh all of those against each other. So, I just don’t think there are easy answers right now. I would say that everything that I have seen says that the supply of vaccine should start to go up substantially in the spring. And so I don’t think it’ll be a matter of waiting until the fall, but I do think that it’ll be, you know, late spring, perhaps, until you’re able to get the vaccine.

  [00:25:27] That said, it depends a little bit about how many people want it. You know, this is a safe and effective vaccine. You all haven’t asked me that yet but I just want to say that, you know, there’s really good data both from before the vaccine was authorized and as we rolled it out that says that this is, continues to be a very safe vaccine. I’m hoping that that means lots of people will want it, and I’m happy with the numbers that you said about how much of your audience even today is interested in getting the vaccine. But in some places, perhaps supply will outstrip demand, and I would suggest that you keep in touch with your health department and don’t stop looking for it, ’cause it’s still possible that you will be able to access it earlier than you’re expecting.

  [00:26:10]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, thank you very much for that. Jean, who is our next caller?

  [00:26:15]Jean Setzfand: ?We have quite a few questions coming in from YouTube. And I have a question from Steve on YouTube asking, “After someone has received both injections, will they still be able to transmit the virus?” And similarly, there’s a question around wearing masks related to that.

  [00:26:31]Bill Walsh: ?Should they wear masks after having been vaccinated? Dr. Messonnier, would you want to tackle those two questions?

  [00:26:38]Nancy Messonnier: ?Yeah. Those are really great questions and really important. So, like all of you, I am certainly tired of wearing a mask and socially distancing, and I would love to be able to rip that mask off and hug my neighbors, but the truth is that we don’t completely know yet whether the vaccine protects you from transmitting the virus. The data that we have so far says that the vaccine is very effective at protecting you as an individual, but it is still possible that you could transmit the virus to somebody else. And, of course, none of us want to be in the position of getting somebody else sick.

  [00:27:18] So for now, we are saying that we’re asking people to continue after they get the first dose, and even after they get the second dose, to practice social distancing, washing their hands, wearing a mask. But we’re studying that closely. There is some preliminary good data suggesting that the vaccine might be effective in preventing transmission. But until we know for sure, this is just not the right time to let down our guard. And I feel like this is a time for all of us to kind of do the whole layers of protection, if doing that means that we can have a path to get back to normal. So I have to ask people to continue to do the social distancing even if they get vaccinated, but as soon as we have more information, we will certainly communicate it. And I am looking forward to changing those recommendations as soon as that data is available.

  [00:28:11]Bill Walsh: ?All right. Thank you very much for that. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

  [00:28:16]Jean Setzfand: ?Our next caller is Sondra from Michigan.

  [00:28:20]Bill Walsh: ?Hey, Sondra, go ahead with your question.

  [00:28:24]Sondra: ?Hi, how are you doing today?

  [00:28:26]Bill Walsh: ?Very good.

  [00:28:26]Sondra: ?My question is, I understand the frontline people getting all of their shots and everything like that; I understand that. I stay in Warren, Michigan, and I’m 74, I’ll be 74 years old this year. And every time I go to my doctor’s office, I ask him about the shots, he say, we don’t have them. Why is it that there’s hundreds of doctor’s offices in Warren, and nobody, the doctors in Warren don’t have any shots to give the senior? Why is that? Every, they’re sending them to every place else but the— everybody goes to the doctors in Warren, why don’t they have them?

  [00:29:06]Bill Walsh: ?Okay. Dr. Messonnier, do you want to address that? I mean, she’s asking in part, a question about where should people be able to get the vaccine, not just about the supply issues you’ve already addressed.

  [00:29:17]Nancy Messonnier: ?Yeah. I think this is really important. You know, I talk to a lot of people about their preferences, and many people, especially older adults, would prefer to get the vaccine at their provider’s office; they trust their provider to give them health information, and they trust their provider to give them shots. The problem with this vaccine, one of the problems with this vaccine, is it’s slightly complicated in the way that it is stored and handled. And that’s both of these shots. They come in multi-dose vials — most of our vaccines come in single-dose vials — and that means you don’t want to open a vial unless you can be sure that you actually have enough patients to give all the shots. And they require some very specific storage in actually special temperature freezers, which are not something that most doctor’s offices have. And that’s why, at least in this early phase of rollout, instead of bringing the vaccine to every private provider’s offices, most jurisdictions are putting those vaccines in central locations where they can be assured that they’re stored and handled under the right conditions — we don’t want to waste any vaccines — and where we can be sure that they can use the supply that they have. And that’s why so far a lot of the vaccination is going on in health care systems and in pharmacies. I think as more vaccines become available — some of the vaccines that we anticipate being available soon don’t require such careful management in the cold chain, and are much more suitable for private providers’ offices — and I think that as supply increases, we’ll be able to push that, those vaccines out to every provider’s office. But right now it is the specific conditions and the limitations of supply. Those are the reasons why you can’t find it in every provider’s office.

  [00:31:14]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, thank you for that, Dr. Messonnier, and thank you for all your questions. We’re going to get back to more questions in a moment. A reminder, please press *3 on your telephone keypad if you’d like to get into the queue to ask that question live. Let’s turn back to our experts.

  [00:31:33] Dr. Messonnier, what do we know about this new strain that we’ve been hearing about? You know, people have begun to acclimate to the new normal, including wearing masks and social distancing. How does a more contagious virus change the game for people?

  [00:31:51]Nancy Messonnier: ?Yeah, so thanks for that question. I think one thing that folks should understand is that viruses, and COVID-19 is a virus, they do constantly change over time through a process called mutation. So we expect new variants of a virus to occur. And there are now multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 that have been identified in the United States and globally through the pandemic. Most of those variants haven’t changed the virus behavior, and many have disappeared, but you are correct that the new variants that we’re seeing, there is data suggesting that they may be more contagious. But those analyses are still really ongoing, and I think important for this conversation about vaccines is that these mutations do not appear to impact the effectiveness of the vaccine. So there’s no evidence yet that these vaccines would be any less effective against these new strains, or I guess to put it in the other direction, data so far says that these vaccines will be effective against the new strains. We are still working to better understand how easily these viruses will be transmitted and to better understand if, what the illness associated with these variants are. But for now, the best protection is still to do the basic things of wearing masks, staying distant, avoiding crowds and getting a vaccine as soon as it’s possible.

  [00:33:29]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, thank you for that Dr. Messonnier. Dr. Benton, how has this pandemic highlighted the need for policy changes? And I’m thinking about paid family leave, for example, things that can benefit family caregivers. Have you seen any movement on policies like that?

  [00:33:46]Donna Benton: ?You know, it’s really one of the shining lights is that there has been more discussion and more bills and passage of bills to combat this disease, and it’s more related to having paid sick days for more people across the board in different working environments. I think that under, that the disease has brought to light the, that we didn’t have a very good policy to help people not have to choose between caring for a loved one and their employment. So I have absolutely seen national, at the national levels and local levels, big policy changes that are supporting family caregivers who are working and trying to also care and protect older adults who are susceptible to COVID. Many of these have been temporary or COVID-related, but I think that now that the doors are open, it’s going to be difficult to reverse this because it’s not just going to be this pandemic.

  [00:35:02] We’re going to see that as people live longer, we do need to have that ability to take this temporary time to stabilize someone when they’re sick and be able to go back. And what happens is they’re finding through research, that for employers, the ability for someone to have flexibility and being able to care for somebody, to have paid sick time or paid family leave time, that there’s more loyalty to the organization, and productivity is actually increased because you’re not dealing so much with presenteeism, which is, you know, people being there, but not really being there and working. So, it has not, it’s actually quite, it improves the relationship between the employer, the employee and overall productivity. And, of course, it’s going to help the economy because you won’t have people leaving prematurely from the work environment and impacting both currently the economy, but also the overall person’s long-term impact and their own retirement in the future.

  [00:36:13]Bill Walsh: ?All right, well, thank you for that, Dr. Benton. Now it’s time to address more of your questions with Drs. Nancy Messonnier and Dr. Donna Benton. Please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member. Jean, who’s on the line?

  [00:36:31]Jean Setzfand: ?Our next caller is Georgette from Pennsylvania.

  [00:36:34]Bill Walsh: ?Hey, Georgette. Go ahead with your question.

  [00:36:37]Georgette: ?Hi, I was wondering what they mean when they say the vaccine is 95 percent effective.

  [00:36:45]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, well let’s get an answer to that. Dr. Messonnier?

  [00:36:48]Nancy Messonnier: ?Yeah, thanks. That’s a really great question. A vaccine that is a hundred percent effective in a clinical trial means that every person that got vaccinated was, did not get disease. And some people who didn’t get vaccinated would get disease. So the hundred percent protective, that means it protects you every single time if you’re exposed to COVID. Most vaccines are just not a hundred percent protective, and what that means is, if you vaccinate a hundred people and you expose all of them to COVID, 95 of them will be protected against getting COVID, and the other five will get COVID. However, I want to just make a point that for many vaccines, even though there are some people who get vaccinated who get ill, for many vaccines if you get ill, you get more mildly ill than you would have if you weren’t vaccinated. So, in other words, the vaccine gives you some level of partial protection.

  [00:37:56] The other important thing is that the number, that 95, which is actually frankly, a great number, most people when they were anticipating these vaccines, they were saying they would be happy if a vaccine was 50 percent effective. And so 95 percent effective is really a high number for a vaccine, especially one in the middle of a pandemic. So I actually think that’s a really, that number heartens me a lot and as I recommend that people go ahead and get vaccinated.

  [00:38:27]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, thank you. Jean, who is our next caller?

  [00:38:32]Jean Setzfand: ?Oh, again, we have a lot of questions coming in from YouTube and Facebook. So this one is about, Catherine, who’s asking, “What can I do for our mom-in-law who can’t get visitors in a dementia care, and is out of state? How do I help her mental state while she’s feeling trapped inside her facility?”

  [00:38:51]Bill Walsh: ?Hmm, Dr. Benton, can you take that question?

  [00:38:55]Donna Benton: ?Yeah, I think that, again, for, you know, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom and, and being in that situation because this is a really challenging time. For your mom, I think again, it’s regular predictable times when you’re going to call and try to contact her, becomes very important because then you have something to look forward to. You know, if we have some, something that we can look forward to, then we know that, okay, it’s not going to be five days before I hear from somebody, it’s going to be, you know, it’s a couple of days. So that predictability. And then anytime you can send anything that’s tangible, that might be a surprise. Maybe they, you know, I know people may think it’s silly but I always say this is a good time to send a stuffed animal because it’s something that you can hug, it’s tangible, and now they even have, you can put a little message in there where somebody could hear your voice and just to say, I love you. And it’s just a tangible reminder. It may not last forever but it’s something that’s different. Sending any kind of little surprise during this time, I think, is very helpful. So, yeah, but it, and just listening to her frustrations. When you are, you know, don’t say, “Oh, everything—” you know, “Oh, don’t, don’t be like that, or don’t worry.” Listen to the frustrations because we’re all feeling that, and sometimes we just need to be able to say how we’re feeling without someone kind of cutting that off. So I know it’s difficult to hear the sadness and the frustration of your relative, but I’m saying really that you understand, and we wish that it was different, but it will be. You know, the vaccine is here.

  [00:40:54]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, Dr. Benton, thanks for that advice. Who is our next caller, Jean?

  [00:40:59]Jean Setzfand: ?Our next caller is David from Arizona.

  [00:41:03]Bill Walsh: ?Hey, David, welcome to the program. Go ahead with your question. David, go ahead with your question.

  [00:41:14]Jean Setzfand: ?All right, I think, let me try again.

  [00:41:18]David: ?Hello? This is David.

  [00:41:20]Bill Walsh: ?Hey, David, go ahead with your question.

  [00:41:22]David: ?Yes, with this more contagious, with these more contagious strains of COVID out there, are the current protocols of distancing and mask wearing, are those sufficient for protection or should you take extra care somehow?

  [00:41:37]Bill Walsh: ?Dr. Messonnier, do you want to tackle that one for David?

  [00:41:40]Nancy Messonnier: ?Sure. David, thank you for asking that. We have no evidence so far that the current protocols aren’t still appropriate for these strains. And, you know, right now, frankly, lots of people in the U.S. are getting tired of those precautions. I hope that you and your friends and your family and your community continue to adhere to those precautions, ’cause if we all would follow them, if we all would socially distance, wear our masks, wash our hands, stay home when we’re sick, we would really be able to stop transmission, slow it down, really have a major impact on this pandemic today, especially as we wait for there to be enough vaccines that are available for all of us. So please keep at it. It is still the right thing to do, even with these new strains circulating.

  [00:42:37]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, thank you for that. Who is our next caller?

  [00:42:41]Jean Setzfand: ?Our next caller is Thelma from Arkansas.

  [00:42:45]Bill Walsh: ?Hey, Thelma, welcome. Go ahead with your question.

  [00:42:49]Beverly: ?Can you hear me?

  [00:42:50]Bill Walsh: ?I sure can. Go ahead with your question.

  [00:42:53]Beverly: ?Well, actually this is Beverly, Thelma’s my mother. I’m a caregiver for my mother, and just been kind of frustrated with, I’m in Arkansas, and our, the first tier of shots has said they include home health personal care, but I have left messages at the health department, the governor’s office, and I have not been able to get an answer. Apparently, I called one pharmacy that was giving the shots and they said it is their assumption that you have to be certified home health. So it kind of leaves me— I’m 61, I do have high blood pressure, but my concern is I have to go do the shopping, and I have to be out, and so my mother’s 84 and thankfully, she’ll be able to get the shot, hopefully soon. She’s on a waiting list, but it, you know, it may, it sounds like it may be spring or later for me.

  [00:44:06]Bill Walsh: ?Sure. All right, Beverly, let’s have our experts talk about those issues. Dr. Benton, do you want to talk about Beverly’s role as a caregiver and what she can do, and then maybe Dr. Messonnier can weigh in on this distinction that seems to be made between just sort of unpaid family caregivers and, you know, certified professional caregivers.

  [00:44:31]Donna Benton: ?Oh, you know, Beverly. Thank you. Beverly, I really can hear your frustration, but I also hear your love for your mom because you’ve, for the last 10 months you’ve really done a lot to keep her safe and well. And this is just another effort on your part, right, you know, reaching out wherever you can to get vaccinated and get her a vaccine, too. I think that, I tend to agree that it is difficult that we have not seen the family caregivers as a priority or essential worker, and then some way that we need certification, and maybe that’s going to have to be a policy discussion or a larger discussion for another time, but we don’t have that right now. But I think that it’s something to advocate for when you have the energy. So do not, you know— What you’re doing is very important; you’re speaking for a lot of caregivers who I’ve heard this from, and I hope that you continue to speak up on behalf of yourself, but know that you’re not alone. And as you bring this issue forward, maybe we can have some policy changes about how family caregivers are recognized as part of the health care system.

  [00:45:54]Bill Walsh: ?Dr. Messonnier?

  [00:45:57]Nancy Messonnier: ?Yeah, this sounds like you have just spent the year taking care of your family and that’s a wonderful thing, and I’m sorry that this phase of having the vaccine available is difficult to you. I wish that we had enough vaccine today for everybody. I think we should remember that a year ago, we started this endeavor to make a vaccine, and having a vaccine available and used within a year of a new infection being discovered is actually pretty remarkable. My goal is to make vaccine available to anyone who works one-to-one, but the supply is limited. And what that means is to date more than 30 million doses have been distributed, and 10 million people have gotten started on their vaccinations. I think those numbers are great, but it’s clearly not everybody. And the rollout, I know, is slower than any of us would like. I think that every jurisdiction is handling some of these really complicated issues differently. And I think it’s one thing to have national policy but, in the end, somebody says, you get to be in the line ahead of you. And I know that’s frustrating. I’ve heard, again, lots of folks that have great reasons why they should be getting the vaccine earlier, and I wish there was an easier way to manage all of those. What I would say is that, please do try to exercise patience. We’re close. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. It’s just going to be a lot of hard work to get there. And I think we just all need to stick together because we are going to make it through this. Thank you.

  [00:47:45]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, thank you for that. Jean, what’s our, who’s our next caller?

  [00:47:50]Jean Setzfand: ?Again, several questions on Facebook and YouTube, and I’ll pair two into one. A lot of questions focused on underlying conditions and Harriet, in particular, is asking that— Her husband has a kidney transplant. So is the vaccine recommended for them. And vice versa, somebody else is going in for cancer surgery; should they wait some time before getting the vaccine? So it’s extreme underlying conditions and how they interact with the vaccine.

  [00:48:18]Bill Walsh: ?Hmm, Dr. Messonnier, I wonder if you could take that, and it’s interesting, we’ve heard an increasing number of questions about whether one of the two approved vaccines is better for certain, and for people who have certain underlying conditions than for others. Can you address that?

  [00:48:33]Nancy Messonnier: ?Yeah, I’m happy to start there and then kind of go on to the specific questions. These two vaccines are really similar. They have been, they have similar modes of operation and similar ingredients, and the clinical trials to authorize these vaccines were very similar, and they found that the vaccines were safe in adults of all ages and races and ethnicities, and they did include people with chronic health conditions but not every condition in enough numbers to be able to really do the rigorous assessments that you’re asking for. So, for example, there’s no reason to think that having, that the kidney disease would in any way impact whether or not, the safety of the vaccine. For somebody having cancer therapy, it depends a little bit specifically on what that therapy is and whether it wipes out your immune system. What I would tell anybody who has a question is, please talk to your own health care provider. It’s difficult to sit where I sit and be able to understand everybody’s specific history, health history enough to tailor recommendations to every individual. So please, reach out to your health care provider, discuss your own specific situation, and I hope that they’ll be able to help you work through it. So far, we have not found there to be any contraindications to getting vaccinated, except if you have a specific allergic reaction to any of the components of the vaccine.

  [00:50:13]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, thank you so much for that. Jean, let’s hear from our next listener.

  [00:50:19]Jean Setzfand: ?Our caller is Gene from Illinois.

  [00:50:22]Bill Walsh: ?Go ahead, Gene.

  [00:50:24]Gene: ?My wife and I are 71. We both tested positive on the 28th of December. And on the 28th, we both received monoclonal antibody treatment. Since then, on January 6th, my wife received remdesivir, three treatments. My question is, how does having received these therapeutics change the timing or the effectiveness or anything to do with our ultimately getting and benefiting from the vaccine?

  [00:50:49]Bill Walsh: ?Hmm, okay, Gene, thank you very much. Dr. Messonnier, do you want to address that?

  [00:50:54]Nancy Messonnier: ?Yeah, thank you for asking a complicated question, but that’s something that folks need to realize that there is the potential for those monoclonal antibodies to impact the timing that we’re recommending for the vaccine. And we are actually in the process right now of working on our clinical guidelines to specifically try to address some of these questions. So it reminds me to tell you to please take a look at the CDC website and specifically the page that starts with COVID-19 vaccines, ’cause we will continue to get those kinds of questions just like you asked, and as we get them, our experts will continue to sort through the science and make the best recommendations that we have. As new data becomes available, we always update those recommendations, but that is the best place to look. And again, please do talk to your own health care provider about your own specific situation.

  [00:51:49]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, thank you for that. And that CDC website of course, is CDC.gov. We are near the top of the hour. Dr. Messonnier and Dr. Benton, any closing thoughts, or recommendations for our listeners that they should take away from our conversation today? Dr. Messonnier, do you want to go first?

  [00:52:09]Nancy Messonnier: ?Thanks and I really appreciate being invited back. I think if I think back to March, none of us expected the year to be like this, and it really has been difficult, remarkably so for everybody across the country. This vaccine is the way in which I believe we can get things back to normal. It’s safe, it’s effective and, unfortunately, it’s in sparse supply right now. But the good news is that we expect supply to increase through the spring. So I would ask for your patience as this is an imperfect process, but we really believe that we are on a pathway towards getting us all back to normal. And in the meantime, unfortunately, I have to ask for you to continue to exercise social distancing, mask wearing, washing your hands and staying home while you’re sick, but know that we are working as hard as we can every day to get this vaccine out, to get it into the arms of people who need it, so that we can all get over this pandemic, and I certainly look forward to that day myself. Thank you.

  [00:53:17]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, thank you, Dr. Messonnier. Dr. Benton, any closing thoughts?

  [00:53:22]Donna Benton: ?I just want to say that I’m really grateful for being invited back but also I think for all of us, I read somewhere that someone said that last year and probably going forward through spring, we’re still, we’re trying to survive, but then we’re going to thrive because we have built a lot of resiliency during this time. We’ve gone through hard times, we’re learning. It’s surprising that we’re finding new wells of strength that we didn’t know we had. We’ve built new communities. And the bright spot— Sometimes it’s hard to focus on all of the things that during this time people have actually bonded and brought together the goodness of us. And so, let’s move from our surviving to thriving and really, thank you for, you know, the vaccine that’s coming to help us.

  [00:54:23]Bill Walsh: ?Okay, and, and thank you to both of our experts. This has been a really informative discussion. And thank you, our AARP members, volunteers and listeners for participating today. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization has 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 the Q&A portion of the event, can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus beginning tomorrow, January 15th. That web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. Go there if your question was not answered and you will find the latest updates as well as information created specifically for older adults and family caregivers. We hope you learned something that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. Please tune in tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern Time for another live event where we’ll discuss COVID-19 vaccines and the Black community. Thank you and have a good day. This concludes our call.

  [00:55:45]

  Full Transcript: Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall (Spanish)

  Bill Walsh: Hola, soy el vicepresidente de AARP, Bill Walsh, y quiero darles la bienvenida a esta importante discusión sobre el coronavirus. Si deseas escuchar esta teleasamblea en espa?ol, presiona *0 en el teclado de tu teléfono ahora.

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  AARP, una organización de membresía sin fines de lucro y no partidista, ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de las personas mayores durante más de 60 a?os en EE.UU. Frente a la pandemia mundial de coronavirus, AARP está proporcionando información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan.

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  Al entrar en la segunda semana del nuevo a?o, la seguridad, la prevención y la distribución de vacunas contra la COVID-19 continúan planteando algunos desafíos importantes. El virus continúa propagándose por todo el país con una variante más contagiosa, alimentando la urgencia de una implementación de vacunas eficiente y equitativa.

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  No es sorprendente que muchas personas continúen sintiéndose abrumadas y ansiosas, particularmente aquellas que cuidan a sus seres queridos mayores. Hoy, profundizaremos en estos temas y más con nuestro panel de expertas. Si ya has participado de alguna de nuestras teleasambleas, sabes que esto es similar a un programa de entrevistas de radio y tendrás la oportunidad de hacer tus preguntas en vivo.

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  Para aquellos que nos acompa?an por teléfono, si desean hacer una pregunta, presionen * 3 en el teclado de su teléfono para conectarse con un miembro del personal de AARP que anotará su nombre y pregunta, y los colocará en una lista para hacer esa pregunta en vivo. Si deseas escuchar en espa?ol, presiona *0 en el teclado de tu teléfono ahora. Si te unes a través de Facebook o Youtube, puedes publicar tu pregunta en la sección de comentarios.

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  ?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. Hablaremos con expertas en el tema y responderemos sus preguntas en vivo. Para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono. Y si te unes a través de Facebook o Youtube, puedes publicar tu pregunta en los comentarios.

  ?

  Hoy nos acompa?an, la Dra. Nancy Messonnier, Directora del Centro Nacional de Inmunización y Enfermedades Respiratorias del los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades. También tenemos a la Dra. Donna Benton, PhD. Es la directora del Centro de apoyo para cuidadores familiares de University of Southern California. También nos acompa?ará mi colega de AARP, Jean Setzfand, quien ayudará a facilitar sus llamadas hoy. Este evento está siendo grabado y podrán 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. Y si te unes a través de Facebook o Youtube, coloca tu pregunta en los comentarios.

