New GSA Fact Sheet Highlights Pathway to Future COVID-19 Vaccine(s), But Let’s Remember Importance of Fully Utilizing Already Available Immunizations

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH

We’re living in a time when many feel it is difficult to fully protect our health. It sometimes seems we have little control as the specter of COVID-19 looms in the community. This historic pandemic has left many — perhaps older adults in particular — feeling cautious and fearful until the time that a vaccine is developed.

GSA’s National Adult Vaccination Program (NAVP) Workgroup has put together a new fact sheet, “Aging and Immunity: Why Older Adults Are Particularly Susceptible to Diseases Like COVID-19,” that provides valuable information about our immune systems and provides details about the complexities involved in creating a vaccine. Public-private partnerships and manufacturers are moving at a historic pace to bring a safe and effective vaccine to market. While a vaccine may be ready by the end of the year, it may also be significantly longer.

U.N. Reminds Us What’s at Stake as We Collectively Respond to COVID-19

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH

In case you missed it among the crush of emails, text messages, webinars, etc., over the past two weeks, I encourage you to take three minutes to watch a message from United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres as he lays out key tenets of how we should respond globally to the rash of ageism confronting us during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He gave a video address emphasizing that our response to COVID-19 must respect the rights and dignity of older people. I applaud Guterres and the U.N. for providing a steady voice of advocacy as we continue to see ageist attitudes exposed toward older adults in this time of crisis. At every level of society, we must respond.

GSA Journals Support Those Adapting and Innovating to Advance Aging Research

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH

While the COVID-19 pandemic has upended virtually every aspect of our personal and professional lives, I am amazed at how the research community has adapted and innovated to continue its pursuit of new scientific insights during this period. While many are impacted by research losses due to interrupted studies and missed opportunities, it’s impressive to see how individuals have adapted to continue their current research and innovated to pursue projects related to COVID-19.

Award-Winning Coverage Showcases Value of Members’ Work

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH

The dissemination of GSA members’ scientific research has been a guiding principle of our Society since its founding 75 years ago. While much of the research community is focused on COVID-19 right now, the important work of GSA members continues across the broad continuum of research endeavors. GSA’s role in disseminating research findings also includes making sure that accurate information about aging is shared with the general public.

One of the chief ways our Society has achieved this is through GSA’s Journalists in Aging Fellows Program, now celebrating its 10th year. This program educates journalists across all media platforms about aging issues and helps them connect with the leading researchers in the GSA membership to share findings with diverse audiences nationwide. Thus, these journalists are a vital link between aging researchers and the general public.

Recently, we received some wonderful news that two journalists received awards for work they produced as participants in the fellowship program.

Celebrating You and the Aging Field During Careers in Aging Week

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH

It’s inspiring to see the show of support that New Yorkers are demonstrating for health care and other essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re taking time each night at 7 p.m. to applaud and cheer those on the front lines.

Here at GSA, we want to embrace that spirit and give recognition to people who are making a positive difference in the lives of people as we age. The events surrounding the pandemic have brought to the forefront the need for more professionals that provide care for and services to the aging population. Thus, there has never been a more timely reason for Careers in Aging Week, which GSA has organized annually for nearly two decades.

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