Happy Yom Kippur -- Sept. 16, 2021 - I'm fasting - my wife hid all the bags of chips and that's all I want to eat. Tonight will be hog heaven without the hogs. Many Jews only use daity to break the fast and I've got my eyes on the herring in cream sauce.
[Added Sept 17 - See the anon comment for more advice with an good link to a discussion on boosters --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKJkC3MLcDg.]
From a colleague from 50 years ago:
NormMy son is a biologist doing cutting edge genetics research. He advises us to hold off on a booster until they develop one for the upcoming variants that will avoid the mRNA protection.Breakthrough for Delta means you can catch it if you have the mRNA in your body, but it will not harm you.This protection will not wane after 8 monthsThe current push for boosters vs Delta is a sales pitch.Pete Farruggio, PhD
Associate Professor, Bilingual Education (retired)
University of Texas RGV
Pete also sent this discouraging news from this link: https://tinyurl.com/2csx29at
Covid cases rise to winter levelsHistory repeats. As with the 1918-20 flu epidemic, the waning of the first wave of viral spread induced a premature relaxing of caution (e.g. reopening unsafe schools), which caused a second larger wave. This pattern caused a third wave through 1920. Instead of vaccines, what ended the epidemic was the killing off of the more susceptible, as in previous plagues (herd immunity).
I don't want to be one of the susceptibles and was ready to take the booster in 3 weeks. But what if there is a new vax that provides more protection from variables in a few months. Do you get a 4th shot? My doc says hold off.
So I'm rethinking getting the third booster shot. Pete's advice correlates to that of my primary doc. Friends have been to him in the past few days and here is what he told them:
Our doctor does not believe in over vaccinating. He is testing for my antibody levels. When or if they are low then he recommends the booster. If they reconfigure the vaccine to deal with the variants then we can have a further discussion about boosters ... from a friend
We use the same doctor - for the past 20 years and have gotten many of our friends to go to him too, so there is a lot of trust. Last spring he told us to not get the shingles shot yet because he felt we might need a booster in the fall. My friends did the antibody test and found they had sufficient immunity at this point. Doc says retest in 3 months.
[ MORE info from patient with same doctor - Sept 17 --- Our doctor told us that each lab determines the antibody count in their own way so you can`t compare numbers from lab to lab. The lab where MY results will come from has 200 as the magic number of normal. Anything OVER 250 will just come back as over 250 but no further number will be given. I asked him about the benefit of having a LOT of antibodies--way higer than normal--from getting the booster now. He said that a lot of learning is going on now about all of these things but one thing that MAY be true is that too many antibodies could interfere with the T cells and keep them from being effective at what they need to do. He said that it MAY be the case that LESS is more in this situation! He also said that if the booster was comprised with more ability to fight the Delta variant than it might be wise to get the booster sooner, but since it is NOT comprised any differently than what we already have in our systems you are not getting more of an ability to fight Delta (as long as your antibody count is normal). We will wait another 3 months and retest. When our number goes below normal is when we will take the booster. ]
Interesting. One of the right wing criticisms of Biden and vax mandates is that those who had COVID have antibodies too --- and they argue that they should not be forced to be vaxed. There is a point and I wonder if you present an anti-body test result, that counts as vaxed.
There are outbreaks in Israel which is highly vaxed with third shots. Covid seems like a raging fire which no matter what we do will find places to burn until it burns itself out --- herd immunity.
Look at the south as cases begin to come down after their wave and now we in the northeast escaped, we will be facing a surge, based on back to work and open schools.
You know the case they make for those who are vaxed as being safe from hospitalization or getting real sick even if you get it -- it will be mild. But I don't even want a mild case due to stories of long covid which hits 30% in some cases. I know people who are still very affected even a year and a half later. I don't need to spend the rest of my life battling issues I didn't need to battle.
COVID-19 Cases Climbing, Wiping Out Months of Progress
Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.
COVID-19 deaths and cases in the U.S. have climbed back to levels not seen since last winter, erasing months of progress and potentially bolstering President Joe Biden's argument for his sweeping new vaccination requirements.
The cases — driven by the delta variant combined with resistance among some Americans to getting the vaccine — are concentrated mostly in the South.
While one-time hot spots like Florida and Louisiana are improving, infection rates are soaring in Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee, fueled by children now back in school, loose mask restrictions and low vaccination levels.
The dire situation in some hospitals is starting to sound like January's infection peak: Surgeries canceled in hospitals in Washington state and Utah. Severe staff shortages in Kentucky and Alabama. A lack of beds in Tennessee. Intensive care units at or over capacity in Texas.
The deteriorating picture nine months into the nation's vaccination drive has angered and frustrated medical professionals who see the heartbreak as preventable. The vast majority of the dead and the hospitalized have been unvaccinated, in what has proved to be a hard lesson for some families.
"The problem now is we have been trying to educate based on science, but I think most of the education that is happening now is based on tragedy, personal tragedy," said Dr. Ryan Stanton, an emergency room physician in Lexington, Kentucky.
In Kentucky, 70% of the state's hospitals -- 66 of 96 -- are reporting critical staff shortages, the highest level yet during the pandemic, the governor said.