Experts from the Pandemic and Biosecurity Policy Program at the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University recently published a fall 2020 White Paper, COVID-19 and Seasonal Influenza: Preparing for a Collision.
The White Paper can be read on the Scowcroft Institute Disease Information Platform.
Authors of this publication are the Institute’s Deputy Director of the Pandemic and Biosecurity Program, Dr. Christine Crudo Blackburn; Public Health Epidemiology Program Research Associate at the University of Texas Health San Antonio, Anmol Desai; and Director of the Scowcroft Institute, Andrew Natsios.
The authors delve into the current state of the world during the pandemic and examine the responses of different countries that successfully and unsuccessfully navigated through prevention and mitigation of outbreaks. They also outline what a typical influenza season in the US looks like and how, combined with COVID-19 spikes, it could easily overwhelm hospital systems.
Some of their concluding recommendations include increasing the influenza vaccination rate, implementing cardiovascular evaluations for athletes returning to practice after COVID-19 infections, and developing vaccine infrastructure for a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Pandemic and Biosecurity Policy Program is an educational, research, and policy program targeting current challenges in pandemic and bioterrorism preparedness and response. Since the initiative’s inception, the program has grown to include an annual conference in College Station, TX, as well as one in Washington, DC. The program has developed course work and an academic concentration, allowing Bush School students to specialize in areas such as infectious disease, pandemics, and bioterrorism. It manages an online platform titled Scowcroft Infectious Disease Information Platform (SIDIP), with the goal of creating a high-quality, centralized location for information on infectious disease that is accessible to scientists, policymakers, and the public.