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Restricting vaccine access because of anti-vax bs or waiting for hospitals to overflow is unethical
Nobody should be basing vaccine access on financial focus, right-wing politics, hopium, perceived administrative inconvenience, nor anti-vax disinformation.
(updates added at the end, last updated 25 April 2023) (link to updates)
Vaccine policy should not be a political football and leaders should not be prioritizing The Economy over human lives like they’re in some kind of cult doing human sacrifice. Please join me in writing to U.S. representatives to demand scientific and ethical access to vaccines. Write your own letter, or use mine, use parts of it for your own, or use my form, or send it whatever way you would like to, such as directly to the White House.
My letter to reps:
We need access to vaccine boosters more than once a year. Vaccine policy should be based on science and protecting human lives, not the economy or a political football or corporate nonsense. Scientific evidence indicates the vaccine should ideally be allowed, available, and fully covered by public funds or insurance, twice a year. Restricting access endangers everyone, and especially those already in higher risk and already in jeopardy. Stop allowing anti-vax politically based misinformation to restrict access to desperately needed healthcare interventions, especially when the vaccine was one of the dwindling mitigations still implemented by those in positions of power. We should not be denied timely boosters. Give us the boosts!
Basing vaccine access on waiting for hospitals to overflow is unethical
ACIP wants to see more hospitalizations to prove prevention is needed. At the ACIP meeting in February 2023 it came out that they don’t want to prevent hospitalizations, they want to wait and see if older adults will overload the hospitals, before allowing boosters. Katelyn Jetelina, paid communication consultant for the CDC),who apparently is still waiting for “stars to align” on the vaccines, reported on her substack that ACIP came to the conclusion they would only change in the future based on increased hospitalization rates among the boosted and other signals of waning of this last round of boosters, and if SARS-COV-2 “significantly mutates.”
SARS-COV-2 is mutating all the damn time! Evolutionary epidemiologist Rob Wallace called the omicron subvariants this past winter“a veritable zoo in a golden age of Omicron evolution.”
ACIP apparently cited “insufficient evidence” that the hospitals will fill with bivalent booster recipients, but the reality is that there is not sufficient proof that boosters wane any differently than the previous boosters and there is definitely not sufficient public health measures to restrict access to vaccines!
What happened to the precautionary principle in public health decision making?
It’s unethical and way too late to wait and see if hospitalization rates among those who got the bivalent start to increase before allowing us access to timely boosters based on previous science showing waning efficacy. Hospitals are already backed up and over stressed so flattening some curve is less than the bare minimum. But even if this was the thinking, it’s immoral to set the bar so low and needlessly restrict a life saving medical intervention for individuals, especially people with the so-called “certain medical conditions”that up the covid risks.
It’s not okay that ACIP says it’s fine because there is still room at the hospital. David Rubin and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia made this same argumentabout letting the virus spread in schools in Philadelphia in 2021, because there was room at CHOP’s ICU after all. This does not make sense. People don’t want to get sick and need the hospital.
What’s next? Medical recommendations based on the capacity of freezer truck morgues? The fact that the Biden administration reportedly broached the subject of some amount of acceptable deathsmakes me concerned about a slippery slope we’ve been sliding down where we are abandoning even the most basic infectious disease mitigations known in the Dark Ages.
There is scientific evidence about booster efficacy time frames
Scientists say that covid vaccination provides the best protection against the virus for about the first 4 months after getting the shot.There are no guarantees, and the protection is limited, but as one science blogger put it, “the lived reality for many Americans is they need that protection as limited as it is because they have been abandoned. You can’t make vaccination the centerpiece of your COVID (sort of) prevention strategy, and then not let people access it.”
The CDC’s own presentation at the ACIP meeting in September 2022 included a chart that showed protection waning by 6 months and essentially no protection from symptomatic infection by 8 months. There is still benefit in regards to death and hospitalization after 8 months but that of course diminishes over time too.that “people need to be boosted every 6 months or so.” condemning “constraining vaccination to once a year” as a “further handcuff” on the public health response to the pandemic, which is damaging on top of dropping NPIs. The People’s CDC urged the public to comment because “the vaccine should ideally be allowed, available, and fully covered by public funds or insurance, twice a year.” “strongly supports boosting on an annual or more frequent cycle to markedly diminish the long-term risk of infection.” that “people as young as 50 should be able to get a second bivalent booster if they want one.” that he thinks “people who are 50 and older in the U.S. should be offered the chance to get a second booster” this spring because in the second half of 2022, 97.3% of people who died from covid were over 50.
Osterholm also noted that the bivalent uptake is so low that it would hardly cause vaccine providers to be overwhelmed. I think it’s cute how Mike Osterholm still tries to assume logical explanations and bureaucratic excuses rather than the obvious anti-public health right-wing extremism still embedded at public agencies.
Anti-Vax Great Barrington herd death wishes should not influence vaccine policy
It’s egregiously nonsensical to allow an incoherently anti-vaxdoctor connected to Scott Atlas & Joe Ladapo, to continue to botch the vaccine strategy. Scott Atlas was at the center of a Congressional inquiry on missteps in the pandemic, and Joe Ladapo is the Florida surgeon general who spread vaccine disinformation. Cody Meissner also signed the Great Barrington Declaration in 2020, which basically called for unfettered disease spread. The herd immunity nonsense has even evolved over time with adherents like Sunetra Gupta calling for “constant reinfection” of the herd. Constant reinfection inevitably leads to herd death, large numbers of people put six feet under, because some portion of people infected die, and it’s not always predictable, there are people who die of covid with no pre-existing conditions, this was especially true before vaccines were available and will surely be true again if vaccines are withheld.
It’s really no joke. The anti-vax extremists mean business. People mistakenly believe these right-wing extremist covid minimizers and pandemic deniers are merely anti-mandate, but there’s no evidence they’re stopping there. The anti-vax movement has disrupted vaccine centers, so why wouldn’t you expect them to remove access to vaccines for everyone? They’re doing it right now. In some cases they’re calling for state action against public health officials based on lies and vaccine disinformation, often conspiracy fodder pumped out by well-funded right-wing think tanks like The Norfolk Group.
Someone, reportedly from the FDA speaking on condition of anonymity to the Washington Post,said that they don’t want to have to formulate better vaccines because they believe the public has “little interest in getting repeated injections.” The anti-vax terminology invoked there for periodic shots speaks volumes. And it reflects following the politics in a way that’s incredibly discriminatory against the many high risk people who have been vaccinated, and want to continue getting vaccinated to save our lives.
