FROM THE LANCET:
COVID-19 vaccines in the age of the delta variant
”…In 2020, early signals of high vaccine efficacy against both symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection initially suggested that COVID-19 vaccines could be used to efficiently suppress viral transmission. However, with the emergence and rapid global spread of the delta variant, it now seems likely that vaccination will not provide complete protection against acquisition and onward transmission of SARS-CoV-2, which will continue to circulate for the foreseeable future….Consequently, the goal of population-level vaccination has shifted to protecting both adults and children from developing severe disease, thereby preventing the excess mortality and stress on health-care systems that were observed in the early phases of the pandemic. ..”
(J. Harris: This free Lancet contains several interesting articles regarding Covid.
The upshot of most of the recent articles that I have seen indicate that we will need to continue with GOOD MASKS, GOOD VENTILATION, CLEAN HANDS, SPACING, AND CROWD AVOIDANCE WHILE ACQUIRING ALL BOOSTERS AS RECOMMENDED. I TRY TO AVOID CONTACT WITH UNVACCINATED INDIVIDUALS OR PEOPLE WHO TRAVEL WIDELY.
1. CDC expands COVID booster recommendations amid omicron concerns
2. 19 countries reporting omicron cases (as of as of Nov. 30 at 5:45 a.m. ET.)
‘…The most effective individual preventive measures continue to include being fully vaccinated, wearing a well-fitting mask, frequent handwashing, avoiding crowds, and isolating if symptomatic, diagnosed with COVID-19, or exposed to someone with COVID-19. On a population level, it is imperative, now more than ever, that wealthy nations provide the support and resources necessary to help vaccinate, diagnose, and treat people in low- and middle-income nations (LMICs)….
”Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and J&J-Janssen—as well as laboratories worldwide—are working to determine how well the current vaccine formulations hold up against Omicron. Data from these experiments are expected within the next 2 weeks. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna said they could have variant-specific booster doses ready to ship in about 3 months. It will likely take several weeks before we know if current vaccine formulations are effective against Omicron, but they are expected to continue to help reduce the risk of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19. As a result, primary vaccination and booster doses are recommended for every person who is eligible to receive one…
”To date, the companies that make the mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have refused to share information and technology that would enable other companies to make generic versions. South Africa-based Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines is working to replicate Moderna’s vaccine formula, but that process could take 3 years. Notably, the company could begin manufacturing a replica within a year if Moderna supplied the relevant information. Until a vaccine formula is hacked or shared, only a handful of countries will continue to manufacture vaccines—including China, several European nations, India, and the US—furthering supply chain bottlenecks…”
COVID NUMBERS FROM SURROUNDING COUNTIES BACK TO MARCH 2020:
(J. Harris: Our usual post holiday bump up should be here is a week or so. These cases are most likely to be Delta. Late Dec and early-mid Jan cases will be Delta and ? Omicron. Let’s hope that Omicron doesn’t get here and that it is not as virulent as feared.
A good friend and Houston area Internist who has helped me in the past feels that “I NEED TO STRESS THE VALUE OF WEARING MASKS. In his opinion, MASKS are the most important defense that people have, and are at least as important as Vaccinations. His opinion is based on many break-through cases that he has seen in his vaccinated patients who have become ill with Covid despite ”being careful.”
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