I am following the latest developments on COVID-19 and our efforts to control the pandemic.
As of September 20, 2021:
• An FDA advisory panel recommended a third (booster) dose of COVID-19 vaccine only for people over 65 or otherwise vulnerable people.
• Side effects of third injections of COVID-19 vaccine (booster shots) are same as for the second shot: 63% felt fatigue, 48% had a headache, and 39% had muscle pain.
• Both COVID-19 disease and vaccination may provide long-term immunity. One year after recovering from COVID-19, most people have high levels of protective antibodies, and those who have been vaccinated after recovering from the disease have up to 50 times higher blood levels of certain antibody levels to protect them against re-infection, particularly against the delta variant (JAMA, 2021;326(5):376-377). This study described a one-year follow up of 63 people who had recovered from COVID 19 disease, ages 26 to 73, of which six were hospitalized. Another study showed that vaccination after suffering a COVID-19 infection gives 100 times the antibody levels of just suffering the infection only (Science, June 2021).
• As of September 20, 2021, more than 673,000 people have died in the United States from COVID-19, making this the deadliest pandemic in U.S. history and surpassing the number of U.S. deaths in the 1918-1919 flu pandemic. One in every 500 people in the U.S. have died of COVID-19.
• The CDC recommends wearing masks indoors in areas where people congregate. The virus is spread primarily in air-suspended droplets (large and small), and masks catch these droplets.
• About 76.5% of U.S. adults have received at least one shot, and 64% are fully vaccinated. Of adults over age 64, 83% are fully vaccinated and 93% have received at least one shot (New York Times, September 20, 2021).
As of September 14, 2021:
• Unvaccinated people are about 29 times more likely to be hospitalized with Covid-19 than those who are fully vaccinated (CDC Los Angeles study, August 24, 2021)
• A study of 6.2 million persons who received 11.8 million doses of an mRNA vaccine, found that the incidence of the following serious reactions to the vaccine were not greater than in the general population Reactions studied included heart attacks, Bell’s palsy (nerve damage), strokes, Guillain-Barré syndrome, heart damage, lung clot, and “thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome.” (JAMA, Pub online September 3, 2021).
• Long COVID-19 symptoms can persist for more than a year, including pain, tiredness, anxiety, depression, fatigue, muscle weakness, shortness of breath (The Lancet, August 26, 2021)
• COVID-19 is most contagious from two days before symptoms appear to three days after symptoms appear (JAMA Internal Medicine, Aug 23, 2021).
Dr. Gabe Mirkin is a Villager. Learn more at www.drmirkin.com