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'Wisdom and Fear' Lead 90% of U.S. Seniors to COVID Vaccines

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KAISER HEALTH NEWS - HPM's Mark Roberts, director of the Public Health Dynamics Lab, cautioned that the success of the vaccination push among seniors doesn't mean others in this age group can grow complacent and think they are protected via herd immunity.   

People who already had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated, scientists like Hartman urge

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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC - For instance, says IDM's Amy Hartman, studies have shown that some recovered patients can mount effective defenses against COVID-19, but antibody levels dropped rapidly in others who were infected. Scientists are still gathering data and racing to answer this key question and others, such as how long immunity lasts from vaccines or from natural infection.  

'A war against ourselves': Why Pa. and N.J. are preparing now for a delta variant surge

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WHYY - Both PA and NJ have so far been shielded from the worst outbreaks of the delta variant but experts and new data indicate the calm is unlikely to last long. HPM's Mark Roberts said more sparsely populated areas might help slow the spread of the virus, but would not act as a shield forever. In fact, some areas in Pennsylvania already seeing the worst rates of infection are comparatively rural.  

Garland Examines Rise in Young People's Involvement in Local Violence on Hayes-Freeland show (video)

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KDKA - BCHS' Richard Garland spoke with KDKA's Lynne Hayes-Freeland about the factors that are contributing to a rise in violence among youth in Pittsburgh.  

Culyba and Chu on How to Reduce the Risk of Youth Vaping

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UPMC - Adolescents who set goals for their future and those with strong parental support are less likely to use e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. Senior author BCHS' Alison Culyba noted that frameworks already exist to help clinicians use future orientation and encourage parental monitoring when providing health care to young people, which bodes well for developing e-cigarette intervention programs to strengthen these protective factors. ... 

Meet our Faculty: Velpandi Ayyavoo

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Velpandi Ayyavoo would tell any incoming student one of the most remarkable things about Pitt Public Health as a community is its resilience and ingenuity after this past year of pandemic. When viewing her career, it’s very easy to say the same thing about our interim chair for the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. Following her passion for science at a young age, Ayyavoo has poured over 30 years into her HIV-1 research and... 

Gary-Webb is Co-Author on Equitable Data Analysis: Lessons from a COVID-19 Research Collaborative

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THE RAND BLOG - The health inequities exposed by COVID-19 underscored the importance of collecting race-stratified data to inform local policymakers and revealed major pitfalls for public health researchers relying on open-source data. These and other contributing factors led to RAND, the Black Equity Coalition, and Surgo Ventures to collaborate on a tool to report on COVID-19 vulnerability and disparities using publicly-available data in Allegh... 

"The Role of Mom's Microbes During Pregnancy" cites Gopalakrishna's work

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THE SCIENTIST - In 2019, Kathyayini Gopalakrishna (HUGEN '20) and colleagues deomonstrated the importance of bacteria-specific IgA antibodies in preventing overexpansion of Enterobacteriaceae—a classic hallmark of NEC—in the guts of preterm babies. These and other results imply that immune education in the final weeks before birth is important for babies' immune systems to tolerate friendly bacteria.  

Roberts talks to NBC News amid booster debate

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NBC NEWS - HPM's Mark Roberts said immunity protection is much more complicated than just the level of antibodies. "It looks like protection from the vaccine wanes, but we don't know exactly how fast, and if protection wanes it may still protect people from getting sick and dying," he said.  

Will COVID-19 face mask mandates return? Depends on where you live. King says vaccine safety messaging is key.

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - Getting people vaccinated is still the best course of action against COVID-19. "Messaging on safey is key" to reaching the most resistant to vaccines, said EPI's Wendy King, author of a study on vaccine hesitancy. "Leaving it up to the invididual is no public health approach at all."  

Jarlenski advises undergraduate project look at COVID's effect on pregnancy and parenting by race

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“We’re creating a study that’s looking at how COVID has played out differently for mothers based on race. This includes people who have had children in the past three years and just generally how their pre- or post-natal care has been affected,” said Smyer, a pre-med neuroscience student going into her sophomore year..."Basically, we want to have a study that is sustainable and that is reflected on in the future."   

