Vaccines And Herd Immunity
Countries that have begun distributing COVID-19 vaccines soon expect to see a reduction in severe illness. But it will take longer to see how effectively vaccines can reduce transmission. Data from clinical trials suggest that vaccines that prevent symptomatic infection might also stop a person from passing on the virus.
If vaccines do block transmission and if they remain effective against newer variants of the virus it might be possible to eliminate the virus in regions where enough people are vaccinated so that they can protect those who are not, contributing to herd immunity. A vaccine that is 90% effective at blocking transmission will need to reach at least 55% of the population to achieve temporary herd immunity as long as some social distancing measures such as face masks and many people working from home remain in place to keep transmission in check, according to a model developed by Alexandra Hogan at Imperial College London and her colleagues. But if the rate of transmission increases because of a new variant, or if a vaccine is less effective than 90% at blocking transmission, vaccine coverage will need to be greater to blunt circulation.
Vaccinating even 55% of the population will be challenging in many countries. The virus will stick around if parts of the world dont get vaccinated, says Jeffrey Shaman, an infectious-disease researcher at Columbia University in New York City.
How A Pandemic Officially Ends
The World Health Organization COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11 of last year the same day that life began to change dramatically in much of the United States.
So when the virus eventually is under control, will the WHO declare the pandemic over?
When the worldwide spread of COVID-19 stops, it will no longer be considered a pandemic. “In general, if the worldwide spread of a disease is brought under control to a localized area, we can say that it is no longer a pandemic but, instead, an epidemic,” the WHO told NPR.
But it emphasized that the characterization of the outbreak as a pandemic has no formal meaning under international law.
How Long Will People Be Dealing With Covid
Honestly, its impossible to say if and when the coronavirus will die down because its still a new virus, and therefore unpredictable, says Faheem Younus, MD, the chief of infectious diseases at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. But pandemics have happened before, and they eventually pass as they become more contained, and as vaccines are developed and distributed. But researchers do look at past pandemics to make very baseline predictions about when it might end. In the past, pandemics have typically lasted between 12 and 36 months.
Here’s one example of the timeline of a past pandemic: In 2009, a novel H1N1 flu pandemic occurred. The WHO , and by mid-September, the FDA approved four vaccines for the virus, and they started getting administered in October. In late December, vaccination was opened up to anyone who wanted it, and the pandemic was deemed over in August 2010, according to a timeline from the CDC.
In the past, pandemics have typically lasted between 12 and 36 months.
Some good news is that vaccines are already being distributed to high priority groups and, with that, people should develop immunity to the virus. But even so, we could be doing this weird version of reality for a while, says Clyde Yancy, MD, vice dean for diversity and inclusion at Northwestern Medicine. Every prediction that anyone might say would be a rough approximationfrom me included, he says.
You May Like: Can Covid Mess With Your Period
Those Who Dont Die Roll The Dice
It is still unclear whether the appetite for risk is about to rebound. In principle, if you survive a life-threatening disease, you may count yourself as one of the lucky ones and the devil may care. In the years after the Spanish flu a century ago, a hunger for excitement burst onto the scene in every sphere, from sexual licence to the arts to the craze for speed. This time the new frontiers could range from space travel to genetic engineering, artificial intelligence and enhanced reality.
Even before the coronavirus came along, the digital revolution, climate change and Chinas rise seemed to be bringing the post-second-world-war, Western-led order to an end. The pandemic will hasten the transformation.
All our stories relating to the pandemic and the vaccines can be found on our coronavirus hub. You can also listen to The Jab, our podcast on the race between injections and infections, and find trackers showing the global roll-out of vaccines, excess deaths by country and the viruss spread across Europe and America.
This article appeared in the Leaders section of the print edition under the headline “The long goodbye”
Us Virus Cases Are More Than Ten Times Too High Fauci Says
Coronavirus infections are more than ten times higher than they need to be in order to end the pandemic, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nations top infectious disease doctor, told the political news site Axios.
There are currently roughly 150,000 new infections a day in the United States. Thats not even modestly good control, Dr. Fauci told Axios.
He added, In a country of our size, you cant be hanging around and having 100,000 infections a day. Youve got to get well below 10,000 before you start feeling comfortable.
Case rates did fall to almost that level in June, when there were roughly 12,000 new infections per day, on average.
But that was before the highly infectious Delta variant spread widely throughout the country, causing a major surge in cases and hospitalizations, especially in areas of the country with low vaccination rates.
That surge has also impacted children, who are currently being hospitalized at the highest levels reported to date, with nearly 30,000 entering hospitals in August. No vaccine has been cleared for children younger than 12, who make up a sizable unvaccinated population in the United States.
