Safe Travels & Healthy Holidays

If you plan on traveling during the 2021 holiday season, there are several COVID-19 considerations you should take into account.

Adopting Healthy Habits

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published a list of healthy habits to adopt during the holiday season.

1. Wash your hands regularly to aid in preventing the spread of germs; it is flu season after all. Briskly wash your hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

2. When going outdoors, layer your clothes to ensure you stay warm and dry. Don’t forget your gloves, a hat, scarves.

3. Stress is linked to taking a toll on our immune systems. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a time-out. That could look like a walk outside to get some fresh air and clear your head. It also includes getting restful sleep, as well as having outlets for releasing the stress such as catching up with a friend over the phone, or practicing meditation.

4. If you’ve been putting them off — now is the time to call your providers’ offices and book routine exams and screenings.

5. Make sure you are current on all relevant vaccinations. Vaccines save lives.

6. The holidays are often spent around the dining room table enjoying home cooked meals. Remember to regularly wash your hands and disinfect surfaces to avoid cross contamination.

7. It’s perfectly normal to indulge a bit more during this time of year, but don’t aban-don clean eating entirely — consuming daily servings of fruits and vegetables will help lower your risk for certain diseases.

Vaccine Mandates

Healthline interviewed pulmonary and critical care physician at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Joseph Khabbaza, If you plan on traveling during the holiday season, Khabbaza suggests continually researching requirements for various forms of travel — that includes understanding vaccine requirements at your final destination. Travel can be stressful enough, so avoiding any surprises will make for a much more pleasant experience.

At this time, the only place that currently requires proof of vaccination within the United States is entry into Hawaii. The state has an online portal to upload proof of vaccination status.

If you have received the COVID-19 vaccine within the United States and its territories, you’ll steer clear of the mandatory 10-day quarantine. Of course you’ll need to prove your vaccine history in order to avoid this mandate.

If you do not want to indicate proof of your vaccination status, then you can undergo a pre-travel test, proving a negative COVID-19 test result. This process needs to be completed no more than 72 hours before the final leg of your trip to the state.

Quarantine Protocols

Look into the CDC’s latest quarantine protocols prior to solidifying your travel accommodations.

According to countless industry experts, the most reliable source to research quarantine mandates for your destination is the CDC’s website.

Keep in mind that COVID-19 statistics are constantly changing, which means that travel guidance will also regularly change. A country could require self-isolation upon arrival tomorrow, whereas today there are no quarantining protocols in place. Also, remember that vaccination status will often play a part in self-isolating requirements after entering the country.

Tropical Destinations

It goes without saying that any travel during the coronavirus pandemic, no matter the method or the destination, incurs risk. Some experts say that picking a tropical location could be slightly safer given the fact it likely means you’ll spend a lot of time outdoors with lower transmission rates.

Once again, even if a particular tropical destination boasts lower COVID-19 infection rates, you’ll still need to consider the local vaccination rates. Additionally, if a particular country isn’t very strict with their COVID-19 regulations, it would be particularly prudent of you to practice safe social distancing in those locations.

Final Thoughts

The CDC has created a helpful Travel Recommendations by Destination map. Using this resource can assist in circumventing destinations that may be considered high risk.

Please continue to visit our Auxo Medical Blog for updated, relevant healthcare infor-mation.

Meta Description: This article highlights safety considerations for travelers during the 2021 holiday season, including vaccines, quarantining, and health habits.

Final Ruling: Fair Use of Medical Device Software

Last month, a Final Rule was adopted by the Library of Congress regarding access to medical device software as a means to diagnose, repair, and maintain the products; the ruling states that this accessibility is regarded as fair use under copyright law. The Librarian of Congress ruling in its entirety can be found here. 

A recommendation came from the Copyright Office Registrar, advising exemption to the provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which prohibited “circumvention of technical measures that control access to copyrighted works” according to the published document released on October 28, 2021. 

Notably, the ruling exempts responsibility for medical device manufacturers accessing copyrighted software and associated data files on legally procured medical devices or systems when it’s imperative to maintaining and/or restoring a device to operate congruently with its original framework. 

The ruling states that in order to, “establish the need for an exemption, proponents must show, at a minimum, (1) that uses affected by the prohibition on circumvention are or are likely to be non-infringing; and (2) that as a result of a technological measure controlling access to a copyrighted work, the prohibition is causing, or in the next three years is likely to cause, an adverse impact on those uses.” 

