RoundTable 11/20: Inside Knowledge on Vaccines and Treatments–Actions You Can Take in Your Organization

RoundTable 11/20: Inside Knowledge on Vaccines and Treatments–Actions You Can Take in Your Organization

On November 20, Heart+Mind was honored to have best-selling author, biotech executive and scientist Safi Bahcall join us with three distinguished physicians from Intermountain Healthcare:

  • Dr. Todd Vento – Medical Director, Infectious Diseases 
  • Dr. Tamara Sheffield – Medical Director, Community Health and Prevention
  • Dr. Brandon Webb – Chair, COVID-19 Therapeutics Committee

The goal for our 1-hour session was to empower better COVID-related planning decisions aimed at maximizing safety and health while running our respective businesses/organizations. The session more than delivered on this objective as these distinguished experts cut through the noise about COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Their insight, stories, and suggestions are well worth your paying attention and taking action within your respective ecosystems.

  • High Tech. The advancements in mRNA technology that are at the core of the top two vaccines nearing distribution is an incredible leap in human ingenuity, science, and the impact of focused investment and collaboration. For the first time in history, we will have vaccines that program our DNA how to fight the virus directly.
  • Efficacy. The efficacy rates for the first two vaccines are incredibly high at 90-95%. Don’t be surprised when these rates slow down. When you hear about it, don’t worry because it is to be expected. These rates are above normative standards, and they’ve been realized in record times.
  • Timing. Distribution of the vaccine will be tricky and complicated, but expect the plans to be sorted and begin to reach the masses by late Spring and into the Summer. Healthcare workers, frontline workers, and at-risk populations will be the priority starting as early as December and January.
  • Priority. The process of prioritization for vaccine distribution will likely get messy, but should be resolved by March/April. In the meantime, distribution challenges are being addressed now.

Leadership during this time of crisis calls for transparency and solutions. Business leaders need to take a stand to spread the basic facts and repeatedly drive home these messages to build confidence:

  • Masks work.
  • Vaccines work. And when they work they cause your body to respond that often brings a slight fever and aches. That is a good sign that it is working. Talk about this in terms of a natural and expected “response” to a vaccine, not a “reaction” to the vaccine.
  • Slowing the spread helps us get to herd immunity. At current rates we will have to vaccinate 90% of the population, something that is not realistic. If we can slow the rate of spread we could control the virus with as low as 30% vaccination coverage. Slowing spread matters. A lot. Vaccines do not represent a magic bullet – our behaviors matter as much or more.

Physicians have learned a lot in the last several months with regard to treatments, and it is lowering the fatality rate significantly. Early treatment is proving to be very, very important.

Finally, our experts shared the following resources to rely on and to get out of the chaos and misinformation of the media and social media channels:




The Human Story | Nov. 19, 2020

As cases surge across the country, the public believes the likelihood of stay-at-home orders is high and nearly half support a nationwide four- to six-week lockdown to help stop the spread of coronavirus.  Financial security is concerning for a majority of the public and a sense of financial hardship is on the rise, particularly among younger generations, Hispanics, and Blacks.  Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • Division Continues: Americans remain at record high levels of thinking the pandemic is “driving us apart.”
  • Public Health Impact: Perceptions are increasing that the state of public health is poor or in crisis.
  • Support Outweighs Opposition for 4-6 Week Lockdown: Nearly half of the public supports a nationwide lockdown to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.  Support increases to over half if the government provides support for lost wages and small business revenues.
  • Financial Hardship is Rising: Over half of the public has delayed/reduced spending, a third reports a negative impact on savings and about one-in-five have had a work-related impact.    Gen Z, Millennials, Hispanics, and Blacks are particularly hard hit with financial challenges and far more likely than other groups to report receiving aid and having to cancel services over the past three months.

Our reports with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following links:



Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 11/18-19/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,007 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and recent presidential election. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.