In an interview with Apoorva Mandavilli, a New York Times reporter who covers science and global health, Dr. Fauci said that we are still in the middle of a serious pandemic, and it is definitely involving children.
Read Also: Is A Rash A Symptom Of Covid
Biden Calls On States To Implement Vaccine Requirements In Schools
President Biden on Thursday amplified calls for states to take more aggressive measures to keep children in school amid surging coronavirus cases, calling on governors to require vaccinations for all school employees and for districts to implement more regular testing.
In the latest iteration of the White Houses plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the administration will also require teachers and other employees of schools run by federal agencies to be vaccinated as part of his broad push to get the federal work force protected.
That requirement would apply to those who teach in Head Start programs, Department of Defense Schools, and schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education. Collectively, those schools serve more than 1 million children and employ nearly 300,000 staff, according to the plan released by administration officials.
In remarks Thursday evening, during which Mr. Biden sold his plan to an American public that is divided on vaccines, he also made impassioned pleas to populations outside of his control: He implored parents to get their eligible children ages 12 and older vaccinated, and state leaders to help raise the 90 percent of the nations teaching force that is reportedly vaccinated to 100 percent.
Vaccination requirements in schools are nothing new, he said. They work.
Both leaders of the nations most powerful teachers unions expressed support for Mr. Bidens new plan.
Closing Schools In October Not The Answer If There Was Firebreak
Closing schools for an extra week in October wouldn’t be the answer if there was to be an autumn firebreak, a Spi-M member has said.;
Dr Mike Tildesley said that reintroducing restrictions wasn’t something he was aware of, but claimed that schools wouldn’t be a priority in this hypothetical scenario.;
He told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme: “Schools would not be top of the list of things that we would consider to shut or we would advise to shut in this scenario.
“I think the first thing that you would look at would be to look at reducing sizes of gatherings and if we go back to March 2020 we saw was very incremental in terms of how you sort of closed down society.
“I think it’s really important that schools stay open as long as possible.”
You May Like: How Does Covid Symptoms Start
South Eastern Hsc Trust Area
Kircubbin Community Centre :
Friday 10 September, 11.00 am to 6.00 pm
Ulster Hospital Maternity Outpatients;:
Saturday 11 September, 9.30 am to 3.30 pm
Scrabo Community Resource Centre, Scrabo Estate, 18b Cuan Place, BT23 4PB :
Recovery After Severe Illness With Covid
A small percentage of people who have the new coronavirus need to stay in the hospital to get help breathing. It may depend on things like your age and your overall health. This might last 2 weeks or more.
If youre severely ill, you might need treatment in an intensive care unit . Many patients who spend time in the ICU lose weight and strength.
Your medical team will work with you to treat or manage these symptoms, including exercises to boost your strength.
You May Like: How Many Days Of Fever With Covid
Yes The Vaccine Goalposts Have Moved
The US did not vaccinate fast enough to build up a strong base of viral protection before Delta took over. Instead, as some people got their shots, we all eased up rapidly on mitigation measures.
And with Delta here, the number of people who must get vaccinated for society-wide “herd immunity” protection to kick in has gone way up.
Offit shared some back-of-the-napkin math on this, based on a well-regarded formula he helped develop for herd immunity.
His calculation comes down to two variables: the infectiousness of a disease and the effectiveness of the vaccines .
Estimating generously, Offit expects we need at least 90% of the country protected through some combination of vaccinations and previous infections to develop meaningful herd immunity.
Others agree with his rough calculus, which the US hasn’t come close to achieving.
“One endgame would be getting 80 to 90% vaccination and/or previously infected,” Perlman said. “That’s the endgame. And vaccination is so much better than having infection, because some people will die from infection.”
COVID-19 vaccines also give your body a stronger, broader form of viral protection than infection, teaching it how to fight back better, even in the face of new variants.
Whats The Recovery Time For Coronavirus
Early research suggested that it could take 2 weeks for your body to get over a mild illness, or up to 6 weeks for severe or critical cases. Newer data show that recovery varies for different people, depending on things like your age and overall health. Fatigue, headache, and trouble breathing were the symptoms most likely to linger.
CDC guidelines say that if youve been sick, you should isolate yourself at home until all of these things are true:
- You havent had a fever for 24 hours without using a fever-reducing medicine.
- Your symptoms are better, though they might not be totally gone.
- Its been at least 10 days since your symptoms started.
Also Check: Can You Have A Drink After Covid Vaccine
Where Can I Get Vaccinated
The majority of Australians aged 18 and over are now eligible for a Covid vaccination if they are willing to consider the AstraZeneca vaccine, and provided they do not have a history of some specific health conditions.