  ?

  Ahora, me gustaría dar la bienvenida a nuestras invitadas. La Dra. Nancy Messonnier es la Directora del Centro Nacional de Inmunización y Enfermedades Respiratorias de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades. La Dra. Messonnier fue invitada a nuestra primera teleasamblea sobre la COVID-19 en marzo. Bienvenida de nuevo al programa, Dra. Messonnier.

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Gracias y gracias por invitarme a estar aquí nuevamente hoy para hablar sobre estos importantes temas.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Estamos encantados de recibirla. También me gustaría dar la bienvenida a la Dra. Donna Benton, PhD, directora del Centro de apoyo para cuidadores familiares de University of Southern California. La Dra. Benton también ha sido invitada al programa anteriormente. Bienvenida de nuevo, Dra. Benton.

  ?

  Donna Benton: Oh, muchas gracias y un placer estar de regreso.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Muy bien, comencemos con nuestra discusión y solo un recordatorio para nuestros oyentes. Para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono o deja tu pregunta en la sección de comentarios en Facebook o Youtube. Antes de comenzar, necesitamos saber de ustedes, nuestros oyentes. Tómense un momento para decirnos, ?se colocarán la vacuna contra la COVID-19? Presiona 1 en el teclado de tu teléfono si ya te has vacunado. Presiona 2 si planeas vacunarte. Presiona 3 si aún no estás seguro y presiona 4 si no planeas recibir la vacuna contra la COVID-19. Entonces, una encuesta rápida y anónima, ?planeas recibir la vacuna contra la COVID-19? Presiona 1 si ya te la has colocado, presiona 2 si planeas hacerlo, presiona 3 si no estás seguro y presiona 4 si no planeas hacerlo. Muchas gracias.

  ?

  Muy bien, ahora escuchemos a nuestras expertas. Dra. Messonnier, comencemos por usted. Esta semana hubo dos anuncios importantes relacionados con la distribución de vacunas. Primero, se hicieron recomendaciones de que la vacuna se distribuirá a todas las personas mayores de 65 a?os, y luego se anunció que el Gobierno federal no retendrá ninguna vacuna disponible, permitiendo que más personas reciban su primera inyección. ?Cuál fue el fundamento de estas decisiones?

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Sí, gracias por la oportunidad de aclarar esos anuncios. Cuando el ACIP y los CDC hacen recomendaciones nacionales sobre vacunas, entendemos y esperamos que haya un nivel de adaptaciones locales. Nuestras pautas son marcos, no son muros ni barreras entre las fases, y nuestro objetivo es apoyar la priorización de las personas con mayor riesgo de exposición o con mayor riesgo de enfermedad grave. Por lo tanto, el anuncio de hoy se alinea con el objetivo básico, que es y siempre ha sido vacunar al público de manera segura y efectiva para poner fin a esta pandemia.

  ?

  Cuando el ACIP, nuestro comité asesor, y los CDC formularon esas recomendaciones, anticipamos que el programa sería dinámico y requeriría una reevaluación continua a medida que la oferta y la demanda de vacunas y la epidemiología cambiaran para informar el momento de la expansión a las fases posteriores. Las decisiones con respecto a la transición específica de una fase a la siguiente deben tomarse a nivel local, estatal o territorial porque se basan en factores como la demografía y las características de la fuerza laboral, y lo que está sucediendo específicamente dentro de esa jurisdicción, y el suministro de vacunas.

  ?

  Entonces, las cosas van a ser un poco diferentes en el corto plazo a medida que pasas de un estado al otro, pero realmente esperamos que, según lo que estamos aprendiendo de nuestros socios en Operation Warp Speed, pronto tengamos más dosis de vacuna disponibles y con un suministro adicional de vacunas, podemos hacer llegar las vacunas a las personas más rápido y pasar por estas fases mucho más rápido.

  ?

  Por lo tanto, estamos trabajando con cada tribu del territorio local y estatal para tratar de garantizar el acceso y un mayor alcance para apoyar la administración justa y equitativa, y la entrega de la vacuna que tenemos, y para prepararnos para que haya más vacunas disponibles en el futuro cercano. Gracias.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Muchas gracias por eso, y usted mencionó el suministro y la producción, sabemos que tanto las vacunas Pfizer como Moderna requieren dos vacunas, dos dosis, ?la decisión de lanzar la vacuna disponible afectará la disponibilidad de esa segunda dosis? ?Y cómo se implementarán esas recomendaciones a nivel estatal y local?

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Sí, y esto puede resultar confuso para la gente. Se necesitan dos inyecciones de ambas vacunas para brindar la mejor protección contra la COVID-19, y esas inyecciones se realizan con algunas semanas de diferencia. Una vacuna se administra un día y luego a los 21 días, la otra vacuna se administra un día y luego a los 28 días. Y las vacunas no son intercambiables. La primera inyección comienza a generar protección, pero necesitas la segunda para obtener la mayor protección que una vacuna puede ofrecer, y la FDA, la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos, que es quien realmente autoriza la vacuna, recientemente hizo una declaración muy contundente de que no podemos detenernos en una sola dosis.

  ?

  Las personas deben recibir ambas dosis, y debemos planificar y prepararnos para eso. Por lo tanto, las jurisdicciones están planeando eso, incluso mientras recibes la primera dosis, están haciendo su gestión de inventario para asegurarse de que la segunda dosis esté disponible cuando la necesites. Ahora, vamos a continuar estudiando esto y vamos a seguir monitorizándolo, pero por ahora no hay margen de maniobra. Necesitas ambas inyecciones.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: ?Y qué tan segura está de que esas segundas dosis estarán disponibles cuando las personas las necesiten?

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Sabes, una cosa que todos deberían entender acerca de lo que estamos haciendo es que este es un evento sin precedentes. Estamos preparando una campa?a de vacunas, tratando de salir de un punto muerto, de 0 a 100 millas por hora muy rápido. Y lo estamos haciendo en medio de una pandemia, en medio de un aumento de casos, y lanzamos y comenzamos este programa de vacunación en medio de las vacaciones de Navidad. Por lo tanto, esperábamos algunos obstáculos en el camino y, como ocurre con cualquier programa de inmunización, francamente, no todas las partes salen bien.

  ?

  Estoy muy segura, a nivel país, de que esas segundas dosis estarán disponibles. Creo que es posible que haya una o dos instancias, en uno o dos lugares donde haya un retraso, pero haremos todo lo posible para trabajar lo más rápido posible. Para asegurarnos de que esas segundas dosis estén ahí cuando las personas las necesiten.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Está bien. Muy bien, muchas gracias Dra. Messonnier. Dra. Benton, vamos con usted. Llevamos 10 meses en la pandemia y con la frustrante persistencia de COVID-19, ?cómo nos aseguramos de que los seres queridos que dependen de nuestro apoyo, muchos a distancia, o aquellos que están en hogares de ancianos, puedan mantener esas conexiones sociales?

  ?

  Donna Benton: Oh, muchas gracias. Como dijiste, llevamos 10 meses y, en muchos aspectos, con el tiempo hemos desarrollado nuevas formas de comunicarnos, así que creo que algunas de las cosas que comenzamos desde el principio como asegurarnos de que, donde sea que esté la instalación, que tengan una forma de quizás usar un iPad o algún tipo de tecnología para que puedas ver a la persona.

  ?

  Sé que en un momento hablé de hacer algo diferente como escribir tarjetas de nuevo. Enviar cartas, si no puedes entrar a las instalaciones, algunas de las instalaciones, están teniendo visitas al aire libre, de modo que llevan a la gente al césped y, por supuesto, eso varía de estado a estado, pero visitas seguras, manteniendo distancia social. Vi una instalación donde habían erigido una barrera en la que todos están cubiertos como con un traje espacial, para que pudieran abrazarse, pero creo que esas son las excepciones.

  ?

  En su mayor parte, esa comunicación tiene que ser muy, muy consistente para que tu pariente, si a la distancia, esté ansioso por decir “Siempre vamos a hablar los lunes a las 10”, y luego habrá una charla por la noche, y luego tendremos algo el fin de semana. Y también, creo que es bueno planificar lo que vas a hacer. A veces solo estamos charlando, y nos ponemos al tanto de lo que sucede en la familia, cosas así, pero algunas de esas discusiones podrían girar en torno a un tema durante este tiempo.

  ?

  Recuerdos, si la persona puede, porque muchas veces la gente tiene demencia, y haciéndolo breve, si la persona tiene demencia, involucrar a los cuidadores en el hogar de ancianos. Estos trabajadores esenciales están muy estresados durante este tiempo, y con 10 meses, no creo que nadie esperara que el nivel siguiera aumentando con el tiempo. Por lo tanto, algunas de estas conversaciones podrían ser con la persona que pueda hablar con su familiar y transmitir mensajes.

  ?

  Algo de eso, se les podría dar comida extra a los trabajadores, algunas de las tarjetas, algunos de los dulces que envíes. Simplemente teniendo esos peque?os gestos para decir: “Gracias, ahora son nuestros ojos y oídos en nuestro nombre”, y creo que ustedes construyen esa comunidad, y tendremos que continuar con esto por un tiempo mientras todos se vacunan. Lo bueno es que las prioridades son, al menos aquí en California, y creo que en todas partes las personas mayores de 65, y las que están en las instalaciones. Entonces, la vacuna nos llevará de regreso a donde podemos comenzar a ver a nuestros seres queridos nuevamente.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Bien, bueno, gracias. Hablemos de los propios cuidadores. Quiero decir, por supuesto, estamos en pleno invierno y la gente está encerrada, muchos con ni?os que están aprendiendo de forma remota, y la gente está cuidando a sus seres queridos mayores al mismo tiempo. ?Cómo combaten los cuidadores familiares el agotamiento y se aseguran de tener un descanso?

  ?

  Donna Benton: Creo que mucha gente tiene muy buenas almohadas en las que gritan, lo cual creo que es importante. Solo tenemos que tener un alivio general del estrés y eso está bien, ?sabes? Es mejor que gritarle a la gente que te rodea, así que necesitamos un poco de privacidad, ya sabes, o tienes algo físicamente. Las almohadas son realmente buenas. Por otro lado, también necesitamos cosas para abrazar. Entonces, encuentra algo suave y acogedor, y abrázalo. Tener cosas familiares que son muy, muy diferentes a lo que está sucediendo, se parece al día escolar y al día laboral. Entonces por la noche, cuando puedas, asegúrate de que todo esté apagado.

  ?

  Sabes, todos nos estamos cansando. Incluso los ni?os, creo, se están cansando de mirar sus teléfonos y computadoras y portátiles, y tal vez pedir esos juegos anticuados que son juegos de mesa, y tener programas de televisión favoritos, música favorita. Creo que la música realmente puede… Tener una fiesta de baile a mitad de semana, solo por unos minutos y hacer algo de ejercicio, pero también es una forma diferente de liberar tensiones en la casa y estar dispuesto a escuchar todo tipo de música.

  ?

  Puedes presentar música de tu generación y escuchar la música de las generaciones de tus hijos. Y compartir de una manera muy diferente. Así que deja que todos se tomen un día para ser esa persona a la que se le ocurran las actividades y relajarse, para que no te sientas como el cuidador, que tienes que hacerlo todo. Comparte las actividades de relajación.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Está bien. Bueno, muy bien, gracias Dra. Benton, y como recordatorio para nuestros oyentes, presiona * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono para conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP y hacer tu pregunta. Llegaremos a esas preguntas en breve, pero antes de hacerlo, quiero traer a la vicepresidenta ejecutiva y directora de Promoción y Participación de AARP, Nancy LeaMond. Bienvenida, Nancy.

  ?

  Nancy LeaMond: Gracias, Bill. Encantada de estar aquí.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Encantados de tenerte. Nancy, ?qué nos puedes decir sobre lo que está haciendo AARP en la lucha por las personas de 50 a?os o más con las vacunas contra la COVID-19?

  ?

  Nancy LeaMond: Claro, mientras que el número de muertos, las tasas de hospitalizaciones y el impacto económico de la pandemia continúan aumentando, es un momento desesperado en la historia de nuestro país y, al mismo tiempo, la notable velocidad con la que se desarrollaron vacunas y tratamientos para la COVID-19, y continúan desarrollándose, es un logro increíble. Las vacunas se están distribuyendo en todo el país, pero este no es el momento de retrasos o bloqueos, y no es el momento de que las personas dejen de estar atentas a nuestras medidas de prevención.

  ?

  AARP está redoblando sus esfuerzos para brindarles a las personas mayores de 50 a?os información confiable y está luchando para que los adultos mayores tengan prioridad para recibir las vacunas contra la COVID-19 porque la ciencia ha demostrado claramente que las personas mayores tienen un mayor riesgo de muerte. Estamos siguiendo la ciencia, ha habido 374,000 muertes por COVID-19, y los adultos mayores de 50 representan el 95% de esas muertes.

  ?

  Las personas que viven y trabajan en hogares de ancianos representan el 40% de las muertes. Entonces, AARP está abogando a nivel federal y estatal para garantizar el acceso a la vacuna a todos los que deseen tomarla, y quiero compartir algunos ejemplos. El personal y los voluntarios comprometidos de 16 oficinas estatales de AARP participan en grupos de trabajo dirigidos por sus gobernadores y departamentos de salud estatales.

  ?

  Esto incluye Idaho, Carolina del Norte, Tennessee, California y muchos otros. Y los defensores de AARP en todos los estados luchan en las legislaturas estatales por la transparencia y la presentación de informes sobre el lanzamiento de la vacuna contra la COVID-19. Y estaremos presentándonos virtualmente en las cúpulas del capitolio en todo el país, para proteger los fondos para programas como servicios para personas mayores, atención domiciliaria y comunitaria, asistencia energética para personas de bajos ingresos y programas de asistencia laboral y de desempleo.

  ?

  Nada de este trabajo, la lucha por nuestros casi 38 millones de socios, sería posible sin la dedicación y la pasión del personal, los voluntarios y los defensores de base de AARP en todo el país. Para mantenerse actualizados sobre todos estos esfuerzos y encontrar resúmenes de los planes de distribución de vacunas de su estado, visiten aarp.org/elcoronavirus. Y muchas gracias, que tengan un hermoso día todos.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Muy bien, gracias por acompa?arnos, Nancy. Aprecio que estés aquí. Tenemos los resultados de esa encuesta que realizamos al comienzo de nuestra transmisión, les preguntamos si se colocarían la vacuna. Parece que el 7% de ustedes ya lo ha hecho, el 72% dijo que planea hacerlo, el 4% dijo que no planeaba vacunarse y el 17% no está seguro. Gracias por esas respuestas, y ahora, vayamos a sus preguntas. Como recordatorio, presionen * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de su teléfono para comunicarse con un miembro del personal de AARP y compartir su pregunta. Me gustaría traer a mi colega de AARP, Jean Setzfand, para ayudar a facilitar sus llamadas hoy. Bienvenida, Jean.

  ?

  Jean Setzfand: Gracias, Bill. Encantada de estar aquí.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Muy bien, respondamos nuestra primera pregunta.

  ?

  Jean Setzfand: Nuestro primer interlocutor es Jerry de Nueva York.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Hola, Jerry. Bienvenido al programa, continúa con tu pregunta.

  ?

  Jerry: Sí, hola, mi pregunta es si califico para recibir la vacuna, estoy en Long Island, y he tratado de ponerme en contacto con todos los lugares que lo dan, y todos están llenos. No toman a nadie por meses. ?Qué hago ahora?

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Dra. Messonnier, ?tiene algún consejo para Jerry?

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Jerry, lamento mucho escuchar que ha sido difícil acceder a la vacuna. Sé que es frustrante para ti, puedo decirte que mis padres tienen más de 80 a?os y también traté de que se inscribieran rápidamente para recibir la vacuna, ya que son elegibles, y también están en la misma posición que tú. Solo están esperando y estoy frustrada también en su nombre y en el de todos.

  ?

  Desearía que hubiera suficiente suministro para todos los que la quieren y lo necesitan, pero hoy en día simplemente no lo hay, por lo que le pedimos a la gente que tenga paciencia. Debería haber más suministro pronto y también, a medida que aumenta el suministro, también deberían aumentar los lugares donde hay vacunas disponibles. Por lo tanto, si aún no lo has hecho, consulta con tu Departamento de Salud local.

  ?

  Muchos de ellos tienen o están iniciando un proceso de registro en el que puedes registrarte ahora, para que sepas cuándo estará disponible la vacuna nuevamente. Y creo que incluso las líneas que estás viendo, diciendo que básicamente no puedes conseguir una cita en el corto plazo, realmente creo que, como nos han dicho nuestros socios en Operation Warp Speed, deberíamos ver mucho más suministro a medida que avanzamos hacia la primavera, y más suministro significa que podemos poner esa vacuna a su disposición y para todos los demás, gracias. Gracias por su paciencia.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias Dra. Messonnier. Jean, ?de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

  ?

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

  ?

  Bill Walsh: ?Hola, Cindy! Bienvenida al programa. Continúa con tu pregunta.

  ?

  Cindy: Hola, gracias por atender mi llamada. Es más una declaración, no una pregunta, pero yo me encuentro con que no tengo prioridad en la lista para recibir la vacuna, pero mi comentario es que el personal y las personas mayores que viven en cuidados a largo plazo han sido justamente priorizados al comienzo de la lista, pero parece que su principal apoyo social y emocional en las familias no está en ninguna parte de la lista. Y yo tengo 60 a?os y no tengo problemas de salud subyacentes, por lo que veo que la reunificación de nuestra familia podría retrasarse durante meses, si no, el próximo oto?o, como muy pronto, y eso da bastante miedo.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Sí. Muy bien, Cindy, bueno, gracias por eso. ?Por qué no le pido a la Dra. Benton que aborde eso desde el punto de vista del cuidado, pero tal vez la Dra. Messonnier pueda opinar sobre la priorización sobre la que Cindy estaba preguntando? ?Dra. Benton?

  ?

  Donna Benton: Sí, realmente lo siento por ti porque creo que, como dijiste, es muy frustrante porque vamos a tener esa prioridad para los cuidadores familiares y espero que a medida que pasen los meses, algunos de los formuladores de políticas comienzan a ver la importancia de volver a reunir a las familias y quizás a ver qué familias pueden trabajar juntas como un equipo, porque están haciendo mucho del cuidado y el apoyo emocional. Eso nos ayuda a prosperar.

  ?

  Creo que es difícil incorporar ese factor de prosperidad y ese apoyo emocional teniendo en cuenta las cosas prácticas que se pueden medir por un estado de enfermedad, pero sabemos que gran parte del aislamiento social del que hemos hablado en el a?o, y cómo el aislamiento social puede ser tan perjudicial para nuestra salud. Entonces, cuanto antes podamos romper ese aislamiento y reunir a las familias, creo que también veremos una mejora en la salud en general.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Gracias, y Dra. Messonnier, nosotros también hemos escuchado una serie de preguntas como la de Cindy de parte de los cuidadores familiares. ?Por qué no se les da prioridad? ?Cuándo se les dará prioridad? ?Hay algo que pueda decir al respecto?

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Una vez más, expresaría el hecho de que entiendo completamente la frustración y respeto el hecho de que te hayas mantenido separada de tu familia, para protegerlos, lo que creo que está en la lista de cosas heroicas por las que la gente ha pasado este a?o. Desearía que hubiera respuestas fáciles a esto, y desearía que hubieran suficientes vacunas para todos el primer día.

  ?

  Creo que el problema es, por supuesto, que hay muchas personas que pueden presentar argumentos realmente buenos sobre por qué deberían vacunarse, y es difícil sopesar todos ellos entre sí. Entonces, simplemente no creo que haya respuestas fáciles en este momento. Yo diría que todo lo que he visto dice que el suministro de vacunas debería comenzar a subir sustancialmente en la primavera. Entonces, no creo que sea una cuestión de esperar hasta el oto?o, pero sí creo que será a fines de la primavera, tal vez hasta que puedas recibir la vacuna.

  ?

  Dicho esto, depende un poco de cuántos la quieran. ?Sabes? Esta es una vacuna segura y efectiva, todavía no me lo han preguntado, pero solo quiero decirles que, hay datos realmente buenos tanto antes de que se autorizara la vacuna como cuando la lanzamos, eso dice que esta sigue siendo una vacuna muy segura. Espero que signifique que mucha gente la querrá, y estoy contenta con los números que has dicho sobre cuánta audiencia, incluso hoy, está interesada en recibir la vacuna, pero en algunos lugares, tal vez, el suministro superará la demanda y les sugiero que se mantengan en contacto con su Departamento de Salud y no dejen de buscarla porque aún es posible que puedas acceder a ella antes de lo esperado.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Bien, muchas gracias por eso. Jean, ?de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

  ?

  Jean Setzfand: Tenemos bastantes preguntas provenientes de YouTube y tengo una pregunta de Steve en YouTube: “Después de que uno haya recibido ambas inyecciones, ?podría seguir transmitiendo el virus?” Y de manera similar, hay una pregunta sobre el uso de máscaras, relacionada con eso.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: ?Deberían usar mascarillas después de haber sido vacunados? Dra. Messonnier, ?le gustaría abordar esas dos preguntas?

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Sí. Esas son preguntas realmente buenas y realmente importantes. Entonces, como todos ustedes, ciertamente estoy cansada de usar una máscara y de distanciarme socialmente, y me encantaría poder arrancarme esa máscara y abrazar a mis vecinos, pero la verdad es que aún no sabemos completamente si la vacuna te protege de transmitir el virus. Los datos que tenemos hasta ahora dicen que la vacuna es muy efectiva para protegerte como individuo, pero aún es posible que puedas transmitir el virus a otra persona y, por supuesto, ninguno de nosotros quiere estar en la posición de enfermar a alguien más.

  ?

  Entonces, por ahora, estamos diciendo que les pedimos a las personas que continúen después de recibir la primera dosis, e incluso después de recibir la segunda dosis, que practiquen el distanciamiento social, se laven las manos, se pongan una máscara, pero estamos estudiando eso de cerca. Hay algunos buenos datos preliminares que sugieren que la vacuna podría ser eficaz para prevenir la transmisión, pero hasta que no estemos seguros, este no es el momento para bajar la guardia y siento que este es el momento para que todos cumplamos con todas las capas de protección si hacer eso significa que podemos transitar un camino para volver a la normalidad. Entonces tengo que pedirle a la gente que continúe cumpliendo con el distanciamiento social, incluso si se vacunan, pero tan pronto como tengamos más información, sin duda la comunicaremos, y estoy deseando cambiar esas recomendaciones tan pronto como ese dato esté disponible.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Muy bien, muchas gracias por eso. Jean, ?a quién tenemos ahora en la línea?

  ?

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

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Hola, Sondra, continúa con tu pregunta.

  ?

  Sondra: Hola, ?cómo estás hoy?

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Muy bien.

  ?

  Sondra: Mi pregunta es, entiendo que los trabajadores de primera línea reciban todas las vacunas y todo eso, lo entiendo. Me quedo en Moran, Míchigan, y tengo 74 a?os. Este a?o tendré 74 a?os y cada vez que voy al consultorio de mi médico le pregunto por las vacunas, él dice: “No las tenemos”. ?Por qué hay cientos de consultorios médicos en Moran y nadie, los médicos de Moran no tienen vacunas para las personas mayores? ?Porqué es eso? Están enviando a todos los demás lugares, pero todos van a los médicos en Moran, ?por qué no las tienen?

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Está bien. Dra. Messonnier, ?quiere abordar eso? Quiero decir, ella está haciendo en parte una pregunta sobre dónde las personas deberían poder recibir la vacuna, no solo sobre los problemas de suministro que ya ha abordado.