Jay Crabtree, Auxo Medical’s President, said, “We feel that this is a great decision for both healthcare operators and independent service operators. This will give healthcare operators more choices, and will help keep cost of providing care at reasonable levels.” 

A thorough overview of the rule making process, evidentiary record, as well as the Register’s analysis of proposed exemptions are available for review here

Additionally, here are resources and links to better understand the ruling’s history and implications. 

As always, stay tuned for relevant and timely healthcare content on the Auxo Medical blog. In our next post, with the pandemic in mind, we’ll review recommendations for safe travels during the 2021 holiday season.

Mental Health Support During Breast Cancer Journey

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month nearing the end of its annual October campaign, and continued hope for a cure remains thanks to developing technologies and ongoing research, it is equally important to provide mental health support as women fight this disease. 

Many hospitals and clinics around the United States offer group and individual counseling. One in particular is the Breast Cancer Support Group at Augusta Health in Virginia. The organization’s breast cancer advocates give credit to this group for preserving their patients’ mental health while on their own cancer crusades. 

The support group was created nearly six years ago at the health system once the need for a dedicated support infrastructure solely for breast cancer patients was identified. 

A breast nurse navigator at August Health, Donna Berdeaux, shared during a discussion with news station WHSV, “We have women that are stage one, women that are stage four. They are able to sit down and talk about their diagnosis but we try to bring a lot of thankfulness, gratefulness, we just don’t focus on the diagnosis.” 

Patients are usually put in touch with Berdeaux once they’ve received a breast cancer diagnosis. Every week, the group of patients and survivors meet — their time together includes supportive conversation and the opportunity to share their experiences among each other. However, they don’t strictly talk about their diagnosis, they also focus on gratitude. 

Berdeaux explained, “Being able to come to a group and speak with other breast patients that are going through or have gone through. Everyone’s journey is different but they realize that they are experiencing the same thing other people are experiencing, so they actually do better.” 

Three women who have either previously battled or are currently battling a breast cancer diagnosis, Suzanne Vanvalkenburg, Patty Piccinino and Carol Cobb, give credit to the support group for being a safe environment and allowing them to be vulnerable about their worries and fears. They say that the circle of women learn from and draw strength from each other. 

Cobb shared, “Don’t have to be brave and strong like you do for your family. You just feel so welcomed and loved.” 

There has been a mental health crisis explosion during the pandemic, so people facing a life-changing diagnosis on top of developing COVID-19 virus fatigue, are certainly in need of emotional and mental care. 

Vanvalkenburg added, “I ended up with mouth sores after my first chemo, which was awful. Somebody in the Breast Cancer Support Group was able to say ‘hey chew ice while you get your chemo, it will slow it down and I bet you you won’t get mouth sores again’ and I never got mouth sores again for the rest of my chemo treatment. I was very thankful for that.” 

Piccinino commented, “You are with a group of women who understand that. People can be sympathetic and can be helpful but no one can completely understand what that feels like.” 

In addition to finding support within the actual meetings, members oftentimes create friendships outside of the group — even throughout the coronavirus pandemic. You may find them chatting virtually, or taking a walk in the park together. 

Cobb continued, “We have been to Williamsburg and we have done line dancing. We have made Christmas cards and have had Christmas parties at a nursing home.” 

Recently members of the group hand-painted messages of hope onto rocks. They are committed to contributing support among the community as well as generate breast cancer education and awareness. 

“You are not alone, there are people in your community that are here to support you and understand what you are going through,” Vanvalkenburg mentioned. 

The ladies encourage anyone facing a breast cancer diagnosis to reach out to your local clinician’s office and ask to be put in touch with in-person or virtual support groups

Piccinino concluded, “You are stronger than you think you are because initially it feels so overwhelming and it is really difficult. You will be surprised at how strong you really are.”

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Vaccine Trial

On the heels of Breast Cancer Awareness month, it is certainly timely to hear of a new breast cancer vaccine trial that is underway. 

Statistics indicate that approximately 1 in 8 women will receive an invasive breast cancer diagnosis at some point in their lifetime. Of those women, some will battle the most deadly form of this disease — triple-negative breast cancer. The treatments for this type of cancer currently have the least effective options. 

