New York City Begins Requiring Vaccinations For Private
Private employers operating in New York City must require COVID-19 vaccinations for their workers beginning Monday under a sweeping mandate aimed at curbing a spike in the virus. The order affects an estimated 184,000 businesses, and those that do not comply could face fines starting at $1,000. But Mayor Bill de Blasio has said imposing penalties would be a last resort. Unvaccinated workers need not be fired but must be kept out of the workplace.
Employers have to verify and keep a record of each workers proof of vaccination. Workers who have only gotten one shot will have to get a second one within 45 days. Companies must display a sign affirming they are complying with the rule in a conspicuous location, under the citys mandate.
I Definitely Had Covid
Yes, but they are not common: just 3.7% of people who had mild or moderate COVID-19 had a negative antibody test afterwards, using this test . Most often this arises because the COVID-19 occurred several months prior to the antibody test we know that antibody responses can wane over a period of months.
Dr Anthony Fauci Warns Against Big New Year’s Eve Parties
A little champagne and a kiss are fine, but Americans should stay away from big parties this New Year’s Eve, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday.
Fauci said in an interview on CNN that people should avoid the gatherings where they dont know the vaccination status of all the guests. The omicron variant is fueling another infection surge, and crowded indoor parties could accelerate spread.
When you are talking about a New Year’s Eve party, where you have 30, 40, 50 people celebrating, you do not know the status of the vaccination I would recommend strongly, stay away from that this year,” Fauci said. “There will be other years to do that, but not this year.”
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I Would Like To Get An Antibody Test Via The Covidence Study Is This Possible
Our first round of invitations to have antibody testing have all gone out now, but we are planning a second wave of antibody testing in Summer 2021. If you would like to be invited to have an antibody test in the future, please sign up to take part in the COVIDENCE UK study at www.qmul.ac.uk/covidence.
Antibody Protection After Mild Covid
A ‘2G’ rule sign, allowing only those vaccinated or recovered from the coronavirus disease to enter indoor areas, is displayed at a window of a restaurant in Marburg, Germany, November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer
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Antibody protection from mild COVID-19 may not last
Nearly everyone who had a mild case of COVID-19 still has antibodies to the coronavirus a year later, but that might not protect them from new variants, a small study suggests. Among 43 Australians who dealt with mild COVID-19 early in the pandemic, 90% still had antibodies 12 months later. But only 51.2% had antibodies that showed “neutralizing activity” against the original version of the virus and only 44.2% had antibodies that could neutralize the early Alpha variant, the research team at the University of Adelaide reported on Thursday on medRxiv ahead of peer review. Neutralizing antibodies against the now dominant and highly transmissible Delta variant were seen in only 16.2%, with 11.6% against Gamma, and against Beta in only 4.6%. Those who had mild COVID-19 “are vulnerable to infection with circulating and newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants 12 months after recovery,” the researchers said. The findings “reinforce the potential benefit” of tailoring vaccine boosters to currently circulating variants, similar to how annual flu vaccines are tailored to current influenza strains, they said.
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What Is The Incubation Period Of Omicron How Long Are You Contagious With Covid
Scientists are still working to gather data on the Omicron variant and there is much we still don’t know about it, but some have suggested that it might possibly have a shorter incubation period than earlier variants.
An incubation period refers to the time it takes between someone getting exposed to a causative agent, like a virus, and for symptoms to show up.
Some pathogens might have very short incubation periods and some have very long ones. The incubation period can have an effect on how easy it is to track the spread of something.
With COVID-19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the average time from people getting exposed to the virus and showing symptoms is four to five days, though it could extend to 14 days.
One study reported that almost all people with COVID-19 who have symptoms will show those symptoms within 11.5 days, the CDC added.
The World Health Organization , meanwhile, states that the incubation period of COVID-19 is in the same ballparkfive to six days on average. Again, it notes that it can take up to 14 days.
Recently, some reports have suggested that the Omicron COVID variant may possibly have a shorter incubation period than earlier variants.
As stated, scientists are still learning more about the Omicron variant and a lot of its characteristics are still unclear.
How Do We Test For Covid Antibodies
When youâre infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, SAR-CoV-2, your immune system responds in a number of different ways.
One important response is to produce antibodies – these are special molecules in your body that recognise the virus and help to get rid of it, and provide protection against future infections.
One way of telling whether someone has been infected with COVID-19 is to look for the presence of virus-fighting antibodies in their blood.
There are two types of antibodies that we can test for:
- Anti-N tests look for antibodies that recognise a molecule inside the SARS-CoV-2 virus called the nucleocapsid . Anti- N antibodies are only produced if youâve actually been infected with COVID-19 .