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Esto es realmente importante, hablé con muchas personas sobre sus preferencias y muchas personas, especialmente los adultos mayores, preferirían vacunarse en el consultorio de su proveedor. Confían en que su proveedor les dará información médica y confían en que su proveedor les dará las vacunas.

  ?

  El problema con esta vacuna, uno de los problemas con esta vacuna es que es un poco complicado en el sentido de cómo se almacenan y manejan, y eso con ambas inyecciones. Vienen en viales de dosis múltiples, la mayoría de nuestras vacunas vienen en viales de dosis únicas, y eso significa que no quieres abrir un vial, a menos que puedas estar seguro de que tiene suficientes pacientes para aplicar todas las inyecciones. Y requieren un almacenamiento muy específico en congeladores de temperatura realmente especiales que no son algo que tienen la mayoría de los consultorios médicos, y es por eso que, al menos, en esta fase temprana de vacunación, en lugar de llevar la vacuna a las oficinas de todos los proveedores privados, la mayoría de las jurisdicciones están colocando esas vacunas en ubicaciones centrales donde pueden estar seguros de que se almacenan y manipulan en las condiciones adecuadas.

  ?

  No queremos desperdiciar ninguna vacuna y podemos estar seguros de que pueden utilizar el suministro que tienen. Y es por eso que, hasta ahora, gran parte de la vacunación está ocurriendo en los sistemas de salud y en las farmacias. Creo que a medida que haya más vacunas disponibles, algunas de las vacunas que anticipamos estarán disponibles pronto, no requieren un manejo tan cuidadoso en la cadena de frío y son mucho más adecuadas para las oficinas de proveedores privados. Y creo que a medida que aumente el suministro, podremos enviar esas vacunas al consultorio de todos los proveedores, pero en este momento, son las condiciones específicas y las limitaciones del suministro. Esas son las razones por las que no puedes encontrarla en el consultorio de todos los proveedores.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias, Dra. Messonnier y gracias por todas sus preguntas. Volveremos a más preguntas en un momento. Un recordatorio, por favor presiona * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono, si deseas entrar en la lista para hacer esa pregunta en vivo. Volvamos a nuestras expertas. Dra. Messonnier, ?qué sabemos sobre esta nueva cepa de la que hemos estado escuchando? Ya sabes, la gente ha comenzado a aclimatarse a la nueva normalidad, incluido el uso de máscaras y el distanciamiento social, ?cómo un virus más contagioso cambia el juego para las personas?

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Sí, gracias por esa pregunta. Creo que una cosa que la gente debería entender es que los virus, y la COVID-19 es un virus, cambian constantemente con el tiempo a través de un proceso llamado mutación. Entonces, esperamos que ocurran nuevas variantes de un virus, y ahora hay múltiples variantes del virus que causa COVID-19, que se han identificado en Estados Unidos y en todo el mundo a través de la pandemia.

  ?

  La mayoría de esas variantes no han cambiado el comportamiento del virus y muchas han desaparecido. Pero tienes razón, que las nuevas variantes que estamos viendo, hay datos que sugieren que pueden ser más contagiosas, pero esos análisis aún están realmente en curso, y creo que es importante para esta conversación sobre las vacunas, que estas mutaciones no parecen impactar la efectividad de la vacuna. Entonces, todavía no hay evidencia de que estas vacunas sean menos efectivas contra estas nuevas cepas, o supongo, para ponerlo en la otra dirección, los datos hasta ahora dicen que estas vacunas serán efectivas contra las nuevas cepas.

  ?

  Todavía estamos trabajando para comprender mejor la facilidad con la que se transmitirán estos virus y para comprender mejor cuál es la enfermedad asociada con estas variantes, pero por ahora, la mejor protección sigue siendo hacer las cosas básicas de usar mascarillas, mantenerse distante, evitar las multitudes y vacunarse lo antes posible.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias , Dra. Messonnier. Dra. Benton, ?cómo resaltó esta pandemia la necesidad de cambios en las políticas? Y estoy pensando en la licencia familiar pagada, por ejemplo, cosas que pueden beneficiar a los cuidadores familiares. ?Ha visto algún movimiento en políticas como esa?

  ?

  Donna Benton: Sabes, es realmente una luz al final del túnel, que ha habido más discusiones y más proyectos de ley, y la aprobación de proyectos de ley para combatir esta enfermedad, y está más relacionado con haber pagado los días de enfermedad para más personas en todos los ámbitos, en diferentes entornos de trabajo. Creo que la enfermedad ha sacado a la luz que no teníamos una política muy buena para ayudar a las personas a no tener que elegir entre el cuidado de un ser querido y su empleo.

  ?

  Por lo tanto, he visto absolutamente a nivel nacional y local, grandes cambios en las políticas que están apoyando a los cuidadores familiares que están trabajando y tratando de cuidar y proteger también a los adultos mayores que son susceptibles a la COVID-19. Muchos de estos han sido temporales o están relacionados con la COVID-19, pero creo que ahora que las puertas están abiertas, será difícil revertirlo porque no solo será esta pandemia.

  ?

  Veremos que a medida que las personas vivan más tiempo, necesitamos tener la capacidad de tomar este período temporal para estabilizar a alguien cuando está enfermo y poder regresar. Y lo que sucede es que, a través de la investigación, están descubriendo que para los empleadores, la capacidad de alguien de tener flexibilidad y poder cuidar a alguien, tener tiempo de enfermedad pagado o tiempo de licencia familiar pagado, lo hace más leal a la organización, y la productividad en realidad aumenta porque no estás lidiando con tanto presentismo, que es, ya sabes, la gente está ahí, pero no está realmente ahí y trabajando.

  ?

  Entonces, de hecho, en realidad ha mejorado bastante la relación entre el empleador, el empleado y la productividad general y, por supuesto, ayudará a la economía porque no habrá personas que se vayan prematuramente del entorno laboral y que afecten a tanto actualmente la economía, pero también el impacto a largo plazo de la persona en general y su propia jubilación en el futuro.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Muy bien, bueno, gracias Dra. Benton. Ahora es el momento de abordar más preguntas con la Dra. Nancy Messonnier y la Dra. Donna Benton. Por favor presiona * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP. Jean, ?quién está en la línea ahora?

  ?

  Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Georgette de Pensilvania.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Hola, Georgette, sigue adelante con tu pregunta.

  ?

  Georgette: Hola, me preguntaba qué quieren decir cuando dicen que la vacuna tiene una efectividad del 95%.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Bien, bueno, obtengamos una respuesta a eso. ?Dra. Messonnier?

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Sí. ?Gracias! Esa es una buena pregunta. Una vacuna que es 100% efectiva en un ensayo clínico significa que ninguna de las personas que se vacunaron contrajo la enfermedad, y algunas personas que no se vacunaron contrajeron la enfermedad. Entonces, si estás 100% protegido, significa que te protege todo el tiempo, si estás expuesto a la COVID-19. La mayoría de las vacunas simplemente no son 100% protectoras y lo que eso significa es que, si vacunas a 100 personas y las expones a todas a la COVID-19, 95 de ellas estarán protegidas contra la COVID-19 y las otras 5 contraerán COVID-19.

  ?

  Sin embargo, solo quiero se?alar que, para muchas vacunas, aunque hay algunas personas que se vacunan, que se enferman, para muchas vacunas, si te enfermas, te enfermas más levemente que si no hubieses sido vacunado. Entonces, en otras palabras, la vacuna brinda cierto nivel de protección parcial. Otra cosa importante es que el número, ese 95%, en realidad, francamente, es un gran número.

  ?

  La mayoría de las personas, cuando anticipaban estas vacunas, decían que estarían felices si una vacuna tuviera un 50% de efectividad y, por lo tanto, un 95% de efectividad es realmente un número alto para una vacuna. Especialmente una en medio de una pandemia. Entonces, en realidad creo que ese número me anima mucho y, como recomiendo, que la gente vaya y se vacune.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Está bien. Gracias. Jean, ?de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

  ?

  Jean Setzfand: Nuevamente, tenemos muchas preguntas provenientes de YouTube y Facebook, y esta es de Catherine, quien pregunta: “?Qué puedo hacer por nuestra suegra, que no puede recibir visitas en el centro de cuidado de la demencia y está fuera del estado? ?Cómo puedo ayudarla en su estado mental mientras se siente atrapada dentro de sus instalaciones?”

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Dra. Benton, ?puede responder esa pregunta?

  ?

  Donna Benton: Creo que, de nuevo, lamento mucho oír sobre tu madre y estar en esa situación porque este es un momento realmente desafiante. Para tu mamá, creo que, de nuevo, es un momento regular y predecible de cuándo vas a llamar, intenta contactarla. Se vuelve muy importante porque entonces tienes algo que a?orar. Sabes que si tenemos algo que podamos esperar con ansias, entonces sabemos que, “Bien, no pasarán cinco días antes de que tenga noticias de alguien, serán, ya sabes, un par de días”. Entonces, esa previsibilidad, y luego, en cualquier momento que puedas enviar cualquier cosa que sea tangible, eso podría ser una sorpresa, tal vez.

  ?

  Sé que la gente puede pensar que es una tontería, pero yo siempre digo: “Este es un buen momento para enviar un animal de peluche porque es algo que puedes abrazar. Es tangible, y ahora, incluso lo han hecho, puedes poner un peque?o mensaje en él, donde alguien pueda escuchar tu voz, y simplemente diga: “Te amo “, y es solo un recordatorio tangible. Puede que no dure para siempre, pero es algo diferente. Enviar cualquier tipo de sorpresa durante este tiempo, creo que es muy útil. Y simplemente escuchando sus frustraciones. Cuando así sea, no digas: “Oh, no seas así” o “no te preocupes”, escucha las frustraciones porque todos las sentimos, y a veces solo necesitamos ser capaces de decir cómo nos sentimos sin que nadie nos interrumpa. Y sé que es difícil escuchar la tristeza y la frustración de tu familiar, pero decir realmente que lo entiendes y “Ojalá fuera diferente, pero lo será, ?sabes que la vacuna ya está aquí!”

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Muy bien, Dra. Benton, gracias por ese consejo. ?De quién es nuestra próxima llamada, Jean?

  ?

  Jean Setzfand: Nuestro próximo interlocutor es David, de Arizona.

  ?

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

  ?

  Jean Setzfand: Muy bien, déjame intentarlo de nuevo.

  ?

  David: ?Hola? Habla David.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Hola David, continúa con tu pregunta.

  ?

  David: Sí. Con estas cepas más contagiosas de COVID-19, ?son los protocolos actuales de distanciamiento y uso de mascarillas, suficientes para protegernos o debemos tener un cuidado especial de alguna manera?

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Dra. Messonnier, ?quiere abordar eso para David?

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Claro. David, gracias por preguntar eso. Hasta ahora, no tenemos evidencia de que los protocolos actuales no sean apropiados para estas cepas, y en este momento, francamente, mucha gente en Estados Unidos se está cansando de esas precauciones. Espero que tú, tus amigos, tu familia y su comunidad sigan cumpliendo con esas precauciones porque si todos nos distanciamos socialmente, usamos nuestras mascarillas, nos lavamos las manos, nos quedamos en casa cuando estamos enfermos, realmente podríamos detener la transmisión, ralentizarla y realmente tener un gran impacto en esta pandemia hoy. Especialmente mientras esperamos que haya suficientes vacunas disponibles para todos nosotros. Así que, por favor, sigue así. Sigue haciendo lo correcto, incluso con estas nuevas cepas en circulación.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias. ?Quién es nuestro próximo interlocutor?

  ?

  Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Thelma de Arkansas.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: ?Hola, Thelma! Bienvenida, continúa con tu pregunta.

  ?

  Thelma: ?Puedes oírme?

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Claro que sí. Continúa con tu pregunta.

  ?

  Beverly: Bueno, en realidad, habla Beverly, Thelma es mi madre, soy la cuidadora de mi madre y me sentí un poco frustrada en Arkansas, y el primer nivel de vacunas se ha dicho que incluyen cuidado personal en el hogar, pero dejé mensajes en el Departamento de Salud, en la oficina del gobernador y no he podido obtener una respuesta. Aparentemente, llamé a una farmacia que estaba administrando las vacunas y me dijeron que suponían que tenías que estar certificado en salud en el hogar. Entonces, me deja fuera, tengo 61 a?os. Tengo presión arterial alta, pero mi preocupación es que tengo que ir a hacer las compras y tengo que salir. Entonces, mi madre tiene 84 a?os y, afortunadamente, podrá recibir esta vacuna, con suerte pronto. Ella está en una lista de espera, pero, ya sabes, parece que podría ser primavera o más tarde para mí.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Claro. Muy bien, Beverly, hagamos que nuestras expertas hablen sobre esos temas. Dra. Benton, ?quiere hablar sobre el papel de Beverly como cuidadora y lo que puede hacer? Y luego tal vez Dra. Messonnier, usted puede opinar sobre esta distinción que parece hacerse entre los cuidadores familiares no remunerados y los cuidadores profesionales certificados.

  ?

  Donna Benton: Beverly, gracias. Beverly, realmente puedo escuchar tu frustración, pero también escucho tu amor por tu mamá porque tú, durante los últimos meses, realmente has hecho mucho para mantenerla sana y salva. Y este es solo otro esfuerzo de tu parte, ?verdad? Comunícate donde puedas para vacunarte y vacunarla a ella también. Creo que, tiendo a estar de acuerdo en que es difícil que no hayamos visto a los cuidadores familiares como una prioridad o un trabajador esencial, y de alguna manera que necesitemos certificación, y tal vez eso tenga que ser una discusión de políticas o una discusión más amplia para otro momento, no tenemos eso ahora.

  ?

  Pero creo que es algo que defender cuando tengas la energía. Entonces, lo que estás haciendo es muy importante. Está hablando en nombre de muchos cuidadores de quienes escuché esto y espero que continúes hablando en su nombre, pero debes saber que no estás sola y que, a medida que presenta este problema, tal vez podamos tener algún cambio de política sobre cómo se reconoce a los cuidadores familiares como parte del sistema de salud.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: ?Dra. Messonnier?

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Sí, parece que acabas de pasar el a?o cuidando a tu familia y eso es algo maravilloso, y lamento que esta fase de tener la vacuna disponible sea difícil para ti. Ojalá tuviéramos suficientes vacunas hoy para todos. Creo que deberíamos recordar que hace un a?o, comenzamos este esfuerzo para hacer una vacuna y tener una vacuna disponible y utilizada dentro de un a?o después del descubrimiento de una nueva infección es realmente notable.

  ?

  Mi objetivo es poner la vacuna a disposición de cualquiera que quiera una, pero el suministro es limitado y eso significa que hoy se han distribuido más de 30 millones de dosis y 10 millones de personas han comenzado a vacunarse. Creo que esos números son geniales, pero claramente no lo son. Todo el mundo en la campa?a, lo sé, es más lento de lo que nos gustaría. Creo que cada jurisdicción está manejando algunos de estos problemas realmente complicados de manera diferente, y creo que una cosa es tener una política nacional, pero al final, alguien dice: “Tienes que estar en la fila antes que tú”, y yo sé eso es frustrante.

  ?

  He escuchado, nuevamente, a muchas personas que tienen grandes razones por las que deberían recibir la vacuna antes y desearía que hubiera una manera más fácil de manejarlo. Lo que diría es que, por favor, traten de tener paciencia. Estamos cerca. Hay una luz al final de este túnel, va a ser un trabajo duro llegar allí, y creo que todos debemos estar unidos porque vamos a superar esto, gracias.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias. Jean, ?de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

  ?

  Jean Setzfand: Nuevamente, varias preguntas en Facebook y YouTube, y emparejaré dos en una. Muchas preguntas se enfocaron en condiciones subyacentes y Harriett, en particular, pregunta: si su esposo tiene un trasplante de ri?ón. ?Se recomienda la vacuna para ellos? Y viceversa, alguien más se someterá a una cirugía de cáncer, ?debería esperar algún tiempo antes de recibir la vacuna? Entonces, condiciones subyacentes extremas y cómo interactúan con la vacuna.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Dra. Messonnier, me pregunto si podría responder, y es interesante, hemos recibido un número creciente de preguntas sobre si una de las dos vacunas aprobadas es mejor con certeza, para las personas que tienen ciertos condiciones, que para otros. ?Puedes abordar eso?

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Sí, estoy feliz de comenzar allí y luego pasar a las preguntas específicas. Estas dos vacunas son realmente similares. Tienen modos de funcionamiento similares e ingredientes similares, y los ensayos clínicos que autorizaron estas vacunas fueron muy similares. Descubrieron que las vacunas eran seguras en adultos de todas las edades, razas y etnias, e incluían a personas con afecciones crónicas de salud, pero no a todas las afecciones en cantidades suficientes para poder realizar las evaluaciones rigurosas que están pidiendo.

  ?

  Entonces, por ejemplo, no hay razón para pensar que la enfermedad renal afectaría de alguna manera la seguridad de la vacuna o no. Para alguien que está recibiendo terapia contra el cáncer, depende un poco, específicamente, de qué es esa terapia y si destruye su sistema inmunitario. Lo que le diría a cualquiera que tenga una pregunta es que hable con su propio proveedor de atención médica.

  ?

  Es difícil sentarme donde estoy y ser capaz de entender la historia específica de cada persona, la historia de salud, lo suficiente como para recomendarle a cada individuo. Comuníquense con su proveedor de atención médica, hablen sobre su propia situación específica y espero que puedan ayudarlos a superarla. Hasta ahora, no hemos encontrado ninguna contraindicación para vacunarse, excepto si tienes una reacción alérgica específica a alguno de los componentes de la vacuna.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Está bien. Muchas gracias por eso. Jean, escuchemos a nuestro próximo oyente.

  ?

  Jean Setzfand: Nuestra siguiente llamada es de Jean de Illinois.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Adelante, Jean.

  ?

  Jean: Mi esposa y yo tenemos 71 a?os, ambos dimos positivo el 28 de diciembre y el 28 recibimos un tratamiento con anticuerpos monoclonales. Desde entonces, el 6 de enero, mi esposa recibió Remdesivir, tres tratamientos. Mi pregunta es, ?cómo es que el haber recibido la terapéutica cambia el tiempo o la efectividad, o algo que tenga que ver con que finalmente obtengamos y nos beneficiemos de la vacuna?

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Está bien, Jean. Muchas gracias. Dra. Messonnier, ?quiere abordar eso?

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Sí. Gracias por hacer una pregunta complicada, pero eso es algo que la gente debe darse cuenta de que existe la posibilidad de que esos anticuerpos monoclonales afecten el momento que recomendamos para la vacuna. Y estamos, de hecho, en el proceso en este momento de trabajar en nuestras guías clínicas que tratan específicamente de abordar algunas de estas preguntas. Así que me recuerda decirles que echen un vistazo al sitio web de los CDC, y específicamente a la página que comienza con las vacunas contra la COVID-19-, porque continuaremos recibiendo ese tipo de preguntas, tal como las que hicieron, y a medida que las recibamos, nuestros expertos continuarán revisando la ciencia y haciendo las mejores recomendaciones que tenemos. A medida que hay nuevos datos disponibles, siempre actualizamos esas recomendaciones, pero ese es el mejor lugar para buscar. Y nuevamente, hablen con su propio proveedor de atención médica sobre su situación específica.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias y el sitio web de los CDC, por supuesto, es cdc.gov. Estamos cerca del final, Dra. Messonnier y Dra. Benton, cualquier pensamiento final o recomendación para nuestros oyentes que deban tener de nuestra conversación de hoy. Dra. Messonnier, ?quiere ir primero?

  ?

  Nancy Messonnier: Gracias y realmente agradezco que me hayan invitado nuevamente. Creo que si pienso en marzo, ninguno de nosotros esperaba que el a?o fuera así, y realmente ha sido difícil, notablemente para todos en todo el país. Esta vacuna es la forma en que creo que podemos volver a la normalidad. Es segura, es efectiva y, desafortunadamente, hay mucha oferta en este momento, pero la buena noticia es que esperamos que la oferta aumente durante la primavera. Por lo tanto, les pediría paciencia ya que este es un proceso imperfecto, pero realmente creemos que estamos en el camino hacia la normalización. Mientras tanto, desafortunadamente, tendré que pedirles que continúe ejerciendo el distanciamiento social, el uso de mascarillas, lavado de manos y se queden en casa mientras estén enfermos, pero sepa que estamos trabajando tan duro como podemos todos los días para saca esta vacuna. Llevarla a los brazos de las personas que la necesitan para que todos podamos superar esta pandemia y ciertamente espero con ansias ese día. Gracias.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias, Dra. Messonnier. Dra. Benton, ?algún pensamiento final?

  ?

  Donna Benton: Solo quiero decir que estoy muy agradecida por haber sido invitada de nuevo, pero también, creo que para todos nosotros, leí en algún lugar que alguien dijo eso el a?o pasado y probablemente en primavera, estamos todavía tratando de sobrevivir, pero vamos a prosperar porque hemos construido mucha resiliencia durante este tiempo. Hemos pasado por tiempos difíciles, estamos aprendiendo, es sorprendente, estamos encontrando nuevas voluntades de fuerza que no sabíamos que teníamos, hemos construido nuevas comunidades y a veces es difícil concentrarse en todas las cosas que durante este tiempo realmente han unido a las personas y han unido nuestra bondad. Y entonces, pasemos de sobrevivir a prosperar, y realmente, gracias por la vacuna que viene a ayudarnos.

  ?

  Bill Walsh: Bien y gracias a nuestros dos expertos. Esta ha sido una discusión realmente informativa y gracias a nuestros socios, voluntarios y oyentes de AARP por participar hoy. AARP, una organización de membresía sin fines de lucro y no partidista, ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores durante más de 60 a?os en EE.UU.

  ?

  Frente a esta crisis, estamos brindando información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan a protegerse del virus, prevenir su propagación a otros, mientras se cuidan. Todos los recursos a los que se hizo referencia hoy, incluida una grabación de la parte de preguntas y respuestas del evento, se podrán encontrar en aarp.org/elcoronavirus a partir de ma?ana, 15 de enero. 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 hayas aprendido algo que pueda ayudarte a ti y a tus seres queridos a mantenerse saludables. Sintonicen esta noche a las 7 p.m. hora del este, para otro evento en vivo, donde hablaremos sobre las vacunas contra la COVID-19 y la comunidad negra. Gracias, que tengan un buen día. Con esto concluye nuestra llamada.

  ?

  ?

  1 p.m. ET?– Vaccines, Staying Safe & Coping

  This live Q&A event provided the latest information on vaccine trials, FDA approvals, development and distribution. It also addressed how to protect yourself, access testing, safely care for loved ones and maintain social connections. Watch a replay of the live event below.?

  The experts:

  Nancy Messonnier, M.D.

  Director,

  National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases,

  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  Donna Benton, Ph.D.

  Director of the Family Caregiver Support Center,

  University of Southern California

  Nancy LeaMond

  Special Guest,

  Executive Vice President,

  Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer, AARP

  ?

  Full Transcript: Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall (English)

  Tele-Town Hall 7 PM 011421 Prevention, Vaccines & the Black Community

  Edna Kane Williams: Hello, and good evening. My name is Edna Kane Williams. I’m an AARP senior vice president, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the coronavirus. Before we begin, if you would like to listen to this tele-town hall in Spanish, press *0 now on your telephone keypad.

  AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization. We have been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of the global pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, AARP is providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them. Today we’re going to be discussing the latest on the pandemic, the vaccine rollout and what this means for the Black community. We are having this discussion as information continues to show that the pandemic is worsening across the country, and COVID-19 continues to disproportionately, or differently, affect Black and brown people. We are at greater risk.

