What We're Reading: PPE Shortages Predicted; COVID-19 Saliva Test Approved; Vaccination Rates Announced

August 17, 2020
AJMC Staff

Officials from health care and manufacturing predict ongoing shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE); the FDA authorized use of a saliva test for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); 1 in 3 Americans will not take a COVID-19 vaccine.

Experts Warn of Lasting PPE Shortage

As hospitals nationwide continue to manage their supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, officials from the health care and manufacturing industries predict that shortages of PPE and medical supplies could persist for years without strategic government intervention. Reported by Kaiser Health News, hospitals have indicated rolling shortages of supplies such as specialized beds, disposable isolation gowns, and thermometers, which are all utilized to care for those with COVID-19. As the flu season emerges, officials expect equipment and supply shortages throughout 2021.

Novel COVID-19 Saliva Test Cleared by FDA

This past Saturday, the FDA authorized emergency use of a novel, inexpensive saliva test for COVID-19 developed by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health, according to STAT. The test, called SalivaDirect, is characterized by saliva samples collected in a sterile container, and it would provide a less invasive approach to testing for the virus as opposed to nasal swabs. Moreover, the approach yields highly sensitive and similar results to the nasal swabs and has a shorter wait time, with labs able to run nearly 90 samples in under 3 hours.

Poll Indicates Potential COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

According to a poll released Friday from NPR, PBS NewsHour, and Marist, 1 in 3 Americans (35%) stated they would not take the COVID-19 vaccine once it is available, with 60% stating they would and 5% stating they are unsure at this time. Reported by The Hill, these differences in vaccination preference were further separated by several factors. Notably, those with college degrees (72%) were 19 percentage points more likely to take the COVID-19 vaccine than those without (53%), with Democrats also indicating they are more likely (71%) than Republicans (48%) to take the vaccine.