- Anti-S tests look for antibodies against the spike protein on the surface of the virus these antibodies can be present after both a natural infection and a vaccine. This is because COVID vaccines are based on the spike protein.
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Covid Monoclonal Antibody Therapy: Everything You Need To Know
When we think of targeting COVID-19, vaccines and face masks are the first line of defense. But if you happen to get or be exposed to the coronavirus and you are at high risk of severe disease, there is an overlooked medicine that can help: monoclonal antibodies.
For people who are at high risk of getting severe COVID, the game isnt over. There is still this back-up plan available that can help them to better protect themselves from the virus, said Deborah Fuller, a microbiologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine who is working on coronavirus vaccines.
Monoclonal antibody treatments are infusions of lab-made proteins that mimic the immune systems ability to fight off COVID. Although the Food and Drug Administration gave these treatments like Regeneron emergency use authorization in 2020, the criteria for who is eligible to receive them has expanded.
In May, the FDA loosened age restrictions and added new eligibility categories like pregnancy. In August, people who have post-exposure prophylaxis meaning they were exposed to COVID and are at high risk of getting severe COVID became eligible to receive Regeneron. In September, pharmaceutical company Eli Lillys monoclonal antibody cocktail also got approved by the FDA as a preventative treatment for people who were exposed to COVID and are at high risk for severe disease.
When Do I Need To Get The Treatment In Order For It To Work
The monoclonal antibody treatments are meant for mild to moderate COVID cases in adults and children over 12 to prevent the progression of severe COVID.
The earlier, the better, Ginde said. Once you are hospitalized, its too late.
There is a 10-day window to get the treatment after symptom onset, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you wait longer, by then the virus has ravaged the body. And theres not a whole lot the infusion of monoclonal antibodies is going to do to be able to reverse the course of the disease, Fuller said. As soon as you know you have been exposed to or have COVID-19, if you are in a high-risk group, you should get it.
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Timing Matters With Testing
Antibody tests for COVID-19 arent perfect. One meta-analysis of 54 studies conducted by Cochrane found that antibody tests performed a week after COVID-19 patients first developed symptoms only detected 30% of people with the virus. After two weeks, testing detected antibodies in 70% of those patients and, after three weeks, antibodies were detected in more than 90% of those tested.
Timing matters because, if you get tested too early after being infected, you may have a negative antibody test in your blood, and it is a waste of time and money to get tested, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Seattle Childrens Hospital and University of Washington, who co-authored the recent recommendations on antibody testing, tells Verywell.
The actual test you use doesnt matter, Englund says, adding, getting tested too early may not be helpful.
As for the perfect timing to get a test, its up for debate, Jamie Alan, PhD, an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University, tells Verywell. We can take our best guess at timing but, until we know more, we are still at the best educated guess stage, she says.
How Effective Is It
Ginde said it can be a life-saving treatment when administered in time. Numerous trials have shown that the treatment can be effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization and death for people at risk of severe COVID.
Patients feel very sick, they feel like they are really struggling to breathe … they get this treatment, he said. Youll hear not infrequently reports of people that are that sick that within even six to 12 hours feeling like theyve taken a dramatic turn to the better.
One study on Regenerons antibody cocktail found that it shortened COVID symptoms by four days and more rapidly reduced viral load compared to people who got a placebo.
Taking the monoclonal antibodies can also reduce the chance of spreading COVID to the rest of the people living in close contact with you. One study showed that it reduced the risk of getting a symptomatic infection from someone in your household who has COVID by 81%.
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When Does It Start Working
The Pfizer vaccine is given in two doses scheduled three weeks apart. It’s not ideal but, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the second dose may be given up to 6 weeks after the first dose, if necessary. You should not get the second dose early.
These doses are given as injections and offer full protection two weeks after the second dose, the CDC says. The data suggest that after the first dose, some immune response is present in about two weeks.
A CDC report that tracked almost 4,000 healthcare personnel, first responders, and other frontline workers under real-world conditions found that the mRNA vaccines were 80% effective at least 14 days following the first dose and 90% effective at least two weeks after the second dose.
Arent Antibodies Enough To Protect Me
If youve already had COVID-19, arent the antibodies your body built up to fight the virus enough to protect you in the future?
We dont know how long your immunity will last after youve had a natural COVID-19 infection, says Dr. Englund.