Also, if it’s merely about capitulating to people who don’t want to get vaccines or boosters, why do they want to restrict vaccine access for everyone else? It seems to me that this is a scheme to stop people from getting vaccinated. To vaccinate less. This only makes sense if you want to push “natural infection” upon people. Which will kill some people, and disable more. We know that the anti-vax movement is absolutely related to “natural herd immunity” fantasies.And we know that Cody Meissner buys into that stuff because he signed The Great Barrington Declaration and he continues to blather on about the boggling concepts from those people.
And even Paul Offit, also at CHOP, and long time proponent of vaccines, now echoes bullshit “focused protection” ideas from the Great Barrington Declaration, where he claims that young healthy people should get infected instead of getting vaccinated.And the WHO “went so far as to suggest countries could also choose to forgo offering a primary vaccination series to healthy children and adolescents” - suggesting “healthy children” should not be protected from the infections with vaccination… for some reason. The SAGE report couches it in a desire to appease economic concerns which is problematic all on its own.
All of this anti-vax extremism is well outside reality and yet these outrageous ideas are being normalized and embraced. Or at least capitulated to it. And they have an unusual focus on “healthy children” getting “natural infections” that really gestures at all the anti-vax natural herd immunity eugenics ideas.
The overton window has shifted so far to the right. Last year a Harvard professor of epidemiology might tweet out a periodic reminder that it’s chill that some low numberof people will suffer or die. Nowadays a former Harvard professor of epidemiology is posting a tweet thread that lays out explicitly a eugenics scenario, as if it’s a given that babies born today will get infected with covid four times per year for the next 50 years, and suggesting the survivors might be better off. No mention of the many preventable deaths in the process.
Mike Osterholm, epidemiologist and Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Minnesota, in an interview with Stat Newssaid: “We currently live in a world where those that want additional booster doses really want them. And those that don’t want them don’t want them at all. And what we’re trying to do is thread that needle.” But why do we need to thread the needle between reality and disinformation?
Why do we have to compromise with anti-vaxxers and meet eugenicists halfway? Halfway to herd death is not a direction where I want us to point our moral compass.
Vaccine boosters are a hell of a lot better than hopium
Mike Osterholm was recently infected with covid for the first time after being denied another bivalent booster,which he attempted to get 6 months after his first, based on the science.
People are at risk.
Basing the covid vaccine booster schedule on a desire by some for the pandemic to fade into just a seasonal cull of the marginalized and a background level of old poor people dying prematurely, that some white people believe they can largely ignore,is based in political disinformation that covid risks don’t apply to the them. But covid risks apply to everyone, and the range of risks are substantial and range from problematic to deadly, it’s not entirely predictable. The vaccines have been shown to reduce the risks. Most people don’t have several weeks or months per year to spend sick with covid, and most Americans don’t have several weeks of paid sick leave to cover that, especially not low wage workers. And that’s just the life disruptions before you consider the immediate and long-term health risks of long covid and hospitalization. The risk of death also still remains: 2,060 people died of COVID nationally the week of March 22, 2023. Political consultants can claim that yearly boosters sound like good propaganda, but most people are going to feel tricked and angry when they’re sick again, lose jobs, get hospitalized, or their loved ones die needlessly because they weren’t allowed to get a timely booster.
This idea that anti-vax people are suddenly going to be lining up for boosters because they’re more spaced out is nonsensical. That’s not how vaccine drives work. Offering less vaccines does not get more people vaccinated. This fantasy that anti-vaxxers are suddenly going to want a boost because they were told they only need one per yearis ridiculous hopium. Or it’s just a lie - more anti-vax bullshit trying to trick people who want to get vaccinated into not getting a booster, or in this case actually bar them from getting a booster. It’s the same kind of illogical garbage argument they used to get people to unmask in 2021, by promising vaccinated people if they unmasked the anti-vax people would see the light and get vaccinated, and in reality everyone just unmasked and spread the virus.
Basing vaccine access on the green cast Community Levels Hospital Map
The CDC decided to set aside the covid transmission maps, likely because they were always lit up bright red all over the country and it was politically inconvenient. They put forward the “Community Levels” mapwhich had more pastel shades of green and it is based on hospitalizations. But if people go to the hospital for surgery, and they get a hospital acquired covid infection, how does that get counted? We don’t even know about it because that information is being “kept private.”
Financial priorities considered over human health is not medical guidance
One would expect that the World Health Organization would make medical recommendations based on the facts that impact human health and human lives. However, the guidance put out by SAGE is quite clear in stating that their guidance is based instead on the “health spending priorities” of nations. In fact SAGE specifically says nations should make these decisions based on health spending priorities.
Shouldn’t WHO be putting people over profits? Why would doctors issue medical guidance this way? A healthcare organization should always recommend what’s best for human lives, and allow people and their governments to explain and justify why they’re defying the guidance. WHO should not exist to run political cover for anti-vax fascism or neoliberal austerity that harms the poorest.SAGE defends their politically oriented guidance by stating: “SAGE is in the business of having to give global recommendations.” This seems like an endorsement of denying vaccines to poorer countries, (or the poor in rich countries taken over by a right-wing anti-vax cult).
People deserve more than just enough medicine allowed to keep The Economy not too disrupted
The FDA is not saying you don’t need the vaccine more than yearly — they admit openly that the data shows that yearlywould be “just enough frequency to prevent huge outbreaks.”
This is not a vaccine schedule to protect human life and health. It’s a vaccine schedule to just do “good enough” (they hope) to keep from having disruptions that are big enough to inconvenience the movers and shakers. And the Washington Post reports that the FDA hopesthat the lowest level of protection will be in the summer - when they figure surges are less severe. People still get sick and die in the summer. But they don’t seem to want to prevent us from dying, they just don’t want too many deaths so as to require unsightly freezer truck morgues or disrupt supply chains. As Robert Evans put it on the It Could Happen Here Podcast, “People like us worry will my community & I survive & people like them worry will I lose power?”
Administrative convenience, lazy leaders, and doctors who think patients are stupid, all refuse to mount an effective vaccine drive
This scientifically unsupported restriction to having just a yearly vaccine is reportedly a vaccination schedule to make it easier for simplistic geriatricianswho feel like they need to talk down to their patients instead of doing the work of communication that will save lives and prevent suffering.
