Five COVID-19 related things bothering me right now.

1) No rapid tests.

Rapid tests save lives and allow normal activities.

In Europe you can buy a packet of 14 rapid tests for COVID for a few dollars. In the United States, in contrast, you can’t even find rapid tests for COVID because so few of them have been approved by the FDA. It’s time to make these tests generally available to everyone to use in their homes to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2

2) Hospitals overwhelmed by COVID.

After 18 months of pandemic, hospitals and their staffs in many parts of the country are played out by treating an ongoing rush of COVID-19 patients. Many care providers are leaving medical careers due to burnout. Patients with other medical issues are having difficulty in obtaining normal care. In my own hospital there are 50 people lying in the emergency room waiting to get in the hospital at any point in time. If you want to “tough out” COVID-19 without a vaccine or monoclonal antibody treatment, please don’t come in to die at the hospital when you are in respiratory failure.

3) No approval for children

More people have received the MRNA COVID vaccines than any other vaccine in history. Bottom line: the vaccines are safe and effective. If only we had had this much information on polio or measles vaccines when they were approved. Let’s finish the review and get kids immunized.

4) Ongoing vaccine misinformation

My God, what an awful pack of lies is being propagated out there. The vaccine is NOT killing people. It is NOT making women sterile. It is STILL highly effective in preventing disease, hospitalization, and death. And by the way, Facebook, Fox News and CNN all have vaccine mandates despite what they are telling you to do.

5) Poor communication by public health leadership.

Over the past week the CDC Director Walensky denied over-ruling her expert panel (which she did), confused the public about the need for booster vaccines, and misstated the mortality risk in pregnant women from COVID-19. It is a gift to be able to speak simply about complex topics, and unfortunately it is not one that the CDC director received.

Published by jbakerjrblog

Immunologist, former Army MD, former head of allergy and clinical immunology at University of Michigan, vaccine developer and opinionated guy.

3 thoughts on “Five COVID-19 related things bothering me right now.

  1. I’m honestly still confused about whether I – as a frontline healthcare worker who received Moderna last year – will benefit from a booster. I’m frustrated by the lack of clear communication, especially given that the CDC seems to be suggesting all vaccine recipients get a booster, and we don’t even have data on Moderna boosters. I have some coworkers who are stressing about running to get their boosters, meanwhile we still have unvaccinated people working in healthcare.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel your pain! Data shows no one needs a booster if less than 6 months after their 2nd shot. If more than 6 months, there is a suggestion of declining immunity (but only with the Pfizer vaccine) as measured by antibody titers. The longest outcome data on the benefit of Pfizer boosters is 2 weeks, so this is not definitive! I think if you are under 65, are in good health and got the Pfizer vaccine even over 6 months ago, the benefit from a booster is minimal. The data for Moderna really does not support a booster at this time. This is not a surprise since it is three times the dose used by Pfizer.

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  2. ‘Rapid tests save lives and allow normal activities’ – couldn’t agree more James. Commenting from (Old) Jersey, Channel Islands here (British but closer to France), we are routinely self-testing with Government-provided LFTs in schools and workplaces. The public are also able to purchase them for home testing and are very happy to do so, for example when mildly symptomatic – is it a regular cold or Covid? – or when attending an event or family gathering, especially where there might be vulnerable friends or relatives present. If positive they can then take the appropriate action and isolate immediately, with result confirmed by PCR test as soon as is practicably possible (usually the following day).
    People accept that the LFT results are not always 100% accurate and understand that false negatives are possible if for example virus levels are low. However our cases here are just rumbling along (for now), and other than our high level of vaccination, early detection must also be a major factor.
    People have often felt helpless throughout this pandemic, and I believe that self testing is giving a sense of being responsible and importantly taking back a little control over one’s own health, whilst helping to protect that of others – and that’s good for our mental as well as our physical wellbeing.
    Thank you for continuing to share your sound analysis and very wise advice.
    Kate

    Liked by 1 person

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