In addition to the governments official eligibility checker, which lists some clinics near your location which might have vaccination appointments available, there are a number of other helpful resources that can help you to find somewhere that has appointments open. You can find our page listing these resources here.
What Will Happen At My Appointment
Make sure you arrive on time but not too early for your appointment to minimise contact between people getting vaccinated. Where possible, you should attend alone for social distancing measures, but if you need support in attending then one carer or family member can come with you.
Remember a face covering if youre able to wear one and practise social distancing and good, regular handwashing to prevent the spread of infection.
When you attend your appointment, youll be asked:
- How youre feeling and whether you have any symptoms that would stop you from being able to have the vaccine.
- About your medical history.
- If you have any questions.
- To consent to having the vaccine.
Youll need to bring:
- A face covering, unless you’re exempt from wearing one.
- Your booking reference number if your appointment is at a large vaccination centre.
- Proof of your occupation if youre a health or care worker.
What to expect:
- All venues offering vaccines will have social distancing and other measures in place to keep you safe.
- Depending on which vaccine you receive, you may be asked to wait for 15 minutes after having the vaccine.
- Youll be given a leaflet about what to expect after your vaccination to take home with you.
- Youll be given a record card.
- Your next appointment will be in the period up to 12 weeks after your first vaccination and it’ll normally be in the same place as your first one.
Also Check: How Many People Have Died From Covid In The Us
Latest On Coronavirus From New Scientist
Vaccine evidence: A UK study has found that protection from the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines wanes over time. Both vaccines provide good protection against symptomatic infections by the delta coronavirus variant, but are around 15 per cent less effective against delta than against the alpha variant. The findings also imply that vaccinated people who do get infected might be just as infectious as unvaccinated people.
The ventilation problem: Maximising airflow in public spaces is crucial to cut covid-19 transmission, but questions remain about what technology to use and how effective it needs to be.;
Taranaki Street in Wellington, New Zealand, during the first day of a national lockdown.
Who Reaffirms Call To Boost Covid
The World Health Organization on Wednesday said low-income countries were ready to run effective;Covid-19 vaccination campaigns and it was now down to manufacturers and rich countries to deliver the pledged doses to ease global health inequalities.
About 80 per cent;of the 5.5 billion vaccines doses that have been administered globally went to high income countries, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news briefing.
“We have heard excuses from manufacturers and some high income countries about how low income countries cannot absorb vaccines,” Tedros said.
He added that almost all low income countries have demonstrated an ability to run large-scale immunisation campaigns for polio, measles and other disease.
“Because manufacturers have prioritised or been legally obliged to fulfil bilateral deals with rich countries willing to pay top dollar, low-income countries have been deprived of the tools to protect their people,” he said.
WHO has set a target to enable every country to jab at least 40 per cent;of the population by the end of this year.
Government Faces Fury From Tory Mps Over Vaccine Passports
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has been accused of talking “rubbish” and starting a “needless fight” with Tory MPs over vaccine passports.
Conservative William Wragg, speaking after Mr Zahawi had defended the need to introduce the measure from the end of September, told the Commons: “What a load of rubbish.
“I don’t believe ;believes a word of what he’s just uttered because I remember him very persuasively stating my position – which we shared at the time – that this measure would be discriminatory and yet he’s sent to the despatch box to defend the indefensible.
“This is a needless fight that we seem prepared to have in this House over the issue, it’s completely unnecessary.”
Mr Wragg encouraged people to have the jab, adding: “But to go down this route, which is overtly discriminatory, would be utterly damaging to the fabric of society.”
Mr Zahawi said it “pains” him to have to take such a step, adding: “We do not take it lightly.”
Latest Coronavirus News As Of 11am On 10 September
Two covid-19 vaccines approved in UK for potential use as booster shots
The Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccines have been approved assafe and effective for use as a third shot by UK regulator the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency . But ageneral booster campaign has not yet been recommended by the body that advises the UK government on who should receive vaccines, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation . This is an important regulatory change as it gives further options for the vaccination programme. It will now be for the JVCI to advise on whether booster jabs will be given, June Raine of the MHRA said in a statement.
The JCVI met yesterday to discuss results from a large UK trial called COV-Boost, comparing the results of giving seven different vaccines as booster doses. So far, the JCVI has only advised third shots for people who are severely immunocompromised which it says are not boosters but top-ups, as this group may not have had strong immune responses to the first two jabs.
Meanwhile, Sarah Gilbert at the University of Oxford, who helped develop the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, has joined those saying a mass booster programme is not yet needed in the UK, and that supplies should be directed to low-income countries. She toldThe Telegraph that evidence suggests immunity is lasting well.
Other coronavirus news
Also Check: Is Being Cold A Sign Of Covid