The booster timetable has been set at eight months and we have been wondering if it is going to be pushed up. Of course, there are scientists who are wondering if boosters are even needed for the segment of the population that is under the age of 65. Now, there is even more data that is sure to make people ponder.
There’s a scientific debate brewing at the moment about the third shot. Some believe that the vaccines have waning immunity and a third shot will be needed. Others are wondering if the Delta variant is simply a tougher beast to reckon with. ABC News has more:
“The CDC has previously estimated that 97% of people in the hospital being treated for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, but that data was collected before the spread of delta, a hyper-transmissible variant that many doctors have warned appears to be making people sicker…
The latest CDC analysis estimates that the ability of the COVID vaccines to keep a person out of the hospital is now between 75% to 95%.
Israeli data for 1 million people, age > 60, 4 million person-days with no booster vs 3.4 million person-days with booster
>10-fold reduction of severe illness
~11 fold reduction of infections
Preprint by @MiloLabWIS @IsraelMoH and colleagues just postedhttps://t.co/kSl7XcDoKz pic.twitter.com/wEpKsfZ93i
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) August 29, 2021
For people older than 75 in particular, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization experienced the steepest decline, from more than 90% to 80% between June and July.”
Israel: For 45 days the number of severely ill hospitalized patients doubled every 10 days
Two weeks after the third dose campaign started, this exponential growth stopped
Yellow: Doubling every 10 days
Blue: Actual number of severely ill patients pic.twitter.com/si0pAz0Ovw
— Eran Segal (@segal_eran) August 31, 2021
While these numbers remain promising, there has been a slight decline in guarding against hospitalization for the elderly portion of the population. This is not a trend that anyone wants to see as we head towards winter. A UK study has indicated that the Delta variant is twice as likely to land people in a hospital bed.
This should make the case for third doses but wait….there’s more. The data that has been coming out of Israel has been concerning but there are some who believe that their waning immunity was tied to the elderly traveling too soon, allowing the Delta variant to punch through whatever immunity they may have built up.
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) August 31, 2021
Does this mean that immunity is waning or does it mean that vaccinated people were up against a more contagious strain of COVID? That’s the question that scientists are currently trying their absolute best to answer. They are looking to see if the third shot will really be effective and if they need to recommend it to their older patients.
Near as we can tell, it would definitely help them. “Israeli data for 1 million people, age > 60, 4 million person-days with no booster vs 3.4 million person-days with booster >10-fold reduction of severe illness ~11 fold reduction of infections,” Eric Topol tweeted.
“Israel: For 45 days the number of severely ill hospitalized patients doubled every 10 days Two weeks after the third dose campaign started, this exponential growth stopped Yellow: Doubling every 10 days Blue: Actual number of severely ill patients,” Eran Sagal also said.
Virologist Trevor Bedford also believes that the vaccines remain effective overall but the Delta variant is causing a slight decline in overall effectiveness. That’s enough of a reason for him to justify a booster shot. “Even if protection against severe outcomes remains robust, observed waning suggests that boosters will be necessary to reduce circulation. Delta has generated a late summer wave, but steady-state is likely a winter “COVID season” with vaccination recommended beforehand,” he said.
There is one decent piece of news to report. The non-vaccinated crowd is slowly starting to come around. The Pfizer vaccine has received full FDA approval and there is a dangerous variant running amok. These developments have started to frighten parents as well, as poll numbers show that more parents are willing to get their kids vaccinated when the time comes.
“29% of unvaccinated Americans say they’re likely to get inoculated in the next month given FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer shot,” Morning Consult shared. Yes, there are those who believe that the talks of the third shots will convince people that they need to avoid the first two. On the other hand, the fears of the Delta variant seem to have overwhelmed those concerns at the moment. Let’s hope it stays that way.