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Living and Dying: a consideration for those on the fence about COVID vaccines

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As you know, my cousin Barbara, 77, died recently from COVID after a couple-weeks stuggle.  Barbara hadn't yet gotten the COVID Vaccine.

Barb's husband Bob, 83 and in poor health, also caught COVID and was released from the hospital Acute Care ward (never in ICU) after about 4 days and sent home.

Last night, I learned that Bob had received the Pfizer COVID vaccine a couple weeks before he caught COVID.

It didn't have time to fully kick-in and he hadn't gotten the 2nd shot yet, but it matched the "real world" studies that you CAN catch COVID after getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines - though 1/20 the chance if you're fully vaccinated compared to unvaccinated, but the chances of being hospitalized if you catch it are smaller and the chances of dying of it are extremely smaller.

We don't know if the vaccine or recovery-from-infection immunity will last only 8 months or for several years according to one report:

One recent study found that natural immunity is still present in people 8 months after they were infected. Another study noted that parts of the immune response of people who had COVID-19 are similar to those of people who were sick in the early 2000s with SARS (a virus very similar to the one that causes COVID-19). Because of this, some experts think natural immunity to the coronavirus might last for several years.

Unfortunately, it is too soon to tell how long natural immunity to COVID-19 will last. While the research coming out is promising, this virus hasn’t been around long enough to know for certain.

A recent and maybe only serious study IMayo Clinic in Minnesota and Nference in Massachusetts) of real world effectiveness (though all its 200,000+ study-group's death, etc. numbers are much lower than national averages) is here: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210221/Study-shows-real-world-effectiveness-of-Moderna-and-PfizerBioNtech-vaccines.aspx


If you do get the shot, my retired-in-September Johns Hopkins researcher sister says do NOT get the Johnson and Johnson vaccine that may be approved by the FDA within a week - unless you figure you've got months of waiting for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.  My sister says the most recent studies indicate the J&J vaccine may fall from 66% effective to 30+% effective after a few months.

 Pfizer (95% lab effective, 89% real-world effective) and Moderna (94.1% lab effective, 89% real-world effective) are virtually equivalent (%'s resulted from slightly different measurement times) and they have been lab-tested to also be highly effective against the highly contagious UK, South African, and Latin American variants.

The Johnson and Johnson Vaccine has been lab-tested 70% effective and "the single-shot vaccine is 66% effective overall in preventing moderate-to-severe COVID-19, 28 days after vaccination. However, it demonstrated 100% efficacy at preventing severe disease after day 49....Based on clinical studies in Africa, UK and Latin America, there is evidence the vaccine is effective against the variants, although less so against the South African and Latin American strains."

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the best bets at protecting against future variants because the mRNA in the vaccines causes your cells to create a small part of COVID-19's outer protein layer including the spikes, so your body builds up and stores antibodies that will attack anything with those spikes: which should include all highly infectious variations of COVID-19.

The Johnson and Johnson and AstraZenica (also about 70% effective) Vaccines are Adenovirus based (inactivated Common Cold virus) and appears to be less flexible against new variants.

Here's a good comparison of all the vaccines: https://www.biospace.com/article/comparing-covid-19-vaccines-pfizer-biontech-moderna-astrazeneca-oxford-j-and-j-russia-s-sputnik-v/





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Good information, Dr. Mickin!  You have wonder if just getting that one shot, while not preventing him from getting the virus, prevented a more serious case of it than it could have been, even though it had nowhere near enough time to be fully ramped up in the body.  I am in the camp that it may have helped, based on what the science says is likely.

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The evidence has supported the position that a single dose of either of the two mRNA vaccines can prevent the disease and the most severe infections. It is currently indicated that the J&J vaccine is more effective against Covid-19 than our seasonal flu shots are against flu.

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Moderna is also on the fast track to a booster shot more effective against the South African variant.  This variant has somewhat smaller spikes and is smaller overall which may be why it's so easily airborne and more infectious.

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