  We have distinguished experts on hand to answer your critical questions. For those of you joining us on the phone, if you would like to ask a question about the coronavirus pandemic, press *3 on your telephone to be connected with an AARP staff member who will note your name and question and place you in a queue to ask the question live. If you are joining on Facebook or YouTube, you can post questions in the comments section of both of those social media entities.

  Joining us today are two distinguished guests: Dr. David Carlisle, who is president and chief executive officer of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; and Dr. Leon McDougle, who’s president of the National Medical Association. We’re also joined by my AARP colleague Shani Hosten, who will help facilitate your calls today. This event is being recorded, and you can access the recording at aarp.org/coronavirus up to 24 hours after we wrap up.

  I’d like to formally welcome our guests first, and tell you a little bit about them. First, Dr. David Carlisle, as I mentioned, is the president and chief executive officer of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles. He’s a board-certified internal medicine specialist, and also served as director of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development for 11 years, serving under three governors and California’s first Statewide Health Disparities Report was issued under his leadership. Welcome, Dr. Carlisle.

  David Carlisle: It’s great to be here with your audience and with you all. And I appreciate the privilege.

  Edna Kane Williams: Now, Dr. Leon McDougle is the 121st president of the National Medical Association. As a family physician, Dr. McDougle has served a mostly older population on the near East Side of Columbus, Ohio, since 2001. He is also the first African American professor with tenure at the Ohio State University’s Department of Family Medicine, and he’s the first Chief Diversity Officer for the OSU Wexner Medical Center. Welcome, Dr. McDougle.

  Leon McDougle: Thank you, Edna Kane Williams. Glad to participate in this evening’s session.

  Edna Kane Williams: Great. So let’s get started with our discussion. … I’m so excited. I think this is going to be a really beneficial discussion this evening, but before we begin we actually want to hear from you. … We’re going to do a poll. So please take a moment to tell us the answer to this question: Will you take the COVID-19 vaccine? Press 1 on your telephone keypad if you’ve already taken the COVID-19 vaccine. Press 2 on your telephone keypad if you plan to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Press 3 on your telephone keypad if you’re not sure yet. And press 4 on your telephone keypad if you do not plan to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Again, just a quick poll. We’re really curious as to what people are thinking, especially in the African American Black community. So again, those instructions, one more time, press 1 on your telephone keypad if you’ve already taken the vaccine. Press 2 on your telephone keypad if you plan to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Press 3 on your telephone keypad if you’re not sure yet. And press 4 on your telephone keypad if you don’t plan to take the COVID-19 vaccine. We’ll have results of those polls later on in the hour. Thank you so much.

  And now, to hear from our experts I’d like to start with a question for both of you. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact in our community. I personally have had family members die. Why have … Black and brown people been so impacted unequally by this virus? Dr. Carlisle, let’s start with you. And then Dr. McDougle.

  David Carlisle: It’s a really good, good question. We don’t necessarily have all the answers yet, but we do know that COVID-19 is a pernicious virus. It preys upon certain communities, and one of the communities that COVID-19 is preying upon is the African American community. In part, this is because of the underlying disease burden that particularly affects the African American community. Many people have diabetes, for example. Many have respiratory conditions, for example. Many people have high blood pressure, for example. These are all conditions that predispose people to having adversary outcomes perhaps from COVID-19. But many people also are employed in situations where they have increased exposure to COVID-19. They are essentially essential workers working in public positions, where they interact with many people. And I’m thinking of positions like supermarket workers, I’m thinking of positions like bus drivers. I’m thinking of positions where you can’t avoid interacting with the public. People running restaurants, etc. So this creates a perfect storm for COVID-19.

  But another issue is lack of access to health care, which we know is also an issue for the African American community. And so we have individuals who can’t necessarily get tested for COVID-19. And if they don’t get tested, they don’t know that they might be an asymptomatic carrier or those cold symptoms that you have, you may not know are due to COVID-19. The next thing you know, you’ve taken them home to your loved ones and other people in your family have gotten COVID-19. So a lack of access to health care, especially diagnostic testing, is an issue for the African American community as well. Thank you.

  Edna Kane Williams: Thank you for that. Dr. McDougle, do you want to add?

  Leon McDougle: Yes, Dr. Carlisle did a wonderful job. What I would add is also our living environment, and especially speaking to this AARP community here this evening, people living in multigenerational homes and not having the ability to be distant in one’s home in regards to interactions. So having younger folks who may be asymptomatic or not having symptoms interfacing with older people in the family and leading to transmission unknowingly. That’s just one other factor I would add to the comprehensive list provided by Dr. Carlisle.

  Edna Kane Williams: Great, thank you. Thank you for that. … Now it’s clear that the pandemic is shedding light on racial disparities that existed before this crisis which have … exacerbated. And we use the term disparity so much, I hope that everybody understands, meaning that it’s impacting our communities differently and more than other communities. So I wanted to explain that term a little bit, because we’ll use it a lot this evening.

  I’d like our listeners to know that AARP is focused on combating those disparities. We have advocated at the federal, state and local levels for greater data transparency, which means more data, more information about what’s going on, and the actions to protect residents, and staff in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Especially as data is showing that people of color in these facilities, in nursing homes, and long-term care facilities, they’re being harder hit. Dying more, getting sicker more, especially when they’re Black or brown. Also, in places like New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, South Carolina, New Jersey, and California, AARP is working to ensure that more racial and ethnic, again, data collection, outreach and testing for people of color is happening, and we’re seeking commitment from leaders to address underlying issues of hunger, health, access, transportation, and more. Because I think what both doctors mentioned in their initial responses is there are lots of factors that play in where you work, where you live, how you’re living. So we’re asking for more information from leaders to address these underlying issues.

  On that note, Dr. Carlisle, I’d like to turn back to you and ask, what has the pandemic exposed about the inequities among frontline workers and essential workers? We touched on essential workers a little bit, but we haven’t really talked about frontline health workers.

  David Carlisle: Well, unfortunately, the frontline health workers have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have hospitals here in L.A. County where I am, in Los Angeles, that are operating at 200 percent capacity, 300 percent capacity. … Right now we have zero ICU bed capacity in Los Angeles County. So, in addition to the actual direct toll of COVID-19 on health care personnel, i.e., people getting sick and dying from COVID-19, we also have people who are exhausted. They’ve been working overtime. They’ve been working double shifts. They’ve been working seven days a week. And, but still they have to come in to work, and our emergency rooms are full. When you look at the toll of COVID-19 on individuals in the health care sector, frontline workers, it has been enormous. There was just a story in the Los Angeles Times about a month ago about a surgical technician who had disappeared. Her friends didn’t know where she was. It turns out she had acquired COVID-19, she had checked into a hotel to basically isolate herself. And then basically died in her hotel room … without anyone being aware that this had happened to her. This is not an isolated situation. It’s not a unique situation, and it’s something that is happening all too frequently among our frontline health care workers. But I think about our custodians, our medical assistants, our pharmacy technicians, not to mention our nurses, our doctors. We’re talking about people who are true American heroes, who are doubling down to make sure that the people who are getting sick from COVID-19 are able to access the best care that we can give them.

  Edna Kane Williams: That’s such a heart-wrenching story, and there’s so many really horrible stories that I hope we don’t become numb to what’s happening, because it really is this situation that we should work so hard to never, ever revisit. So much has not played out in a way that it should have, costing people lives, costing people undue isolation and stress. And I hope … that our system really learns from this, that the image of her dying alone is just heart-wrenching. I want to follow up, Dr. Carlisle, and so both you and Dr. McDougle turn to the issue of vaccines, which we’ve been waiting to hear so much about. And I had the results in our poll that we’ll get to in a minute, but Dr. Carlisle, there are several vaccines that have been approved under an emergency use authorization, and a lot of my friends ask this question, “How are Black and brown communities represented in vaccine trials? And what about older adults? Did they test these vaccines with Black and brown people? Did they test these vaccines with older adults?”

  David Carlisle: Thank you for that question. This is [a] very important and relevant question, obviously. I would say that with the development of the current two approved vaccines, the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, but all the others that are still undergoing evaluation, we have indeed learned from the mistakes of our past. And these efforts have specifically included, physicians of color, researchers of color, and communities of color in the design, not just the actual clinical trials themselves, but the design of the clinical trials and the actual research itself. I want to recognize Dr. [Kizzmekia] Corbett from the NIH working with Dr. [Anthony] Fauci specifically on the basic science research that went into the development of our vaccines. So this has been part of the fundamental construct of doing the vaccine research, knowing that historically we’ve not had this level of engagement on the part of the African American community and other communities of color, and people have been left out and it’s been unfair, and it’s … actually produced outcomes for medications that have been deleterious to the African American community, or not as effective as they should have been.

  So we learned from … the mistakes of our past so much so that when one of the clinical trials was not enrolling enough African Americans and other people of color, that trial was suspended and delayed until they could ramp up their numbers. I don’t want to create the impression that everything is hunky dory and perfect, but these efforts have been much, much more inclusive, much more representative, and much more democratic than any other research efforts and medication development efforts that I’m aware of historically. So, yes, there has been inclusion that maybe hasn’t been perfect, but we’ve come a long way and we’re in much better shape in terms of inclusivity than we have ever been before.

  Edna Kane Williams: That’s good, that’s really good to hear. Before I turn to Dr. McDougle, what about older adults? Was there an effort to include them in the clinical trials, which is what they have to do to test to make sure that these vaccines are going to be effective equally.

  David Carlisle: I would like to have a specific answer for you. I know that a number of older adults have been included. What I can’t speak to is the degree to which by design they were included, or whether that inclusion was more from happenstance. And maybe Dr. McDougle can speak to that specifically. I think that we’re not lacking in the inclusion of older adults. And we are going forward with additional clinical trials that are targeting additional populations that have not been as well represented in the previous clinical trials, such as younger children, for example, have not been an area of focus historically.

  Edna Kane Williams: Great. Thank you. Dr. McDougle, with vaccines now being distributed, does this mean that we can relax our preventative measures, things like mask wearing and physical distancing?

  Leon McDougle: No, it does not, and so there is still the risk of transmission, and I’d like to speak to this topic of herd immunity. We keep hearing it repeated over and over again on television. And that’s when about 75 percent of the population have been vaccinated, or have immunity to COVID-19. That being said, that’s more of a parameter to track to help ensure that our hospital system isn’t overrun or overwhelmed. That doesn’t mean that those folks who haven’t been vaccinated aren’t at risk of developing COVID-19. And then going back to your prior question, the National Medical Association’s Task Force on Vaccines and Therapeutics, we’ve met with scientists from Pfizer and Moderna, and about 10 percent of the enrollment for each of those clinical trials were comprised of Black people adding up to about 3,000 of the 30,000 or so people in the clinical trial for Moderna, and about 4,400 for the 44,000 or so people enrolled in the Pfizer clinical trial. Also, there was an intentional effort to have a substantial cohort of older adults and also people with chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and obesity, so that when the results are reported out, we could have more confidence in the outcomes.

  Edna Kane Williams: And I think it’s safe to say that those numbers are strikingly more than we historically have seen in clinical trials. Is that true?

  Leon McDougle: Yes, very much so.

  Edna Kane Williams: That’s really encouraging. Those are higher numbers than I would’ve thought, so that’s encouraging. I wanted to update our listeners on the poll we conducted at the beginning of the show. … We asked if you plan to take the vaccine, and it looks like 6 percent of you have already taken the vaccine, 62 percent plan to, 4 percent said no, and 28 percent are unsure. So those are really interesting findings. I want to thank everyone for those answers.

  Now let’s get to your questions. I’d like to bring in my AARP colleague Shani Hosten to help facilitate your calls. Welcome, Shani.

  Shani Hosten: Thanks, Edna. And I’m happy to be here for this important conversation tonight. Thank you.

  Edna Kane Williams: Great. Shani, let’s take our first question.

  Shani Hosten: We have a lot of great questions that are coming in. So, let’s go live and hear from our callers. We have on the line, Louise from Ohio.

  Edna Kane Williams: Hi, Louise. Go ahead with your question.

  Louise: I would like to know what the COVID-19 is. Is it a pneumonia? Is it a virus? Or, how does it really affect us? I know a lot of Blacks have the hypertension, the diabetes … but, you know, I haven’t made my mind up if I want to really take the vaccine, cause I really don’t do anything. What’s in the vaccine?

  Edna Kane Williams: OK.

  Louise: Or if it will cure.

  Edna Kane Williams: That’s a good question. So I’m going to ask both of our doctors, whoever wants to go first. She’s asking what is COVID-19, and it sounds like you want to know a little bit more about what the virus is, or how does the [vaccine] help?

  Leon McDougle: Since I’m from Ohio, I’d like to take this one.

  Edna Kane Williams: Great, Dr. McDougle.

  Leon McDougle: COVID-19, coronavirus, discovered in 2019, is a form of … respiratory disease. It’s a virus, and it’s spread by someone coughing on you, or someone breathing on you, and that virus goes from their lungs to your lungs. So it is an upper respiratory track, your mouth and nose. It’s spread via respiration or breathing. It’s called coronavirus because there are little spike proteins on the top of it. You’ve probably seen a number of these scientific pictures of coronavirus on television, and those spike proteins allow the coronavirus to be more infective and infect your cells, and yes, you can develop pneumonia, and the syndrome — a severe, acute respiratory syndrome — that’s the long-term version of the virus. So yes, you can get pneumonia. Yes, it can spread to your kidneys. And yes, you can develop blood clots related to coronavirus. It is a serious illness, and that’s why you hear so much about people being put on ventilators in the hospital, because it infects their lungs. And when I talk about or explain the term pneumonia … pneumonia essentially means your lungs are infected and, in some cases, you develop pus in your lungs, too. It’s very serious. And I would recommend when it’s your turn to get the vaccine, I would recommend that you get vaccinated.

  Edna Kane Williams: Thank you, Dr. McDougle. Dr. Carlisle, did you want to add anything to that? That was a pretty comprehensive response from Dr. McDougle, but do you have anything else you want to add?

  David Carlisle: I would just say that it was great. The doctor from Cleveland was able to answer the question from the caller from Cleveland. But I would just underscore two points that Dr. McDougle made that are very important. The first is that COVID-19 kills. It especially kills older people. People over 80 years old — that represent about 4 or 5 percent of the population — represent about over 40 percent of the deaths from COVID-19. People over 75 disproportionately, people over 70 disproportionately, people over 65 disproportionately. It preys upon our older population. And yes, it does kill people. I just want to just repeat what Dr. McDougle said, because this is a very, very important message. When it is your turn, when you are offered the vaccine for COVID-19, please, please, please say yes, because if you say no, you’re literally playing Russian roulette with your life, as well as the life of anyone else whom you might be living with or interacting with. It is not worth the risk to say no to vaccination. That is my opinion and, I think, the opinion of the entire medical community, especially our African American physicians.

  Edna Kane Williams: Thank you, Dr. Carlisle. All right, so let’s go back to the phone line. Who do we have next, Shani?

  Shani Hosten: Thanks, Edna, we actually have Kim from Washington, D.C., on the line.

  Edna Kane Williams: Kim from Washington, D.C., you’re live. What’s your question?

  Kim: Yes. Can you hear me?

  Edna Kane Williams: We can.

  Kim: Yes, and good afternoon, and thank you so much for presenting this town hall [to] get to know about COVID. My question is, first of all, how would we know which vaccine we will be taking? Is it upfront when you go to get your vaccine? Is it Moderna or is it Pfizer, or is it some other vaccine? And what are the side effects with the vaccine?

  Edna Kane Williams: We started with Dr. McDougle before, so Dr. Carlisle, why don’t you take this one first?

  David Carlisle: As someone who was born in Northern Virginia, it’s great to be able to answer the question from somebody from Washington, D.C. Good evening, how are you? You know, everyone who is getting the vaccine that I’ve talked to is aware of whether they’ve taken the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine right now. And yes, there’s some others that are still in the pipeline coming forward … but right now we have just the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available in the United States. And it’s quite clear at the time, usually whatever site you’re at has one vaccine available to you. I wouldn’t say that there’s a significant difference whatsoever between the two vaccines. It’s so much more important just to get vaccinated than it is to think about the differences. But one difference is that the Pfizer vaccine requires a 21-day period before you receive your second injection. And yes, that second injection is very important. The Moderna vaccine has a 28-day period before you receive your second injection. That’s probably the biggest difference between the vaccine. Most of the people that I know who have undergone the vaccine, and I’m sharing this information with you at a personal level, it doesn’t differ from what we know from the studies. Very few people have complained about any kind of side effects from the vaccine. If they have any kind of effect, it is mostly soreness in the vaccine site. Some people feel maybe a little bit run down for a day. Some people have some muscle aches, but what does this sound like? This sounds like the flu vaccine. And I don’t want to say that they are identical in terms of their side effect profiles, but these are for the most part, either no side effects or pretty minimal side effects that people are experiencing. I’ve not encountered anybody personally who’s had side effects that are more severe than that. Either one of the two vaccines, the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

  Edna Kane Williams: Thank you, Dr. Carlisle. I’m going to go back to the phone to try to get in a couple more questions before I turn to the doctors for some additional questions of them. So Shani, do we have another person on the line?

  Shani Hosten: We do, we have lots, lots of questions. One actually came in from YouTube …from Mahindra on YouTube and it’s asking, “Should someone with antibodies take the vaccine?”

  Edna Kane Williams: Dr. McDougle?

  Leon McDougle: If one has been infected before with COVID-19, we’re thinking that, and what has been shown with the vaccines, the level of immunity, the amount of antibodies is higher. So it depends on ?… the question was kind of nonspecific, so I’ll just kind of be more specific. If you’ve had COVID-19 infection, and have the opportunity to receive the vaccination based on the prioritization, that I would think that if it’s outside of that 10-day window that people usually are given to help determine whether they’re going to manifest symptoms, the COVID-19 vaccine — the two doses, and both doses are required — allows your body to make enough antibodies to be more protective. But so that when looking at the outcome it’s 94 percent less likely that one will develop COVID-19 symptoms when any significant symptoms from COVID-19, when exposed. So hopefully that helps.

  Edna Kane Williams: OK. So in other words, if someone has antibodies, it sounds like you’re still recommending that they take a vaccine, or does it depend on the number of antibodies in their system?

  Leon McDougle: So let me answer another aspect of that question. If you have received a monoclonal antibody infusion treatment, or if you’ve received convalescent plasma treatment of COVID-19, it’s recommended that one would wait at least 90 days before being considered for any type of vaccine. That’s just another pathway from that question that was asked.

  Edna Kane Williams: That was helpful. Shani, I think we have time for maybe one more question.

  Shani: We actually do. We have time for one more for this round. And it’s from Carmen from South Carolina. Carmen?

  Edna Kane Williams: Go ahead, Carmen. Welcome.

  Carmen : Oh, my question was, I have severe allergies. I’m a 76-year-old African American lady. And I’ve had tests for the environment, foods and medication. And I was advised that I would probably need to get with my physician — or my primary care doctor, I’m sure is what it was — for him to decide whether I could take this vaccine or not, because I don’t know if anything is in it that I can be allergic to. I do have unidentified antibodies in my system, in my blood, and I have a rare type. So do you think it’d be safe for me to take it, or should I go that route?

  Edna Kane Williams: OK. Doctors, does one of you want to respond?

  Leon McDougle: Well, so you received good advice, and I suspect your primary care physician will refer you to an allergist because of your strong history of allergies to provide advice for you. It’s not necessarily a contraindication based on CDC guidelines, but I think highly advisable for someone with your medical history to see your doctor, get tailored advice. I suspect part of that may be a referral to your allergist, so you can get advice specific to your medical history.

  Edna Kane Williams: Thank you. We’ll have another opportunity for another round of questions from the audience, but now I want to turn back to our experts and ask a few more detailed questions, detailed general questions. Dr. McDougle, how are leaders addressing the historical violations of trust that we’ve had with the medical establishment and vaccines? And I think this is talking specifically about the African American community. There’s a great deal of mistrust due to our prior history. We know about the Tuskegee experiments; we know about Henrietta Lacks and what happened in her case. And a lot of people think that it’s not a historic mistrust, that it’s mistrust based on things that are happening today in the health care system. How are leaders addressing this? What are we doing to sort of show that we’re in a different era?

  Leon McDougle: It’s a very good question. Part of that effort includes this information session this evening. You have the 121st president of the National Medical Association, myself, and then you have the president of Charles R. Drew Medical School, and we’re part of a Black coalition against COVID that’s been organized by Dr. Reed Tuckson that involves the consortium of four Black medical schools — ?Howard University, Morehouse School of Medicine, the Meharry Medical College, and Charles R. Drew. It involves our National Black Nurses Association, the Montague Cobb Health Institute, the National Urban League, the National Medical Association, and others. And an example of this would be a town hall that we held last Thursday involving outreach to the Black clergy, the faith-based leadership, involving, for example, [Rev.] Dr. Calvin Butts of the Abyssinian Church in New York, and the Choose Healthy Life Initiative; Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., and the Rainbow Push Coalition; Rev. Matthew Watley, and others across the country. Reaching out to our church leadership, our Black fraternities and sororities, our Black professional organizations such as Linked Incorporated, Dr. Carlisle and I have been a part of this information world tour to help educate our community.

  Edna Kane Williams: And we greatly appreciate it. Dr. Carlisle, I’d like to turn back to you now. Vaccines are currently being delivered in major pharmacy chains and hospitals, but the implementation has badly fallen behind, and we see long waits and long lines, and a lot of … confusion, because people aren’t hearing what they need to do or where they should go. What needs to be done to get vaccines into people’s arms faster and more conveniently? Where else should states and local governments look to share the vaccine? Dr. Carlisle?

  Leon McDougle: He may be on mute.

  Edna Kane Williams: Or we may have lost him. Dr. McDougle, do you want to take a …

  Leon McDougle: Oh, yes. So …

  Edna Kane Williams: … a pass at that?

  Leon McDougle: So usual sources of care. I think more of an effort to distribute the vaccines to our office-based practices, our federally qualified health centers — and those are some of the ways to do that. And also collaborating with our community organizations, our faith-based community to provide additional options for dissemination of the vaccine, and having a one-stop shop resource — perhaps a website where someone could put in their zip code and their age and such — and be able to quickly determine when will their turn be up to get the vaccine, and where are the options or locations for them to receive the vaccine?

  Edna Kane Williams: I think those are all good suggestions. I really hope that state and local and federal governments take note of that because the frustration is growing simply among people older who are concerned about their vulnerability. Let’s hope that we see a more systematic rollout in the weeks ahead. I’m going to have one more question before we go back to the phone lines and to the social media comments section. Dr. Carlisle, are you back?

  David Carlisle: Yes, I am here.

  Edna Kane Williams: OK great, then I’ll ask this last question of you. Last question for now, and we touched on this a little bit before. I thought Dr. McDougle really addressed the whole notion of adverse reactions, but social media and the news have highlighted some adverse reactions and side effects to the COVID vaccine. So what should we make of this? Was there, and the question here is, “Was the approval rushed and are vaccines safe?” I think I know what your answer is going to be. If COVID vaccines are safe and effective, why are some medical professionals declining? What does this say about vaccine safety? Do you have any concerns? Would you take the vaccine?

  David Carlisle: Yes, I am looking forward to taking the vaccine as soon as it is offered to me. Although I am a physician, I am mostly an administrator, so I’m not really on the front lines, which is why I have not taken the vaccine so far. But my wife has, and she’s a frontline physician. She experienced no side effects. You know, the vaccine development process was fortunately rapid and successful, successfully rapid. And I say that because every phase that is necessary for the development of a vaccine — phase 0, phase 1, phase 2, phase 3 of a clinical trial — was involved in the development of the COVID-19 vaccines. The thing that’s different is that the basic science that has led to the development of the vaccines had already been done. The coronavirus is like SARS that we had in the early 2000s. The coronavirus is something that we experience when people get wintertime respiratory infections. We’ve been working on vaccines for coronaviruses for more than a year. We took that basic science research that had already been done, took it off the shelf, and recalibrated it to the current novel coronavirus. So that’s why we were able to produce vaccines in record time. I don’t see significant evidence that the current COVID-19 vaccines are any more dangerous than other vaccines that individuals are taking out there. But because we are dealing with a threat — a clear and present danger is taking the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands of Americans every day — this is why we are so strongly advocating that people undergo the COVID-19 vaccines, that they receive it. Because again, you don’t want to play Russian roulette with your life or the lives of your loved ones. Please take the vaccine.

