Weezer, in 1992, sang, “Say it ain’t so – your drug is a heartbreaker.” Our current pandemic has broken a lot of hearts – in many, many ways. Unfortunately, the vaccine drugs are Band-Aids that must be replaced much more often than seems reasonable. Vaccines should last more than six months.
Booster shots are being recommended – without a replacement date. Medical researchers do not know how long the effectiveness of a booster shot is currently. Maybe six months – like the second of two vaccine doses? Maybe more? Maybe less? Probably.
Boosters & Omicron in 2022
https://www.businessinsider.com/how-long-does-booster-protection-omicron-covid-last-study-2021-12?fbclid=IwAR1Zwo-CNRBDHPtwhYnbq-pv-nue8HuYPJeIjP1lRkb7Of5HBstNpJmIc3g. The latest study indicates that the powerful, but less deadly, Omicron variant thwarts booster shots in ten weeks. That means everyone will have to get a booster shot every two months to be protected from Omicron.
In just over two months, the booster shot loses about 25% potency to protect against Omicron infection. That is what the study results show. Yet, in the same article, medical scientists are telling us that it is not clear whether everyone will need further doses in 2022. I find that amazing!
Initially, the vaccines were our way out of the pandemic. Get everyone vaccinated, and herd immunity would be achieved, and we would welcome 2022 without fear and enjoy near-normal lives again. But, unfortunately, the vaccine’s effective lifespan (expiration date) is roughly six months.
https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/covid-19-vaccine/news/20211105/covid-vaccine-protection-drops-study#:~:text=The%20Johnson%20%26%20Johnson%20vaccine%20showed,age%2C%E2%80%9D%20the%20study%20said. At the beginning of November this year, the journal, Science, published a report about the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent infection. Just under 800,000 veterans were evaluated in this study. The three primary vaccines available in the United States provide about the same level of protection at the beginning (last March).
But, six months later, all that protection is out the window. The Moderna mRNA vaccine went from near 90% effective in blocking infection from the pandemic virus to just under 60%. The Pfizer mRNA vaccine dropped from under 90% to 45% in six months. The J&J viral vector vaccine fell off the edge of the cliff by going from just over 85% to 13%. The AstraZeneca viral vector vaccine’s protection went from around 60% to 30% in six months.
The statistics are worse as you go through the report. In three months, the vaccines’ ability to protect against death for veterans over the age of 65 was gone. No wonder that breakthrough cases started skyrocketing after six months.
The vaccines were touted to prevent infection, reduce the severity of symptoms if infected, and minimize the risk of death from coronavirus. To be upfront, the vaccines were developed when the Alpha and Bravo variants were in vogue. The Delta variant kicked all other variants to the curb and assumed the role of #1 Bad Guy in Town!
The vaccines were not designed to protect against all viral mutations. Yet, all health authorities keep hyping the need to get vaccinated. Why? I do not know. When fear is maintained, and you must show ‘paperwork’ to enter a bar or restaurant, there may be extenuating reasons why all that money was spent on vaccines. They were a good idea at the time, but…
Indeed, the clinical studies that were abbreviated to get Emergency Use Authorization to the American public (and the world in general) were tracked further and showed the vaccine manufacturing companies that the effectiveness of their vaccines would wane in six to nine months. Then, we began to hear that a booster shot might be needed for the most vulnerable. Then, everyone would need a booster.
Breakthrough Cases in 2022
https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/brief/characteristics-of-vaccinated-patients-hospitalized-with-covid-19-breakthrough-infections/. I am continually amazed at the alternate interpretations of the same data. This article recognizes that breakthrough infections (people infected with COVID-19 even though they had two vaccine doses) were increasing from June to September. The report was published in mid-December. Vaccines were being distributed at the turn of 2021, and their expiration date would be around September. No mention of vaccine ineffectiveness is mentioned.
Regardless, about 15% of the hospital admissions were breakthrough cases during that time. The positive news is that fully vaccinated people with COVID-19 spent less time in hospitals, and fewer were put on ventilators. The not-so-good news is that breakthrough cases will continue to increase, especially with the Omicron variant.
https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/stats/vbt.html. I find the COVID-19 breakthrough statistics from the Minnesota Department of Health easier to find breakthrough statistics than most websites, including CDC. Minnesota recognizes there is more than age to consider when analyzing COVID-19 data.
The population demographic of fully vaccinated (in Minnesota) are older, have more comorbidities, and work in higher-risk jobs. As such, they are in jeopardy of being a breakthrough case, needing hospitalization, and having a higher risk of death.
That same grouping applies throughout the United States – fully vaccinated, older, less healthy, and in jobs that expose them to more people daily. This is the cadre of people with waning infection protection and is at higher risk of becoming infected and infecting others.
Breakthrough cases continue to climb as weeks and months transpire from the last vaccine shot. From June through September, the rate of breakthrough cases was evolving from very few to a few cases/day. After November, the new cases of COVID-19 from the fully vaccinated group continued to climb. Approximately 15% of recent hospitalizations are breakthrough cases.
That 15% of people hospitalized is ironically about 15% of the total breakthrough cases – those with reported symptoms and tested. So if 15 people are hospitalized today, then another 85 people have breakthrough cases that did not qualify for hospitalization.
And, if over half the breakthrough cases are asymptomatic, there are another 100 breakthrough cases with no symptoms capable of infecting others. This is the future for 2022.
It is not the unvaccinated that most of us should be wary of. Yes, they pose a potential risk to our health and others. But those who are fully vaccinated and have no idea that they are at high risk, likely to be asymptomatic and can infect others – mainly family and friends, and maybe even the more vulnerable to COVID-19.
I read many articles daily, and the narrative is always, vaccines work. Get vaccinated and be protected. Yet, most hospitalizations and deaths are attributed to the unvaccinated. That is the theme broadcast daily. When people believe they are bullet-proof with two vaccine doses, they are likely to lower their personal protections. That is when rampant increases in new cases happen – both from the unvaccinated and the fully vaccinated.
Omicron is already here. Some think it will run its path by March. I believe it is a blessing in disguise. How else can many people become infected and gain natural immunity with little risk of hospitalization or death? We need medical research to kill the virus when it enters our bodies – not reducing the severity of symptoms – which seems to focus on COVID-19 antiviral research.
Yes, 2022 will get worse before it gets better. But, the good news is that huge increases in new cases with a slight increase in hospitalizations, and daily deaths are better than the alternative(s).
I cannot see the American public becoming anxious to get a booster shot every two months. Most of the unvaccinated will never get a vaccine shot for COVID-19. But, after a few booster shorts, that trend could apply to the vaccinated and boosted population.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com