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COVID update – vaccines, denier death, and prognostications

Lots of news COVID-related this week…

Three vaccines seem to be the most promising; all are entering Phase 3 trials with tens of thousands of test subjects involved.  Moderna and Pfizer look to be the furthest along, with AstraZenica/Oxford University’s vaccine also showing some promise.

Before we pop the champagne, remember…

  • trials are just that – they are used to assess safety, effectiveness (how much protection the vaccine provides) durability (how long the vaccine provides immunity)
  • the history of vaccine development is not exactly encouraging, and
  • once a vaccine is proven, we’ll need tens of millions of needles, syringes, vials, and a delivery system to ensure it all gets to the people who need it most.

There’s another problem with these trials – too few people of color are involved – far too few. That’s really troubling, as Black and Latinx people are suffering much more than Caucasians.

So, keep doing smart stuff until you get vaccinated. Fortunately, more of us are now accepting that masks make a big difference.

The death of former GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain from coronavirus and the infection of Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert (R) may be changing minds; these two gentlemen dismissed the news about COVID19 and refused to wear masks.

Mr Cain is wearing the red tag.

Meanwhile, I’ve been engaging with NCCI and experts from the Insurance Information Institute in an effort to better understand the financial impact of COVID on workers’ comp. Stay tuned for more; key takeaway so far is that NCCI and III are focused on potential costs of COVID itself; they have not done any work assessing the impact of the sharp decline in claims.

There’s also a lot of talk about how bad COVID may be for profitability, a position I’m still struggling with.

What does this mean for you?

Wear a mask. 

2 thoughts on “COVID update – vaccines, denier death, and prognostications”

  1. Joe – As goofy as it may sound, I presume you were around when the Salk polio vaccine was first administered in the USA. Being a little guy at the time (mid to late 50s) I remember our entire neighborhood going to the local public school for a drop of the vaccine on a sugar cube. If I recall correctly, everyone was required to do so three times over a span of weeks. The actual history is on the internet. What is the chance that such a “simple” method of administering a vaccine might again be possible rather than “tens of millions of needles, syringes, vials,?” I am not being critical, but I hope there’s some “out of the box” thinking taking place wrt this issue. In this day and age, the thought of a successful national distribution regardless of method seems almost more daunting than developing the vaccine in the first place.

    1. Hello Steve and thanks for the note. I’m no clinician; my understanding is pretty much everything is being tried, and there’s a lot of concern over producing and protecting enough vaccine. Two of the three vaccines mentioned are mRNA based, something that is pretty out-of-the-box as it is.

      I’d assume that vaccine delivery is a key function that is receiving as much attention as vaccine development itself.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates




A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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