For that reason, experts at the Cleveland Clinic are focused on improving outcomes for women facing this particularly aggressive disease. A phase 1 clinical trial has begun with a goal of developing an effective vaccine that will help with prevention. Albeit they anticipate it could take decades for the vaccine to get developed, approved, and launched into market, researchers are hopeful their efforts will materialize. 

This study is comprised of women who have recently completed treatment for early-stage triple negative breast cancer. Part of the participation criteria includes that they are not nursing and will also not become pregnant. Lastly, those involved in the study have no signs of disease, but are still considered high risk for the cancer to return. 

The small group of people in the trial,18-24 participants, will be given assorted doses of the vaccine; this strategy will help researchers understand any side effects, and determine if it produces the expected immunologic response. The women will receive a total of three vaccine shots and each dose will be administered two weeks apart. 

Dr. G. Thomas Budd, an oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic, is the principal investigator of the study. Budd said, “What we hope to do is, first, show that we can mount an immune response against one protein that is expressed in the majority of triple-negative breast cancer.” 

He continued, “And if we can, we might be able to vaccinate patients or people who are at risk to develop breast cancer, and then prevent them from getting it in the first place — that’s the long-term goal.” 

The study’s phase 1 goal is to identify which dose should be implemented in future studies. 

“The ultimate goal, ultimately, not of this trial, but future trials, would be to be able to prevent breast cancer, triple-negative breast cancer in those who are at very high risk for it,” Budd explained. “So, initially this would be people with family histories and genetic mutations known to predispose them to triple-negative breast cancer.” 

The Cleveland Clinic’s vaccine targets alpha-lactalbumin, a protein, which is typically produced in lactating breasts. According to experts, there isn’t another time when (normal) human cells create that protein, with the exception of nearly 70% of triple-negative breast cancers. 

Budd wants to be very clear about this study’s timeline expectations. “I think the main thing I do want to just emphasize is this is very, very early in development. It will take really decades to prove what we need to prove because it takes years to develop breast cancer.” 

Vincent Tuohy, the vaccine’s primary inventor and a staff immunologist at Lerner Research Institute said in a press release, “This vaccine approach represents a potential new way to control breast cancer.” Tuohy went onto say, “The long-term objective of this research is to determine if this vaccine can prevent breast cancer before it occurs, particularly the more aggressive forms of this disease that predominate in high-risk women.” 

Triple-negative breast cancer comprises between 10%-15% of women with breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Of that population, Black women, women with the BRCA1 mutation, and women under 40-years-old are the most susceptible. 

Please be sure to visit our Auxo Medical blog for timely, relevant healthcare content.

Training Course

Mark your calendar! This Spring, Auxo Medical will be offering a Steris Sterilizer and Washer/Disinfector service training course!

The course will be offered October 25th – 29th 2021 at Auxo Medical in Richmond, VA.

October 25th-29th 2021 – Steris Small Stage 3 Series Sterilizers for 2 days (3013, 3023, & Gravity units)

Read More

Flu Shots 101

While COVID-19 booster shots are dominating news headlines at the moment, results of a noteworthy U.S. study by the Hospitalized Adult Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network (HAIVEN), was recently published in Clinical Infection Diseases. 

Flu Shot Timing 

Examining the timing of receiving the influenza vaccine, comparative to flu-associated hospitalizations across more than 5,500 adult study participants, this newly discovered data is congruent with other findings in past and recent studies. 

The takeaway? A one or even a two month lag in getting an annual influenza vaccine has the ability to improve protection effectiveness by anywhere from 10% to 20%. 

Clinicians concur that the medical community should keep following the vaccination recommendations of receiving the flu shot by late October. Epidemiologist and influenza expert at the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Jill Ferdinands, suggests that postponing the vaccine by a couple of months warrants consideration, “if [it] doesn’t encroach on the annual influenza season, delay vaccine delivery, or reduce vaccine uptake.” 

Avoiding a Twindemic 

Another recent study suggests that receiving a flu shot could provide some protection against extreme effects of the coronavirus. 

If you get infected with the COVID-19 virus, and you’ve previously received a flu shot within the same season, then according to the study you are not likely to endure severe infection, suffer a stroke, be burdened by blood clots, or need to be treated at an intensive care unit. 

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Dr. Devinder Singh shared, “the global population may benefit from influenza vaccination, as it can dually act to prevent a coronavirus and influenza ‘twindemic,’ which could potentially overwhelm health care resources.” 

Experts are not completely sure why the flu shot may offer protection from some of the more dire COVID-19 symptoms. However, one hypothesis is that it equips the immune system to lower the chances of body-wide distress that is commonly detected with the flu.

Top Influenza Vaccine Myths 

Despite the fact that flu vaccinations successfully prevented approximately 7.5 million illnesses from 2019 to 2020 — not to mention avoiding hospitalizations and deaths — still myths run rampant when it comes to the influenza vaccine. 

One common myth that circulates every year is that someone can actually contract the flu by getting the flu shot. The truth is that the vaccine does not have an active virus, therefore you cannot “get” the flu. 

While many experience no side effects, it’s true that some folks do experience mild side effects that could be confused for flu-like symptoms. The most typical indications range from minor swelling or soreness at the injection site, a low grade fever, or a subtle headache. With that said, a few days of light discomfort is a small price to pay when experiencing the worst that a flu virus can bring, such as extraordinary fatigue, high grade fevers, and body aches for several days. 

Another typical folklore is that among people who historically don’t get the flu, they don’t need to bother getting the vaccine. The truth is that a clean bill of health in your past does not promise a future without a flu. Because strains transform year after year, season after season, we are all at risk to come down with the flu, particularly without receiving the vaccine. And much like we hear the message when it comes to spreading COVID-19, the same is true for influenza — when you don’t get the vaccine but you do catch the virus — you are a carrier and can infect others. 

For more information on the flu, vaccines, and other relevant healthcare content, be sure to check out the Auxo Medical blog archives.

Best Practices: Back to School Safety

September is here — this time of year delivers a change of seasons and weather, as well as children going back to school.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still ever-present, health and safety recommendations across the United States continue to evolve.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have compiled recommendations to help keep children healthy during the pandemic while returning school:

  • Anyone who is 12 years and older should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • School staff and students alike, over the age of two-years-old, should be cognizantof wearing protective face masks while indoors. This recommendation applies topeople who aren’t vaccinated, and those who are.
  • Schools are encouraged to practice “layered” measures, such as improving ventilation, persistent hand-washing, physically staying at least three feet apart from peopleas much as possible, and not coming to school when someone isn’t feeling well.
  • When employees and students come across exposures while in school, COVID-19 policies should be in place and diligently enforced, including contact tracing and quarantining as soon as possible.

These recommendations were driven by a variety of factors:

  • Before vaccines were available, a significant amount of scientific data concluded that whenever a school used layered measures, the transmission rates were quite low.
  • Many schools are not prepared to keep tabs on the vaccine status for students and staff.
  • There are staff and students (over the age of 12) who are not yet partially or fully vaccinated.
  • At this point in time, students under the age of 12 are not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine; layered approaches help protect this group of people, including those who are deemed immunocompromised.

The Evolution of Vaccine Recommendations

There was a time when the CDC claimed that fully vaccinated school staff and students did not need to wear a protective face mask. However, because the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant has been causing ‘breakthrough’ infections, the agency changed their recommendations again.page1image47817248

Although prevailing data maintains that COVID-19 vaccines are still extremely effective at preventing serious illness, being admitted to the hospital, or even preventing death, people who are vaccinated and contract the virus, are still able to infect others. Therefore, it is highly recommended that these people continue to wear masks in public and social settings.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, recently shared that he anticipates the FDA and the CDC will establish a “strong benefit-risk ratio” for children with regards to approving them for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Fauci said during an interview on the cable network, CNN, “When that gets established, which I believe it certainly will, I believe that mandating vaccines for children to appear in school is a good idea.”

He continued, “We’ve done this for decades and decades, requiring polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis. So, this would not be something new — requiring vaccinations for children to come to school.”

Routine Healthcare Screenings

Delaying or outright avoiding routine healthcare screenings has been a common occurrence among adults throughout the 2020 pandemic and into 2021. This theme of avoiding the doctor’s office has also impacted children.

In the spring of 2021, it was reported by the Children’s Defense Fund that as many as 80% of children had missed their routine “well visit” appointments because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pediatrician and professor, Dr. Carlos Lerner, said, “While visits have significantly increased since the spring shutdown, well-child visits are still lower than pre-pandemic levels.”

