Why we aren’t seeing a surge in severe COVID-19 infections?

CDC surveillance data now show that over 85% of all COVID-19 infections in the United States appear to be due to the BA.2 virus variant, with Omicron BA.1 making up the rest.  While there are some increases in U.S. infections in pockets of the country, there certainly has not been a major increase in infections,Continue reading “Why we aren’t seeing a surge in severe COVID-19 infections?”

Musings on the 4th dose (second booster) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine

What follows is not medical advice; you should contact your doctor for that. It also does not represent an opinion from Michigan Medicine. But, since many people are confused about the “second booster” or 4th overall mRNA vaccine shot, this is my take. I have been reluctant to weigh in on the need for aContinue reading “Musings on the 4th dose (second booster) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine”

The next surge? It won’t happen right now despite the debate about the BA.2 “sub-variant”.

There has been quite a bit of discussion in the press about the most recent SARS-CoV-2 virus. U.S. public health officials are (for once!) being circumspect in their comments about the risk and have not called for reinforcement in public health restrictions. Importantly, there have been no increases in the number of cases or hospitalizationsContinue reading “The next surge? It won’t happen right now despite the debate about the BA.2 “sub-variant”.”

BA.2 and Pfizer’s fourth booster shot

Two things have been buzzing this week, and both are confusing. Multiple people have been trumpeting the fact that there has been an uptick in COVID infections in certain European countries over the past three weeks. They attribute this to the presence of a variant of Omicron called BA.2. This variant has been reported toContinue reading “BA.2 and Pfizer’s fourth booster shot”

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.”