Meet our Faculty: Julie Donohue

"Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable," Pittsburgh's own Fred Rogers. It’s easy to see why this is one of Julie Donohue’s favorite quotes when you look at her career. The Chair in the   Department of Health Policy and Management , Julie’s passion is for creating impactful change through public policy by providing evidence to policymakers on the local, state, and federal levels. She also l... 

Pitt 'Strongly Advising' University Community to Fully Vaccinate

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The University will incentivize, offer and promote vaccines with the goal of having everyone on Pitt campuses fully vaccinated, barring those with medical or religious exemptions, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said in a statement Friday.   

The Office of Health Sciences Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Introduces Bee Schindler as training manager

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In this position, Bee will execute the overall diversity recruiting and development strategy for Health Sciences Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This role includes building, managing, and implementing diversity training and education programs for the Health Sciences; supporting the Director for Health Sciences Equity and Justice in the development of the Health Sciences Faculty Equity and Justice Fellowship Program.   

Meet our Faculty: Anne Newman

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We certainly have a lot of certified multitaskers amongst our faculty here at Pitt Public Health, and Dr. Anne Newman is no exception. While she didn't become a cake decorator as she thought in childhood, she is the chair of the Department of Epidemiology and works with several organizations outside of Pitt, including serving as the editor in chief of the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Science. "I'm excited to take a fresh look at the world pos... 

Baumann's talk during TEDxUniversity: Leaders, Innovators, and Neighbors (video)

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BCHS' Sara Baumann is a mixed-methods researcher harnessing participatory, arts-based tools to study mental health and reproductive health issues. She was living in Nepal in 2015 when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck, killing close to 9,000 people and displacing half a million. Watch the recording, where Sara talks about the community art that rose from the aftermath of the tragic and traumatic event.   

Meet our Graduates: Emmett Henderson

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BCHS PhD student Emmett Henderson will complete his dissertation and defend in early August. His research explores the effect of psychosocial factors like stigma and social support on the cognitive function of older gay and bisexual men. Learn more about Henderson  

COVID Cases Still Low in Allegheny County, While Opioid Overdoses Continue to Plague Residents

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WESA-FM - "[That's] a big loophole there in terms of potentially not having people covered who are sick," said board chair IDM and EPI's Lee Harrison.   

Mellors: COVID-19 Immune Response Could be Long Lasting, but Variants Present Risks

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - Studies show that variants including Delta can partially evade immune response from infection and vaccination. "Give the virus time and opportunity, we don't know what will arise," said IDM's John Mellors chief of infectious diseases at UPMC.   

Nace among those saying we should require COVID-19 vaccination of all health care workers

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - "I'm hopeful that this will help to start improving the vaccine uptake among employees in the long-term care workforce, because we really need to get those numbers up," said David Nace (EPI '95), chief medical officer of UPMC Senior Communities and an expert in long-term care and flu programs.   

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Cen named to Pitt's Board of Trustees 

Cen named to Pitt's Board of Trustees

PITTWIRE - Among the latest to be added to Pitt's Board of Trustees is alumna Hui (Debra) Cen (IDM '91). Cen is a biologist, biotech entrepreneur, Rotarian and social entrepreneur who did biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, the University of California, San Francisco and Chiro... (07/12/2021)
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BIG STAKES, BIG STATS: Making sense of COVID-19 trials 

BIG STAKES, BIG STATS: Making sense of COVID-19 trials

PITTWIRE — When we hear about clinical trials, we might picture doctors and patients partnering to test new therapies. What we might not think about are the many others who make those studies happen. Take Maria Mori Brooks, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, who makes sense of the numbers... (02/24/2021)
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Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study 

Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study

KDKA CBS NEWS — Fueled by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Pitt researchers are studying and combating false online information about vaccines. “Vaccines are often the victim of their own success,” said BCHS doctoral student Beth Hoffman, a research assistant at the Center for Resea... (02/01/2021)