A “Glass Half Full” Perspective
When asked what they are most optimistic about at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, Orenstein said, “I’m really positive in the sense that the vaccines we have are already very effective against severe disease, death, and hospitalization. I feel really good about that. And we have great tools. “The bottom line for me is, I want to get it myself,” he said regarding the bivalent vaccine.
More Motivational Messaging Needed
Now is also a good time to renew efforts to get people vaccinated. “We invested a lot into developing these vaccines, but I think we also need to invest in what I call ‘implementation science research,’ ” Orenstein said, the goal being to convince people to get vaccinated. He pointed out that it’s vaccinations, not vaccines, that saves lives. “Vaccine doses that remain in the vial are 0% effective. “When I was director of the United States’ immunization program at the CDC,” Orenstein said, “my director of communications used to say that you need the right message delivered by the right messenger through the right communications channel.”