She says recent research focused on how long immunity lasts after having COVID-19 is unclear, and scientists believe it could be up to eight months. But, she clarifies: The study to determine that information included only 200 patients, so theres not a whole lot of data yet. And the best way to ensure youre protected is to get vaccinated.
Dr. Englund notes that for those whove had COVID-19 and have long haul symptoms , getting the vaccine seems to help them finally recover from those lasting symptoms.
If you have long COVID-19 at this point in time, please consider getting the vaccine, Dr. Englund urges. It is not going to make you worse and theres a small chance that it might actually make you feel better.
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The Quality Of Tests Varies
Not all antibody tests are equal, and its difficult to know which antibody test youre getting. If youre interested in getting an antibody test, ask your doctor for recommendations.
Most hospital labs Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp will be using a highly validated antibody test, but some of the other ones you can get are not going to have the same level of quality, says Dr. Adalja.
You should wait at least two weeks after a one-dose vaccine or two weeks after the final shot of a two-dose vaccine to get an antibody test so your body has the chance to produce detectable antibodies. Getting tested before your body has built up its immune response may result in a test that shows no or low antibodies.
Can You Get Covid Again If You Were Infected Recently With A Variant
Research shows that for those who recover from Covid, the immunity lasts anywhere between three months to five years.
There were early reports of people appearing to have multiple coronavirus infections within a short space of time, but it was later concluded that testing was the issue, with patients being incorrectly told they were free of the virus.
An ongoing study from Public Health Englands established that there were only 44 potential re-infections found in a group of 6,614 people who previously had the virus.
The study showed that not only was reinfection uncommon, but that history of prior Covid infection was also associated with an 83% lower risk of infection.
However, researchers at Imperial College London found that the new mutant variant, Omicron, tends to still be able to infect people who contracted other strains of coronavirus. People who have had two doses of the vaccine are also susceptible to getting the Omicron variant, too.
In short, experts believe that while re-infection isnt surprising and is definitely possible, its still quite uncommon and less likely if youve had the booster dose of the vaccine.
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You Cant Draw Conclusions From Antibody Results
First of all, no guide currently exists to translate the results of an antibody test for what it means for your protection from COVID-19.
At this point, we dont know how antibody presence or levels correlate with immunity well enough to say, says Dr. Ramirez. For some vaccines that have been in use for a much longer period of time, we have a better idea of which antibody levels correlate with protection.
For example, health care and lab workers who handle blood samples often have their hepatitis B antibody levels checked to show that they are immune to hepatitis B. For hepatitis B, experts know what level of a specific antibody to the virus is considered protective. If people dont have high enough levels, they can receive booster vaccines for hepatitis B or even the entire vaccine series.
Theres also a difference between having no antibodies and having some antibodies.
It is possible to receive vaccines and not develop antibodies, says Dr. Ramirez. This can be a failure of the individuals immune system to respond to the vaccine and to generate antibody responses.
In some cases, an individual may have a specific immune system problem that does not allow them to respond to vaccines. That could be due to a problem with their B cells or with helper T cells, which help B cells make antibodies.
However, experts say it would be rare to have no antibodies after receiving the vaccine.
Do We Need A Certain Level Of Covid
Dr. Finstad: We dont know that level yet. But given the evidence so far, public health experts are suggesting booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccines. This guidance is awaiting authorization from CDC and FDA.
More research is needed to determine what level of COVID-19 antibodies is protective, and this is an active area of investigation within SeroNet. For measles, for example, antibody testing is used as a surrogate measure to determine whether you’re protected from a future infectionits called a correlate of protection. If you are above that antibody level, you’re likely protected. And vice versaif you fall below that level, your physician will likely give you a booster to raise your antibody levels again.
By following individuals over time through SeroNet studies, we’ll be able to take a look at the antibody levels that correlate with protection. For COVID-19 vaccines, protection means you are protected from developing severe disease, but it doesnt mean you cant get infected. One SeroNet group actually wrote a very helpful article that explains how the vaccines can protect against illness but dont completely prevent you from getting infected.
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Do You Have Symptoms Of The Flu Or Covid
Due to overlapping symptoms between influenza and COVID-19, physicians and health experts are urging everyone six months and older to get vaccinated for the flu this year. One infection can make you more susceptible to others by weakening your immune system.
The flu vaccine reduces the severity and risk of serious complications, according to the Mayo Clinic. But it will not protect you from COVID-19.
Many of the steps recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as mask-wearing, hand-washing, and physical distancing also help prevent the spread of seasonal flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the number of hospitalizations during the last flu season was the lowest since 2005.
The flu and COVID-19 share several common symptoms. Here’s a look at how to differentiate the two viruses: