Update and Clarification to Yesterday's Leadership Notes

January 13, 2022

Leadership Notes


In setting up the subject for next week's LN, I included this observation from Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC. When asked about the reported numbers of those who have died since the beginning of the pandemic, she "admitted that over 75% of COVID deaths occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities. So really, these are people who are unwell to begin with.”


I heard from several thoughtful folks who felt context was missing from her observation. Without getting lost in the weeds, here's a little more depth:


Walensky was simply reporting the findings of a recent CDC study.

"Among 1,228,664 persons who completed primary vaccination during

December 2020–October 2021, severe COVID-19–associated outcomes

(0.015%) or death (0.0033%) were rare. Risk factors for severe outcomes

included age ≥65 years, immunosuppressed, and six other underlying

conditions. All persons with severe outcomes had at least one risk factor;

78% of persons who died had at least four."


And the study saw the following implications for public health:

"Vaccinated persons who are older, immunosuppressed, or have other

underlying conditions should receive targeted interventions including

chronic disease management, precautions to reduce exposure, additional

primary and booster vaccine doses, and effective pharmaceutical therapy

to mitigate risk for severe outcomes. Increasing vaccination coverage is a

critical public health priority."


You can find the link here:


https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7101a4.htm#contribAff


So, more evidence that one size doesn't fit all. Persons who have existing high health risks need targeted interventions to prevent severe outcomes from Covid. Makes sense to me.


Thank you to all those who carefully read and graciously respond to these weekly messages. Open and honest communication is always a good thing!


With Updated Love and Affection,


Richard

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