Nancy Nielsen

The distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine may be on pause, says Dr. Nancy Nielsen, but its benefits are still worth considering "Remember, we've had 7 million people that have already gotten it." The former President of the American Medical Association is applauding the decision to halt distribution, calling the move "government at its best." As health officials review the data, Nielsen offers some thoughts for those who have already received the vaccine.


Buffalo.edu

In the week ending April 1, nearly 64,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported among children. According to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, that accounted for 18 percent of the new cases in the United States.

Buffalo.edu

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials have been encouraging the wearing of masks to slow the spread of the virus. Now, many people who have been vaccinated are wondering if they can ditch their masks. "Absolutely not," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Buffalo.edu

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Nancy Nielsen has been providing updates and analysis on a weekly basis to WBFO. Despite the increased distribution of COVID vaccines in the community, the Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is growing concerned. "There has been an uptick in the cases locally and the hospitalizations." In monitoring the local trends, Nielsen sees valuable lessons in what is happening in parts of Europe where the UK COVID variant may be accelerating the spread of the virus.


Buffalo.edu

In November, health officials in the United Kingdom identified a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19, and it quickly became known as the "UK variant."  And it has quickly become a problem for Americans. According to Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the "UK variant" is likely to become the dominant variant in the United States by early April. "A paper published in the British Medical Journal just this past week proves this variant is associated with about a 64-percent higher risk of dying," Nielsen said in her weekly conversation with WBFO. Its spread in this country, Nielsen asserts, underscores the need to get as many people vaccinated as soon as possible.

Buffalo.edu

According to a new survey, most doctors are feeling fatigue after a year of dealing with Covid-19 while nearly as many say the vaccine rollout is negatively affecting their mental health. The poll was conducted by the Canadian Medical Association, but Dr. Nancy Nielsen is finding a similar impact among local health care professionals.

Buffalo.edu

Federal health officials are expected to approve distribution of a new COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson. "This could be a game changer," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.


Mutant strains of the coronavirus are challenging public health efforts around the world. Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, says one strain is creating problems in South Africa where the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine has been found to be only '"minimally protective."  Nielsen is confident vaccine makers will be able to develop booster shots to combat new virus strains but the development highlights the need to have people vaccinated.  "This is a race against time. Because the more people we get vaccinated with what we have now and what comes down the pike in a couple of weeks, the quicker we're going to stop this virus from mutating."


Buffalo.edu

Mutant virus strains are adding to the concerns for health officials as they contend with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. One strain that started in the United Kingdom is making its way across the globe. "That's now found in the U.S. in over half our states," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen during her weekly conversation with WBFO. "Now there's some evidence that it seems to be more lethal."


Buffalo.edu

President Biden has declared that his administration will work to improve the distribution of COVID vaccine. Dr. Nancy Nielsen sees "a lot of things that can  be done better."  The Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is very familiar with the allocation chain involving private companies, federal and state governments. She also wants to give credit where credit is due. "I think very valiant efforts were made so I don't want to disparage those folks that set up the current system under the last administration," said Nielsen, the former President of the American Medical Association. "I think we need to remember we should be enormously grateful for Operation Warp Speed and for the scientists that developed these vaccines. Let's just try to improve things. "


Buffalo.edu

President-elect Joe Biden has set the ambitious goal of  distributing 100 million  COVID-19 vaccinations  in the first 100 days of his Presidency. While that seems unlikely based on the early pace of distribution, local health officials remain focused on the job at hand. "The distribution of vaccine, right now, is to try to take care of those frontline healthcare workers," Dr. Nancy Nielsen said during her weekly conversation with WBFO. " That's why hospitals are the distribution site."


Buffalo.edu

It's been widely reported that a mutated strain of the coronavirus has been creating new problems in the United Kingdom. Early indications show the strain to be more contagious and will likely lead to more hospitalizations. It's enough of a concern that several countries are restricting travel from the UK. Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences,  offered some perspective during her weekly appearance on WBFO.


Buffalo.edu

With COVID positivity rates climbing, much of Erie County has been designated as an "Orange" zone. It may be only the beginning for extensive restrictions.  "It's a particular concern since Thanksgiving is approaching," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen during her weekly appearance with WBFO. Large holiday gatherings will almost certainly expand the spread of the virus. "There's no question: the number of positive cases are the leading indicator, followed several weeks later by a rise in hospitalizations, so we can expect that, followed by a rise in deaths."

Buffalo.edu

After pushing much of the New York State healthcare system to the brink earlier this year, the COVID-19 pandemic is now punishing other parts of the country. "El Paso is putting hospital beds in a convention center," says Dr. Nancy Nielsen. "Sound like anything you remember seven months ago?"  During her weekly conversation with WBFO, the Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences discussed the lessons learned by New York State.  "You can't argue with the success.  And now New York has been able to move from this broad swath of Phases One through Four in Western New York and Downstate to this very micro-containment."