Understandably it can be confusing for caretakers to make these tough decisions during such unprecedented times, but missing preventative visits at the child’s pediatrician’s office could lead to negative health consequences in the future.

In our next blog post, we’ll discuss all things flu vaccine — debunking myths, addressing the optimal time for getting a flu vaccine, and share how it could even ward off severe symptoms of COVID-19.

Monkeypox — How the U.S. Avoided Another Virus Outbreak

While the public has been inundated with COVID-19 virus information, last month health officials in the U.S. faced yet another virus scare — a potential monkeypox outbreak. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked that over 200 people across 27 states be monitored for exposure since they were in contact with a resident of Dallas, Texas who contracted monkeypox. This was the first confirmed case ever reported in a human for the state of Texas. 

The patient had traveled to Nigeria and returned by way of a flight through Atlanta and then onto Dallas. This person, whose identity was not released, was put into isolation at a hospital in Dallas four days after arriving home; his condition was considered stable. Initially health officials deemed the risk for the general population as very low. 

Together with the airline, health officials worked to pinpoint people who could have been in close proximity with the passenger during these flights. Because travelers are re-quired to wear face masks on planes and inside airports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of possible contacts was anticipated to be on the low end. 

Those who were identified would go onto be monitored for 21 days. The protocol is for health officials to call each contact twice a day to see if any symptoms evolved. 

At the conclusion of the monitoring on July 30, according to the CDC, thankfully no new monkeypox cases were identified among the people who were possibly exposed. The agency continued to monitor other individuals who were considered ‘very low risk.’ 

What are Symptoms of Monkeypox? 

Initial signs of monkeypox include symptoms that resemble having the flu, including headache, fever, achy muscles, fatigue, and inflamed lymph nodes. Next, patients will typically produce a rash; it is common to start on the face, and then spread throughout the rest of the body. Sickness usually spans anywhere from two weeks to four weeks. 

As with many diseases, monkeypox tends to be a larger threat to those with immuno-compromised health. Although as much as 10% of monkeypox in humans end in fatal results, this U.S. case is thought to be less dangerous with a 1% fatality rate. 

How is the Monkeypox Virus Transmitted? 

It is believed that humans pass on the virus by way of large respiratory droplets, discharged by people who have contracted the disease. It can also be transferred by hav-ing direct contact with bodily fluids. If you are asymptomatic, you cannot pass on the vi-rus. 

Where did Monkeypox Come From? 

The monkeypox virus was first identified during laboratory research in 1958 among monkeys. The first case in humans was identified in Congo. The majority of human cases since then took place in central and western Africa. In 2017, a monkeypox uptick took place in Nigeria. 

Rodents and prairie dogs imported from Africa in 2003, led to an outbreak in the United States. No patients died, but 47 human cases were recorded. 

What is the Treatment for Monkeypox? 

According to the CDC, there is no effective, safe treatment for this virus. However, the smallpox vaccine may be used in order to restrain an outbreak. 

Visit Auxo Medical’s blog for timely information regarding pandemic related content, as well as other relevant news taking place in healthcare.

CDC Changes their Minds on Masking

It is no easy task to keep up with the ongoing changes, mandates, and data with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in May 2021 that fully vaccinated individuals could leave their face masks at home in the majority of circumstances. 

However, the Delta variant’s warpath sabotaged plans for a glimpse of normalcy. Millions of Americans have still not received the vaccine. For those reasons, the advice regarding masks was reversed in July 2021. The organization is imploring people to put masks on when they’re visiting indoor public environments; this safety protocol includes the immunized population. The advice is particularly important for areas with “substantial or high transmission” rates. What does that mean? “Substantial” equates to more than 50 new cases per week, per 100,000 residents, or “high” equates to more than 100 new cases, per 100,000 residents. 

With approximately two-thirds of the country’s counties susceptible to the latest guidance, changes are expected elsewhere. 

One caveat is for people in school — whether or not they’ve been vaccinated, and no matter where they live — are urged to wear masks. Additionally, those who have been vaccinated but do not reside in high-transmission locations should still think about wearing a mask in public settings if they or someone in their household is considered high risk for critical illness. Some examples include the immunocompromised community, and children who are not yet permitted to receive the vaccination

What Does Break-Through Infections & Viral Load Mean

When someone has been fully vaccinated, and they become infected with COVID-19, they transmit small amounts of the virus. Break-through infections were first thought to be a rare occurrence, but as time passes, the Delta variant is proving to challenge statistics. However, it is well known that the vaccines will not fully protect individuals in avoiding the virus. Their primary responsibility is to avoid being admitted to the hospital and battling severe illness. 