  Edna Kane Williams: Thank you, Dr. Carlisle. I think the social media information, misinformation frankly, reminds us that as the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine continues, scammers are looking for a way to take advantage. They will call, send emails and texts — and this is for our audience to really focus on — and place fake ads to convince people that they can jump into the front of the vaccine line for a fee or providing their Social Security number or other sensitive personal information. We’ve seen, and it’s been reported to us that this is really happening at a frightening pace. So we’re asking the audience, don’t be fooled. You can’t pay to jump the line and COVID vaccines should be free — even for people without insurance, there’s no costs for the vaccine. We are encouraging you to visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork to learn more about these and other scams. Or you can call the Fraud Watch Network Helpline at (877) 908-3360. And again, the incidents of fraud and trying to stir people up and push misinformation is really running rampant, and they’re targeting older adults. So again, we encourage you to visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call the Fraud Watch Network Helpline at (877) 908-3360. And don’t give your Social Security number out to anyone who asks in terms of the vaccine.

  And now we want to turn back to some of your questions for Dr. McDougle and Dr. Carlisle. Shani, do we have someone else on the line now?

  Shani Hosten: We do, Edna, thanks. We have a lot of questions still coming in. Let’s go to Sarah from Texas.

  Edna Kane Williams: OK, Sarah from Texas. What’s your question?

  Sarah: Great, good evening. And thanks so much for this opportunity in bringing these two great physicians here to give us firsthand information. My question is, what are the implications for individuals that have autoimmune diseases such as lupus or any variety of the other autoimmune diseases, especially if they are taking immune suppressant medications and have a desire to take the vaccine? Are there any higher risks or implications to that?

  Edna Kane Williams: Either doctor.

  Leon McDougle: I’d like to take that one. We specifically addressed that question with both Pfizer and Moderna, and in general, persons with chronic diseases that are controlled and stable do qualify for receiving the vaccine. With that being said, consultation with your health care provider beforehand is advisable. And when we looked at the participants in the clinical trial, persons with controlled autoimmune disease were enrolled, and an increase in risk to receiving the vaccines was not observed.

  Edna Kane Williams: Great, thank you, Dr. McDougle. I’m going to keep moving because we have a number of questions [and] so that we can get as many in before we have to conclude. Shani, who else is on the line?

  Shani Hosten: We actually have a Facebook question from Carol on Facebook. She wrote in that she is a frontline worker in a medical clinic, and she has not heard anything about the vaccine at all. And she’s soon to be 65 with an underlying medical condition. How does she get the vaccine?

  Leon McDougle: I would suggest that one, she check with the administration of the health system in which she is working. Number two, the dissemination plan has been allocated to state health departments. So, if the answer received at your health system is insufficient, I would recommend checking with the state health department. I know for Ohio, there’s … a specific number one can call on the telephone. Those would be my suggestions.

  Edna Kane Williams: Thank you, Dr. McDougle.

  David Carlisle: The same advice.

  Edna Kane Williams: Dr. Carlisle, you said you’d give the same advice?

  David Carlisle: Yes, the only other thing I would add is that you are in the group that has highest priority for the vaccine. And I would also look online to see where there may be public vaccination sites in your community. I can’t speak about Texas, specifically, but in most of the United States, there are public sites where people can go to get vaccinated, and given your employment, given your age and given your medical risk, you would be in the high priority category for vaccination. So I would add that, and I would ask your employer to provide the vaccines. I recognize that not all employers have full access to all the technology that major medical centers do, but you are a frontline health worker, and you should be receiving the vaccine with highest priority.

  Edna Kane Williams: Thank you, Dr. Carlisle. Shani, do we have another question from the audience?

  Shani Hosten: We do, we actually have George from Ohio.

  Edna Kane Williams: Go ahead, George from Ohio. George, we can’t quite hear you. … OK, Shani, maybe we can go to someone else, and if George joins us, we can reconnect later.

  Shani Hosten: What about Hazel from Ohio.

  Edna Kane Williams: Hazel?

  Hazel: Yes. Hello.

  Edna Kane Williams: Go ahead, you’re live.

  Hazel: I would like to know … I live in a senior building, and I would like to know — I have rheumatoid arthritis, and I’m already taking a shot for that. Should I take the virus shot?

  Edna Kane Williams: Either doctor.

  Leon McDougle: Yes. Hello, this is Dr. McDougle from Ohio. Good to talk with a Buckeye, and we spoke to this — your question’s a little bit different, but it’s similar to the prior caller’s question. So, those persons with controlled and stable disease do qualify for the vaccine. That being said, I would consult first with your health care provider beforehand.

  Edna Kane Williams: Great. We’ve had a number of questions around preexisting conditions, and it seems like talking to your health care provider is key. So thank you, Dr. McDougle. Shani, we have a couple more minutes. I want to get in as many questions as we can. Is there another caller on the line or someone on Facebook or YouTube?

  Shani Hosten: We have Mildred from South Carolina.

  Edna Kane Williams: Mildred, you’re on, you’re live. Go ahead. … Mildred? Are you there?

  Shani Hosten: Mildred, are you there? … OK, let’s try Jonnie from LA.

  Jonnie: Hi there, I’m from Louisiana.

  Shani Hosten: Oh, OK.

  Jonnie: Yes. I’ve got one question. I’ve got one question for you. I read a report and I’m not sure if it was on social media or where, but in that report, they did a comparison between those people that have blood types A positive and AB, in comparison to the ones that have O type, O blood type. And in that study, they said that the ones that have A positive or AB were more likely to contract the disease and that the effects of the disease would be more dire than the ones that have O positive blood types. And I wanted to find out … what the validity of that is, or is that true or is it not? Is it, what is it?

  Edna Kane Williams: Dr. Carlisle or Dr. McDougle?

  David Carlisle: Yes, I will speak to that. First, I was hoping you were from Los Angeles, but I’m quite happy to speak to somebody from Louisiana, one of my favorite states as well. You know, I remember when the news first came out about blood types, I myself am O positive. That is not whatsoever going to keep me from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Whether it’s a 10 percent difference or a 5 percent difference, or whatever the difference is between blood types, that’s more of a scientific issue right now and should not be allowed by anybody to … inform their decision about whether they can skip receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone who is eligible to receive it, who is offered a chance to have the vaccine should absolutely receive the vaccine regardless of your blood type.

  Edna Kane Williams: Thank you, Dr. Carlisle. We have time for one more question, Shani, so do you have one in the line, in the queue?

  Shani Hosten: We do. We have Gloria from Illinois.

  Gloria: Hello, I was wondering … I am 67 years old, I’ve never had a flu shot, I’ve never had a pneumonia shot, but I’m considering taking the coronavirus vaccination. Do I still need to take those other shots first? Is it too late, or should I just wait and take the coronavirus shot when they offer it?

  Leon McDougle: I’ll take that one. That’s a good question. So yes, you should get your flu shot, and … after receiving your flu shot, you have to wait at least two weeks before you take the COVID-19 vaccine. So do know that with taking the flu shot and perhaps even the pneumonia vaccine, you have to wait at least two weeks. That’s recommended before you start the COVID-19 vaccine series.

  Edna Kane Williams: Dr. McDougle and Dr. Carlisle, any closing thoughts, or recommendations that our listeners should understand most from our conversation today? Let’s start with Dr. Carlisle.

  David Carlisle: Yes, I did hear you share the results of the poll. And I am gratified to hear the portion, the proportion of your audience who have either taken or are waiting and willing to undergo the COVID-19 vaccination. That is good news. It is more than a majority of the people in the audience today. And I’m very happy to hear that because, again, the advice is: When you’re offered the COVID-19 vaccine, please say yes, do not say no.

  Edna Kane Williams: Thank you. Dr. McDougle?

  Leon McDougle: Yes, and if the audience would like additional specific information, especially those from the Black community, if you just go to Google and google National Medical Association COVID-19 Advisory Statement on the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, our report will come up. And it’ll be in much more detail. So Advisory Statement on Federal Drug Administration Emergency Use. I know that’s a long title.

  Edna Kane Williams: And just to clarify for the audience, we did mention earlier, but the National Medical Association is the oldest, and I think largest, association of Black doctors in the country. So you should have added to that. Thank you both. And Charles R. Drew is a historic Black medical school in L.A., so we really have two very eminent doctors with us. I want to thank you both for joining us. This has been such an informative discussion. Thank you for answering the questions, thank you for sharing your wisdom, and thank you to our audience, our AARP members, volunteers, and listeners for participating in the discussion. I want to remind everyone that AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization; we have been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. This is what we do. This is our priority in the face of this crisis. We are providing information and resources to help older adults. We have town halls like this all the time. We want to help older adults and those caring for them. We want to protect everyone from this virus, prevent its spread, and help people while they’re taking care of each other. All of the resources that I referenced, including a recording of today’s Q&A event can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus, starting tomorrow. And again, the web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. And not only about today’s tele-town hall, but we have all kinds of fact sheets and material on the coronavirus, on preventative measures, on the vaccine. Go there if your questions weren’t answered tonight, if we didn’t get to you in the queue, and you will find the latest updates, as well as information created specifically for older adults and their family caregivers. Now we hope you’ve learned something that can help you and your loved ones stay healthy. Please tune in on Jan. 28 for another live event. Again, as I said, we are nonstop, we’re going to be doing this, educating, providing resources because it’s so crucial. This is truly a crisis, and AARP is stepping up. On Jan. 28, we have another live event where we will also be discussing the COVID-19 vaccines. Thank you so much for joining us tonight. Enjoy the rest of your day. This concludes our call.

  Full Transcript: Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall (English with timings)

  Tele-Town Hall 7 PM 011421 Prevention, Vaccines & the Black Community Transcript?

  Edna Kane Williams: ?Hello, and good evening. My name is Edna Kane Williams. I’m an AARP senior vice president, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the coronavirus. Before we begin, if you would like to listen to this tele-town hall in Spanish, press *0 now on your telephone keypad.

  [00:00:17] AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization. We have been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of the global pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, AARP is providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them. Today we’re going to be discussing the latest on the pandemic, the vaccine rollout and what this means for the Black community. We are having this discussion as information continues to show that the pandemic is worsening across the country, and COVID-19 continues to disproportionately, or differently, affect Black and brown people. We are at greater risk.

  [00:01:02] We have distinguished experts on hand to answer your critical questions. For those of you joining us on the phone, if you would like to ask a question about the coronavirus pandemic, press *3 on your telephone to be connected with an AARP staff member who will note your name and question and place you in a queue to ask the question live. If you are joining on Facebook or YouTube, you can post questions in the comments section of both of those social media entities.

  [00:01:44] Joining us today are two distinguished guests: Dr. David Carlisle, who is president and chief executive officer of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; and Dr. Leon McDougle, who’s president of the National Medical Association. We’re also joined by my AARP colleague Shani Hosten, who will help facilitate your calls today. This event is being recorded, and you can access the recording at aarp.org/coronavirus up to 24 hours after we wrap up.

  [00:03:01] I’d like to formally welcome our guests first, and tell you a little bit about them. First, Dr. David Carlisle, as I mentioned, is the president and chief executive officer of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles. He’s a board-certified internal medicine specialist, and also served as director of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development for 11 years, serving under three governors and California’s first Statewide Health Disparities Report was issued under his leadership. Welcome, Dr. Carlisle.

  [00:03:43]David Carlisle: ?It’s great to be here with your audience and with you all. And I appreciate the privilege.

  [00:03:51]Edna Kane Williams: ?Now, Dr. Leon McDougle is the 121st president of the National Medical Association. As a family physician, Dr. McDougle has served a mostly older population on the near East Side of Columbus, Ohio, since 2001. He is also the first African American professor with tenure at the Ohio State University’s Department of Family Medicine, and he’s the first Chief Diversity Officer for the OSU Wexner Medical Center. Welcome, Dr. McDougle.

  [00:04:23]Leon McDougle: ?Thank you, Edna Kane Williams. Glad to participate in this evening’s session.

  [00:04:29]Edna Kane Williams: ?Great. So let’s get started with our discussion. … I’m so excited. I think this is going to be a really beneficial discussion this evening, but before we begin we actually want to hear from you. … We’re going to do a poll. So please take a moment to tell us the answer to this question: Will you take the COVID-19 vaccine? Press 1 on your telephone keypad if you’ve already taken the COVID-19 vaccine. Press 2 on your telephone keypad if you plan to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Press 3 on your telephone keypad if you’re not sure yet. And press 4 on your telephone keypad if you do not plan to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Again, just a quick poll. We’re really curious as to what people are thinking, especially in the African American Black community. So again, those instructions, one more time, press 1 on your telephone keypad if you’ve already taken the vaccine. Press 2 on your telephone keypad if you plan to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Press 3 on your telephone keypad if you’re not sure yet. And press 4 on your telephone keypad if you don’t plan to take the COVID-19 vaccine. We’ll have results of those polls later on in the hour. Thank you so much.

  [00:06:11] And now, to hear from our experts I’d like to start with a question for both of you. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact in our community. I personally have had family members die. Why have … Black and brown people been so impacted unequally by this virus? Dr. Carlisle, let’s start with you. And then Dr. McDougle.

  [00:06:36]David Carlisle: ?It’s a really good, good question. We don’t necessarily have all the answers yet, but we do know that COVID-19 is a pernicious virus. It preys upon certain communities, and one of the communities that COVID-19 is preying upon is the African American community. In part, this is because of the underlying disease burden that particularly affects the African American community. Many people have diabetes, for example. Many have respiratory conditions, for example. Many people have high blood pressure, for example. These are all conditions that predispose people to having adversary outcomes perhaps from COVID-19. But many people also are employed in situations where they have increased exposure to COVID-19. They are essentially essential workers working in public positions, where they interact with many people. And I’m thinking of positions like supermarket workers, I’m thinking of positions like bus drivers. I’m thinking of positions where you can’t avoid interacting with the public. People running restaurants, etc. So this creates a perfect storm for COVID-19.

  [00:08:03] But another issue is lack of access to health care, which we know is also an issue for the African American community. And so we have individuals who can’t necessarily get tested for COVID-19. And if they don’t get tested, they don’t know that they might be an asymptomatic carrier or those cold symptoms that you have, you may not know are due to COVID-19. The next thing you know, you’ve taken them home to your loved ones and other people in your family have gotten COVID-19. So a lack of access to health care, especially diagnostic testing, is an issue for the African American community as well. Thank you.

  [00:08:45]Edna Kane Williams: ?Thank you for that. Dr. McDougle, do you want to add?

  [00:08:48]Leon McDougle: ?Yes, Dr. Carlisle did a wonderful job. What I would add is also our living environment, and especially speaking to this AARP community here this evening, people living in multigenerational homes and not having the ability to be distant in one’s home in regards to interactions. So having younger folks who may be asymptomatic or not having symptoms interfacing with older people in the family and leading to transmission unknowingly. That’s just one other factor I would add to the comprehensive list provided by Dr. Carlisle.

  [00:09:40]Edna Kane Williams: ?Great, thank you. Thank you for that. … Now it’s clear that the pandemic is shedding light on racial disparities that existed before this crisis which have … exacerbated. And we use the term disparity so much, I hope that everybody understands, meaning that it’s impacting our communities differently and more than other communities. So I wanted to explain that term a little bit, because we’ll use it a lot this evening.

  [00:10:18] I’d like our listeners to know that AARP is focused on combating those disparities. We have advocated at the federal, state and local levels for greater data transparency, which means more data, more information about what’s going on, and the actions to protect residents, and staff in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Especially as data is showing that people of color in these facilities, in nursing homes, and long-term care facilities, they’re being harder hit. Dying more, getting sicker more, especially when they’re Black or brown. Also, in places like New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, South Carolina, New Jersey, and California, AARP is working to ensure that more racial and ethnic, again, data collection, outreach and testing for people of color is happening, and we’re seeking commitment from leaders to address underlying issues of hunger, health, access, transportation, and more. Because I think what both doctors mentioned in their initial responses is there are lots of factors that play in where you work, where you live, how you’re living. So we’re asking for more information from leaders to address these underlying issues.

  [00:11:33] On that note, Dr. Carlisle, I’d like to turn back to you and ask, what has the pandemic exposed about the inequities among frontline workers and essential workers? We touched on essential workers a little bit, but we haven’t really talked about frontline health workers.

  [00:11:50]David Carlisle: ?Well, unfortunately, the frontline health workers have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have hospitals here in L.A. County where I am, in Los Angeles, that are operating at 200 percent capacity, 300 percent capacity. … Right now we have zero ICU bed capacity in Los Angeles County. So, in addition to the actual direct toll of COVID-19 on health care personnel, i.e., people getting sick and dying from COVID-19, we also have people who are exhausted. They’ve been working overtime. They’ve been working double shifts. They’ve been working seven days a week. And, but still they have to come in to work, and our emergency rooms are full. When you look at the toll of COVID-19 on individuals in the health care sector, frontline workers, it has been enormous. There was just a story in the Los Angeles Times about a month ago about a surgical technician who had disappeared. Her friends didn’t know where she was. It turns out she had acquired COVID-19, she had checked into a hotel to basically isolate herself. And then basically died in her hotel room … without anyone being aware that this had happened to her. This is not an isolated situation. It’s not a unique situation, and it’s something that is happening all too frequently among our frontline health care workers. But I think about our custodians, our medical assistants, our pharmacy technicians, not to mention our nurses, our doctors. We’re talking about people who are true American heroes, who are doubling down to make sure that the people who are getting sick from COVID-19 are able to access the best care that we can give them.

  [00:14:02]Edna Kane Williams: ?That’s such a heart-wrenching story, and there’s so many really horrible stories that I hope we don’t become numb to what’s happening, because it really is this situation that we should work so hard to never, ever revisit. So much has not played out in a way that it should have, costing people lives, costing people undue isolation and stress. And I hope … that our system really learns from this, that the image of her dying alone is just heart-wrenching. I want to follow up, Dr. Carlisle, and so both you and Dr. McDougle turn to the issue of vaccines, which we’ve been waiting to hear so much about. And I had the results in our poll that we’ll get to in a minute, but Dr. Carlisle, there are several vaccines that have been approved under an emergency use authorization, and a lot of my friends ask this question, “How are Black and brown communities represented in vaccine trials? And what about older adults? Did they test these vaccines with Black and brown people? Did they test these vaccines with older adults?”

  [00:15:20]David Carlisle: ?Thank you for that question. This is [a] very important and relevant question, obviously. I would say that with the development of the current two approved vaccines, the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, but all the others that are still undergoing evaluation, we have indeed learned from the mistakes of our past. And these efforts have specifically included, physicians of color, researchers of color, and communities of color in the design, not just the actual clinical trials themselves, but the design of the clinical trials and the actual research itself. I want to recognize Dr. [Kizzmekia] Corbett from the NIH working with Dr. [Anthony] Fauci specifically on the basic science research that went into the development of our vaccines. So this has been part of the fundamental construct of doing the vaccine research, knowing that historically we’ve not had this level of engagement on the part of the African American community and other communities of color, and people have been left out and it’s been unfair, and it’s … actually produced outcomes for medications that have been deleterious to the African American community, or not as effective as they should have been.

  [00:16:45] So we learned from … the mistakes of our past so much so that when one of the clinical trials was not enrolling enough African Americans and other people of color, that trial was suspended and delayed until they could ramp up their numbers. I don’t want to create the impression that everything is hunky dory and perfect, but these efforts have been much, much more inclusive, much more representative, and much more democratic than any other research efforts and medication development efforts that I’m aware of historically. So, yes, there has been inclusion that maybe hasn’t been perfect, but we’ve come a long way and we’re in much better shape in terms of inclusivity than we have ever been before.

  [00:17:35]Edna Kane Williams: ?That’s good, that’s really good to hear. Before I turn to Dr. McDougle, what about older adults? Was there an effort to include them in the clinical trials, which is what they have to do to test to make sure that these vaccines are going to be effective equally.

  [00:17:52]David Carlisle: ?I would like to have a specific answer for you. I know that a number of older adults have been included. What I can’t speak to is the degree to which by design they were included, or whether that inclusion was more from happenstance. And maybe Dr. McDougle can speak to that specifically. I think that we’re not lacking in the inclusion of older adults. And we are going forward with additional clinical trials that are targeting additional populations that have not been as well represented in the previous clinical trials, such as younger children, for example, have not been an area of focus historically.

  [00:18:36]Edna Kane Williams: ?Great. Thank you. Dr. McDougle, with vaccines now being distributed, does this mean that we can relax our preventative measures, things like mask wearing and physical distancing?

  [00:18:48]Leon McDougle: ?No, it does not, and so there is still the risk of transmission, and I’d like to speak to this topic of herd immunity. We keep hearing it repeated over and over again on television. And that’s when about 75 percent of the population have been vaccinated, or have immunity to COVID-19. That being said, that’s more of a parameter to track to help ensure that our hospital system isn’t overrun or overwhelmed. That doesn’t mean that those folks who haven’t been vaccinated aren’t at risk of developing COVID-19. And then going back to your prior question, the National Medical Association’s Task Force on Vaccines and Therapeutics, we’ve met with scientists from Pfizer and Moderna, and about 10 percent of the enrollment for each of those clinical trials were comprised of Black people adding up to about 3,000 of the 30,000 or so people in the clinical trial for Moderna, and about 4,400 for the 44,000 or so people enrolled in the Pfizer clinical trial. Also, there was an intentional effort to have a substantial cohort of older adults and also people with chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and obesity, so that when the results are reported out, we could have more confidence in the outcomes.

  [00:20:38]Edna Kane Williams: ?And I think it’s safe to say that those numbers are strikingly more than we historically have seen in clinical trials. Is that true?

  [00:20:48]Leon McDougle: ?Yes, very much so.

  [00:20:51]Edna Kane Williams: ?That’s really encouraging. Those are higher numbers than I would’ve thought, so that’s encouraging. I wanted to update our listeners on the poll we conducted at the beginning of the show. … We asked if you plan to take the vaccine, and it looks like 6 percent of you have already taken the vaccine, 62 percent plan to, 4 percent said no, and 28 percent are unsure. So those are really interesting findings. I want to thank everyone for those answers.

  [00:21:26] Now let’s get to your questions. I’d like to bring in my AARP colleague Shani Hosten to help facilitate your calls. Welcome, Shani.

  [00:21:36]Shani Hosten: ?Thanks, Edna. And I’m happy to be here for this important conversation tonight. Thank you.

  [00:21:41]Edna Kane Williams: ?Great. Shani, let’s take our first question.

  [00:21:46]Shani Hosten: ?We have a lot of great questions that are coming in. So, let’s go live and hear from our callers. We have on the line, Louise from Ohio.

  [00:21:58]Edna Kane Williams: ?Hi, Louise. Go ahead with your question.

  [00:22:03]Louise: ?I would like to know what the COVID-19 is. Is it a pneumonia? Is it a virus? Or, how does it really affect us? I know a lot of Blacks have the hypertension, the diabetes … but, you know, I haven’t made my mind up if I want to really take the vaccine, cause I really don’t do anything. What’s in the vaccine?

  [00:22:34]Edna Kane Williams: ?OK.

