Yes, we’ll probably need coronavirus booster shots - but which one?
Excerpt: Companies have already been testing boosters, including an additional shot of their own vaccines and revamped boosters designed against the variant. A test of the Moderna boosters showed that a third shot and a variant-specific version both increased antibody levels - an encouraging sign. A study of yet another booster option that would offer protection against the original strain and the variant-specific virus is ongoing. The mix-and-match trial should help answer practical questions about how to best use vaccines, and will consider public health questions - such as whether there are advantages or risks to switching brands or technologies. The trial is designed to yield results by midsummer, in hopes it could inform decisions as soon as this fall if necessary, Beigel said. The trial will test which combinations work best, and may simply show that any vaccine can be used - which could ease logistics so that people were not bound to one brand or technology platform. [I got this from Yahoo News, but it was originally posted by the Washington Post on 28 May 2021. There are also a couple of healthcare professionals here at RP keeping me up to date. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were produced with the same technology and methods, while the J & J used a different method. I was particularly interested in seeing results from a test of two Pfizer shots (what I’ve had) and a “booster” of J & J six months or so later. When I first asked about this a month or so ago, there was no information available and no plans to get that information. It looks as if that has recently changed. So, additional good news could be in our futures for next winter or spring. Alan25main]
Yes, we’ll probably need coronavirus booster shots - but which one?
The coronavirus mutates so fast and each mutation makes existing vaccines less effective. Also each mutation path diverges genetically from the original strain making a common vaccine more difficult to create. Given a vaccine takes about 18 months to research, manufacture, distribute and administer on a broad scale, the rate vaccines are being produced doesn’t look like it’s keeping up with mutations.
Then also add in that mutations keep emerging that seem to be both deadlier and more transmissible.
I don’t mean to sound alarmist but I don’t see how this isn’t the end of humanity as we know it.
I understand that the mRNA vaccines are somewhat easier to “tweak” than traditional vaccinations so I don’t see this as the end of humanity as we know it at all.
The influenza vaccine is produced based on predictions as to what variants and mutations are most likely to be circulating when the vaccine is actually being used. The current flu vaccine, in Australia, is quadrivalent meaning that it attempts to immunise against four “versions” of the virus.
Because of disappointingly slow vaccine rollout around the globe combined with vaccine hesitancy and vaccine refusal, the C-19 virus is mutating far more rapidly than the flu virus so making vaccines based on predictions, as with the flu, is unlikely to be successful. However, if it turns out to be correct that mRNA vaccines are relatively easy to “tweak” to adapt to specific mutations, an early “booster” shot, a third shot in most cases, may be a relatively simple method of control. I would expect, over time, that we end up with a tri- or quadrivalent annual jab.
Having said that, my hope is still that absolutely everyone who has no medical reason to refuse will accept whatever vaccine they are offered. We certainly need the wealthy nations to step up and ensure that less wealthy nations are given access to appropriate quantities of suitable vaccines as well and cold chain assistance as required.
I really don’t believe that it is too late to put the C-19 horse back in the barn but we need everyone to do their part. Vaccines, wearing masks, obeying lock-down restrictions, co-operating with contact tracers and so on are all of part of this.
New Zealand is a great example of how the virus can be controlled and, to a lesser extent, Australia as well. Places like Thailand and Viet Nam show what can happen when a country relaxes too much, too quickly. Both countries, in my opinion, believed their own rhetoric about being able to control the virus while opening up travel. From being one of the of the most successful countries in controlling C-19, there is a new mutation being reported in Viet Nam that appears to be a “hybrid” of the Indian and UK variants.
The C-19 virus can be beaten if we have the will to do so. Smallpox has been completely eradicated “in the wild” and polio is mostly eliminated. Measles was being very well controlled until the strange and completely unscientific belief(s) of anti-vaxxers became more prevalent.
The seasonal “flu” vaccine will be available in September at the Veterans Administration Medical Centers for all workers, Veterans and thier spouses like always , other outlets for the general population like pharmacies and the Covid-19 boosters should be ready in October and they will not be age restricted but registration is a must like last time and prior vaccination is a requirement.
Getting another shot is no big deal IMO, especially considering the benefits…when I got that 2nd Moderna…I put the card in my wallet next to my Drivers License…now the EEOC is saying it is ok for employers to require the vaccine for employment…
Our national airline, as it was before it was privatised, has stated that they intend to require proof of vaccination in the future as well. No vaccination, no Qantas travel.
Qantas have also announced that they will be giving away a number of “prizes” or “incentives” for people who get the vaccine so they are, to some extent, putting their money where their mouth is.
It wouldn’t surprise me if many or most airlines worldwide adopt a “no vaccine, no travel” policy.
Going forward, I can see hospitals and doctors requiring proof of vaccination for all non-emergency treatment, probably in the form of requiring those who can’t prove their “vaccine status” to wear a mask and sit in an isolated area.
Cinemas and theatres may well adopt a requirement that patrons have proof of vaccination as well. I would love to see sports venues implement this requirement but I’m not convinced that that will happen.
At a government level, I can easily imagine that visitors to some or most countries will be required to be vaccinated as part of the entry conditions.
In Australia, many or all states have a requirement that children are fully immunised or on schedule with recommended vaccines before they can be enrolled in day care or kindergarten. Although, as far as I know, there is no approved vaccination for children at this stage, I can see C-19 being added to the immunisation schedule in the future. The WHO, if I remember rightly, has recently approved at least one vaccination for people aged 12+ so we may see vaccination become compulsory for schools and universities.
In short, for employment, entertainment and international travel, at the very least, I can see being vaccinated as being a minimum requirement for most people. I understand that some people have genuine medical reasons that prevent them from getting vaccinated and that’s fine. I have absolutely no doubt that a genuine exemption will be honoured in the same way that proof of vaccination will be. I certainly hope that “religious” and “personal belief” exemptions will not be permitted though.
I watched the Indianapolis 500 race yesterday. 140,000 people in the stands with almost no masks. My PTSD went into overdrive and I watched the race in my leather recliner with my mask on all alone in the house. People are just getting too comfortable now after almost a year and a half. Lord help us !!!
RedCloud203 just sent me this link today; it’s very promising and great news for all of us. It’s worth reading. Be encouraged for a change!