By Wade Smith, MD, PhD, FNCS
COVID-19 Vaccinations: Hope Is on the Horizon
Dear NCS Members,
As hopeful news about COVID-19 vaccines spreads nationwide, we can start looking forward to a safe return to our regular lives. Rates of hospitalizations have fallen across the United States. All states are offering vaccinations to all people over 16 years old. With the Centers for Disease Control allowing domestic travel for those who are fully vaccinated, as well as following recommendations for international travel, many universities are relaxing restrictions on travel for vaccinated faculty and staff. I suspect this will allow for the potential of academic in-person meetings over the summer months. NCS is currently offering registration for our in-person and virtual Annual Meeting in October 2021, allowing you to choose to join us in the format you prefer. It’s exciting to think about gathering again as a multidisciplinary society. Whether in-person or virtually, it’s always a pleasure to connect with our fellow neurocritical care practitioners.
The increase in vaccinations also indicates a positive trend for our hospitals and practices. For local ICUs, we hope the decrease in hospitalizations for COVID-19 critical care will have a continued decline. This will open our NICU beds so that patients with neurocritical care illnesses may reclaim them. For many hospitals, the pandemic time was all hands on deck, meaning our neurocritical care colleagues have been covering general critical care. With more space for our neurocritical care patients, we can fully return to our neurological focus.
As medical professionals, we have the opportunity to set an example to do our part to end the pandemic as vaccines continue to become available across the United States and in other countries. Earlier this year, NCS members shared their excitement about receiving their vaccines — watch their testimonials here. I encourage you to continue spreading the good news about the hope that is on the horizon.
Wade Smith, MD, PhD, FNCS
President, NCS Board of Directors
Professor of Neurology, UCSF