Buffalo.edu

Researchers around the world are searching for a vaccine to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of those studies are happening nearby. "We are really lucky to live in an area where cutting-edge research is really pushing science to deal with this pandemic," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Two vaccine trials--for Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer-- are taking place in Rochester. "UB is beginning a clinical trial of the Regeneron monoclonal antibodies. That's what was given to the President." Nielsen encourages those interested in helping to seek out available studies. 


Buffalo.edu

It didn't take long. A few days after being released from the hospital, President Trump proclaimed that he was "cured" of COVID-19. "No, not at all," was what Dr. Nancy Nielsen said when asked if she agreed with President's self-diagnosis. "That's just not the way to look at this disease at all," said Nielsen, the former President of the American Medical Association. During her weekly discussion with WBFO, she offers a closer look at the President's treatment, one that is not readily available to most people.


Buffalo.edu

As President of the United States, Donald Trump had access to the best medical care when he was being treated for the coronavirus. But that's only part of the medical story. "It's a real challenge to take care of VIP patients, whether they're in the hospital or not," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, who wrote about the "VIP Syndrome" at The Conversation.com.

Buffalo.edu

The comments made Wednesday by CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield caught the attention of many, including Dr. Nancy Nielsen, former President of the American Medical Association. Redfield said that masks can better protect individuals from COVID-19 than a prospective vaccine. "This really put into stark contrast what Americans need to know," Nielsen said during her weekly conversation with WBFO. "But, frankly, it was also a stark rebuke to the President who basically said masks don't matter."

Buffalo.edu

Despite concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, college parties have been reported around area campuses. Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is alarmed by the reports. "This is simply not a two-week disease," said Nielsen after hearing of new studies during a recent international conference on COVID-19.


Buffalo.edu

The Centers for Disease Control have changed their recommendations regarding the testing of those who have been in contact with people who have contracted COVID-19. "This is just nuts, frankly," offered Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.


Buffalo.edu

With COVID-19 restrictions in place, local colleges are bringing students back to campus for the fall semester. Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, gives general approval of the plans. She says the region's lowering rate of coronavirus infections is the main reason for optimism, but there are concerns. Nielsen points to problems at the University of North Carolina where the campus was quickly closed after dozens of students tested positive for the coronavirus.

Buffalo.edu

As the debate continues over reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, one example out of Georgia is providing a lesson in how NOT to get back to school safely. "It was just amazing," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen of the images of the crowded hallways of North Paulding High School. "Nobody was socially-distanced. Nobody was wearing masks," said Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "We're going to get in trouble if we have that sort of thing happen." During an interview with WBFO, Nielsen shared some findings on the threats schools face and encouraged parents to "influence" school reopening plans.


Buffalo.edu

There are currently over 20 clinical trials underway searching for a COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has been following the progress of these efforts. She's been recently intrigued by the "Oxford vaccine," which is being studied in the United Kingdom.  "This has been peer-reviewed,"  said Nielsen, who explained "it uses a genetically-modified adenovirus" to produce neutralizing antibodies. The British effort is funded in part by money from the U.S. federal government "with the promises that we will be able to get vaccine doses if they are effective. "


Buffalo.edu

News of a potential vaccine for the coronavirus emerged earlier this week. "It's quite promising," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen of the development. In discussing a peer-reviewed study in the New England Journal of Medicine, Nielsen, the Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, said the potential vaccine will soon be tested on thousands of people.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

A New York state report released this week found that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial executive order, which placed COVID-19 hospital patients into nursing homes, was not to blame for the state’s more than 6,000 nursing home deaths. But, as WBFO’s Older Adults Reporter Tom Dinki found, many, including Republican lawmakers, watchdog groups and medical professionals, still have questions about what impact the order had.

 

 


New York state has been criticized for previously mandating that nursing homes take in COVID-19 patients from hospitals. But on Monday the state Department of Health issued a report saying the policy was not the major driver of nursing home deaths, and that it was instead nursing home workers unknowingly bringing the virus into facilities. WBFO’s Older Adults Reporter Tom Dinki spoke with Dr. Nancy Nielsen from the University at Buffalo to discuss the report and what it does — and does not — confirm about the state’s more than 6,000 nursing home deaths.

 


Buffalo.edu

"It's in everybody's best interest for kids to be able to go school, somehow," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Nielsen cited a recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics that indicates children have fallen behind academically since the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close. With the coronavirus spreading in some areas, returning to the classroom will be complicated.
 


Buffalo.edu

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, health experts have been pleading with the public to wear masks when they come in contact with others. A new study is now backing that advice.


Buffalo.edu

As Western New York reopens its economy from the shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some areas of the country are reporting spikes in the disease. "New York has done so well. We're one of 24 states where the numbers are really massively trending down," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen during her weekly appearance on WBFO.  "What we can't do is get complacent and let it go back up like it has in 19 states."


Buffalo.edu

As the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 continues to decline, more of public life will reopen. While it's a positive development, Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, offers the stern reminder that "this is not a virus to be trifled with." Nielsen answers questions related to COVID-19 every Thursday morning on WBFO.

Pages