This isn’t medical science. It’s prioritizing administrative conveniences over human health. And the people at the FDA are putting the blame on the patients for being stupid, anti-vax, or otherwise not interested in saving our own lives.“Do not operationalize an intervention that’s based on blaming unvaccinated Americans for that fiasco.” But that’s exactly what they have done — the government and many doctors interviewed by the media on this subject do not seem at all motivated to actually do a proper vaccine drive. They appear to have little interest in saving the lives of individuals or preventing suffering by explaining to patients the benefits of vaccination, or the risks of not getting boosted. This is absolutely doing harm.
Following the politics is not medical care and people know that
There’s been a noticeable push to say the virus is not a big deal, even though that’s not true, and people know that, such as Jim Lertola who told the Washington Post in a letter to the editor:“The pandemic is not over, and our leaders need to say so.”
And if politicians and their political appointees declare the emergency over to please fossil fuel interests & anti-vax proponents pressuring against mitigations,the problem doesn’t go away. It just festers. So then they try to normalize negative outcomes. But manufacturing doubt only gets you so far. You can’t fool all the nurses. The essential workers are being sacrificed on the altar of The Economy and right-wing interests when a 63 year old covid survivor nurse is being denied a timely booster, and people know it.
Where are the ACIP whistleblowers?
A couple years from now The New York Times perhaps will tell a story how anti-vaxxers at ACIP prevented people from getting boosters timely and how people there feel bad over it like the people now reporting what went wrong for them at the CDC in spring 2020.But then it’ll be too late for the people who get covid and whatever consequences that could’ve been mitigated by a booster they were denied now.
Between the anti-vax contingent,and possibly scientists who like the idea of yearly shots because it makes study data more tidy and easier to use, I’m very concerned. Even tardy half-measures would be an improvement at this point. The CDC continues to drop the ball on covid spread and covid information and covid prevention and covid mitigation — to this day. They’re not even addressing hospitals following the anti-mask anti-vax politics and just stopping infection control.
Infrapolitics at American pharmacies
I’m hearing that people are just lying to get their boosters. When the politics fail, infrapolitics become a method of protest and survival.It’s completely understandable. Though it’s hardly great for tracking vaccinations both at a population level, and doctors having accurate patient histories.
Americans shouldn’t have to lie to get a vaccine booster.for seniors and Canadians with underlying conditions.
But why restrict the vaccine boosters at all? Why restrict them specifically from “healthy young people” when there are clear benefits for everyone to stay healthy with the boost?
Second boosters offered, but limited to 65+ and immunocompromised
(update April 9th 2023)but it’s “limited to those age 65 and older” and “those with weakened immune systems” only.
Peter Hotez and Mike Osterholm both said at least it should be offered to everyone 50+, not just seniors.
This will create barriers even for people 65+ and people with weakened immune systems. It could lead people to be confused about eligibility, or the necessity of getting a second booster at 6 months. It could lead doctors not to recommend it because they’re not certain the patient has a qualifying condition.
And lots of people walk around with high risk conditions before they’re diagnosed.
The benefits of vaccination regarding pregnancy and long covid are significant — two categories of “the young & healthy.” Considering the number of superspreader events young people attend in summer, restricting boosters to annually in the fall sounds like a big big mistake.
ACIP Meeting April 19th to discuss covid boosters.
(update April 18th 2023)
PUBLIC COMMENTS ARE BEING ACCEPTED. Deadline April 20th.
CDC - Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
Matters To Be Considered: The agenda will include discussions on COVID–19 vaccines. No recommendation votes are scheduled. Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate. For more information on the meeting agenda, visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/ meetings/index.html
Meeting Information: The meeting will be webcast live via the World Wide Web. For more information on ACIP, please visit the ACIP website: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/index.html
I am submitting the following comment:
Scientific evidence indicates the vaccine should ideally be allowed, available, and fully covered by public funds or insurance, twice a year. CDC's own presentation on waning makes clear we deserve access to the covid vaccines more than annually. If it’s restricted based on anti-vax right-wing political ideology or Great Barrington Declaration eugenics strategies, it WILL create barriers for vulnerable people, including the "focused protection" groups chosen who may also be inadvertently excluded, and will discourage people of all ages from getting vaccinated at all. This is not appropriate for a vaccine drive. I expect public agencies to act in the interests of human lives, not base critical medical guidance on following the politics. Give us the boosts.
POLITICS NOT SCIENCE: Doctor at the FDA claims that restricting vaccine boosters and saying they’re not needed will "encourage vaccination”
(update April 18th 2023)
“At this stage of the pandemic, data support simplifying the use of the authorized mRNA bivalent COVID-19 vaccines and the agency believes that this approach will help encourage future vaccination,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
This is how this is being spun to people, because it’s confusing:
The FDA should be ashamed of themselves and their obvious political influences. Public officials have a duty to recommend vaccines based on science and efficacy not libertarian fantasies about natural immunity schemes or liberal fantasies that if we just don’t do a vaccine drive then it will gently coax right-wing anti-vaxxers to “see the light” and get vaccinated. If public officials say it the right way they’ll stop the harassment, right? NO. That’s not how a vaccine drive works and that’s not how politics work and it’s sure as hell isn’t how cognitive warfare works. Vaccine drives work when officials are truthful and doctors are trustworthy and give advice and disclose the truth based on facts, warts and all — disclosing that yes, the boosters wane before a year is up, and yes, there are worse things than having to get a shot every six months — ask diabetics! And surprise - there’s a lot more of them being made because the risk goes up after covid!
Some adults allowed to get a timely booster - over 65 and “those with weakened immune systems”
(update April 25th 2023)
NPR reports that "some adults can get a second boost of the bivalent” now.Lots of people don't even know they have weakened immune systems, or high risk conditions, before they're diagnosed because of another issue - maybe covid. This restriction is simply creating barriers for high risk people who work in high risk settings to be at higher risk, and right in time for summer when young people take more chances in crowded settings and travel more.
Reference links included in post:
Your Local Epidemiologist Who is dying from COVID19? By Katelyn Jetelina Nov 18 2022 Disclaimer: I am now engaged as a consultant for the CDC to strengthen scientific communication in the United States.
Your Local Epidemiologist - One shot per year? We really need to step up our game then. By Katelyn Jetelina - Sep 7 2022 Will an annual shot plan work? Maybe. But there’s a lot that needs to align beforehand. And I certainly hope this doesn’t mean we are accepting our current state of affairs with vaccines. Stars need to align.