An infectious disease expert, William Schaffner, M.D., explained this thought process, “The vast majority of break-through cases are really minor. People are getting what feels like a bad cold or are just having a day in bed.” 

Viral loads are deemed a realistic representation for someone’s capability to transmit the virus. According to the Director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, and taking into consideration data procured over the last several months — viral loads in some vaccinated individuals who are asymptomatic with the Delta variant are very similar to people infected with the virus, but have not been vaccinated. 

What is the Status for FDA to Approve Vaccines? 

One argument by those who will not voluntarily receive the vaccine is that the substance has yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Until now, the vaccines have been considered for “emergency use authorization,” which was granted last December. 

However, at the time of this blog post being published, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was formally approved. This is the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive full FDA approval. The formal approval could propel employers, universities, military, and other organizations to execute legal authority and make receiving the vaccine mandatory. It may also help reassure those who have been holding off on getting vaccinated. 

FDA Commissioner Janet Woodstock released a statement about the approval, ”While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.” 

Stay tuned for our upcoming Auxo Medical blog post about Monkeypox — what is it and why should you care.

Pandemic-Proof Vaccines

COVID-19 is not the inaugural coronavirus that is responsible for generating disease among humans. SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, and related strains could produce mass outbreaks or future pandemics. Unfortunately, the existing approved vaccines that offer protection against SARS-CoV-2, do not necessarily provide defense against these strains.

A group of scientific researchers are on a mission to develop one vaccine that would cover a variety of viruses and have the capability to cause a pandemic. For starters, “they synthesized mRNAs that encoded ‘chimeric’ spike proteins made of spike particles from high risk human and bat coronaviruses; next, they packaged various combinations of these mRNAs into lipid nanoparticle droplets and injected them into aged mice.”

These researchers discovered that their vaccines used in mice, delivered protection from many coronavirus strains, such as the Beta variant. They accomplished this by prompting powerful, counterbalancing antibody responses.

All-inclusive vaccines against existing and incipient coronaviruses could be feasible by way of vaccine production technologies. Additional investigation is required to improve design efficiency, and to test their efficacy through clinical studies in non-human primates.

Preparing for a Future Pandemic

Eric Lander is the newly appointed White House science adviser. Lander is front and center as it relates to the devastating COVID-19 pandemic and was recently interviewed by The Associated Press after being sworn into office. He made it clear that he would like a vaccine prepared to attack any upcoming pandemic in approximately 100 days once identifying a probable viral eruption.

In Lander’s interview, he articulated hope for a future in America that is armed and ready for any subsequent pandemics. According to the adviser, he says the United States will be prepared with “plug-and-play” vaccines. Scientists are cultivating “all purpose” technologies that are ready-to-go well before a pandemic strikes.

Here’s how it works. As opposed to using the actual germ to construct a vaccine, scientists use messenger RNA and then they incorporate the genetic code for that germ. This protocol is what transpired with both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, and could explain why they were created relatively quickly.

In addition to fighting diseases through medicine and healing sick patients, Lander ex-plained that this strategy also has the ability to positively impact climate change as well as examine space.

“This is a moment in so many ways, not just health, that we can rethink fundamental as-sumptions about what’s possible and that’s true of climate and energy and many areas,” Lander said.

His training background is a mathematician and geneticist. Lander was involved in a human genome mapping project and has directed the Broad Institute at MIT as well as Harvard. The new White House science adviser explained that he isn’t necessarily concentrating on the current pandemic, but rather the insights gathered from this outbreak in order to get ready for the next one.

“It was amazing at one level that we were able to produce highly effective vaccines in less than a year, but from another point of view you’d say, ‘Boy, a year’s a long time,’” even though in the past it would take three years or four years, Lander explained. “To really make a difference we want to get this done in 100 days. And so a lot of us have been talking about a 100-day target from the recognition from a virus with pandemic potential.”

Please visit our Auxo Medical blog current and past articles for all relevant and timely COVID-19 information.

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