Health & Fit Covid Vaccines Work. They Likely Also Reduce Transmission
Dr. Fauci Just Predicted These COVID Lockdowns
"We expect, as we go into December, that we might see a surge superimposed upon that surge that we're already in,” Dr. Fauci said.Coronavirus cases are skyrocketing, leading to overflowing hospitals and more and more people dying, with states fast approaching the high levels of the Spring. We are all—no matter your political affiliation, or where you live—in a "very precarious position," says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease doctor and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The purpose of the Covid-19 vaccines is to prevent death and serious health complications that strain our overburdened health care system. All the vaccines authorized for emergency use do this, and their safety and effectiveness in clinical trials have surpassed expectations. But most people, quite understandably, want to know something more: Will being vaccinated stop the spread of Covid-19 so they can socialize outside their bubbles and dine indoors with abandon?
Many scientists are reluctant to say with certainty that the vaccines prevent transmission of the virus from one person to another. This can be misinterpreted as an admission that the vaccines do not work. That’s not the case. The limited data available suggests the vaccines will at least partly reduce transmission, and the studies to determine this with more clarity are underway. There should be more data within the next couple of months. Until then, precautionary measures like masking and distancing in the presence of unvaccinated people will remain important.
Dr. Fauci's #1 Piece of Advice For Avoiding COVID
During a Q&A with Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg, Dr. Anthony Fauci reveals the one piece of advice he has for avoiding coronavirus over the holidays.Admitting that it doesn't "sit well" with the family customs of Christmas, New Year's, and Hanukkah, Fauci suggested closing your home to immediate family only and avoiding travel. "If I recommend one thing is, diminish to the extent possible travel and keep gatherings indoor to the immediate family unit, to the extent possible," he said.
It is true that, according to the clinical trial data, both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are highly effective at preventing Covid-19, the disease, but it’s unknown how well they prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus. Although Covid-19 and SARS-CoV-2 are often used interchangeably, they are fundamentally different. You can’t have the disease without the virus, but you can have the virus without the disease — as many asymptomatic people already know. It’s possible that vaccinated people are protected against Covid-19 themselves, but still spread SARS-CoV-2 to others who are not vaccinated.
Why would scientists make vaccines that protect against only a disease rather than the virus that causes it? They don’t set out to do that, but it is the result, in part, of the exigencies of clinical trials. Practically, clinical trials can be completed more quickly if the endpoint of the trial — the main scientific question the trial is investigating — is something that can be easily observed. If SARS-CoV-2 infection were the trial endpoint, participants in the clinical trials would need to be tested at least weekly. It’s easier to identify participants who develop Covid-19 symptoms and then swab them to confirm. So for efficiency’s sake, the primary endpoint of the clinical trials was whether the vaccines protect against Covid-19 symptoms.
The CDC Just Announced Who Should Get the COVID Vaccine First
Those in long-term care facilities and health care personnel should get the vaccine first, says the CDC. Read on to see what that means for you, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. © Provided by Eat This, Not That! Female doctor holding COVID-19 vaccine vial and taking liquid solution out with syringe; prevention and immunization from corona virus infection.
This study approach also makes sense from a public health perspective. Most people who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 will not die, but many will become very sick and require medical care. This fills up hospitals and places significant strain on the health care system. Vaccines that can transform what would normally be a severe illness into something mild and manageable relieve this burden, saving lives and improving their quality.
When scientists develop a vaccine against a novel virus, it’s difficult to predict whether vaccination will completely prevent infection — what’s called sterilizing immunity. If the Covid-19 vaccines do not provide sterilizing immunity, it means a vaccinated person can still inhale enough of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to develop an infection, and it will be swiftly cleared from the body before becoming Covid-19, but that person could still pass the infection to another person.
The CDC Just Warned About Dining Indoors in Certain Restaurants
When asked about transmission of COVID-19 in indoor areas the CDC official didn’t hesitate to note that “restaurant dining” is especially concerning."You know, the surge upon surge is obviously a concern," Henry Walke, MD, COVID-19 Incident Manager, admitted. "We have never really gone back down to the baseline." He explained that after an increase of cases over the summer and another surge following that, cases never came below 20,000 or 10,000 cases per day. "So as we approached the fall, we saw this rapid increase an exponential increase in cases," he continued.
There are many vaccines that do not provide fully sterilizing immunity but nonetheless have huge public health benefits. Every year, the flu vaccine saves lives and keeps people out of the hospital despite the fact that it doesn’t prevent infection altogether.
From everything we know so far, it’s highly unlikely that vaccines that are 95 percent effective at preventing symptomatic disease would have no impact whatsoever on infection. Data fromand vaccine suggests that vaccination reduces asymptomatic infection, as well as the amount of virus produced in people infected. In Israel, where a substantial portion of the population has been vaccinated, there has been a significant in cases since vaccination began in December, with a observed in people over age 60, according to a preliminary report. Studies to better determine the impact of vaccines on transmission are ongoing, and in the meantime, if precautions like masking are paired with increasing immunization, SARS-CoV-2 cases should plummet.
This One Symptom May Mean You Have COVID Now
About 80 percent of people with COVID-19 have disturbances in taste or smell. It's so common, it's a more reliable indicator than fever or cough."Of particular interest is the rather frequent occurrence of loss of smell and taste, which precedes the onset of respiratory symptoms," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious-disease expert, earlier this month.
Historical evidence shows that vaccines that do not prevent virus infection can still stop epidemics in their tracks. The polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, which does not provide sterilizing immunity, resulted in the rapid elimination of polio in the United States beginning in the 1950s. People lined up eagerly to receive the vaccine to protect their children and themselves. The Salk vaccine was highly protective against the devastating impact of the disease and also worked to reduce spread of the virus because so many people were vaccinated and could clear their infection.
These Covid-19 vaccines are as much a victory for public health now as the Salk vaccine was then. We would do well to remind ourselves of the transformative power of vaccines that prevent disease without completely preventing infection when enough people take the vaccine. The sooner we reduce spread in the community and protect as many people as possible through vaccination, the sooner we’ll be able to relax.
Angela L. Rasmussen is a virologist at the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Center. She studies the host response to infection with emerging viruses, including the coronavirus.
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Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID, According to CDC .
Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID, According to CDC