I am following the latest developments on COVID-19 and our efforts to control the pandemic:
• COVID-19 in the U.S. has caused more than 35 million infections and more than 600,000 deaths. COVID-19 deaths have risen by nearly 48 percent over the past week and now average 239 per day.
• Nearly two-thirds of the counties in the U.S. have vaccinated fewer than 40 percent of their populations.
• The highly-contagious Delta variant accounts for 93 percent of current COVID-19 Cases.
• For up to 13 months after being infected, most people have high levels of protective neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (J Gen Int Med, Aug 3, 2021). The sicker a person was, the higher the protective antibody titer. Ninety percent of infected people had positive antibody tests six months post-infection, and 83 percent had positive antibody tests 13 months post-COVID-19. Antibody titers were relatively stable over 13 months post infection.
• An English study found that 50 to 60 percent of people who received two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations were fully protected against the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19. That includes people who had no symptoms of the infection whatever when they were infected. The delta virus also increases risk for more serious disease and hospitalization.
• People who have been infected with COVID-19 should still get vaccinated as the vaccination will more than double the protection from reinfection (CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Aug 6, 2021) Even just one vaccination injection was not associated with reinfection.
• Moderna reports that their COVID-19 vaccine remains 93 percent effective six months after it is administered. However, there may still be a need for a COVID-19 booster shot.
• More than 19 percent of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. occur in children.
• Currently there is an uncontrolled pandemic in Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand)
• One UK study says COVID-19 infection rates are now three times lower for double vaccinated people . This suggests that you should get two and possibly three injections.
• Many physicians and other health care workers in Israel, Germany, France, and the U.K. are getting third booster doses because of their increased exposure to COVID-19. They recommend third doses for people over 65, those with decreased immunity and those who have low blood antibody titers that markedly increase risk for disease.
• The CDC has recommended that everyone get a COVID-19 vaccine, even if they have had the virus before, yet many skeptics have held off getting the shots, believing that immunity generated by their previous infection will protect them if they should encounter the virus again.
Dr. Gabe Mirkin is a Villager. Learn more at www.drmirkin.com