Why do elderly people have a higher likelihood of dying from COVID-19?

One of the most fascinating and heart wrenching outcomes of this pandemic is the almost random way that some individuals become horribly ill from COVID-19. In younger people, it was clear early on that some had genetic errors in their immune systems that made them susceptible to more severe infection with COVID-19. These genetic errorsContinue reading “Why do elderly people have a higher likelihood of dying from COVID-19?”

Three important updates.

The FDA rejects Pfizer’s application for vaccinating children under 5. After an initial review, the FDA asked Pfizer to withdraw its application for approval to vaccinate children between the ages of six months and five years. Pfizer agreed with the request. The safety data was preliminary, and the lower vaccine dose used in the trialContinue reading “Three important updates.”

Canada vs. the US on COVID-19! See the discussion on Flashpoint tomorrow February 20th at 10:00 AM

To loyal readers of pandemicpondering.com. The recent trucker’s protest has sparked interest in the Canadian COVID-19 response. From a medical perspective, the two countries have very similar citizen health demographics, but Canada has had only 1/3 as many per capita deaths than the US (and only 30,000 total). This number is startling compared to theContinue reading “Canada vs. the US on COVID-19! See the discussion on Flashpoint tomorrow February 20th at 10:00 AM”

You may need a COVID vaccine booster sometime in the future, but it may not be a new vaccine.

There has been a lot of talk about having to create new vaccines for every different COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 variant. This assumption is based in part on the fact that influenza vaccines have to be made uniquely every year for whatever types of influenza virus are present in the population. Recent research from the National Institutes ofContinue reading “You may need a COVID vaccine booster sometime in the future, but it may not be a new vaccine.”

Omicron — the tale of two surges.

The explosive surge of COVID-19 infections caused by the Omicron variant is quickly waning across the United States. New infections have dropped dramatically in all parts of the country including areas that only recently were confronted with variant. Despite this, hospitals still house large numbers of ill individuals. While a smaller percentage of COVID patientsContinue reading “Omicron — the tale of two surges.”

Myocarditis is no longer a barrier to COVID-19 vaccination.

Some of my friends have counseled me that it’s time to stop trying to persuade people to get COVID vaccinated. They believe the people left unvaccinated are dead set against the vaccine. But I think there are a few folks out there that still have concerns about the vaccine but could be convinced. While theContinue reading “Myocarditis is no longer a barrier to COVID-19 vaccination.”

COVID-19 virus BA.2; what is it and why the claim it is more infectious than omicron?

Yesterday the media was flooded with reports about a new variant of omicron designated BA.2. While this virus is almost identical to omicron it is differentiated genetically based on a few mutations in its spike protein.  Ominously, this virus was reported to be present around the world including throughout the US. This was confirmed by theContinue reading “COVID-19 virus BA.2; what is it and why the claim it is more infectious than omicron?”

Some bright lights in the dark, Omicron winter.

As hospitals continue to be overwhelmed with adult patients sick and dying from COVID-19, we are finally seeing several pieces of information that suggest the U.S. is moving forward from this current wave. In addition, the CDC is finally providing data directly evaluating the clinical illness with Omicron in the U.S. population, and it provides insights intoContinue reading “Some bright lights in the dark, Omicron winter.”

Quick follow-ups on COVID-19 issues.

Fourth Booster: There is now data that giving an identical forth shot of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine offers little protection beyond the third booster vaccine dose in immune competent individuals. Previously I suggested caution with accepting the news articles out of Israel arguing for a forth shot base on very preliminary data. This caution was basedContinue reading “Quick follow-ups on COVID-19 issues.”

Have we reached the peak of Omicron? Not yet but soon.

The Omicron surge is in full thrust across the country. Approximately 20% of hospitals are reportedly having so many infections that they are causing limitations in care for other illnesses. In a few hospitals that have become overwhelmed the federal government is sending troops to support beleaguered staff. The real question is have we approachedContinue reading “Have we reached the peak of Omicron? Not yet but soon.”