Dear colleagues and friends,
In this newsletter, we continue with providing information on the following:
- New study! The Asian Perspectives Survey – Research Results
- CHPC Invitation: Advancing Positive Mental Health and Behavioral Health Career Opportunities Conference on October 9, 2021
- The Two-Part Virtual Roundtable – Asian Health Symposium for Healthcare Professionals
- The booster shot controversies Continue
- Videos urging vaccination by UCSF Drs. Ben Ma (in Cantonese) and Chi-yuan Hsu (in Mandarin)
- KTSF interviews of Drs. Peter Chin-Hong and Diana Lau
- SingtaoUSA – Synopsis of the last Asian Health Institute Townhall on CoVID and vaccination
- Dr. Peter Chin-Hong’s Corner
New Study! -The AHC and AHI Asian Perspectives Survey
A Research Collaborative between the Asian Health Caucus and the Asian Health Institute at UCSF.
Asian Perspectives During COVID: Introduction
Individual experiences of racism are seldom specified in depth in mass media reports in general, except for a few local stations. We may see racism mentioned in generic terms like “Increase in violence towards Asians”, or well-meaning statements like “That [Asian] victim can be your grandmother”. Missing in the message is the individual’s own experience and perspectives. To fill this void, the Asian Caucus and the Asian Health Institute at UCSF collaborated to survey people within our Asian communities on their personal experiences and reactions to racism.
Participants were recruited via the Asian Health Institute’s (AHI) newsletter to answer a Qualtrics survey, which asked multiple choice as well as open questions and themes regarding each individuals’ experience during CoVID. Data were collected towards personal perspectives regarding Anti-Asian Violence, Media Portrayal, Model Minority Myth, and Vaccine Difficulties/Successes. The qualitative survey was publicized multiple times in the AHI newsletter to recruit participants from April to June 2021, and the surveys were stopped when saturation of themes was reached in the survey answers as published below.
Asian Perspectives During COVID: Results
Demographic questions were optional. About 70% of participants gave demographic information. Ages of respondents ranged from 18 to 87, with an average of 50. Professions included retirees, students, physicians, healthcare workers, researchers, ITs, administrative staff, financial staff, nurses, engineers, CEO, legal, and so on. Most respondents are from the bay area. Ethnic backgrounds include a variety of Asian and mixed races. For more details, click here or copy and paste into the browser – https://ahi.ucsf.edu/upload/ahi/files/asianperspectives0_Link_1.pdf
The survey asked respondents several questions. The following are their responses.
Responses to Question 1: Did they feel anti-Asian violence had increased, with What are your thoughts on recent anti-Asian violence in America, and/or mass shooting in Georgia.
All respondents agreed that there is an increase in Anti-Asian violence in America during COVID. The most prominent themes that people expressed were feelings of fear, discrimination, and not belonging. Many people also think the media plays a role in influencing violent behavior especially towards Asian women. Additionally, people feel unheard or invisible as they feel the violence towards Asians is often neglected or is the norm especially prior to COVID.
Themes on Anti-Asian violence
From the 103 respondents that answered the question on violence towards Asians, we extracted a total of 10 common themes. We list some of the top themes below and in bold fonts connected themes mentioned.
- Racism/Discrimination – 64 (62%) – Most respondents see violence against Asian as a form of racism and discrimination. They believe that the racism towards Asian has become more apparent during COVID. This theme intersects with the other themes especially misogyny towards Asian women (25, 24%) and poor media representation (32, 32%). For the Georgia mass shooting specifically many participants expressed anger at law enforcement (28, 35%) for minimizing the trauma felt by the victims and normalizing the shooter as having a “bad day”. However, not everyone felt the violence, specifically towards the mass shooting in Georgia was racially motivated, a minority of respondents thought race wasn’t a motivating factor (8, 8%). Some also saw this as another attribution to the gun violence (15, 15%) epidemic in America.
- Asians are easy target or scapegoating – 63 (61%) – Most respondents felt that Americans view Asians as “easy to target”: when Asians are targeted they may accept this as reality and be afraid to report the event because it may cause more issues. They also point out that elderlyAsian women are often targeted because of misogyny towards Asian women and in particular, elderly Asian are at risk (5, 5%) because of the language barriers and hesitancy to find help.
- Increased feeling of fear and isolation in America – 50 (49%) – This theme is related to the feeling of being a ‘perpetual foreigner’ and a history of discriminatory violence that is often neglected. Respondents feel more fearful about being targets of racism/discrimination in America because they are Asians despite being multi-generational Americans themselves. Respondents cite poor media representation and lack of attention towards Asians (33, 33%) as attributing to fear of being an Asian-American in this country. Some participants also see their experience with white supremacy and racism/discrimination as solidarity through empathy of the disparities faced by other minority groups (7, 7%).
- Lack of attention towards Asians – 33 (33%), and poor media representation of Asians – 32 (32%) were pervasive in the above themes. Lack of attention to problems faced by Asians seem to exacerbate racism/discrimination as policymakers may be ignorant of issue that fuels the feeling of “Asian invisibility”. Further, when there are attention towards Asians as in news or movies, respondents tend to think media attention seem to worsen the violence and is especially linked to misogyny towards Asian women by media through of hyper-sexualization.