Your Local Epidemiologist: Today's ACIP meeting Cliff notes by Katelyn Jetelina, Feb 24 2023 Because of this, ACIP decided there was “insufficient evidence” to suggest older adults need another bivalent dose at this time. They did say this could change in the future based on three things: 1. Hospitalization rates among those who got the bivalent start to increase 2. Other signals of waning vaccine effectiveness of bivalent vaccines 3. SARS-CoV-2 significantly mutates - They did a similar evaluation for immunocompromised. And came to the same conclusion. So, as of now, everyone will be eligible for one shot a year. We will need to be flexible, as this may change. Is this the right call? Time will tell.
People’s CDC: COVID This Week / Diagnosing American COVID Double-Think / November 21, 2022 by Rob Wallace The collapse in vaccination campaigns—hand in hand with the rollback in the nonpharmaceutical campaigns that successful vaccination depends on--is occurring exactly when multiple Omicron subvariants are circulating across large expanses of the world: As of November 7, we see in some of those countries subtyping their COVID samples, BA.5 is falling back as BQ.1 and XBB come on, with BA.2.75 holding steady in a few places, especially India, but also France, the UK, the Netherlands, and Indonesia. The veritable zoo of new sublineages now circulating—the offspring of BA.2, BA.4, and BA.5—continues to proliferate in a golden age of Omicron evolution. This week’s new sublineages include BQ.1.25, DE.2, DF.1, BF.34, XBB.1.5, CM.8.1, and so on. Many of the sublineages are converging on the same molecular adaptations or combinations of new amino acid replacements. Those in the circles—some from different subvariant parents—have converged upon molecular combinations that permit them resistance to monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID. Indeed, Prerna Arora and colleagues show in a new short report published in Lancet Diseases that widespread sublineage BQ.1.1 there on the far right is proving resistant to all commercial monoclonal antibodies. Every single one. Other prevalent Omicron subvariants are shown to be resistant to almost all the treatments. That’s particularly problematic for immunocompromised patients who do not mount a full adaptive response upon vaccination. The new sublineages aren’t evolving just out from underneath our medicine, but also any population immunity we may have accumulated. Biologist Barak Raveh reports an increase in reinfection rates of 20 to 35 percent with the emergence of BQ.1.1 and XBB in Israel. More reinfections, more damage.
CDC COVID-19 - People with Certain Medical Conditions - Updated Feb. 10, 2023 If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and you are aged 50 years or older OR are at high risk of getting very sick, you may be eligible for treatment. Contact your healthcare provider and start treatment within the first few days of symptoms. You can also visit a Test to Treat location. Treatment can reduce your risk of hospitalization by more than 50% and also reduces the risk of death.
NPR: Should schools open or go virtual? A children's hospital weighs in. By Ari Shapiro, Jonaki Mehta, Courtney Dorning - January 13, 2022 "The spectrum of illness is very consistent with what we take care of each year, and we're actually seeing fewer kids in the ICU proportionally this phase," Rubin said. Rubin spoke with NPR's All Things Considered about hospital capacities and the types of cases he's seeing, the PolicyLab's guidance to discontinue weekly testing for asymptomatic students and staff, and why he believes people should try to get back to "normal" at this point in the pandemic.
Politico: How many Covid deaths are acceptable? Some Biden officials tried to guess. Conversations about what Americans would tolerate didn’t go too far, underscoring the difficulty of explaining when the pandemic will end. By Rachael Levy 06/06/2022 Biden officials in recent months privately discussed how many daily Covid-19 deaths it would take to declare the virus tamed, three people familiar with the conversations told POLITICO. The discussions, which took place across the administration, and have not been previously disclosed, involved a scenario in which 200 or fewer Americans die per day, a target kicked around before officials ultimately decided not to incorporate it into pandemic planning, according to the people. The discussions were described as exploratory, said the people, who were granted anonymity so they could speak freely about internal deliberations.
Washington Post: FDA proposes switching to annual coronavirus vaccine, mimicking flu model. By Laurie McGinley. January 23, 2023 Scientists say they have learned that a vaccine provides the strongest protection against the virus for the first three or four months after injection. For some months after that, the shots remain protective against severe disease, but then the protection wanes.
We Should Offer Boosters Every Six Months, Not Yearly — Posted on January 24, 2023 by mikethemadbiologist To the extent a booster shot provides additional protection against infection (not just severe acute disease), even if only for a few months after the booster, the lived reality for many Americans is they need that protection as limited as it is because they have been abandoned. You can’t make vaccination the centerpiece of your COVID (sort of) prevention strategy, and then not let people access it.
Washington Post: Boost now? Boost later? Tricky calculation for a 4th coronavirus shot. By Joel Achenbach and Carolyn Y. Johnson April 20, 2022 Kristian Andersen, an immunologist at Scripps Research, has contended that people need to be boosted every six months or so. "We just need to realize that immunity, unfortunately, wanes pretty quickly," Andersen said. "We don't want that to be true. We want lifelong immunity. We want measles-type immunity." He said that is wishful thinking at the moment.
Statement on FDA’s proposal for once a year COVID vaccination Published January 25, 2023 Public Comment by Rob Wallace, PhD, submitted to the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee regarding the future vaccination regimens addressing COVID-19. Constraining vaccination to once a year would only further handcuff a public health response already limited by an abandonment of nonpharmaceutical interventions. At the clinical level, vaccination alone offers better protection but no guarantee against reinfection and Long COVID. At the evolutionary level, models by Okamoto et al. show losing NPI likely selects for changes in SARS-2’s reproductive strategy and the emergence of vaccine-resistant strains. In short, prevention, keeping people from getting infected in the first place, remains a critical contribution to preserving vaccine effectiveness. In the other direction, reducing the degrees of freedom we have in the types and scheduling of vaccine production only compounds the public health damage dropping NPI campaigns such as mask mandates and contact tracing produces.
People’s CDC Suggested comment to FDA - we need boosters authorized based on scientific evidence. Scientific evidence indicates the vaccine should ideally be allowed, available, and fully covered by public funds or insurance, twice a year. The FDA’s decision will affect everything about the vaccine drive including what doctors recommend, what the public considers, and what HEALTH INSURANCE COVERS. If it’s only recommended annually, that may create barriers for vulnerable people, and may discourage high risk people from getting needed boosters.
Infection by SARS-CoV-2 with alternate frequencies of mRNA vaccine boosting - Jeffrey P. Townsend, Hayley B. Hassler, Alex Dornburg First published: 05 January 2023 Our analysis strongly supports boosting on an annual or more frequent cycle to markedly diminish the long-term risk of infection.
