I saw a health headline today telling us that vaccinated people may need COVID Booster within a year. The gist of the article stated that the FDA does not know if a booster shot will be required within a year or longer. It is a waiting game.
https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/peter-marks-vaccinated-booster/2021/05/18/id/1021883/ I realize that our medical scientists and epidemiologists do not know if or when a booster shot will be needed. It appears that the gloom and doom of the pandemic are dying down as more people get vaccinated. Within months, herd immunity may be reached.
However, articles are appearing this past week stating that herd immunity will never be achieved. When do we believe headlines? I remember the scorching headlines about the massive increases in new cases of coronavirus, yet there was no increase in daily deaths that one would expect.
Almost every pandemic headline has negative tones, yet the content of the articles is not supported with facts. Data or statistics are cherry-picked to support the headline, but the real story in the details is not presented. It is easy to find. Did the writers not want to research further? Maybe? Was there a focus that needed to be told? I am sure there are lots of reasons.
Saudi Arabia MERS Epidemic Vaccine & Booster Shots
https://www.nature.com/articles/d42473-020-00067-2 The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) infected 2,077 and killed 773 people in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Worldwide, less than 2,500 contracted the disease, with total deaths at 851. The R0 for MERS has settled around 5.0 with a range of 0.45 in Saudi Arabia and 8.1 in South Korea. The R0 for SARS-CoV-2 is 2.5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28958834/
There is no vaccine for MERS, although human trials are looking good with the adenoviral vector, ChAdOX1. There is no booster shot. This virus has been with us for nine years. It is more infectious than COVID-19.
Avian Influenza (H7N9)
https://www.dailyrounds.org/blog/5-disease-outbreaks-in-the-last-decade/ This virus was reported in humans in China in 2013. By the start of 2014, 144 people contracted the disease, and 46 had died (32% mortality rate). Five additional surges of this virus have surfaced with more than 1,500 human cases and a 40% mortality rate.
No vaccine or booster shots have been developed. The R0 for this virus is between 0.03 and 0.4. https://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h5765/rr#:~:text=Other%20researchers%2C%20using%20various%20modeling,cause%20hospital%2Dassociated%20large%20outbreaks.
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
https://www.who.int/health-topics/ebola/#tab=tab_1 Ebola hemorrhagic fever, as it was originally known, is severe and fatal. The average fatality rate is 50%, but there are cases of deaths reaching 90%. The R0 is between 1.5 and 2.5. The FDA approved the only Ebola vaccine in December 2019. No booster shots have been developed.
Will there be a booster shot for COVID-19? No one knows. Should people be speculating before the vaccine effectiveness has been proven? Probably not. There are many more deadly viruses than COVID-19. The vaccines for the pandemic virus were rushed through quickly. Over one hundred more are being evaluated. Is it possible that a future vaccine may not require a booster shot? Probably.
Is it possible to determine the end usefulness of vaccines based on antibodies after vaccinations? Yes, it is possible. Vaccines guide our immune system. Over a few weeks, the body builds a natural defense against the foreign invader. Antibodies are proteins and will break down over time and be eliminated from the body.
Other human coronaviruses can infect us more than once. Why is this one lumped into that group? Is COVID-19 a virus that can reinfect a host? Probably. There are a few, very few cases of a person getting COVID-19 twice to date.
Why are we even talking about booster shots? We do not know when viral variants are coming, yet our medical industry believes that the worst is still ahead. Many viral variants are less infective with minor symptoms.
Why do we think that a new variant will be more deadly and spread more quickly? I do not know, other than to maintain fear and panic in the public arena. We should continue to study the effectiveness of the available vaccines to determine if a booster shot is required rather than speculate that one will be needed.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com