drumdude wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 22, 2022 3:43 am
We'll see. We're in a trough, and I hope it stays. The vaccine caused the first trough (thank God), and the Delta variant caused the wave after that. I think another Delta-like variant is the much bigger threat than a bunch of rednecks taking Ivermectin instead of the 2 year old outdated vaccine.
I am very surprised that the mRNA vaccines aren't adapting to variants as fast as was promised in 2020. We're 2 years in, and 3 or 4 variants later still using the vaccine for the original strain. Breakthrough infections are rampant, and fortunately mild. If we see another deadly wave like Delta which has the resistance like Omicron BA5, we're going to be in bad shape.
We’re actually beyond the trough and on the front side of the BA.5 wave in most states. I checked today and BA.5 is estimated to be over 70% of new infections in the last week.
In terms of fatalities, I think I read that Omicron killed more Americans than Delta. It infected so many more people than Delta that it overcame the reduced rate of fatality.
The original vaccines are not two years out of date. The antibody protection will be less, but the protection against severe disease and death due to T cells is still pretty robust. I don’t care what color their necks are. Around 1/3 of eligible adults still aren’t vaccinated, many because they’ve been misinformed about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines and been misled about the effectiveness of Ivermectin and other snake oil remedies promoted by hucksters. No American deserves to suffer serious illness, disability and death because they persuaded by charlatans to reject their best protection against serious disease and its effects.
Part of the issue with changing the vaccine is deciding when it makes sense to start the process. Also, while people could speculate on how long the process would take, no one knew when the vaccines were released how the virus would mutate. It may well be that the immunity escape mutations that appear in Omicron make it more difficult to create an effective tweak to the vaccines. The mRNA vaccines are new and SARS-Covi-2 are new, so what appears quick and easy in theory may not be in practice.
The word is that Omicron targeted vaccine should be available this fall, but we won’t know how effective they will be until trials are run. So, yeah, we’ll have to see. A new variant that can outcompete BA.5 and produces more severe disease is the worst outcome. Radiolab produced a podcast last year that explains why scientists believe that major variants are produced during lengthy infections in immunocompromised folks. It was fascinating and a little scary. It’s another reason for trying to keep the rate of transmission as low as practicable.