- Other miscellaneous themes mentioned include anger at defense of perpetuator or law enforcement, fears of gun violence, increased empathy among minority groups, resigned feelings of “This is reality”, and concern for the elders.
For more details, click here , or copy and paste into the browser – https://ahi.ucsf.edu/upload/ahi/files/asianperspectives1_Link_2.pdf
More survey results will come in the next AHI Newsletters – Be on the lookout!
California Health Professions Consortium (CHPC)
An Invitation: Student Mental and Behavioral Health Conference 10/9/21 (Saturday), 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
This conference is geared towards students in high school and college, their parents, counselors, and educators to reduce stigma, and providing skills to promote better mental health and explore behavioral health career pathways.
Attendees will leave with information, tools, and resources to address common behavioral health issues faced by high school and college students. Participants will also hear from industry experts about the various behavioral health careers and the pathways to reach those professions.
More information can be found on the attached flyer and online at: https://chpc.ucsf.edu/2021student .
A Two-Part Asian Health Symposium Roundtable for HC Professionals
The 2021 Annual Asian Health Symposium for healthcare professionals will be held virtually in two separate 1:30 hour Friday sessions, on October 22 and November 19, 2021 from noon – 1:30 pm. These sessions are dedicated to our hardworking healthcare professionals, but are also open to the public should anyone wish to join us. The first session will be an in-depth review of the CoVID situation, and the second one will be on CoVID’s influence on our mental health. The information will be geared towards professionals, so may have more medical/technical terms and will be in English only. Please save the dates in your calendars now. More meeting information will be coming in the next AHI Newsletters.
The Booster Shot Controversies Continue
Scientific evidence has pointed to that vaccines are the most important weapons to curb the spread of CoVID-19 and its seriously consequences, including the more transmissible Delta variant. COVID-19 vaccines continue to maintain high protection against severe disease, hospitalizations, and deaths.
However, vaccine efficacy (VE) was found to wane over time at a different rate over different age groups. Israel was the first country in the world to initiate the 3rd “booster” CoVID vaccine dose, followed by the U.S. on August 14, 2021. But at that time, U.S. called it the “additional” dose, not a “booster” shot, to be given at least 28 days after the 2nd Pfizer dose and only for people with immunocompromised conditions.
But since September 24, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that some people who has received the Pfizer vaccine need a “booster” shot.
CDC recommendations on Pfizer’s Booster Shots at least 6 months after completion of the two-shot series:
|Those who SHOULD||Those who MAY|
Some of you may wonder about those who had received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) vaccines. And what about vaccine heterogeneity (mixing the use of different vaccines) for the booster shot? At this time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only authorized people who have already been fully immunized with Pfizer’s two-dose of Covid vaccine to receive a booster shot, which must also be Pfizer’s, based on the decisions made last week). The FDA has decided not to endorse a “mix-and-match” approach to vaccination boosters yet, citing a lack of evidence at present. We will await what the future brings with multiple on-going mix-and-match CoVID vaccine studies some of which have shown encouraging results.
The FDA’s booster shot decision was based on the evidence that VE of different vaccines wanes at different rates over time in people of different ages. For those who have received the Moderna vaccine, it may ease your minds to know that the vaccine experienced much less of a drop-off in effectiveness at preventing COVID-19 hospitalizations. Moderna’s submitted data show that for those 65 and older, it went from 91% in the first five months to 86% in the next three months; for those 50 to 64, it dipped from 93% to 91%*; for those 30 to 49, it rose from 85% to 99%*; and for those 18 to 29, it dropped from 91% to 82%*. (* – None of these changes were statistically significant.) JNJ has not submitted data to the FDA for to apply for the booster shot yet at this time.
Videos Urging Vaccination by UCSF Doctors Ben Ma (in Cantonese) and Chi-yuan Hsu (in Mandarin)
Vaccination is the most effective tool available to curb CoVID-19 transmission. Vaccination for CoVID will NOT change our DNAs, is not a bioweapon, does not cause sudden death, and not a political conspiracy to kill us, despite the antivax messages circulating in the social media.
Fighting vaccine skepticism, two of UCSF’s specialists stepped out of their regular work routines and made videos urging the community to vaccinate. Click HERE to see why that is so important, and please help to put these videos in your social media to circulate.
Drs. Peter Chin-Hong and Diana Lau – KTSF Evening News, Business & Lifestyle and Great Family Interviews related to CoVID
Upcoming KTSF Business & Lifestyle Program: This Friday 10/1 at 11 pm and will be rebroadcasted on Sunday 10/3 at 6:30 pm
KTSF Evening News: These KTSF-26 interviews are available at the following links if you have missed their broadcast:
The Great Family Program溫馨傳萬家:
On the Delta Variant and Vaccination: Click here
Reporter Alex Li gave a synopsis report of the 9/8/2021 Asian Health Institute CoVID Town Hall on the Delta variant for those who missed it. For more information, click here.
Dr. Peter Chin-Hong’s CoVID Corner
Yahoo News: Urging people to take on the rapid test kits. Click here for details.
CGTN TV: Discussing herd immunity, Sinovac and Sinopharm, and CoVID infections and controls in China. Click here for more information.
NDTV (India): On the carrots and sticks of vaccination, booster shots, the MU variant, and the cattle drug: Ivermectin. Click here for details.
KTSF-26: Delta variant in SF (Mandarin). Click here for more information.