  [00:22:35]Louise: ?Or if it will cure.

  [00:22:37]Edna Kane Williams: ?That’s a good question. So I’m going to ask both of our doctors, whoever wants to go first. She’s asking what is COVID-19, and it sounds like you want to know a little bit more about what the virus is, or how does the [vaccine] help?

  [00:22:52]Leon McDougle: ?Since I’m from Ohio, I’d like to take this one.

  [00:22:57]Edna Kane Williams: ?Great, Dr. McDougle.

  [00:22:58]Leon McDougle: ?COVID-19, coronavirus, discovered in 2019, is a form of … respiratory disease. It’s a virus, and it’s spread by someone coughing on you, or someone breathing on you, and that virus goes from their lungs to your lungs. So it is an upper respiratory track, your mouth and nose. It’s spread via respiration or breathing. It’s called coronavirus because there are little spike proteins on the top of it. You’ve probably seen a number of these scientific pictures of coronavirus on television, and those spike proteins allow the coronavirus to be more infective and infect your cells, and yes, you can develop pneumonia, and the syndrome — a severe, acute respiratory syndrome — that’s the long-term version of the virus. So yes, you can get pneumonia. Yes, it can spread to your kidneys. And yes, you can develop blood clots related to coronavirus. It is a serious illness, and that’s why you hear so much about people being put on ventilators in the hospital, because it infects their lungs. And when I talk about or explain the term pneumonia … pneumonia essentially means your lungs are infected and, in some cases, you develop pus in your lungs, too. It’s very serious. And I would recommend when it’s your turn to get the vaccine, I would recommend that you get vaccinated.

  [00:25:12]Edna Kane Williams: ?Thank you, Dr. McDougle. Dr. Carlisle, did you want to add anything to that? That was a pretty comprehensive response from Dr. McDougle, but do you have anything else you want to add?

  [00:25:23]David Carlisle: ?I would just say that it was great. The doctor from Cleveland was able to answer the question from the caller from Cleveland. But I would just underscore two points that Dr. McDougle made that are very important. The first is that COVID-19 kills. It especially kills older people. People over 80 years old — that represent about 4 or 5 percent of the population — represent about over 40 percent of the deaths from COVID-19. People over 75 disproportionately, people over 70 disproportionately, people over 65 disproportionately. It preys upon our older population. And yes, it does kill people. I just want to just repeat what Dr. McDougle said, because this is a very, very important message. When it is your turn, when you are offered the vaccine for COVID-19, please, please, please say yes, because if you say no, you’re literally playing Russian roulette with your life, as well as the life of anyone else whom you might be living with or interacting with. It is not worth the risk to say no to vaccination. That is my opinion and, I think, the opinion of the entire medical community, especially our African American physicians.

  [00:26:55]Edna Kane Williams: ?Thank you, Dr. Carlisle. All right, so let’s go back to the phone line. Who do we have next, Shani?

  [00:27:04]Shani Hosten: ?Thanks, Edna, we actually have Kim from Washington, D.C., on the line.

  [00:27:09]Edna Kane Williams: ?Kim from Washington, D.C., you’re live. What’s your question?

  [00:27:14]Kim: ?Yes. Can you hear me?

  [00:27:14]Edna Kane Williams: ?We can.

  [00:27:15]Kim: ?Yes, and good afternoon, and thank you so much for presenting this town hall [to] get to know about COVID. My question is, first of all, how would we know which vaccine we will be taking? Is it upfront when you go to get your vaccine? Is it Moderna or is it Pfizer, or is it some other vaccine? And what are the side effects with the vaccine?

  [00:28:07]Edna Kane Williams: ?We started with Dr. McDougle before, so Dr. Carlisle, why don’t you take this one first?

  [00:28:13]David Carlisle: ?As someone who was born in Northern Virginia, it’s great to be able to answer the question from somebody from Washington, D.C. Good evening, how are you? You know, everyone who is getting the vaccine that I’ve talked to is aware of whether they’ve taken the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine right now. And yes, there’s some others that are still in the pipeline coming forward … but right now we have just the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available in the United States. And it’s quite clear at the time, usually whatever site you’re at has one vaccine available to you. I wouldn’t say that there’s a significant difference whatsoever between the two vaccines. It’s so much more important just to get vaccinated than it is to think about the differences. But one difference is that the Pfizer vaccine requires a 21-day period before you receive your second injection. And yes, that second injection is very important. The Moderna vaccine has a 28-day period before you receive your second injection. That’s probably the biggest difference between the vaccine. Most of the people that I know who have undergone the vaccine, and I’m sharing this information with you at a personal level, it doesn’t differ from what we know from the studies. Very few people have complained about any kind of side effects from the vaccine. If they have any kind of effect, it is mostly soreness in the vaccine site. Some people feel maybe a little bit run down for a day. Some people have some muscle aches, but what does this sound like? This sounds like the flu vaccine. And I don’t want to say that they are identical in terms of their side effect profiles, but these are for the most part, either no side effects or pretty minimal side effects that people are experiencing. I’ve not encountered anybody personally who’s had side effects that are more severe than that. Either one of the two vaccines, the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

  [00:30:30]Edna Kane Williams: ?Thank you, Dr. Carlisle. I’m going to go back to the phone to try to get in a couple more questions before I turn to the doctors for some additional questions of them. So Shani, do we have another person on the line?

  [00:30:45]Shani Hosten: ?We do, we have lots, lots of questions. One actually came in from YouTube …from Mahindra on YouTube and it’s asking, “Should someone with antibodies take the vaccine?”

  [00:30:59]Edna Kane Williams: ?Dr. McDougle?

  [00:31:01]Leon McDougle: ?If one has been infected before with COVID-19, we’re thinking that, and what has been shown with the vaccines, the level of immunity, the amount of antibodies is higher. So it depends on … the question was kind of nonspecific, so I’ll just kind of be more specific. If you’ve had COVID-19 infection, and have the opportunity to receive the vaccination based on the prioritization, that I would think that if it’s outside of that 10-day window that people usually are given to help determine whether they’re going to manifest symptoms, the COVID-19 vaccine — the two doses, and both doses are required — allows your body to make enough antibodies to be more protective. But so that when looking at the outcome it’s 94 percent less likely that one will develop COVID-19 symptoms when any significant symptoms from COVID-19, when exposed. So hopefully that helps.

  [00:32:49]Edna Kane Williams: ?OK. So in other words, if someone has antibodies, it sounds like you’re still recommending that they take a vaccine, or does it depend on the number of antibodies in their system?

  [00:33:01]Leon McDougle: ?So let me answer another aspect of that question. If you have received a monoclonal antibody infusion treatment, or if you’ve received convalescent plasma treatment of COVID-19, it’s recommended that one would wait at least 90 days before being considered for any type of vaccine. That’s just another pathway from that question that was asked.

  [00:33:35]Edna Kane Williams: ?That was helpful. Shani, I think we have time for maybe one more question.

  [00:33:41]Shani: ?We actually do. We have time for one more for this round. And it’s from Carmen from South Carolina. Carmen?

  [00:33:50]Edna Kane Williams: ?Go ahead, Carmen. Welcome.

  [00:33:53]Carmen: ?Oh, my question was, I have severe allergies. I’m a 76-year-old African American lady. And I’ve had tests for the environment, foods and medication. And I was advised that I would probably need to get with my physician — or my primary care doctor, I’m sure is what it was — for him to decide whether I could take this vaccine or not, because I don’t know if anything is in it that I can be allergic to. I do have unidentified antibodies in my system, in my blood, and I have a rare type. So do you think it’d be safe for me to take it, or should I go that route?

  [00:34:44]Edna Kane Williams: ?OK. Doctors, does one of you want to respond?

  [00:34:49]Leon McDougle: ?Well, so you received good advice, and I suspect your primary care physician will refer you to an allergist because of your strong history of allergies to provide advice for you. It’s not necessarily a contraindication based on CDC guidelines, but I think highly advisable for someone with your medical history to see your doctor, get tailored advice. I suspect part of that may be a referral to your allergist, so you can get advice specific to your medical history.

  [00:35:46]Edna Kane Williams: ?Thank you. We’ll have another opportunity for another round of questions from the audience, but now I want to turn back to our experts and ask a few more detailed questions, detailed general questions. Dr. McDougle, how are leaders addressing the historical violations of trust that we’ve had with the medical establishment and vaccines? And I think this is talking specifically about the African American community. There’s a great deal of mistrust due to our prior history. We know about the Tuskegee experiments; we know about Henrietta Lacks and what happened in her case. And a lot of people think that it’s not a historic mistrust, that it’s mistrust based on things that are happening today in the health care system. How are leaders addressing this? What are we doing to sort of show that we’re in a different era?

  [00:36:42]Leon McDougle: ?It’s a very good question. Part of that effort includes this information session this evening. You have the 121st president of the National Medical Association, myself, and then you have the president of Charles R. Drew Medical School, and we’re part of a Black coalition against COVID that’s been organized by Dr. Reed Tuckson that involves the consortium of four Black medical schools — Howard University, Morehouse School of Medicine, the Meharry Medical College, and Charles R. Drew. It involves our National Black Nurses Association, the Montague Cobb Health Institute, the National Urban League, the National Medical Association, and others. And an example of this would be a town hall that we held last Thursday involving outreach to the Black clergy, the faith-based leadership, involving, for example, [Rev.] Dr. Calvin Butts of the Abyssinian Church in New York, and the Choose Healthy Life Initiative; Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., and the Rainbow Push Coalition; Rev. Matthew Watley, and others across the country. Reaching out to our church leadership, our Black fraternities and sororities, our Black professional organizations such as Linked Incorporated, Dr. Carlisle and I have been a part of this information world tour to help educate our community.

  [00:38:47]Edna Kane Williams: ?And we greatly appreciate it. Dr. Carlisle, I’d like to turn back to you now. Vaccines are currently being delivered in major pharmacy chains and hospitals, but the implementation has badly fallen behind, and we see long waits and long lines, and a lot of … confusion, because people aren’t hearing what they need to do or where they should go. What needs to be done to get vaccines into people’s arms faster and more conveniently? Where else should states and local governments look to share the vaccine? Dr. Carlisle?

  [00:39:24]Leon McDougle: ?He may be on mute.

  [00:39:29]Edna Kane Williams: ?Or we may have lost him. Dr. McDougle, do you want to take a …

  [00:39:33]Leon McDougle: ?Oh, yes. So …

  [00:39:34]Edna Kane Williams: ?… a pass at that?

  [00:39:37]Leon McDougle: ?So usual sources of care. I think more of an effort to distribute the vaccines to our office-based practices, our federally qualified health centers — and those are some of the ways to do that. And also collaborating with our community organizations, our faith-based community to provide additional options for dissemination of the vaccine, and having a one-stop shop resource — perhaps a website where someone could put in their zip code and their age and such — and be able to quickly determine when will their turn be up to get the vaccine, and where are the options or locations for them to receive the vaccine?

  [00:40:47]Edna Kane Williams: ?I think those are all good suggestions. I really hope that state and local and federal governments take note of that because the frustration is growing simply among people older who are concerned about their vulnerability. Let’s hope that we see a more systematic rollout in the weeks ahead. I’m going to have one more question before we go back to the phone lines and to the social media comments section. Dr. Carlisle, are you back?

  [00:41:18]David Carlisle: ?Yes, I am here.

  [00:41:19]Edna Kane Williams: ?OK great, then I’ll ask this last question of you. Last question for now, and we touched on this a little bit before. I thought Dr. McDougle really addressed the whole notion of adverse reactions, but social media and the news have highlighted some adverse reactions and side effects to the COVID vaccine. So what should we make of this? Was there, and the question here is, “Was the approval rushed and are vaccines safe?” I think I know what your answer is going to be. If COVID vaccines are safe and effective, why are some medical professionals declining? What does this say about vaccine safety? Do you have any concerns? Would you take the vaccine?

  [00:42:04]David Carlisle: ?Yes, I am looking forward to taking the vaccine as soon as it is offered to me. Although I am a physician, I am mostly an administrator, so I’m not really on the front lines, which is why I have not taken the vaccine so far. But my wife has, and she’s a frontline physician. She experienced no side effects. You know, the vaccine development process was fortunately rapid and successful, successfully rapid. And I say that because every phase that is necessary for the development of a vaccine — phase 0, phase 1, phase 2, phase 3 of a clinical trial — was involved in the development of the COVID-19 vaccines. The thing that’s different is that the basic science that has led to the development of the vaccines had already been done. The coronavirus is like SARS that we had in the early 2000s. The coronavirus is something that we experience when people get wintertime respiratory infections. We’ve been working on vaccines for coronaviruses for more than a year. We took that basic science research that had already been done, took it off the shelf, and recalibrated it to the current novel coronavirus. So that’s why we were able to produce vaccines in record time. I don’t see significant evidence that the current COVID-19 vaccines are any more dangerous than other vaccines that individuals are taking out there. But because we are dealing with a threat — a clear and present danger is taking the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands of Americans every day — this is why we are so strongly advocating that people undergo the COVID-19 vaccines, that they receive it. Because again, you don’t want to play Russian roulette with your life or the lives of your loved ones. Please take the vaccine.

  [00:44:08]Edna Kane Williams: ?Thank you, Dr. Carlisle. I think the social media information, misinformation frankly, reminds us that as the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine continues, scammers are looking for a way to take advantage. They will call, send emails and texts — and this is for our audience to really focus on — and place fake ads to convince people that they can jump into the front of the vaccine line for a fee or providing their Social Security number or other sensitive personal information. We’ve seen, and it’s been reported to us that this is really happening at a frightening pace. So we’re asking the audience, don’t be fooled. You can’t pay to jump the line and COVID vaccines should be free — even for people without insurance, there’s no costs for the vaccine. We are encouraging you to visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork to learn more about these and other scams. Or you can call the Fraud Watch Network Helpline at [877] 908-3360. And again, the incidents of fraud and trying to stir people up and push misinformation is really running rampant, and they’re targeting older adults. So again, we encourage you to visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call the Fraud Watch Network Helpline at [877] 908-3360. And don’t give your Social Security number out to anyone who asks in terms of the vaccine.

  [00:45:45] And now we want to turn back to some of your questions for Dr. McDougle and Dr. Carlisle. Shani, do we have someone else on the line now?

  [00:46:09]Shani Hosten: ?We do, Edna, thanks. We have a lot of questions still coming in. Let’s go to Sarah from Texas.

  [00:46:16]Edna Kane Williams: ?OK, Sarah from Texas. What’s your question?

  [00:46:19]Sarah: ?Great, good evening. And thanks so much for this opportunity in bringing these two great physicians here to give us firsthand information. My question is, what are the implications for individuals that have autoimmune diseases such as lupus or any variety of the other autoimmune diseases, especially if they are taking immune suppressant medications and have a desire to take the vaccine? Are there any higher risks or implications to that?

  [00:46:56]Edna Kane Williams: ?Either doctor.

  [00:46:57]Leon McDougle: ?I’d like to take that one. We specifically addressed that question with both Pfizer and Moderna, and in general, persons with chronic diseases that are controlled and stable do qualify for receiving the vaccine. With that being said, consultation with your health care provider beforehand is advisable. And when we looked at the participants in the clinical trial, persons with controlled autoimmune disease were enrolled, and an increase in risk to receiving the vaccines was not observed.

  [00:47:46]Edna Kane Williams: ?Great, thank you, Dr. McDougle. I’m going to keep moving because we have a number of questions [and] so that we can get as many in before we have to conclude. Shani, who else is on the line?

  [00:48:00]Shani Hosten: ?We actually have a Facebook question from Carol on Facebook. She wrote in that she is a frontline worker in a medical clinic, and she has not heard anything about the vaccine at all. And she’s soon to be 65 with an underlying medical condition. How does she get the vaccine?

  [00:48:23]Leon McDougle: ?I would suggest that one, she check with the administration of the health system in which she is working. Number two, the dissemination plan has been allocated to state health departments. So, if the answer received at your health system is insufficient, I would recommend checking with the state health department. I know for Ohio, there’s … a specific number one can call on the telephone. Those would be my suggestions.

  [00:49:10]Edna Kane Williams: ?Thank you, Dr. McDougle.

  [00:49:12]David Carlisle: ?The same advice.

  [00:49:14]Edna Kane Williams: ?Dr. Carlisle, you said you’d give the same advice?

  [00:49:17]David Carlisle: ?Yes, the only other thing I would add is that you are in the group that has highest priority for the vaccine. And I would also look online to see where there may be public vaccination sites in your community. I can’t speak about Texas, specifically, but in most of the United States, there are public sites where people can go to get vaccinated, and given your employment, given your age and given your medical risk, you would be in the high priority category for vaccination. So I would add that, and I would ask your employer to provide the vaccines. I recognize that not all employers have full access to all the technology that major medical centers do, but you are a frontline health worker, and you should be receiving the vaccine with highest priority.

  [00:50:14]Edna Kane Williams: ?Thank you, Dr. Carlisle. Shani, do we have another question from the audience?

  [00:50:19]Shani Hosten: ?We do, we actually have George from Ohio.

  [00:50:21]Edna Kane Williams: ?Go ahead, George from Ohio. George, we can’t quite hear you. … OK, Shani, maybe we can go to someone else, and if George joins us, we can reconnect later.

  [00:50:45]Shani Hosten: ?What about Hazel from Ohio.

  [00:50:51]Edna Kane Williams: ?Hazel?

  [00:50:53]Hazel: ?Yes. Hello.

  [00:50:55]Edna Kane Williams: ?Go ahead, you’re live.

  [00:50:57]Hazel: ?I would like to know … I live in a senior building, and I would like to know — I have rheumatoid arthritis, and I’m already taking a shot for that. Should I take the virus shot?

  [00:51:10]Edna Kane Williams: ?Either doctor.

  [00:51:12]Leon McDougle: ?Yes. Hello, this is Dr. McDougle from Ohio. Good to talk with a Buckeye, and we spoke to this — your question’s a little bit different, but it’s similar to the prior caller’s question. So, those persons with controlled and stable disease do qualify for the vaccine. That being said, I would consult first with your health care provider beforehand.

  [00:51:50]Edna Kane Williams: ?Great. We’ve had a number of questions around preexisting conditions, and it seems like talking to your health care provider is key. So thank you, Dr. McDougle. Shani, we have a couple more minutes. I want to get in as many questions as we can. Is there another caller on the line or someone on Facebook or YouTube?

  [00:52:12]Shani Hosten: ?We have Mildred from South Carolina.

  [00:52:16]Edna Kane Williams: ?Mildred, you’re on, you’re live. Go ahead. … Mildred? Are you there?

  [00:52:30]Shani Hosten: ?Mildred, are you there? … OK, let’s try Jonnie from LA.

  [00:52:39]Jonnie: ?Hi there, I’m from Louisiana.

  [00:52:46]Shani Hosten: ?Oh, OK.

  [00:52:47]Jonnie: ?Yes. I’ve got one question. I’ve got one question for you. I read a report and I’m not sure if it was on social media or where, but in that report, they did a comparison between those people that have blood types A positive and AB, in comparison to the ones that have O type, O blood type. And in that study, they said that the ones that have A positive or AB were more likely to contract the disease and that the effects of the disease would be more dire than the ones that have O positive blood types. And I wanted to find out … what the validity of that is, or is that true or is it not? Is it, what is it?

  [00:53:54]Edna Kane Williams: ?Dr. Carlisle or Dr. McDougle?

  [00:53:57]David Carlisle: ?Yes, I will speak to that. First, I was hoping you were from Los Angeles, but I’m quite happy to speak to somebody from Louisiana, one of my favorite states as well. You know, I remember when the news first came out about blood types, I myself am O positive. That is not whatsoever going to keep me from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Whether it’s a 10 percent difference or a 5 percent difference, or whatever the difference is between blood types, that’s more of a scientific issue right now and should not be allowed by anybody to … inform their decision about whether they can skip receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone who is eligible to receive it, who is offered a chance to have the vaccine should absolutely receive the vaccine regardless of your blood type.

  [00:54:57]Edna Kane Williams: ?Thank you, Dr. Carlisle. We have time for one more question, Shani, so do you have one in the line, in the queue?

  [00:55:07]Shani Hosten: ?We do. We have Gloria from Illinois.

  [00:55:13]Gloria: ?Hello, I was wondering … I am 67 years old, I’ve never had a flu shot, I’ve never had a pneumonia shot, but I’m considering taking the coronavirus vaccination. Do I still need to take those other shots first? Is it too late, or should I just wait and take the coronavirus shot when they offer it?

  [00:55:37]Leon McDougle: ?I’ll take that one. That’s a good question. So yes, you should get your flu shot, and … after receiving your flu shot, you have to wait at least two weeks before you take the COVID-19 vaccine. So do know that with taking the flu shot and perhaps even the pneumonia vaccine, you have to wait at least two weeks. That’s recommended before you start the COVID-19 vaccine series.

  [00:56:19]Edna Kane Williams: ?Dr. McDougle and Dr. Carlisle, any closing thoughts, or recommendations that our listeners should understand most from our conversation today? Let’s start with Dr. Carlisle.

  [00:56:33]David Carlisle: ?Yes, I did hear you share the results of the poll. And I am gratified to hear the portion, the proportion of your audience who have either taken or are waiting and willing to undergo the COVID-19 vaccination. That is good news. It is more than a majority of the people in the audience today. And I’m very happy to hear that because, again, the advice is: When you’re offered the COVID-19 vaccine, please say yes, do not say no.

  [00:57:10]Edna Kane Williams: ?Thank you. Dr. McDougle?

  [00:57:13]Leon McDougle: ?Yes, and if the audience would like additional specific information, especially those from the Black community, if you just go to Google and google National Medical Association COVID-19 Advisory Statement on the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, our report will come up. And it’ll be in much more detail. So Advisory Statement on Federal Drug Administration Emergency Use. I know that’s a long title.

  [00:57:51]Edna Kane Williams: ?And just to clarify for the audience, we did mention earlier, but the National Medical Association is the oldest, and I think largest, association of Black doctors in the country. So you should have added to that. Thank you both. And Charles R. Drew is a historic Black medical school in L.A., so we really have two very eminent doctors with us. I want to thank you both for joining us. This has been such an informative discussion. Thank you for answering the questions, thank you for sharing your wisdom, and thank you to our audience, our AARP members, volunteers, and listeners for participating in the discussion. I want to remind everyone that AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization; we have been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. This is what we do. This is our priority in the face of this crisis. We are providing information and resources to help older adults. We have town halls like this all the time. We want to help older adults and those caring for them. We want to protect everyone from this virus, prevent its spread, and help people while they’re taking care of each other. All of the resources that I referenced, including a recording of today’s Q&A event can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus, starting tomorrow. And again, the web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. And not only about today’s tele-town hall, but we have all kinds of fact sheets and material on the coronavirus, on preventative measures, on the vaccine. Go there if your questions weren’t answered tonight, if we didn’t get to you in the queue, and you will find the latest updates, as well as information created specifically for older adults and their family caregivers. Now we hope you’ve learned something that can help you and your loved ones stay healthy. Please tune in on Jan. 28 for another live event. Again, as I said, we are nonstop, we’re going to be doing this, educating, providing resources because it’s so crucial. This is truly a crisis, and AARP is stepping up. On Jan. 28, we have another live event where we will also be discussing the COVID-19 vaccines. Thank you so much for joining us tonight. Enjoy the rest of your day. This concludes our call.

  [01:00:22]

  Full Transcript: Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall (Spanish)

  Edna Kane Williams: Hola, buenas noches. Me llamo Edna Kane Williams. Soy vicepresidenta sénior de AARP y quiero darles la bienvenida a este debate importante. Antes de comenzar, si quieres escuchar esta teleasamblea informativa en espa?ol, presiona *0 en tu teléfono ahora.

