CDC Offering Staff for County Health Departments

CDC is offering health departments a chance to hire staff to enhance capacity in the areas of vaccine communication/confidence (vaccine demand strategist)adult immunization, and vaccine equity (health equity official) through Immunization Cooperative Agreement (IP19-1901 Co-Ag COVID-19 supplemental) funding.

Each health department can hire these staff through their internal hiring process or through a CDC Foundation rapid-hiring mechanism. 

For more contact or your CDC immunization project officer.

Journal Article of the Week: Post Vaccination T-Cell Immunity Remains Robust Even as Antibody Protection Is Reduced Against Omicron

SARS-CoV-2 vaccination induces immunological T cell memory able to cross-recognize variants from Alpha to Omicron: Cell

This article examines the durability of B and T cell immunity throughout 2021 from the Alpha to the Omicron variants. “T cell responses to early variants were preserved across vaccine platforms. By contrast, significant overall decreases were observed for memory B cells and neutralizing antibodies.”

In subjects 6 months post-vaccination, 90% (CD4+) and 87% (CD8+) of memory T cell responses were preserved against variants and 84% (CD4+) and 85% (CD8+) preserved against Omicron.

Omicron RBD memory B cell recognition was substantially reduced to 42% compared to other variants. T cell epitope repertoire analysis revealed a median of 11 and 10 spike epitopes recognized by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, with average preservation > 80% for Omicron.

Functional preservation of the majority of T cell responses may play an important role as second-level defenses against diverse variants.

Major Clean Energy Disappointment

After 4 years of workshops, public meetings, and 1000s of supportive comments including many from AzPHA, the Arizona Corporation Commission voted down an energy rules package along party lines last week.

Commissioners Sandra Kennedy and Anna Tovar voted yes on the widely supported rules and Commissioners Lea Márquez-Peterson, Justin Olson, and Jim O”Connor voted no. The rules died after Commissioner O’Connor flipped his vote to no after voting yes on the exact same rule package late in 2021. 

The rules would have created a Clean Energy Standard to reduce carbon emissions, an energy efficiency standard to reduce electricity consumption and save ratepayers dollars, more accountable and transparent resource planning provisions, and a requirement to give favorable siting consideration for clean energy projects in coal-impacted communities, among other things.

Community groups, environmental organizations, local governments, big and small businesses, faith leaders, and consumer advocates had all repeatedly expressed support for the Clean Energy Rules and we are all disappointed the Commission could not bring them across the finish line. 

The rules would have saved ratepayers dollars and provided enormous economic benefits. Business leaders spoke in support of the rules, recognizing their value for Arizona’s economy. In January 2021, Stategen released a report that found that adopting the original draft Clean Energy Rules would not only significantly reduce carbon emissions to address the climate crisis, but also create $2B in economic benefits for Arizona.

The work over the last 4 years isn’t totally lost, and it’s possible that a future Commission after the 2022 election may take up the clean energy rules again and leverage the hard work of the last 4 years.