Covid-19 Update

Ok. Putting a little star after a sentence is pretty bad idea. The fine print to the right, refers to “25 US jurisdictions, in December 2021” and there’s a internet link right below the man’s arm.

Article by MMWR Definitely not light reading.

I will attempt a bit of scientific translation. Let’s say 100 people have Covid-19. This 5x higher risk comes from a ratio of unvaccinated to vaccinated patients infected with Covid-19. Let’s say we have a group of 100 with Covid. For a ratio of 5, we have 83 unvaccinated people and 17 vaccinated ones (83/17 = ~ 5). Actually, it is a bit more complicated, because the ratios are “age standardized.”

It is very good news, in that the vaccines work against the Omicron variant. Even better, it works if you have taken Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson. Taking the vaccine and boosters didn’t really make people “bullet proof” against Covid-19, but I’ll take the 5:1 odds any day of the week, as proof that vaccines plus boosters work, even with the new variant. Also note that these data were from December 2021, before 2 boosters were recommended for older people.

Now, the really grim stuff, on people who go to the hospital and don’t come out. At my age, the chance of the one-way trip is a real biggie. If you have had both your vaccines and booster, then the chances of making the one-way trip to the hospital are really small by CDC statistics, with odds of 400:1. This isn’t the odds of dying from Covid, but an indication how much higher the chance of death is without the vaccination and boosters. And it mirrors the antidotal stuff, that ICU’s very rarely admit a fully vaccinated patient.

Ok, the CDC attempt at a simple statement is a mess. I guess they knew going for the grim stuff would be a big turn off. But the data makes a excellent case for being fully vaccinated with boosters. If I happen to end up in the hospital, I want everything on my side, pushing for recovery. I’ve taken my second booster, and I’ll go for another if CDC recommends it.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Flu Vaccinations

Two of my friends got the flu.  I got my flu shot about two weeks ago.  The flu season is just about over with, but I feel better getting the shot.  I plan to do the same this year, but to get it in September, so I’m covered for the whole season.   I started to read up on the flu, after I got the shot.  The flu virus mutates from season to season, so scientists have to predict in advance what strain of virus will be present about six months ahead.   There’s a double dose vaccination which is recommended for seniors (age 65 and over).   I’ll probably go for this.

In February 2017,  scientists at the Center for Disease Control, made an educated guess as to the particular strain would be around in the fall.    They chose the right strain (most prevalent strain), but in the production of the virus, there were mutations, making the vaccinations less effective.  This explains why my friend got the flu, even though she had been vaccinated.  It still lowered her chances of getting the flu, but it’s not perfect.  The CDC and many other scientists at research centers are working to correct this production problem.

Although not perfect, people are always better off getting the shot.  A popular misconception is that the vaccine might give you the flu.  This likely comes from cases where people have been vaccinated and then soon after,  got flu symptoms.  It takes about 2 weeks before the vaccination is effective.  The vaccination does not contain any live virus.  It has antigens, which stimulate the creation of antibodies in the body to fight off the flu virus.  See CDC link at the bottom of the page.

I got my shot at a CVS Pharmacy, without any appointment.   They were quick and professional.  I had no side effects.  Insurance paid for everything. More time was spent filling out the paperwork than getting the shot.

I wanted to get the flu shot, because as I get older, I have a real hard time getting over a cold.  I figured trying to shake the flu would be 10 times harder.   The flu makes you terribly weak, and if you have someone taking care of you, you put them in danger of getting the flu.    Some people go to their doctors to get medications for the flu.  The stuff they sell without a prescription work against bacterial infections not the virus itself.

The only thing I regret is not getting it done earlier.

The best info comes from the CDC.   See the following link:

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm

Stay tuned,

Dave