I tend to view it more as an equilibrium. Unlike viruses like smallpox and polio, vaccines against coronavirus don’t offer lifelong or long term protection. It doesn’t look like we could wipe out COVID with a big vaccine push like we did with smallpox, and have almost done with polio. We are always going to have circulating SARS-CoV-2 for the foreseeable future, just as other coronaviruses have continued to circulate over the years. Updated vaccines can certainly help shift this equilibrium and certainly could reduce morbidity and mortality, but it can’t eliminate it.
I think this is a different scenario than what we had when the virus first reared its ugly head. In that case we had a naive population (i.e. no immunity from previous infections). Vaccines made a massive difference in this situation.
I don’t wear a mask in most social situations, but I am not in contact with vulnerable populations. From a social standpoint, I highly doubt a policy of compulsory general masking would be effective or adhered to by the general public. That cat is out of the bag.
Interesting. I personally had some arrhythmia (PVCs) the month after Covid infection last winter, and know of similar stories, though did not realize there might be a causative relationship at the time.
By the way, just got my Covid booster yesterday along with flu shot. Both arms sore, was a little feverish last night but feel pretty normal this morning. Here is an interesting take on getting the booster in an interview with Paul Offit. Bottom line, if risk factors, getting the booster is good, if no risk factors, sort of a flip of the coin as to whether it is worth it, as cellular immunity should be there to protect against severe disease if you had the primary series. Do We Need These Omicron-Specific Boosters? (w/Dr. Paul Offit)
Interesting article. Also, good to know from a doctor that you can indeed travel back in time by mixing DayQuil and NyQuil.
I’ve got my omicron booster scheduled, but I wasn’t in a hurry to get it. But even if it’s not necessary, it could still be a good idea if it could help keep my elderly relatives healthy. I have had only Moderna so far, but heard that it can be good to mix it up, so maybe I should cancel it and go to Walgreen’s for a Pfizer.
I got my bivalent booster (3rd booster for me) just a few weeks ago. Slightly sore arm for a half day or so - didn’t even miss any work. No side effects whatsoever - though there may have been an ever-so-slight fever for a bit. Even though I’m not in a high-risk group, I teach among lots of students and colleagues, some of whom I’m pretty sure aren’t vaccinated at all. So - given the consistently sorry track record of vax skeptics, I’m happy to stay topped off with every Covid booster that comes out. In fact - while I’ve been hit-and-miss for the flu shot in the past, I’ll probably be more deliberate about getting that one this year too now. Thank God for science!
I got influenza and 4th covid shots the other week, and only had mildly sore arms. As a life-long klutz, that could have come from running into any number of things at home or work. I may have had a symptom, but if I hadn’t known I had had the shots, I wouldn’t have thought anything about it. Maybe hormonal surge? Lack of sleep? Who knows. Those are normal for me, too.
I understand some in the medical profession think continued boosters are unnecessary as the current strains are nothing like as dangerous as the original, and that becoming infected gives better natural immunity. Thoughts?
A lot of others here are higher up on that expertise totem pole than I am - so I’m usually deferring. From what I’m hearing, though, yeah - the consequences of infection are vastly reduced in number (but not to zero). So the whole “temperature of the conversation” is much mitigated and the vast majority of people have the collective feeling of being able to let go of some angst around it all (if you aren’t one of those with a seriously infected loved one). It just makes me feel better to avail myself of “that extra advantage” that the boosters still give - even as their effectiveness has waned some - it still having positive effect, giving my body that extra edge to help fight any COVID-like stuff off as I teach school among a lot of variously vaccinated or unvaccinated people. The vaccines were super successful before, and now that’s settled down to a more modest: merely moderately successful. I’ll take that! Especially when the risk is about as near to zero as one could get. Rather than risking the extra suffering of long COVID - give me the shots any day.
The video with Paul Offit I posted above goes into that in detail. It is not a one size fits all thing, as if high risk you may benefit, if low risk then the benefit is lower. Essentially, you may get Covid but it probably won’t kill you if you have had at least the initial series or previous infection.
“We’ve got another bad variant and we don’t have enough people protected,” Topol said. “We’re booster-vaccine deficient and we’re not in a good place to deal with a very tough variant like BQ.1.”
But he added that Singapore’s 79% booster uptake rate and strict virus mitigation measures appear to be blunting the impact of the new strain when it comes to the worst outcomes of the disease.
“The number of people dying or in the ICU is really low,” he said. “Their protection level is really solid.”
…14.8 million Americans have received the updated COVID-19 booster shots since they became available in early September… That’s a little under 7% of the more than 209 million vaccinated people who are eligible — in stark contrast to Singapore’s robust numbers.
Does the current booster regime protect against these new variants? Evidence? Your quote re Singapore may reflect their ‘strict mitigation measures’ which I assume primarily means masks, self-isolation and hand-washing - all those things the West has now largely discontinued. Im not an anti-vax person (I had 2 original injections plus a booster) but it was shown that the efficacy of those vaccines waned significantly over just a few short months, and Im just not convinced repeated boosters every 6 months (required per efficacy) is really needed or a good thing.