NPR: The FDA may soon authorize a spring round of COVID-19 boosters for some people. Rob Stein, March 29, 2023 "Those doses are going to be expiring and will be thrown out. So it makes sense to have those shots in arms instead of being tossed in the waste basket," says Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. "It makes sense to get that second bivalent spring booster out there." The main concern is the protection people got from their last shot has been fading, not just against getting infected but also possibly against getting seriously ill. So Hotez says people as young as 50 should be able to get a second bivalent booster if they want one.
Stat News: FDA offers radio silence on question of spring Covid boosters, as other countries push ahead By Helen Branswell March 16, 2023 Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, would go further, saying people who are 50 and older in the U.S. should be offered the chance to get a second booster. He noted that in the second half of 2022, 97.3% of people who died from Covid in this country were aged 50 and older. “That’s a pretty targeted group you can go at,” Osterholm said. He acknowledged what’s obvious to anyone who has been tracking uptake of the bivalent booster in the U.S.: Doctors’ offices and pharmacies would not face a tsunami of people seeking a spring booster, if one were allowed. Only 16.3% of people eligible for the updated jab have received one; even among the highest-risk population, people aged 65 and older, fewer than half of those eligible — 41.6% — have gotten the shot.
Teams Human: Incoherent natural immunity claims at FDA meeting on vaccines. Jan 26 2023 But somehow he’s not concerned about that with “natural infection” which also comes with big risks? And somehow he’s at an FDA meeting but doesn’t know that vaccine development can progress?
Tweet by Mallory Harris @malar0ne 7:22 PM · Feb 18, 2022 A picture from Scott Atlas' book of his secret meeting with the President, Jay Bhattacharya & Martin Kulldorff (Great Barrington Declaration), Cody Meissner, & Joe Ladapo (now Florida's Surgeon General) in August 2020. Meeting first uncovered by @COVIDOversight over a year later. Tweet includes a photo - Picture of scientists meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office. Captioned: in our secret meeting with expert physicians and scientists in the Oval Office, President Trump listened intently to Dr. Joe Ladapo. I looked on next to Dr. Ladapo, while to my left, Drs. Cody Meissner, Martin Kulldorff, and Jay Bhattacharya (far side) also listened. (Credit: Official White House photographers)
Medpage Today: Report Shows Trump Administration Embraced Herd Immunity via Mass Infection — The strategy likely contributed to many preventable deaths, report notes - by Jennifer Henderson, June 22, 2022 "Dr. Atlas's stated reasoning for his dismissal of masks -- that they were purportedly ineffective at mitigating transmission of the coronavirus -- appears inconsistent with his pandemic strategy, which was premised on allowing the virus to spread rapidly among lower-risk individuals to facilitate disease-acquired herd immunity," the subcommittee wrote. "Whatever his rationale, the anti-mask policy advocated by Dr. Atlas would have had -- and did have -- the same effect as the policies he advocated in connection with his open pursuit of a herd immunity strategy: enabling the virus to infect and kill many more Americans.
The Telegraph: Why it's time to end Covid self-isolation. By interfering with the maintenance of herd immunity, measures such as self-isolation actually increase the risk to the vulnerable. By Sunetra Gupta, 20 January 2022 The low risk of infection among the vulnerable arises from the maintenance of herd immunity through constant reinfection; any measure that interferes with this actually increases their risk. Self-isolation is a case in point. It may slow the spread of the virus but to what end?
Reuters - Fact check: Not all COVID-19 victims had underlying health conditions; new coronavirus is not ‘just another flu’ November 30, 2020 Not all COVID-19 victims had underlying health conditions, and those who did still died because of COVID-19. The new coronavirus is not “just another type of flu.”
Important Context: New Scientist Group Calling For Pandemic Answers Has Ties to Right-Wing Dark Money. The Norfolk Group purports to be a group of independent experts, but familiar faces suggest a broader agenda. By Walker Bragman, Feb 16 2023 The 80-page Norfolk Group paper actually reads a bit like score-settling for the scientists involved. It takes particular aim at perceived enemies of the Great Barrington Decalration like Dr. Deborah Birx, the former White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator. Birx notably refused to participate in a roundtable discussion with Bhattacharya and Kulldorff back in the summer of 2020, calling them “a fringe group without grounding in epidemics, public health or on the ground common sense experience.” “Did policy experts know about pre and early pandemic statements in which experts cast doubt on the ability of quarantine and lockdown measures to stop community spread without excessive collateral damage?” the document asks. “Why did Dr. Birx purposely avoid meeting with public health experts who had specifically proposed such measures?” Other targets include Drs. Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins, respectively the former directors of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the NIH. Both had been dissenting voices in the Trump White House as the administration embraced the Great Barrington Declaration.
Washington Post: FDA proposes switching to annual coronavirus vaccine, mimicking flu model. By Laurie McGinley. January 23, 2023 It also reflects a view that “chasing variants” with ever-changing booster formulations is ultimately futile, in part because the public has little interest in getting repeated injections, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about it.
Who What Why: The Loudest Voice: Who Is GOP COVID-19 Expert Jay Bhattacharya? By Walker Bragman 03/29/23 The professor has made numerous other false and misleading claims related to the pandemic. Those include: Masks do not prevent the spread of COVID-19 and may be harmful to child development. The mRNA vaccines are dangerous for young people. The new bivalent boosters were insufficiently tested. The wet market origin theory of COVID-19 was a “cover up.” Vaccinating India’s entire population would be “unethical” because most Indians have natural immunity from infection. Weeks later, India had its worst surge in coronavirus-related deaths.
Washington Post: FDA proposes switching to annual coronavirus vaccine, mimicking flu model. By Laurie McGinley. January 23, 2023 Paul A. Offit, a member of the panel who is a vaccine expert at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine recently that it is fruitless to try to “prevent all symptomatic infections in healthy, young people by boosting them with vaccines containing mRNA from strains that might disappear a few months later.” Offit said such boosters should be reserved for older people, or those who are immunocompromised or have multiple medical conditions.
Stat news: Focus Covid booster campaigns on high-risk people, WHO’s vaccine experts recommend - By Helen Branswell March 28, 2023 The group went so far as to suggest countries could also choose to forgo offering a primary vaccination series to healthy children and adolescents, if they haven’t had it already. Those decisions should be based on country-specific conditions, including the disease burden in these age groups, other health or programmatic priorities, and opportunity costs, an overview of the meeting that is posted online states. WHO staff at the press conference were quick to stress that the SAGE is not telling countries they should not offer boosters to medium- or low-risk individuals, but rather that governments should make choices based on their own budgets and priorities.
