‘We Are at the Mercy of This Virus and Its Variants’: What We Heard This Week

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“We are at the mercy of this virus and its variants.” — William Schaffner, MD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, on navigating the pandemic as Omicron subsides.

“When we’ve looked at these numbers in the past, they’ve been inaccurate.” — Jeff Grainger, director of external communications for AdventHealth in Central Florida, on a federal database that tracks hospital staff COVID vaccinations.

“I’m comfortable recognizing that no test is perfect, and some tests are less perfect than others.” — Daniel Rhoads, MD, vice chair of the College of American Pathologists microbiology committee, on the frequency of false negatives with PCR testing despite it still being the best tool to detect COVID-19.

“I hesitate to say, ‘oh, forget all this,’ because it was a pandemic.” — Alison Trinkoff, ScD, MPH, RN, of the University of Maryland School of Nursing in Baltimore, discussing the high rates of prescription drug misuse among nurses.

“When you lack continuity of care for a patient in any way … that’s a recipe for disaster.” — Allan Kamara, RN, president of the Registered Nurses Professional Association, on the staff walkout at a California medical center.

“Given the scarcity of lungs and given the demands on the ICU resources through COVID, was this use of resources justifiable? I think the clear message is a clear, absolute yes.” — Joanna Chikwe, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, on the success of lung transplants in COVID patients.

“It’s a pretty bad situation for the people who do want their boosters, particularly in the face of the Omicron surge.” — John P. Moore, PhD, of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, on the frustrations facing participants of the Novavax vaccine trial.

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