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May 12 2021

Good News: CoVid-19 Vaccination Keeps You Well

First, I want to apologize for the light postings but I work full time, sometimes full time and a half and BobbyK has a busy full time job and a family. I still work in Emergency Medicine but now from the desk, teaching. Much of it has been virtual but, occasionally, it is hands on with the students. I do this as well as my work with an international NGO. So, no, I haven’t forgotten our loyal readers, I just need a 30 hour day to get some sleep. I am also working on fixing the commenting and posting kinks. That said:

There is some really great news for those who are fully vaccinated against SARS-CoVid-2: we can start resuming our normal routines, movies, dining out, visiting family and friends who are vaccinated, without the worry of getting sick. In the rare cases of a vaccinated person contracting the virus, the symptoms are minimal and will probably keep you out or the hospital.

Got the vaccine? Experts say you can relax about your Covid-19 risk now. Really.

I asked health experts about their post-vaccination lives. Most no longer worry about their own risk of Covid-19.

By German Lopez, Vox.com

White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said he will not go into restaurants or movie theaters, even though he’s vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vaccinated people should continue masking up indoors and avoiding large gatherings. News outlets have reported on “breakthrough infections” of Covid-19 among the fully vaccinated.

All of this can make it seem like getting vaccinated may not be enough to liberate people from the fear of getting sick and the precautions they’ve taken to avoid the coronavirus in the past year. So I posed a question to experts I’ve talked to throughout the pandemic about Covid-related precautions: How worried are you about your personal safety after getting vaccinated?

They were nearly unanimous in their response: They’re no longer worried much, if at all, about their personal risk of getting Covid-19. Several spoke of going into restaurants and movie theaters now that they’re vaccinated, socializing with friends and family, and having older relatives visit for extended periods. [..]

As vaccination rates climb and daily new cases and deaths drop, experts said that people should feel more comfortable easing up on precautions, shifting the world back to the pre-pandemic days. That might happen sooner than you think — Israel’s experience suggests that cases could start to sustainably plummet once about 60 percent of the population is vaccinated, a point that could be just a month or two away in the US. And with 46 percent of Americans getting one dose so far, cases in the US have already started to decline.

As more of the population gets the vaccine, it’s prudent to keep masking and avoiding large gatherings, and for people who’ve been vaccinated to share their stories and encourage their friends and family to get vaccinated, too. But that’s not because those who are vaccinated are in any trouble. Even with the spread of the variants, the consensus among experts is that vaccinated people shouldn’t worry much about their own risk of Covid-19. [..]

The real-world evidence has backed this up. In Israel, the country with the most advanced vaccination campaign, the data shows that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been more than 90 percent effective at preventing infections, with even higher rates of blocking symptomatic disease, hospitalization, and death. You can see this in the country’s overall statistics: After Israel almost fully reopened its economy in March, once the majority of the population had at least one dose, daily new Covid-19 cases fell by more than 95 percent. And daily deaths are now in the single digits and, at times, zero.

The research also shows the vaccines are effective against the coronavirus variants that have been discovered so far. While some variants seem better able to get around immunity, the vaccines are so powerful that they still by and large overwhelm and defeat the variants in the end. [..]

Some recent research found that the vaccines can reduce the chances of a vaccinated person spreading the virus to others. The CDC summarized one such real-world study for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, showing the vaccines stop not just symptoms but overall infections and, therefore, transmission:

Results showed that following the second dose of vaccine (the recommended number of doses), risk of infection was reduced by 90 percent two or more weeks after vaccination. Following a single dose of either vaccine, the participants’ risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 was reduced by 80 percent two or more weeks after vaccination.

But in the typically cautious worlds of science and public health, experts want to see a bit more research and data before they declare that vaccinated people can throw out their masks and gather in large numbers indoors. (Some experts also said they may continue masking and avoiding crowded indoor spaces during flu season, after such measures seemed to crush the flu in the past year.)

Even if the vaccine proves to reduce transmission, it would still be safer for every person who can get vaccinated to get the shot. And as more people get their shots, it’s also safer to stick to some precautions for their sake.

As for the continued hospitalizations and deaths, they are dropping dramatically. the patients who are requiring hospitalization are those who have not been vaccinated.

COVID-19 patients total 170 at local hospitals, not a single one vaccinated
By Brian Hamnick, WLWT5 News

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio —

Vaccine effectiveness is showing up in real-world numbers as local hospitals calculate how many COVID-19 patients have been vaccinated.

“When you look at our hospitals right now, there are about 150 people with COVID in those hospitals. None of them have had the vaccine,” said Hamilton County health commissioner Greg Kesterman.

The exact breakdown of numbers shows in Southwest Ohio there are 142 hospitalized with COVID-19, 36 are in the ICU, 28 are on ventilators. Zero have been vaccinated.

At St. Elizabeth in Northern Kentucky, there are 28 COVID patients, 7 are in the ICU. Zero have been vaccinated.

“This is what we expected to see. This is what the data showed. This is why the science is leading us in this direction,” said UC College of Medicine Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum. “It should be a wakeup call to people who said, ‘I’m not sure about this vaccine.’”

Fichtenbaum led the Moderna studies at the UC College of Medicine.

Proof of performance is showing up in another vaccine statistic locally.

It works. Get the shot.