Highlights from the Meeting of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization 20-22 March 2023 considering the primary series and booster dose for healthy children 4 and adolescents only within country context, including disease burden in this age group, cost-effectiveness, other health or programmatic priorities, and opportunity costs
@BillHanage tweet 8:23 PM · Jul 8, 2022 Your periodic reminder that because something *can* happen does not necessarily mean it *does* happen a lot. Possible and probable are not the same thing and it is important to remember that, especially when thinking about risk
@michaelmina_lab tweet thread Mar 28, 2023 If we fast forward time to 2070, the babies of today will be 50 and will have seen COVID hundreds of times. By 2070, the babies of today will tell the story of whether this virus behaves like a textbook virus. 26/ 2:09 AM · Mar 28, 2023 In 2070 will we still see millions of 50 year olds getting debilitating disease from SARS-CoV-2 infections? I think we’ll see that a lifetime of building immunity will protect 2070's 50 year olds from severe outcomes SARS2 Infections will be mild – usually asymptomatic. 27/ 2:09 AM · Mar 28, 2023
Stat News: FDA offers radio silence on question of spring Covid boosters, as other countries push ahead By Helen Branswell March 16, 2023 “We currently live in a world where those that want additional booster doses really want them. And those that don’t want them don’t want them at all. And what we’re trying to do is thread that needle,” Osterholm said.
CNN: Health officials consider another round of bivalent boosters for the most vulnerable Americans. By Brenda Goodman, Tue March 21, 2023 One of them is Michael Osterholm, who directs the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Prevention. The 70-year-old was quick to get an updated bivalent booster when they were rolled out in the US last fall. The bivalent booster is now recommended for all Americans 5 and older at least two months after their last dose of a vaccine or three months after a Covid-19 infection. In February, roughly six months after his previous booster, Osterholm asked about topping off his protection with a second bivalent shot, but “I was turned down,” he said. Studies of the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines show that their protection against infection, emergency room visits and hospitalizations fades after six months as levels of neutralizing antibodies in the blood fall. Some protection is left in B-cells and T-cells, components of the immune system that retain a memory of past invaders, though the duration of that protection isn’t fully understood. Last week, Osterholm caught Covid-19 for the first time.
Highlighting COVID-19 racial disparities can reduce support for safety precautions among White U.S. residents - 2022 Mar 29 U.S. media has extensively covered racial disparities in COVID-19 infections and deaths, which may ironically reduce public concern about COVID-19. In two preregistered studies (conducted in the fall of 2020), we examined whether perceptions of COVID-19 racial disparities predict White U.S. residents’ attitudes toward COVID-19. Utilizing a correlational design (N = 498), we found that those who perceived COVID-19 racial disparities to be greater reported reduced fear of COVID-19, which predicted reduced support for COVID-19 safety precautions. In Study 2, we manipulated exposure to information about COVID-19 racial disparities (N = 1,505). Reading about the persistent inequalities that produced COVID-19 racial disparities reduced fear of COVID-19, empathy for those vulnerable to COVID-19, and support for safety precautions. These findings suggest that publicizing racial health disparities has the potential to create a vicious cycle wherein raising awareness reduces support for the very policies that could protect public health and reduce disparities.
The Washington Post: Whites now more likely to die from covid than Blacks: Why the pandemic shifted By Akilah Johnson and Dan Keating - October 19, 2022 “I don’t want to say that we weren’t worried about it, but we weren’t,” said Hollie, who described her 59-year-old husband as someone who “never took a pill.” After a while, “you kind of slack off on some things,” she said. […] So, she said, Skill commiserated with like-minded people in Facebook groups and on Parler and Rumble, the largely unmoderated social networking platforms popular with conservatives. “We’re Republicans, and 100 percent believe that it’s each individual’s choice, their freedom,” when it comes to getting a coronavirus shot, Hollie said in January. “We decided to err on the side of not doing it and accept the consequences. And now, here we are in the middle of planning the funeral.”
Ground Truths: Preventing Long Covid by Eric Topol Mar 23 2023 A systematic review of 41 articles (distilled from 255 full-text papers reviewed and 5334 records), involving over 860,00 individuals, looked at risk factors for developing Long Covid, which included female sex (odds ratio 1.56), high BMI (OR 1.15), smoking (OR 1.1) and multiple comorbidities or hospitalization (OR 2.48). Vaccination was associated with an overall 43% reduction of Long Covid as shown below, with consistency of direction across all 4 studies assessing this relationship.
Economic Policy Institute: Over 60% of low-wage workers still don’t have access to paid sick days on the job Posted September 23, 2022 by Elise Gould Workers at the bottom are disproportionately denied this important security. The highest-wage workers (top 10%) are two and a half times as likely to have access to paid sick leave as the lowest-paid workers (bottom 10%). Whereas 96% of the highest-wage workers had access to paid sick days, only 38% of the lowest-paid workers are able to earn paid sick days.
People’s CDC COVID-19 Weather Report March 27, 2023 Deaths: The week of March 22, 2023, 2,060 people died of COVID nationally. At least 1,123,613 people have died from COVID in the US.
AARP: When Can You Get Another Bivalent COVID Booster Shot? By Rachel Nania, March 28, 2023 Proponents say this more spaced-out schedule could help to bolster vaccination rates, which lagged with the latest bivalent option.
People’s CDC on Instagram explains CDC’s Community Levels map vs Community Transmission This map – which is almost entirely red – represents COVID transmission per capita. The CDC creates this map by gathering COVID case numbers from local health departments. As you can see— this red hot map means lots of COVID cases. It shows that we are in a surge and that you may be pretty likely to get and/or spread Covid, especially if you’re not using any layers of protections. But even this map *under represents* current Covid transmission. When Congress failed to renew COVID funding this past March, they withdrew financial support for uninsured people to easily access free tests. and forced many community testing centers to close. So fewer people are testing, and now, those who are testing, are frequently using at-home rapid tests, which are almost never reported to health departments. This means, things are actually somehow *even* worse than this ALL RED MAP suggests. The CDC introduced *this* pastel “community levels” map in February. It’s the map they use on their website and on social media. This pastel map looks like we’re in the clear, and maybe the pandemic is over. This map is based on calculations that they claim will let us know when COVID is overwhelming our health systems. So Instead of telling you if you are likely to get or spread Covid, this map tells you whether you could access a hospital bed, should you need it. The problem is, that by the time this map turns pastel orange, it’s already too late to prevent tragic and avoidable deaths, chronic illness and disability from Long COVID.