  AARP es una organización de membresía sin fines de lucro ni afiliación política. Hemos estado trabajando para fomentar la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores en EE.UU. durante más de 60 a?os. Frente a la pandemia mundial de coronavirus, AARP brinda información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan. Hoy vamos a estar hablando sobre lo más reciente de la pandemia: el lanzamiento de la vacuna y qué significa esto para la comunidad negra. Llevamos a cabo este debate mientras la información sigue demostrando que la pandemia está empeorando en todo el país y que la COVID-19 sigue afectando de manera desproporcionada o diferente a la población negra. Corremos mayor riesgo.

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  Nos acompa?an expertos distinguidos para responder sus preguntas cruciales. Si te unes por teléfono y deseas hacer una pregunta sobre la pandemia de coronavirus, presiona * 3 en tu teléfono para comunicarte con un representante de AARP que anotará tu nombre y tu pregunta y te colocará en una lista para hacer esa pregunta en vivo. Nuevamente, si quieres escuchar esta teleasamblea en espa?ol, presiona *0 en tu teléfono ahora. Si te unes a través de Facebook o YouTube, puedes publicar tu pregunta en la sección de comentarios en ambas redes sociales.

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  Hola, nuevamente. Si acabas de unirte, soy Edna Kane Williams de AARP y quiero darte la bienvenida a este debate importante sobre la pandemia mundial de coronavirus. Estaremos hablando con los principales expertos y respondiendo preguntas en vivo. Para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3. Y si te unes a través de Facebook o YouTube, puedes publicar tu pregunta en la sección de comentarios.

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  Hoy nos acompa?an dos invitados distinguidos, el Dr. David Carlisle, que es presidente y gerente general de la Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, y el Dr. Leon McDougle, que es presidente de la Asociación Médica Nacional. También nos acompa?a mi colega de AARP, Shani Hosten, quien ayudará a organizar las llamadas de hoy. Este evento está siendo grabado y podrás acceder a la grabación en aarp.org/coronavirus 24 horas después de que terminemos. Nuevamente, para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3 en cualquier momento en tu teléfono para conectarte con un representante de AARP, o si nos acompa?as a través de Facebook o YouTube, escribe tu pregunta en la sección de comentarios. Tenemos gente que controla los comentarios y pondremos las preguntas en la lista de espera.

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  Ahora me gustaría dar la bienvenida formalmente a nuestros invitados y contar un poco sobre ellos. Primero, el Dr. David Carlisle, como mencioné, es presidente y gerente general de la Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science en Los ángeles. Es un especialista certificado en Medicina Interna y también fue director de la Oficina Estatal de Planificación y Programación de Salud Pública durante 11 a?os. Sirvió bajo 3 gobiernos en el estado de California. El primer informe sobre las disparidades en la salud fue publicado durante su liderazgo. Bienvenido, Dr. Carlisle.

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  David M. Carlisle: Es un honor estar aquí con el público y con todos ustedes y agradezco este privilegio.

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  Edna Kane Williams: Excelente. El Dr. Leon McDougle es el 121.o presidente de la Asociación Médica Nacional. Como médico de cabecera, el Dr. McDougle ha atendido a una población principalmente mayor en el Near East Side de Columbus, Ohio, desde el 2001. También, es el primer profesor afroamericano con titularidad en el Departamento de Medicina Familiar de Ohio State University y el primer director de diversidad del Wexner Medical Center en Ohio State University. Bienvenido, Dr. McDougle.

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  Leon McDougle: Gracias, Edna, estoy encantado de participar en la sesión de hoy.

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  Edna Kane Williams: Excelente. Empecemos con el debate. Nuevamente, a modo de recordatorio: para hacer una pregunta, presiona *3 en tu teléfono o puedes incluir tus preguntas en la sección de comentarios en Facebook o en YouTube. Estamos controlando la sección de comentarios. Estoy muy emocionada. Creo que este debate va a ser muy provechoso, pero, antes de comenzar, queremos escucharte. Tómate un momento, vamos a hacer una encuesta, así que tómate un momento para responder nuestra pregunta: ?Te vacunarás contra la COVID-19? Presiona 1 en tu teléfono si ya te has vacunado contra la COVID-19; presiona 2 en tu teléfono si planeas vacunarte contra la COVID-19; presiona 3 en tu teléfono si todavía no estás seguro y presiona 4 en tu teléfono si no planeas vacunarte contra la COVID-19.

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  Nuevamente, una encuesta rápida, queremos saber qué piensa la gente, especialmente en la comunidad afroamericana. Repito las instrucciones una vez más. Presiona 1 en tu teléfono si ya te has vacunado; presiona 2 en tu teléfono si planeas vacunarte contra la COVID-19; presiona 3 en tu teléfono si todavía no estás seguro y presiona 4 en tu teléfono si no planeas vacunarte contra la COVID-19. Bien, tendremos los resultados de la encuesta más adelante. Muchas gracias.

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  Ahora, vamos a escuchar a nuestros expertos, me gustaría empezar con una pregunta para ambos. La COVID-19 ha tenido un impacto devastador en nuestra comunidad. Miembros de mi familia han fallecido. ?Por qué las personas negras han sido tan afectadas de manera desigual por este virus? Dr. Carlisle, comencemos con usted, y luego seguimos con el Dr. McDougle.

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  David M. Carlisle: Bien, es una muy buena pregunta. No necesariamente tenemos todas las respuestas todavía, pero sí sabemos que la COVID-19 es un virus da?ino. Ataca a ciertas comunidades, y una de las comunidades que la COVID-19 está atacando es la comunidad afroamericana. En parte, esto es debido a la carga de enfermedades subyacentes que afecta particularmente a la comunidad afroamericana. Muchas personas tienen diabetes, problemas respiratorios, muchas personas tienen hipertensión. Todos estos son problemas de salud que predisponen a las personas a tener consecuencias adversas por la COVID-19.

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  Muchas personas también trabajan en situaciones donde tienen una mayor exposición a la COVID-19. Son trabajadores esenciales que tienen empleos públicos o que interactúan con muchas personas. Me refiero a empleos como los de trabajadores de supermercados. Me refiero a empleos como los de los conductores de autobuses. Me refiero a empleos donde no puedes evitar interactuar con el público, la gente que atiende restaurantes, etcétera. Entonces, esto crea una tormenta perfecta para la COVID-19.

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  Pero otro problema es la falta de acceso a la asistencia médica, que sabemos que también es un problema para la comunidad afroamericana. Tenemos a estas personas que no necesariamente pueden hacerse la prueba de COVID-19. Y si no se hacen la prueba, no saben que podrían ser portadores asintomáticos, o esos síntomas de gripe que tienen no saben si podrían ser debido a la COVID-19. Lo próximo que te enteras es que los han llevado a casa con sus seres queridos y otras personas en la familia tienen COVID-19. Entonces, la falta de acceso a la asistencia médica, especialmente los estudios diagnósticos es un problema para comunidad afroamericana también. Gracias.

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  Edna Kane Williams: Gracias por eso. Dr. McDougle, ?quiere agregar algo?

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  Leon McDougle: Sí. El Dr. Carlisle hizo un trabajo estupendo. Lo que agregaría es que también nuestro entorno, especialmente hablando a la comunidad de AARP que está aquí hoy, las personas que viven en hogares multigeneracionales y que no tienen la posibilidad de distanciamiento en un hogar con respecto a las interacciones. Entonces, tienen a las personas más jóvenes que pueden ser asintomáticas o no tener síntomas e interactúan con las personas mayores de la familia, y eso lleva a una transmisión sin tener conocimiento de ello. Ese es otro factor que agregaría a la lista exhaustiva que brindó el Dr. Carlisle.

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  Edna Kane Williams: Gracias. Gracias por eso. Quiero recordar al público que pronto escucharemos las preguntas. Nuevamente, para hacer preguntas puedes presionar *3 en tu teléfono. Está claro que esta pandemia está arrojando luz sobre las disparidades raciales que existían antes de esta crisis, que se han agravado, y usamos mucho el término “disparidad”. Espero que todos comprendan que está afectando a nuestra comunidad de manera diferente y más que a otras comunidades.

  ?

  Por eso, quería explicar un poco el término, porque lo usaremos mucho esta noche. Me gustaría que nuestros oyentes sepan que AARP se centra en combatir esas disparidades, hemos reclamado ante el Gobierno federal y a nivel local una mayor transparencia de información, que significa más información sobre lo que está ocurriendo, y las acciones de proteger a los residentes y al personal en los hogares de ancianos y los centros de cuidado a largo plazo.

  ?

  Particularmente, a medida que la información demuestra que la gente de color en estos centros, en los hogares de ancianos, en los centros de cuidado a largo plazo están siendo más afectados, fallecen más, se enferman más especialmente si son negros. Además, en lugares como Nueva York, Michigan, Massachusetts, Carolina del Sur, Nueva Jersey y California, AARP está trabajando para garantizar que se esté llevando a cabo más recolección de datos relacionados con la raza y la etnia, difusión y pruebas para la gente de color.

  ?

  Estamos buscando el compromiso de los líderes para abordar los problemas subyacentes del hambre, el acceso a los servicios médicos, transporte y demás porque creo que lo que ambos doctores mencionaron en sus respuestas iniciales es que hay muchos factores que afectan; dónde trabajas, dónde vives, cómo vives. Entonces, estamos pidiendo a los líderes más información para abordar estos problemas subyacentes. Con respecto a esto último, me gustaría volver con el Dr. Carlisle y preguntarle: ?Qué ha revelado la pandemia sobre las desigualdades entre los trabajadores de primera línea y los trabajadores esenciales? Hablamos un poquito sobre los trabajadores esenciales, pero no hemos hablado sobre el personal de salud de primera línea.

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Bien, desafortunadamente, el personal de salud de primera línea se ha llevado la peor parte de la pandemia de COVID-19. Tenemos hospitales aquí en el condado de Los ángeles, donde estoy, que están funcionando a una capacidad del 200% o 300%.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: ?Cielos!

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Ahora mismo, no tenemos camas disponibles en UCI en el condado de Los ángeles. Por eso, además del efecto directo actual de la COVID-19 en el personal de salud, es decir, las personas que se enferman y mueren por COVID-19, también tenemos personas que están exhaustas. Han trabajado horas extra, han trabajado en turnos dobles, han trabajado los siete días de la semana, pero aun así sienten que tienen que venir a trabajar. Las salas de emergencia están llenas. Cuando miras el da?o de la COVID-19 en las personas del sector de salud, los trabajadores de primera línea, ha sido enorme. Hace un mes publicaron una historia en LA Times sobre una enfermera técnica quirúrgica que había desaparecido, sus amigos no sabían dónde estaba. Resulta que se había contagiado por COVID-19, se había registrado en un hotel para aislarse y falleció en la habitación del hotel.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: ?Ay, Dios!

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Sin que nadie supiera que esto le había pasado.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: ?Ay, Dios!

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Esta no es una situación aislada. No es una situación única. Es algo que está ocurriendo frecuentemente entre nuestro personal de salud de primera línea. Pero pienso en nuestros cuidadores, nuestros auxiliares de la salud, nuestros técnicos en farmacia, y esto sin mencionar a nuestros enfermeros o doctores. Estamos hablando sobre personas que son los verdaderos héroes en EE.UU. que están redoblando la apuesta para garantizar que las personas que están enfermando por COVID-19 puedan acceder a la mejor atención que podamos darles.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Sí, esa es una historia desgarradora. Y hay montón de historias horribles que espero que no nos insensibilicemos con lo que está ocurriendo porque esta es realmente una situación en la que deberíamos trabajar para que no se repita. Muchas cosas no han sucedido de una manera en la que deberían, causando muertes, haciendo que la gente esté aislada y angustiada. Espero que nuestros sistemas aprendan de esto. La imagen de esa mujer muriendo sola es desgarradora.

  ?

  Quiero continuar con el Dr. Carlisle, y que ambos, usted y el Dr. McDougle, cambien al tema de las vacunas, que hemos estado esperando escuchar mucho sobre este tema. Tengo los resultados de la encuesta que compartiremos en un momento, pero volvamos al Dr. Carlisle. Hay varias vacunas que han sido aprobadas bajo una autorización de uso de emergencia. Muchos de mis amigos preguntaron esto: ?Cómo fueron representadas las comunidades negras en los ensayos de vacunas? ?Qué se puede decir de los adultos mayores? ?Probaron estas vacunas en la gente negra? ?Probaron estas vacunas en los adultos mayores?

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Gracias por esta pregunta. Esta es obviamente una pregunta muy importante y pertinente. Diría que, con el desarrollo de las dos vacunas aprobadas actualmente, la vacuna de Pfizer y la vacuna de Moderna, pero todas las otras aún están siendo sometidas a análisis, hemos aprendido de los errores del pasado y estos esfuerzos han incluido específicamente a médicos de color, investigadores de color y comunidades de color en el dise?o, no solo en los ensayos clínicos propiamente dichos, sino en el dise?o de los ensayos clínicos y en la investigación misma.

  ?

  Quiero dar reconocimiento al Dr. Corbett de los NIH quien trabaja con el Dr. Fauci, específicamente en la investigación científica básica que resultó en el desarrollo de las vacunas. Esto ha sido parte del desarrollo fundamental de hacer la investigación de las vacunas, sabiendo que, históricamente, no hemos tenido este nivel de compromiso por parte de la comunidad afroamericana y otras comunidades de color, y la gente ha sido excluida y eso ha sido injusto. Esto ha generado consecuencias para los medicamentos que han sido perjudiciales para la comunidad afroamericana o no tan eficaces como deberían haber sido.

  ?

  Aprendimos de los errores del pasado, tanto que, cuando uno de los ensayos clínicos no estaba incorporando a suficientes afroamericanos y a otras personas de color, el ensayo fue suspendido y demorado hasta que pudieron aumentar los números. No quiero dar la impresión de que todo ha ido sobre ruedas y sido perfecto, pero estos esfuerzos han sido mucho más inclusivos, mucho más representativos mucho más democráticos que cualquier otra labor de investigación e iniciativas de desarrollo de medicamentos de las que estoy al tanto históricamente. Por eso, sí, ha habido inclusión y quizás no ha sido perfecto, pero hemos progresado bastante y estamos mucho mejor en términos de integración de lo que hemos estado antes.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Es bueno escucharlo. Pero antes de volver con el Dr. McDougle, ?qué se puede decir sobre los adultos mayores? ?Hubo un esfuerzo por incluirlos en los ensayos clínicos, qué tienen que hacer para probarlas y garantizar que estas vacunas van a ser eficaces de manera equitativa?

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Me gustaría tener una respuesta específica para ti. Sé que un número de adultos mayores ha sido incluido, pero lo que no puedo decir es el grado por el que fueron incluidos por dise?o, o si esa inclusión fue por casualidad y quizás el Dr. McDougle pueda hablar sobre eso específicamente. Creo que no nos falta la inclusión de los adultos mayores. Y vamos a progresar con ensayos clínicos adicionales que tienen como objetivo poblaciones adicionales que no han sido bien representadas en los ensayos clínicos previos, por ejemplo, los ni?os más peque?os no han sido un área de interés a nivel histórico.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Excelente. Gracias. Dr. McDougle, ahora que las vacunas se están distribuyendo, ?esto significa que podemos relajarnos en las medidas de prevención, en cosas como el uso de mascarillas y el distanciamiento físico?

  ?

  Leon McDougle: No, no significa eso. Aún hay riesgo de transmisión y me gustaría hablar sobre el tema de la inmunidad colectiva. Seguimos escuchando que esto se repite una y otra vez en la televisión, y eso es cuando cerca de un 75% de la población se ha vacunado o tiene inmunidad contra la COVID-19. Dicho esto, eso es un tipo de parámetro para hacer un seguimiento para ayudar a garantizar que nuestro sistema hospitalario no está desbordado o saturado, y eso no significa que esas personas que no se han vacunado no corren el riesgo de contagiarse de COVID-19.

  ?

  Volviendo a la pregunta anterior, el equipo de trabajo de vacunas y terapéutica de la Asociación Médica Nacional se ha reunido con los científicos de Pfizer y Moderna y cerca de un 10% de los participantes en cada uno de esos ensayos clínicos eran personas negras, lo que hacía un total de 3,000 de las cerca de 30,000 personas en el ensayo clínico de Moderna, y cerca de 4,400 de las 44,000 personas en el ensayo clínico de Pfizer.

  ?

  Además, hubo un esfuerzo intencional por tener un grupo numeroso de adultos mayores y también de personas con enfermedades crónicas como diabetes, hipertensión y obesidad, para que cuando los resultados fueran sometidos a aprobación pudiéramos tener más confianza en el resultado.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Creo que se puede decir que esos números son sorprendentemente mayores a los que hemos visto históricamente en los ensayos clínicos, ?verdad?

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Sí, así es.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Sí. Eso es alentador. Esos son números más altos de los que había pensado, así que es alentador. Quería poner al día a nuestros oyentes sobre la encuesta que hicimos al comienzo del programa. Preguntamos si planean vacunarse y parece que el 6% ya se ha vacunado, el 62% planea hacerlo, el 4% dijo que no y el 28% no está seguro de hacerlo. Estos resultados son muy interesantes. Quiero agradecer a todos por responder. Ahora vayamos a las preguntas. Me gustaría presentar a mi colega, mi colega de AARP, Shani Hosten, para que ayude a organizar las llamadas. Bienvenida, Shani.

  ?

  Shani Hosten: Gracias, Edna. Estoy encantada de estar aquí esta noche para esta conversación importante. Gracias.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Excelente. Shani, vayamos a la primera pregunta.

  ?

  Shani Hosten: Excelente. Estamos recibiendo un montón de preguntas excelentes. Escuchemos en vivo a nuestros oyentes. Tenemos en línea a Louise de Ohio.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Hola, Louise, procede con la pregunta.

  ?

  Louise: Sí, soy Louise. Me gustaría saber qué es la COVID-19. ?Es una neumonía? ?Es un virus? ?Cómo nos afecta en realidad? Sé que muchas personas negras tienen hipertensión, diabetes, pero todavía no estoy convencida si realmente me voy a vacunar porque no sé nada sobre lo que contiene la vacuna.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Muy bien, muy bien.

  ?

  Louise: O si curará.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Es una buena pregunta. Por eso, les voy a pedir a ambos doctores que cualquiera de los dos responda. Ella está preguntando qué es la COVID-19 y parece que quiere saber un poco más sobre qué es el virus o cómo se comporta el virus.

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Como soy de Ohio, me gustaría responder esta pregunta.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Excelente, Dr. McDougle.

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Entonces, la COVID-19, el coronavirus descubierto en el 2019 es una forma de esto, es una enfermedad respiratoria, es un virus y se propaga cuando alguien tose cerca de ti o cuando alguien respira cerca de ti, y ese virus va desde los pulmones de esa persona a los tuyos. Está en las vías respiratorias superiores, la boca y la nariz. Por eso se propaga mediante la respiración o el aliento. Se llama coronavirus porque tiene proteínas de pico en la parte superior.

  ?

  Probablemente has visto varias de esas ilustraciones científicas del coronavirus en la televisión y esas proteínas de pico que permiten al coronavirus ser más infeccioso e infectar tus células. Y, sí, puedes tener neumonía y el síndrome es el síndrome respiratorio agudo grave. Esa es la versión del nombre completo del virus. Sí, puedes tener neumonía. Sí, se puede propagar a los ri?ones y sí, puedes tener coágulos sanguíneos relacionados con el coronavirus.

  ?

  Es una enfermedad grave y es por eso que escuchas sobre personas que son conectadas a respiradores en el hospital, porque el virus afecta sus pulmones. Cuando hablo o explico sobre el término “neumonía”, neumonía significa básicamente que los pulmones están infectados y, en algunos casos, también puedes tener pus en los pulmones. Por eso es muy grave. Y recomiendo que, cuando te toque vacunarte, recomiendo que lo hagas.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Gracias, Dr. McDougle. Dr. Carlisle, ?quiere agregar algo al respecto? La respuesta del Dr. McDougle fue bastante completa, pero, ?quiere agregar algo?

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Bien, simplemente diría que eso fue excelente. El doctor de Cleveland pudo responder la pregunta de la persona que llamó desde Cleveland, pero enfatizaría dos puntos que el Dr. McDougle dijo y que son muy importantes. El primero es que la COVID-19 mata. Mata particularmente a los adultos mayores. A las personas mayores de 80 a?os, y eso representa cerca del 4 o 5% de la población, representa más del 40% de las muertes por COVID-19; a las personas mayores de 75 a?os, de manera desproporcionada; a las personas mayores de 70 a?os, de manera desproporcionada; a las personas mayores de 65 a?os, de manera desproporcionada. Ataca a la población de adultos mayores. Y sí, mata a las personas.

  ?

  Solo quiero repetir lo que dijo el Dr. McDougle, porque es un mensaje muy importante. Cuando sea tu turno, cuando te ofrezcan vacunarte por favor, di que sí, porque si dices que no, literalmente estás jugando a la ruleta rusa con tu vida, así como también con la vida de quien viva o interactúe contigo. No vale la pena el riesgo de decirle que no a la vacuna. Esa es mi opinión y creo que es la opinión de toda la comunidad médica, particularmente de nuestros médicos afroamericanos.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Gracias. Gracias, Dr. Carlisle. Muy bien, volvamos a la línea telefónica. ?Quién es el siguiente, Shani?

  ?

  Shani Hosten: Gracias, Edna. Tenemos a Kim de Washington, D.C. en línea.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Muy bien, Kim. Kim de Washington, D.C., estás en vivo. ?Cuál es tu pregunta?

  ?

  Kim: Sí, mi… ?Me escuchan?

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Sí, te escuchamos.

  ?

  Kim: Sí, buenas tardes. Muchas gracias por presentar esta asamblea para saber más sobre la COVID-19. Mi pregunta es, primero que nada, ?cómo sabríamos qué vacuna nos estamos poniendo? ?Te lo informan? Cuando te vacunas, ?es Moderna o es Pfizer? ?O es alguna otra vacuna? ?Cuáles son los efectos secundarios de la vacuna?

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Cualquiera… Antes comenzamos con el Dr. McDougle, así que, ?quieres responder, Dr. Carlisle?

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Bueno, como alguien que nació en el norte de Virginia, es un placer poder responder la pregunta de alguien de Washington, D.C. Buenas noches, ?cómo estás? Todos los que se están vacunando con quienes he hablado saben si se han puesto la vacuna de Pfizer o de Moderna. Y sí, hay algunas otras que todavía están en preparación. Si estás en China, puedes recibir una vacuna diferente, si estás en Brasil puedes recibir una vacuna diferente, pero en este momento solo tenemos disponibles las vacunas de Pfizer y de Moderna en Estados Unidos.

  ?

  Como es bastante claro en el momento, por lo general cualquier lugar en el que estás, solo tiene una vacuna disponible para ti. Diría que no hay una diferencia significativa entre las dos vacunas. Es mucho más importante vacunarse en vez de estar pensando en las diferencias. Pero una diferencia es que la vacuna de Pfizer requiere un período de 21 días antes de que recibas la segunda dosis. Y sí, la segunda dosis es muy importante.

  ?

  La vacuna de Moderna requiere un período de 28 días antes de que recibas la segunda dosis. Esa es probablemente la mayor diferencia entre las vacunas. La mayoría de la gente que conozco que se ha vacunado, y estoy compartiendo esta información a nivel personal, no difiere de lo que sabemos por los estudios. Muy poca gente se ha quejado de los efectos secundarios de las vacunas. Si tienes algún tipo de efecto secundario, es mayormente un dolor en donde te vacunaron.

  ?

