COVID-19 has now surpassed heart disease and cancer as the leading daily cause of death in the U.S. One American is dying of COVID-19 every 40 seconds at this posting.
The point is that now it is more than ever preventable. Everywhere you turn there is information on the 2 new COVID-19 vaccines – how they work, what they do and not do follow by how the company plays a key role. And they are free! I tuned in to the full FDA advisory committee meetings of both drug companies’ (Pfizer, Moderna) vaccine submissions in order to get all the medical information available.
My blog objective is to let you in on the finer points of what is factually known to date. Critical is understanding FDA emergency use approval (EUA) meaning for the CIVID-19 vaccines. Incomplete data is why full approval did not occur. Questions exist and include how long immunity lasts and are what are the side effects beyond the known 60 days. Follow-up for 2 years is typical for full safety FDA endorsement.
The two EUA approved vaccines use mRNA to carry information (S protein found on the surface of the SARS CoV-2 virus) into cells, telling cells to make the S protein then our body sees the S protein and starts to mount a defense against the foreign protein. The mRNA is gone from the body by 24 hours. A booster for 21 (Pfizer) or 28 days (Moderna) is required. All vaccines are free. Plenty of scammers out there, be careful. Yes, your insurance will cover the administrative fee for actually giving you the ‘jab’.
We always have a choice, and you may have a choice which vaccine and when to receive the ‘jab’ (British term). If your COVID-19 risks are greater than the risk from taking an emergency use approved vaccine, then you should take a EUA vaccine. After vaccination, you are told to continue to mask up and socially distance. No determination yet for up to how long you must do so. The educated guess from both vaccine producers is that in 7-14 days after 2nd jab (booster) immunity can begin, yet unsure if you could be an asymptomatic spreader after having both jabs.
To be clear, presently, there are other vaccines in final human testing – Phase 3. These are more traditionally constructed. That is a different weakened virus (ex. adenovirus) that is coated with the S protein is introduced into the body. The body immediately starts to defend activating the immune system (listen to this podcast for more on the immune system).
So many questions persist regarding the nature of the protection acquired from these mRNA vaccines. Does the vaccine keep you from infecting others? Can it truly block transmission of the virus, which is often spread by infected people who show no signs of sickness?
How long does immunity last? It is unknown to date if either vaccine offers complete indefinite protection against infections.
Studies show that the immunity for those who receive the vaccine lasts longer than immunity developed post COVID-19 infection (only 6-8 months due to B cell memory). Second, the studies have shown that antibody levels are 5-20% higher in those vaccinated as compared to those who had natural infection. Third, studies in those recovering from COVID-19 infection showed that the body’s response did not always produce antibodies correctly. Strange! Since, if someone has had chickenpox, there is no need to get immunized for chickenpox, but recovery from COVID-19 infection does not always produce full protection.
Post Vaccine or no vaccine you must Wear Mask and social distance.
News Flash-new variant virus was discovered in the UK & South Africa, believed to be 70% more transmittable yet it is unknown if present approved vaccines will offer protection against these variants.