Teams Human - U.S. govt should release the data on hospital-acquired SARS-CoV-2 cases - Please join me in writing President Biden to demand this crucial information about hospitals that is "being kept private" right now. By Chloe Humbert, Aug 27, 2022 Hospitals are required to collect data on SARS-CoV-2 cases acquired while patients are in the hospital (nosocomial infections) and report the data to the Department of Health and Human Services, but this information is not available to the public. Similar data on other non-SARs-CoV-2 infections has been publicly available for years; this information should be too. In this ongoing pandemic, the responsibility to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 is on individual people who are being asked to make personal risk-assessments about their and their community’s health. Without this data on SARS-CoV-2 nosocomial infection people do not have complete information.
Stat news: Focus Covid booster campaigns on high-risk people, WHO’s vaccine experts recommend - By Helen Branswell March 28, 2023 A panel of experts that advises the World Health Organization on vaccine use suggested Tuesday that countries no longer need to consider offering additional Covid-19 boosters to people at medium or low risk of becoming seriously ill if they contract the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization — which is known as the SAGE — said some countries may continue to offer boosters to people at medium and low risk, but those decisions should be made based on national conditions and health spending priorities.
Justice is Global Petition to: Moderna: Share the Science to Ensure Global Vaccine Access The US government invested billions in Moderna’s vaccine technology, but Moderna has not shared the benefits with the public. The company raked in almost $18 billion in profits in 2022 alone, while multiple shareholders, including CEO Stéphane Bancel, have become billionaires. Meanwhile, it has stonewalled all efforts to share its publicly funded technology with the world or license out production to other manufacturers.
USA Today: How often do you need a COVID booster shot? Yearly, new data suggests. By Karen Weintraub, Jan 20 2023 Yearly shots provide just enough frequency to prevent huge outbreaks while not putting an undue burden on people.
Washington Post: FDA proposes switching to annual coronavirus vaccine, mimicking flu model By Laurie McGinley. January 23, 2023 The hope is that the lowest level of protection will occur during the summer, when covid-19 surges tend to be less severe.
It Could Happen Here Podcast: Into The Wild Orange Yonder, Robert Evans (audio podcast) Most of these [elites] are just as blindsided by the disasters racking our world as anyone else. Because they’re the kind of people who are capable of taking power they look out for themselves first. And in chaotic and dangerous times they default to what they know best - leaning on culture war bullshit and hiding from scrutiny. The sheer amount of information coming in can be blinding and the best course of action is generally unclear. Elites are actually more likely to be blinded in these situations than the rest of us. A mayor or a president has much more info incoming & his concern is always more complex than what needs to be done to protect people - What is politically safe? What do my donors want? And how will what I do be spun by the media? - are also on his mind. People like us worry will my community & I survive & people like them worry will I lose power? This tug of war between disaster & political experiences between preparing... and protecting your ass leads to a phenomenon called turbo paralysis.
Fierce Healthcare: Why COVID-19 vaccines might become a yearly thing. By Frank Diamond Sep 7, 2022 “Regarding the COVID vaccination process as a geriatrician, it’s much appreciated as it provides much-needed clarity and simplicity,” Stefanacci tells Fierce Healthcare. “All stakeholders from patients, payers and [healthcare professionals] have been confused by the complex and ever-changing vaccine recommendations. Getting to be the same as influenza vaccinations will make it easy to implement.
Statement on FDA’s proposal for once a year COVID vaccination Published January 25, 2023 Public Comment by Rob Wallace, PhD, submitted to the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee regarding the future vaccination regimens addressing COVID-19. In short, prevention, keeping people from getting infected in the first place, remains a critical contribution to preserving vaccine effectiveness. In the other direction, reducing the degrees of freedom we have in the types and scheduling of vaccine production only compounds the public health damage dropping NPI campaigns such as mask mandates and contact tracing produces. Secondly, the rationale here behind simplifying the vaccine schedule is all wrong. It isn’t the present scheduling that keeps booster coverage at a little over 16% of eligible Americans. It’s the insistence in declaring a still rapidly evolving pandemic over and ending all those programs that would have helped vaccination programs succeed. The success of federal pharmaceutical campaigns depends on the NPI campaigns going door-to-door that two administrations running dropped. Do not operationalize an intervention that’s based on blaming unvaccinated Americans for that fiasco.
Washington Post Letters to the Editor: The coronavirus pandemic is not over. by James G. Lertola. March 28, 2023 The false narrative that the “pandemic has receded” is actually a symptom of politicians ignoring its ongoing toll. The White House still needs to lead our covid fight; the tools are there. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Covid Data Tracker shows that those with the updated booster are 14 times less likely to die of covid than the unvaccinated. Paxlovid appears to reduce the chance of death and severe disease by 51 percent or better. Data still shows that air-quality measures such as better ventilation, opening bus windows, upgrading indoor air filtration and masking all help control the spread of the coronavirus. Having just 16 percent of the U.S. population with the updated vaccine is not “mission accomplished.” Uptake of Paxlovid is pitifully low. Schools fail to use covid relief funds to improve safety. More than 1.1 million Americans have perished from covid, and we must do better. The pandemic is not over, and our leaders need to say so.
The Lever: How The Koch Network Hijacked The War On COVID, Dec 22, 2021 - Walker Bragman & Alex Kotch As Omicron surges, a shadowy institute filled with fringe doctors appears to be part of big business’ two-year strategy to legitimize attacks on pandemic interventions.
Rand Waltzman on Linkedin: Strategies for Manufacturing Doubt (6) Strategies for Manufacturing Doubt (6) - Appeal to Mass Media, - Appeal to journalistic balance - Develop relationships with media personnel - Prepare information for media personnel - Invoke the Fairness Doctrine, Take Advantage of Target's Lack of Money / Influence - Silence or abuse individuals by - out-spending - exploiting a power imbalance, Normalize Negative Outcomes - Normalize the presence of negative effects - Reduce importance - Make them seem inevitable
Teams Human - The Economy demands full participation, herd debt paid on an altar of lies - “Public health” is operating, but with the wrong information and the wrong solutions to solve the wrong problems, because those calling the shots have the wrong goals. By Chloe Humbert Dec 23, 2022 They want to drive every last segment of the population who’s been taking precautions to “get out there” and into full economic participation to serve The Economy. Everyone. They want everyone in the pool, and I suppose that’s not worked out so well. As it turns out a great many people are not buying into this scheme, and they’re continuing “Long Social Distancing.”
