What the vax? Why are highly vaccinated areas seeing an increase in cases?

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A while ago I explained to patients and our blog audience that the vaccines for covid-19 were approved for emergency usage and you, the recipients are the trial.   Most trials of vaccinations take years but the mRNA and J and J vaccines were produced in record time for public consumption to reduce the damage the pandemic could cause and allow society to reopen again.   The protocols for administration mirrored the public trials that were performed before they were released to the public after having abbreviated trials that demonstrated safety and effectiveness.

Now we are finding that after a 6 month period of time vaccine effectiveness for covid-19 wanes.   Is this the reason for the explosion of cases?   Israel was also highly vaccinated and then began to have another surge in cases.   Pfizer donated a large number of vaccines for boosters to re immunize the public. A patient I spoke with a while ago anecdotally said boosters will probably be needed.

Were we being sold a bill of goods for some greedy company like Pfizer to make a lot of money or are we just finding out what would have been revealed had the trial gone on for a longer period of time? The public has learned far more about viruses or vaccines than they ever would have during normal times.

Also, we are now hearing sensational accounts of the family dog, the deer in your backyard, and other animals that may be part of the reason for these case surges. According to the CDC, the risk is low.

On the other hand, it is also understood that after the initial vaccination, your body will develop longer-term immunities once the antibodies disappear. There is convincing evidence that immunity, either artificially via vaccine or by natural transmission may actually result in long-term immunity to viruses, but are we also immune to most variants? some of us after initial infection just block the virus, without getting infected, so why don't we trust our immune system to do what it best; protect us.

As we are the trial, J and J said their vaccine may not prevent covid infection but will reduce the likelihood of having a severe illness.   It sure looks like the two mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna do not necessarily prevent infection either, but they do reduce the risk of severe illness.

Does the booster make you immune again or does it just reinforce the same model of immunity if it is not fine-tuned for new strains of the virus?   If you didn't get the booster but had covid-19 either before or after being vaccinated and now have natural immunity, why doesn't that count?   There was an Israeli study that suggested that people who had covid were 6x less likely to get the delta virus version of covid19 than those who were vaccinated. Other articles insist that natural immunity is not as effective.   Different studies offer different data-dependent on sample size, age group, and other variables.   Are these opinions or facts we are reading?

There were also many countries that had fewer vaccine doses that used one dose of AstraZeneca and a second of one of the others.  Other countries lengthened the time between doses which showed good results as well.   In a  longer trial, we may have found out that spreading out the doses longer allowed for improved immunity.  We may have also found out that combining different vaccines can be very effective too.   This has been documented by other countries already and mix and match are being allowed for boosters.

About those boosters

The truly immunocompromised need a three-dose regimen for full vaccine immunity according to the latest data.   Those receiving the Moderna dose which is half of what the initial dose was are having strong reactions that can last days rather than a day or so as they produce antibodies.   Is it possible that the dose formulation for the booster is too much or unneeded?    Would a dose of half the current amount offer improved protection without the person feeling ill for a number of days? Do we even need a booster?

Again, we are the trial.

If you are confused by this article, the truth is that science at times can be confusing, especially when it is combined with a pandemic and capitalism which seeks to sell us a product.

Science shows that vaccines have helped countries get back to a more normal state faster.   Other than an antibody boost, the booster has yet to show that it significantly affects this pandemic like the original vaccine dosages did and a large sample of Americans still are not vaccinated and there is growing evidence that they are more adversely affected by the virus.

There also is evidence that obesity with insulin resistance,  diabetes type 2, and vitamin D deficiency is part of the problem resulting in hospitalization and severe covid illness. Other than some discussion before the vaccines appeared, not addressing these health problems leaves us unhealthier and that affects healthcare costs.  This pandemic in this author's opinion was the perfect time to help people get healthier.  Instead of addressing those clear risk factors, medications are now being offered to reduce our risk.  While this is great news, it is again a lost opportunity to deal with health problems that are expensive to treat and by improving the health of Americans, we are also helping them fight their next illness or infection.

In this author's opinion, we are likely in the 7th or 8th innings of this pandemic which is a worldwide problem, affecting travel, lifestyles and we may forever view our worlds differently.  We are also likely not going to have a flu season this year as people are yet to travel here from Asia and other countries that are our model for this year's vaccine, yet doctors' offices, large stores, and other facilities continue to tell us we need the vaccine.  Does our health depend on this or does their financial health depend on us taking the bait?  What is a consumer to do?

While this article offers you more to think about than just telling you what you should do, you need to look at all the evidence and then do what is right for you. If you are following the science, the truth is there are more questions than answers but we know for sure that immunocompromised people need three doses of the vaccine.   That's all we really know.