Defeating COVID-19 with Vaccines and Boosters
by Dr. Anis Ansari
Board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology
The United States is in its fourth wave due to the Delta Variant (DV), mostly in large unvaccinated or under-vaccinated areas. Cases are rising rapidly, and the death toll is soaring again. Daily COVID19 cases have risen above 100,000 with a death rate above 1000 as of September 7, 2021. Despite 40 million cases and 652,000 death, some of us have not learned the lesson and are still unvaccinated. The political divide in the country has clouded the judgment of many people regarding this pandemic. It is taking a big toll on people’s lives. Despite the availability of all three covid19 vaccines, only 60 percent of the US population has been vaccinated. Our goal is to reach 70-80 percent vaccinations to create herd immunity. Major resistance continues to exist,
The COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer/ Biotech and Moderna are messenger RNA-based vaccines that are extremely effective and have been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for regular use. The Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) vaccine is only one shot with approval for emergency use authorization. All vaccines take 2 weeks to create antibodies to protect against the virus. The protection from the vaccine is supposed to last for at least 6-8 months. Vaccines are safe and effective with minimal side effects. They save lives.
DV has accounted for more than 80 percent of the new cases and is considered more contagious and rapidly transmitted. These vaccines are highly effective at fighting against the Delta Variant type as well. According to news reports, nationally, 97 percent of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Extreme example found in the news where a vaccinated mother had only mild symptoms after contracting DV while her 2 unvaccinated sons died. One study by COVID-Net of the CDC shows that unvaccinated people are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die due to covid-19. More strains like lambda and mu are emerging, which may become more prominent in the future. They are being monitored closely by the CDC.
Approval has been granted for a booster shot administration of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines to people with weakened immunity starting September 20, 2021, and 8 months after individuals second dose of the vaccine. People qualifying for a booster shot should receive the same type that they got the first time. Antibody titers are expected to increase 20-fold after a booster shot.
There There are many rules in the United States that we accept without any question, like speed limit and certain medications for illness despite known serious side effects. Receiving of COVID19 vaccine is a matter of health for the entire nation, and each person must do their part. The people who are still hesitant are suffering the consequences.
Let us all work to get more people vaccinated. Mass vaccination all over the world is the only way to eradicate this menace. Our local and state governments are undertaking major efforts, health and travel industries, schools, restaurants, and sports facilities to mandate vaccination for their use. These efforts and the continued rising death toll among unvaccinated are driving people towards vaccination. We hear the cries of people in their hospital beds pleading for people to get vaccinated.
MercyOne Clinton medical center is at the forefront of providing healthcare to our Clinton area residents. We encourage all our healthcare workers and the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible. We are already starting to see new cases emergence in our area.
Even after vaccination, basic rules will still apply, including wearing a mask outside of homes in crowded areas, social distancing, frequent hand washing and avoiding social gatherings if possible.