NPR: The FDA may soon authorize a spring round of COVID-19 boosters for some people. Rob Stein, March 29, 2023 "I just don't want to get COVID again," says Moore, 63, a nurse practitioner who lives in North Plainfield, N.J. "I don't really know what the long-term risks are. And I don't really want to find out. I don't want the risk of long COVID. I don't want the breathing problems. I don't want the fatigue. I don't want those things." But Moore can't get another COVID vaccination. The Food and Drug Administration has only authorized one booster dose of the newest formulations of the vaccines, the so-called bivalent shots.
The New York Times: ‘We Were Helpless’: Despair at the C.D.C. as the Pandemic Erupted Current and former employees recall rising desperation as Trump administration officials squelched research into the new coronavirus. By Apoorva Mandavilli, March 21, 2023 All through February 2020, agency scientists had been gathering evidence that the new coronavirus was being spread by people without symptoms. In early March, the C.D.C. said that any employee who had been deployed elsewhere to track Covid-19 must isolate at home for 14 days, whether or not he or she had symptoms. To the scientists gathered outside, trainees in the agency’s vaunted Epidemic Intelligence Service, the implication was clear: C.D.C. leaders realized that the virus was being spread not just by people who were coughing and sneezing, but also by people who were not visibly ill. But the agency had not yet warned the public.
Teams Human: Incoherent natural immunity claims at FDA meeting on vaccines. Jan 26 2023 But somehow he’s not concerned about that with “natural infection” which also comes with big risks? And somehow he’s at an FDA meeting but doesn’t know that vaccine development can progress?
The Conversation: Even bivalent updated COVID-19 boosters struggle to prevent omicron subvariant transmission – an immunologist discusses why new approaches are necessary. By Matthew Woodruff January 25, 2023 This sort of interference has been extremely difficult to quantify and study in humans, although it may become easier with the FDA’s proposal. A once-yearly approach to COVID-19 vaccination opens the door for more straightforward studies on how memory to each vaccine influences the next.
Following the Politics instead of Following the Science. Healthcare providers and others are making critical medical decisions about masking based on a political football. By Chloe Humbert, Mar 21 2023 The evidence is all over the news, typically coming from the hospital spokesperson directly to the reporters, clearly stating that they are not basing their mask protection protocols on any medical concerns or ethical concerns, they’re basing medical decisions on a political football - the ending of the National Public Health Emergency declaration.
Waging Nonviolence - Resistance Studies - Most resistance in the world is not about protests, but ‘everyday resistance’ - James C. Scott discusses how political science only registers the tip of the iceberg of resistance in history. By Stellan Vinthagen December 21, 2021 In 1985, “everyday resistance” was introduced by Scott in the book “Weapons of the Weak” to describe a different kind of resistance, one that is not as dramatic or visible as rebellions, riots, demonstrations, revolutions, civil war and other such organized, collective or confrontational articulations of resistance. According to Scott, everyday resistance is quiet, dispersed, disguised or otherwise seemingly invisible to elites, the state or mainstream society — something he sometimes also calls “infrapolitics.”
COVID-19 booster shots recommended for high-risk Canadians starting this spring. By Lauren Pelley Mar 03, 2023 The new recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) outline that an additional vaccine dose may be offered at a standard interval — six or more months from the last COVID-19 vaccine dose or SARS-CoV-2 infection, whichever is longer — for people at a higher risk of severe illness.
NPR - FDA will let some adults get a second boost of the bivalent COVID-19 shot. by Rob Stein, April 4, 2023 The Food and Drug Administration has decided to allow some people to get a second booster with one of the COVID-19 vaccines that have been updated to target the omicron variant, NPR has learned. The second shots will be limited to those age 65 and older who got their first shot of the bivalent vaccine made by Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech at least four months ago, and to those with weakened immune systems who got one of those shots at least two months ago, according to a federal official who was not authorized to speak publicly. The decision to authorize a second booster is expected to be officially announced within the next two weeks. While demand for another shot may not be high, the opportunity for extra protection will be welcomed by some people who got their first shot with one of the bivalent boosters last year.
FDA NEWS RELEASE - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Changes to Simplify Use of Bivalent mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines, April 18, 2023 - Most individuals, depending on age, previously vaccinated with a monovalent COVID-19 vaccine who have not yet received a dose of a bivalent vaccine may receive a single dose of a bivalent vaccine. - Most individuals who have already received a single dose of the bivalent vaccine are not currently eligible for another dose. The FDA intends to make decisions about future vaccination after receiving recommendations on the fall strain composition at an FDA advisory committee in June. - Individuals 65 years of age and older who have received a single dose of a bivalent vaccine may receive one additional dose at least four months following their initial bivalent dose. - Most individuals with certain kinds of immunocompromise who have received a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine may receive a single additional dose of a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months following a dose of a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, and additional doses may be administered at the discretion of, and at intervals determined by, their healthcare provider. However, for immunocompromised individuals 6 months through 4 years of age, eligibility for additional doses will depend on the vaccine previously received. - Most unvaccinated individuals may receive a single dose of a bivalent vaccine, rather than multiple doses of the original monovalent mRNA vaccines. - Children 6 months through 5 years of age who are unvaccinated may receive a two-dose series of the Moderna bivalent vaccine (6 months through 5 years of age) OR a three-dose series of the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine (6 months through 4 years of age). Children who are 5 years of age may receive two doses of the Moderna bivalent vaccine or a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine. - Children 6 months through 5 years of age who have received one, two or three doses of a monovalent COVID-19 vaccine may receive a bivalent vaccine, but the number of doses that they receive will depend on the vaccine and their vaccination history.
Ground Truths - New diabetes post-acute Covid (PASC, Long Covid), an inconvenient truth. A new study adds to 11 others for increased risk of Type 2 diabetes by ERIC TOPOL, APR 18, 2023 The increased risk compared with controls ranges widely from 17% to 235% with only 1 of these studies not showing a significant increase in a subgroup (among women in a Veteran Affairs report). The CDC published a MMWR on a cohort less than age 18 which did not partition Type 1 and 2 diabetes, but overall showed a 31% increased risk. Indeed, a previous systematic analysis reported an increased risk for either Type 1 or 2 diabetes after Covid in 12 of 14 studies, ranging from 11% to 276%.
NPR: FDA says some adults can get a second boost of the bivalent COVID-19 shot. By Rob Stein, Updated April 18, 2023 The second shots will be limited to those age 65 and older who got their first shot of the bivalent vaccine made by Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech at least four months ago, and to those with weakened immune systems who got one of those shots at least two months ago, according to a federal official who was not authorized to speak publicly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to issue a recommendation on the changes in coming days.