The C.D.C.’s new strategy sets criteria that will allow localities to ease masking and social distancing. 

”…The C.D.C.’s new strategy sets criteria that will allow localities to ease masking and social distancing…a framework intended to move the country to a long-term strategy that allows lives to return to a “new normal.”…will direct counties to consider three measures to assess risk of the virus: new Covid-related hospital admissions over the previous week and the percentage of hospital beds occupied by Covid patients, as well as new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over the previous week.

(J. Harris: Vaccination rate information would have helped as well. This looks like paperwork that will be ignored, but why not try?)


COVID-19 Community Levels




VACCINATION INTERVALS To increase the safety profile of mRNA vaccines, the US CDC is now recommending that certain groups wait longer between their first and second doses. The standard timeline between doses for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines is 3 and 4 weeks, respectively. Some groups, including men between the ages of 12-39 years old, are now recommended to wait 8 weeks between doses in order to further decrease the risk of myocarditis. Men in this age group appeared to be at a higher relative risk of developing myocarditis following vaccination with an mRNA vaccine, which has prompted further research on ways to mitigate this outcome. Myocarditis associated with vaccination has a low relative risk, around 3.24, compared to the relative risk of COVID-associated myocarditis, around 18.28. Still, new evidence indicates that an 8-week interval between doses can further decrease the risk, which prompted CDC’s change in advice. People not in this group, such as the elderly and immunocompromised, are still recommended to receive their doses on the original 3- and 4-week schedules to prevent severe illness from COVID-19 should they be infected. However, more studies are continuing to evaluate whether a slightly longer period between doses, such as 6 weeks, might result in greater protection for all vaccine-eligible groups.

2. ‘I Don’t Dare Get the Shot’: Virus Ravages Unvaccinated Older Hong Kongers (New York Times)

For two years, Hong Kong had largely avoided a major coronavirus outbreak with tight border controls and strict social distancing measures. Then Omicron triggered an explosion of infections, exposing the city’s failure to prepare its older — and most at risk — residents for the worst. In a matter of weeks, the outbreak quickly overwhelmed Hong Kong’s world-class medical system. Ambulances arrived at emergency units in droves. Hospitals ran out of beds in isolation wards. Patients waited in gurneys on sidewalks and in parking lots, given emergency blankets for warmth during the coldest and wettest time of the year. Hong Kong’s early success in keeping the pandemic at bay was the starting point of a complacency that has now had deadly consequences. Officials have moved too slowly to prepare for a broader outbreak, and did too little to address misinformation around vaccines, social workers and experts say. For many of the city’s one million residents who are 70 or older, the risk of getting sick had long seemed so low that they avoided getting inoculated.

From BECKERS edit:

Cases decline in Kentucky, but hospitalizations and the positivity rate remain high.

(J. Harris: A lament for KY whose overall vaccination rate is ONLY 56%. What must people think of Harrison County with our 41% rate?)


Waning effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines

”…The importance of this study is that it had a longer follow-up period than most studies, it examined several vaccines and different schedules, and it captured a national population in its entirety…..The ecological reality of new variants and perhaps an expanding enzootic viral reservoir demonstrate the need for vaccines that are protective against a broader spectrum of potential variants.12 SARS-CoV-2 is unlikely to be eliminated soon, if ever, and as long as it continues to circulate, it remains a threat to human health, societies, and economies. It is urgent that we develop coronavirus vaccines that are more broadly protective, with durable protection against both infection and disease…The evidence from Nordström and colleagues’ study1 suggests lower effectiveness for older individuals and for men. The latter finding seems to be unique to this study and merits replication in other countries…

The importance of this study is that it had a longer follow-up period than most studies, it examined several vaccines and different schedules, and it captured a national population in its entirety. The study manifests the true meaning of real-world vaccine effectiveness and its findings are integral to our understanding of waning vaccine protection. This study also demonstrates the expanding power of biomedical research in the era of digitised health information platforms….”

(J. Harris: This editorial examination of the effectiveness of Covid Vaccines does NOT include information after a 3rd booster, ie 3rd Jab. Of course, new vaccines will need to be developed as Variants emerge. see below article)


Effectiveness of a Third Dose of mRNA Vaccines Against COVID-19–Associated Emergency Department and Urgent Care Encounters and Hospitalizations Among Adults During Periods of Delta and Omicron Variant Predominance — VISION Network, 10 States, August 2021–January 2022

”…These findings underscore the importance of receiving a third dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine to prevent both moderately severe and severe COVID-19, especially while the Omicron variant is the predominant circulating variant and when the effectiveness of 2 doses of mRNA vaccines is significantly reduced against this variant. All unvaccinated persons should get vaccinated as soon as possible. All adults who have received mRNA vaccines during their primary COVID-19 vaccination series should receive a third dose when eligible, and eligible persons should stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations…”




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