  Algunas personas se sienten un poco exhaustas durante un día, algunas personas tienen dolores musculares, pero, ?eso qué parece? Parecen los efectos de la vacuna de la gripe. Y no quiero decir que son iguales en cuanto al perfil de los efectos secundarios, porque, en su mayoría, la gente no siente efectos secundarios o siente efectos secundarios mínimos. No me he encontrado con nadie que ha tenido efectos secundarios que son más graves que los que tienen cualquiera de las dos vacunas de Pfizer o Moderna.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Gracias, Dr. Carlisle. Voy a volver al teléfono para responder algunas preguntas más antes de volver con los doctores para algunas preguntas adicionales que tengan. Shani, ?hay alguien más en línea?

  ?

  Shani Hosten: Sí, tenemos un montón de preguntas. Una de ellas es a través de YouTube. La pregunta es, de Mahindra a través de YouTube: ?alguien que tiene anticuerpos debería vacunarse?

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Dr. McDougle.

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Si alguien se ha contagiado de COVID-19, pensamos que… Y lo que se ha demostrado con las vacunas, el nivel de inmunidad, la cantidad de anticuerpos es mayor. Entonces, eso depende de cuándo… La pregunta no fue específica, así que voy a especificarla más. Si te has contagiado de COVID-19 y tienes la oportunidad de vacunarte según las prioridades, creería que si es fuera de ese período de 10 días que a la gente se le da para ayudar a determinar si van a presentar los síntomas, la vacuna contra la COVID-19, ambas dosis, y ambas dosis son requeridas, le permiten a tu cuerpo crear suficientes anticuerpos para proteger más. Tanto que, cuando miramos los resultados, es 94% menos probable que uno presente síntomas de COVID-19 o cualquier síntoma significativo de COVID-19 cuando se exponga. Espero que esto sea útil.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Bien, entonces, en otras palabras, si alguien tiene anticuerpos, parece ser que recomiendas que se vacune, ?o eso depende de la cantidad de anticuerpos que tiene en su organismo?

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Permíteme responder otro aspecto de esa pregunta. Si has recibido un tratamiento de infusión de anticuerpos monoclonales o si has recibido un tratamiento de plasma de convaleciente para la COVID-19, es recomendable que esperes por lo menos 90 días antes de considerar cualquier tipo de vacuna. Esa es otra parte de la pregunta que hicieron.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Bien, eso fue útil. Eso fue útil. Bien, Shani, creo que tenemos tiempo para una pregunta más.

  ?

  Shani Hosten: Así es. Tenemos tiempo para una pregunta más. La pregunta es de Carmen de Carolina del Sur. ?Carmen?

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Adelante, Carmen. Bienvenida.

  ?

  Carmen: Mi pregunta era: tengo alergias graves, tengo 76 a?os y soy una se?ora afroamericana y me han hecho pruebas para el medioambiente, la comida y la medicación. Y me recomendaron que probablemente debería acudir a mi médico, mi médico de cabecera, estoy segura de que era eso… Para que él decida si puedo vacunarme o no porque no sé si puede contener algo a lo que soy alérgica. Tengo anticuerpos desconocidos en mi organismo, en la sangre. Y tengo… ?Creen que es seguro?

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Muy bien. Doctores, ?alguno quiere responder?

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Bien, has recibido un buen consejo. Y supongo que tu médico de cabecera te derivará a un alergista debido a tus antecedentes significativos de alergias para que te aconseje. No es necesariamente una contraindicación según las pautas de los CDC, pero creo que es altamente recomendable para alguien con tu historia clínica que veas a tu doctor, te den un consejo personalizado, supongo que parte de eso puede ser una consulta con un alergista para que te aconsejen según tu historia clínica.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Excelente. Excelente. Gracias, gracias. Tendremos otra oportunidad para otra ronda de preguntas del público, pero ahora quiero volver con nuestros expertos y preguntarles algunas cuestiones concretas, cuestiones generales en detalle. Dr. McDougle, ?cómo están abordando los líderes las violaciones históricas de confianza que hemos tenido con la profesión médica y las vacunas? Y creo que esto se refiere específicamente a la comunidad afroamericana.

  ?

  Hay una gran desconfianza debido a nuestro historial. Sabemos sobre los experimentos Tuskegee, sabemos sobre Henrietta Lacks y lo que le ocurrió. Y mucha gente cree que no es una desconfianza histórica, que es una desconfianza basada en las cosas que están pasando hoy en día en el sistema de atención médica. ?Cómo están abordando esto los líderes? ?Qué estamos haciendo para demostrar que estamos en una época diferente, dado que estamos en una época diferente?

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Muy buena pregunta. Parte de ese esfuerzo incluye esta sesión de información de hoy. Aquí tienes al 121.o presidente de la Asociación Médica Nacional y tienes al presidente de la Charles R. Drew University, y somos parte de Black Coalition Against COVID, dirigida y organizada por el Dr. Reed Tuckson, que incluye a la asociación de cuatro escuelas médicas para negros, la Morehouse School of Medicine de Howard University, Meharry Medical College y Charles R. Drew.

  ?

  También incluye a la Asociación Nacional de Enfermeras Negras, Montague Cobb Health Institute, la National Urban League, la Asociación Médica Nacional, entre otras. Y un ejemplo de esto sería la asamblea que llevamos a cabo el jueves pasado, que incluyó la participación de los clérigos negros, el liderazgo basado en la fe que incluyó, por ejemplo, al Dr. Calvin Butts, el reverendo Calvin Butts de la Albyssinian Church de Nueva York y la iniciativa Choose Healthy Life initiative, el reverendo Jesse L. Jackson, y la organización Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, el reverendo Matthew Watley y otros en todo el país. Entonces, la participación de los líderes de las iglesias o las fraternidades y las hermandades, o las organizaciones profesionales como LinkedIn Incorporated. El Dr. Carlisle y yo hemos formado parte de esta gira internacional informativa para ayudar a educar a nuestra comunidad.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Bueno, realmente lo agradecemos. Dr. Carlisle, me gustaría volver con usted. Las vacunas se están distribuyendo en las principales cadenas de farmacias y hospitales, pero la implementación se ha retrasado demasiado y hemos visto largas esperas y largas filas, y mucha confusión porque la gente no está escuchando lo que debe hacer o dónde debe ir. ?Qué se necesita para que las vacunas se apliquen más rápido? ?Y qué más deben mirar los Gobiernos estatales y locales para distribuir las vacunas? ?Dr. Carlisle?

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Debe tener el micrófono en silencio.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Creo que se ha desconectado. Dr. McDougle, ?quiere responder?

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Sí, claro.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Se la dejo a usted.

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Sí. Las fuentes de asistencia usuales. Pienso más en un esfuerzo para distribuir las vacunas a las prácticas exclusivamente en consultorios, los centros de salud aprobados por el Gobierno federal, esas son algunas de las maneras de lograrlo. Además, la colaboración con las organizaciones comunitarias, de la comunidad basada en la fe para brindar opciones adicionales para la distribución de la vacuna, y tener un recurso de servicio integral, quizás un sitio web donde alguien pueda ingresar su código postal, su edad y demás, y pueda determinar rápidamente cuándo podrá vacunarse y cuáles son las opciones o los lugares para que se vacune.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Creo que esas son buenas recomendaciones. Espero que los Gobiernos estatales, locales y federales tomen nota de eso porque la frustración está aumentando rápidamente entre la gente mayor que está preocupada debido a su vulnerabilidad. Espero que veamos una distribución más sistemática en las próximas semanas. Tengo una pregunta más antes de volver a las líneas telefónicas, a la sección de comentarios de las redes sociales, pero, Dr. Carlisle, ?volvió?

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Sí, estoy aquí.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Excelente. Le voy a hacer la última pregunta a usted, la última pregunta por ahora. Hemos hablado brevemente sobre esto antes, creo que el Dr. McDougle abordó el concepto de las reacciones adversas, pero las redes sociales y las noticias han destacado las reacciones adversas y los efectos secundarios de la vacuna contra la COVID-19. ?Qué deberíamos hacer con esto? Y la pregunta aquí es: ?La aprobación se hizo de forma apurada? Creo que sé cuál va a ser la respuesta. ?Las vacunas contra la COVID-19 son seguras y eficaces? ?Por qué algunos médicos las rechazan? ?Qué dice eso sobre la seguridad de la vacuna? ?Tienes algunas preocupaciones? ?Te vacunarías?

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Sí, estoy esperando vacunarme tan pronto como sea posible. Aunque, debido a que soy médico, principalmente soy administrador, así que no estoy en la primera línea, y es por eso que aún no me he vacunado. Pero mi esposa lo ha hecho, ella es médica de primera línea. No tuvo efectos secundarios. El proceso de desarrollo de la vacuna afortunadamente fue rápido y exitoso, exitosamente rápido, y lo diría debido a que todas las fases que son necesarias para el desarrollo de la vacuna, la fase cero, la fase uno, la fase dos, la fase tres de un ensayo clínico, fueron incluidas en el desarrollo de la vacuna contra la COVID-19.

  ?

  Lo que es diferente es que la investigación básica que conduce al desarrollo de las vacunas ya se había hecho. El coronavirus es como el SARS que tuvimos a principios del 2000. El coronavirus es algo que experimentamos cuando la gente tiene infecciones respiratorias en el período invernal. Hemos estado trabajando en las vacunas para coronavirus durante más de un a?o. Tomamos esas investigaciones de ciencia básica que ya se habían hecho, tomamos las vacunas existentes y las volvimos a hacer para el nuevo coronavirus.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Ah, ya entiendo.

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Y es por eso que podemos producir vacunas en tiempo récord. No veo evidencia significativa de que las vacunas contra la COVID-19 actuales sean más peligrosas que cualquier otra vacuna que las personas se ponen. Pero, debido a que estamos lidiando con una amenaza, un riesgo presente y evidente que se está cobrando las vidas de miles y miles de personas en EE.UU. todos los días, es por eso que somos firmes partidarios de que la gente se vacune, que reciba la vacuna, porque, repito, no quieres jugar a la ruleta rusa con tu vida o con las vidas de tus seres queridos. Por favor, vacúnate.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Gracias, Dr. Carlisle. Creo que la información y la desinformación de las redes sociales nos recuerda a todos que, a medida que continúa la distribución de la vacuna contra la COVID-19, los estafadores están buscando una manera de sacar provecho. Ellos llamarán, enviarán correos electrónicos y mensajes de texto, y el público debe prestar atención a esto: pondrán anuncios falsos para convencer a la gente de que puede unirse a la primera línea de las vacunas o para brindar su número de Seguro Social u otra información personal y confidencial.

  ?

  Hemos visto y nos han informado que eso está sucediendo a un ritmo aterrador. Por eso le pedimos al público que no se deje enga?ar, no puedes pagar para cruzar la línea y las vacunas contra la COVID-19 deberían ser gratuitas incluso para la gente sin cobertura, la vacuna no tiene costo. Te alentamos a que visites el sitio web aarp.org/fraude [en espa?ol] sin espacios, fraude [en espa?ol] para aprender más sobre estas y otras estafas. O puedes llamar a la línea de asistencia de Red contra el Fraude, de AARP al 877-908-3360. Nuevamente, la frecuencia del fraude y del intento de provocar a la gente e impulsar la información errónea está realmente desenfrenado. Y ellos tienen como objetivo a los adultos mayores. Por eso, nuevamente te alentamos a visitar el sitio web aarp.org/fraude o llamar a la línea de asistencia de la Red contra el Fraude, de AARP al 877-908-3360. No des tu número de Seguro Social a nadie, a nadie que te lo pida en relación con la vacuna.

  ?

  Ahora vamos a volver a algunas de las preguntas para el Dr. McDougle y el Dr. Carlisle. A modo de recordatorio, presiona *3 en tu teléfono para conectarte con un representante de AARP o escribe tu pregunta en la sección de comentarios en Facebook y YouTube. Shani, ?hay alguien más en línea ahora?

  ?

  Shani Hosten: Sí, Edna, gracias. Estamos recibiendo muchas preguntas. Vayamos con Sarah de Texas.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Muy bien, Sarah de Texas, ?cuál es tu pregunta?

  ?

  Sarah: Excelente. Buenas noches y muchas gracias por esta oportunidad de traer aquí a estos dos grandes médicos para compartir información de primera mano. Mi pregunta es: ?Cuáles son las consecuencias para las personas que tienen enfermedades autoinmunes, como lupus o una variedad de otras enfermedades autoinmunes, especialmente si están tomando medicamentos inmunosupresores y desean vacunarse? ?Hay algún riesgo o consecuencia de hacerlo?

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Cualquier doctor.

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Me gustaría responder esta pregunta. Hemos abordado específicamente esta pregunta tanto con la vacuna de Pfizer como con la de Moderna y, en general, las personas con enfermedades crónicas que están controladas y estables sí califican para vacunarse. Dicho esto, es recomendable consultarlo con el profesional de la salud con anticipación. Y cuando miramos a los participantes en los ensayos clínicos, fueron inscriptas personas con enfermedades autoinmunes controladas y no se observó un aumento en el riesgo de vacunarse.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Excelente. Gracias, Dr. McDougle. Voy a continuar porque tenemos muchas preguntas, para que podamos responderlas antes de finalizar. Shani, ?quién más está en línea?

  ?

  Shani Hosten: De hecho, tenemos una pregunta que hicieron en Facebook, Carol preguntó a través de Facebook. Escribió que es una trabajadora de primera línea en una clínica médica y que no ha escuchado nada en absoluto sobre la vacuna. Pronto va a cumplir 65 a?os y tiene una enfermedad subyacente. ?Cómo puede vacunarse?

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Recomiendo que, en primer lugar, consultes con la administración del sistema de salud en donde trabajas. En segundo lugar, el plan de difusión ha sido distribuido en los departamentos de salud estatales. Entonces, si la respuesta que recibes por parte del sistema de salud no es adecuada, recomiendo consultar con el departamento estatal de salud. Sé que para Ohio hay un 1-800, hay un número específico al que uno puede llamar. Esa es mi recomendación.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Gracias. Gracias, Dr. McDougle.

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Aconsejo lo mismo.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Dr. Carlisle, ?dijo que aconseja lo mismo?

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Sí. Lo único que agregaría es que ella está en los grupos que tienen alta prioridad para la vacuna y también buscaría información en línea para ver dónde hay lugares públicos de vacunación en la comunidad donde vive. No puedo hablar sobre Texas específicamente, pero, en la mayoría de Estados Unidos, hay lugares públicos donde la gente puede ir a vacunarse. Y dado el empleo que ella tiene, teniendo en cuenta su edad y su riesgo médico, estaría en la categoría de alta prioridad para vacunarse. Agregaría eso. Y le pediría al empleador que proporcione las vacunas. Reconozco que no todos los empleadores tienen pleno acceso a toda la tecnología que tienen los principales centros médicos, pero ella es una trabajadora de primera línea y debería tener alta prioridad para vacunarse.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Gracias. Gracias, Dr. Carlisle. Shani, ?tenemos otra pregunta del público?

  ?

  Shani Hosten: Así es. Tenemos a George de Ohio. ?George de Ohio?

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Adelante, George de Ohio. George, no podemos escucharte bien. Shani, quizás podemos hablar con otra persona y, si George se une, podemos volver a conectarnos luego.

  ?

  Shani Hosten: Muy bien. ?Qué te parece Hazel de Ohio? ?Hazel de Ohio?

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: ?Hazel?

  ?

  Hazel: Sí, hola.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Adelante. Estás en vivo.

  ?

  Hazel: Me gustaría saber, yo vivo en un hogar de ancianos y me gustaría saber, yo tengo artritis reumatoide y ya estoy recibiendo vacunas para eso. ?Debería ponerme la vacuna del virus?

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Entonces…

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Cualquiera de los doctores.

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Sí. Hola, soy el Dr. McDougle de Ohio. Qué bueno hablar con alguien de Ohio. Y hablamos sobre esto. Tu pregunta es un poco diferente, pero es similar a la pregunta que hicieron antes. La mayoría de las personas con enfermedades estables y controladas sí califican para la vacuna. Dicho esto, primero consulta con tu profesional de la salud.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Excelente. Tenemos varias preguntas sobre enfermedades preexistentes y parece ser que consultar con el profesional de la salud es clave. Así que gracias. Gracias, Dr. McDougle. Shani, tenemos algunos minutos más. Quiero que recibamos tantas preguntas como sea posible. ?Tenemos otra pregunta por teléfono o a través de Facebook o YouTube?

  ?

  Shani Hosten: Sí, tenemos a Mildred de Carolina del Sur. ?Mildred?

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Mildred, estás en vivo. Adelante. ?Mildred? ?Estás allí?

  ?

  Shani Hosten: Mildred, ?estás allí? Muy bien. Intentemos con Johnny de LA.

  ?

  Johnny: Sí. Hola. Soy de Luisiana.

  ?

  Shani Hosten: Ah, muy bien.

  ?

  Johnny: Sí. Tengo una pregunta… Tengo una pregunta para ustedes. Leí un informe y no estoy segura si fue en las redes sociales o dónde, pero en ese informe hicieron una comparación entre aquellas personas que tienen tipos de sangre A+ y AB en comparación con quienes tienen el tipo de sangre O, y en ese estudio dijeron que quienes tienen A+ o AB son más propensos a enfermarse y que, supongo que el efecto de la enfermedad podría ser más grave que en quienes tienen el tipo de sangre O+. Y quería saber ?cuál es la validez de eso? ?Es cierto o no? ?Qué dicen sobre esto?

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Claro. ?Dr. Carlisle o Dr. McDougle?

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Sí, responderé primero. Esperaba que fueras de Los ángeles, pero me pone contento hablar con alguien de Luisiana, otro de mis lugares favoritos. Recuerdo cuando empezaron a aparecer las noticias sobre los tipos de sangre. Yo soy O+ y eso no va a evitar en absoluto que me vacune contra la COVID-19, ya sea que la diferencia sea del 10% o del 5% entre los tipos de sangre. En este momento ese es un tema un tanto más científico y no debería estar permitido hacer que informen su decisión sobre si pueden omitir vacunarse. Todas las personas que estén calificadas para hacerlo, quien tenga la oportunidad de vacunarse, debería hacerlo sin importar su tipo de sangre.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Gracias. Gracias, Dr. Carlisle. Tenemos tiempo para una pregunta más, Shani, ?hay muchas personas en espera?

  ?

  Shani Hosten: Así es. Tenemos a Gloria de Illinois. Gloria, Illinois.

  ?

  Gloria: Hola. Me preguntaba, yo tengo 67 a?os, nunca me he vacunado contra la gripe, nunca me he vacunado contra la neumonía, pero estoy considerando vacunarme contra el coronavirus. ?Antes debo recibir las otras dos vacunas? ?Es demasiado tarde o simplemente debería esperar y vacunarme contra el coronavirus cuando me sea posible?

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Responderé yo. Es una buena pregunta. Sí, deberías vacunarte contra la gripe y con la vacuna de la gripe, después de recibirla, tienes que esperar por lo menos dos semanas antes de vacunarte contra la COVID-19. Ten en cuenta que al vacunarte contra la gripe y quizás incluso contra la neumonía, tienes que esperar por lo menos dos semanas. Eso está recomendado antes de comenzar a recibir las dosis de la vacuna contra la COVID-19.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Muy bien. Dr. McDougle y Dr. Carlisle, ?tienen algún comentario de cierre o recomendaciones que nuestros oyentes deberían comprender de la conversación de hoy? Comencemos con el Dr. Carlisle.

  ?

  David M. Carlisle: Sí, escuché que compartiste los resultados de la encuesta. Y estoy satisfecho de escuchar la proporción del público que ya se ha vacunado contra la COVID-19 o que está esperando para vacunarse y quiere hacerlo. Eso es una buena noticia. Es más que la mayoría del público de hoy. Estoy muy contento de escuchar eso porque, nuevamente, el consejo es que cuando te ofrezcan vacunarte contra la COVID-19, por favor, digas que sí. No digas que no.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Gracias. ?Dr. McDougle?

  ?

  Leon McDougle: Sí, si el público desea información específica adicional, en particular aquellos de la comunidad negra, si buscan en Google “Asesoramiento de COVID-19 sobre las vacunas de Pfizer y Moderna de la Asociación Médica Nacional”, aparecerá nuestro informe y será mucho más detallado. Asesoramiento sobre la Administración de Medicamentos y Alimentos, uso de emergencia, sé que es un título extenso.

  ?

  Edna Kane Williams: Esto es para el público. No lo mencionamos antes, pero la Asociación Médica Nacional es la asociación más antigua y más extensa de doctores negros del país. Deberíamos haber agregado eso. Gracias a ambos. Y Charles R. Drew es una escuela de medicina histórica, una escuela negra de Medicina en Los ángeles, así que nos acompa?an dos doctores eminentes. Quiero agradecerles a ambos por acompa?arnos. Ha sido un debate informativo. Gracias por responder las preguntas, gracias por compartir su sabiduría y gracias al público, a los socios de AARP, a los voluntarios y a los oyentes por participar del debate.

  ?

  Quiero recordarles a todos que AARP es una organización de membresía sin fines de lucro ni afiliación política. Hemos estado trabajando para fomentar la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores en EE.UU. por más de 60 a?os. Esto es lo que hacemos. Esta es nuestra prioridad. En la fase de esta crisis, estamos brindando información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores. Tenemos asambleas como esta todo el tiempo. Queremos ayudar a los adultos mayores y aquellos que los cuidan. Queremos proteger a todos de este virus, evitar que se propague y ayudar a la gente mientras se cuidan unos a otros.

  ?

  Todos los recursos que mencioné, incluyendo la grabación del evento de preguntas y respuestas de hoy, se pueden encontrar desde ma?ana en aarp.org/coronavirus. Nuevamente, el sitio web es aarp.org/coronavirus. Y no solo la teleasamblea de hoy, sino que tenemos todo tipo de fichas técnicas y material sobre el coronavirus, las medidas de prevención, la vacuna. Visita el sitio web si tienes preguntas que no respondimos esta noche, si quedaste en espera, y encontrarás las últimas actualizaciones, así como también información creada específicamente para los adultos mayores y sus cuidadores familiares.

  ?

  Esperamos que hayas aprendido algo que pueda ayudarte a mantenerte sano. Sintonízanos el 28 de enero para otro evento en vivo. Nuevamente, como dije, somos constantes. Vamos a estar haciendo esto, educando, brindando recursos porque es algo fundamental. Esta es una verdadera crisis y AARP está cooperando. El 28 de enero tendremos otro evento en vivo y también debatiremos sobre la vacuna contra la COVID-19. Muchas gracias por acompa?arnos esta noche. Disfruta el resto de tu día.

  ?

  Esto concluye nuestra llamada.

  ?

  ?

  7 p.m. ET – Prevention, Vaccines & the Black Community

  This live Q&A event focused on how the pandemic is disproportionately affecting people of color, particularly the Black community. It also addressed the latest information on vaccine trials, development and distribution, and provided guidance on how to stay safe and protected.

  The experts:

  Leon McDougle, M.D.

  President,

  National Medical Association

  David M. Carlisle, M.D. Ph.D.

  President and Chief Executive Officer,

  Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

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

  Replay previous AARP Coronavirus Tele-Town Halls

  2021 Tele-Town Halls

  June 17 -?Coronavirus: Vaccines And Staying Safe During “Reopening”

  June 3?-?Coronavirus:?Your Health, Finances & Housing

  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 1 -?Coronavirus and The Black Community: Your Vaccine Questions Answered

  March 25 -?Coronavirus: The Stimulus, Taxes and Vaccine

  March 11?-?One Year of the Pandemic and Managing Personal Finances and Taxes

  February 25 -?Coronavirus 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

  2020 Tele-Town Halls

  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 andLGBTQ Non-Discrimination Protections

  June 11?– Coronavirus:?Personal Resilience in the New Normal