There were 1,752 cases reported yesterday. Slightly up from the previous day. The 7 days average dropped to 2,822, but the positivity rate is about 30%. Before the surge we were running a daily rate of around 200 with a 2% positivity rate. While this is an improvement, we still have a long way to go. People behave, however, as if things are normal. This variant does appear to cause milder disease, especially in breakthrough cases in those vaccinated and boosted. However, 2,000 people a day are dying of this variant.
A patient came in who is an anesthesiologist and asked about getting a fourth vaccination. He said that a number of his colleagues were getting one. I said that the only people who are approved for a fourth dose are the immunocompromised. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html,
There is a widely quoted study, a summary of which is in the AP story in this link https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-middle-east-israel-5da0bbef16209e9c55e48af40248af11
The bottom line is that a fourth dose boosted antibody levels similar to the third dose but did not substantially reduce the risk of acquiring the infection.
Pfizer is supposed to be coming out with a new Covid 19 next month. I’m going to wait until finding out more about that before getting another vaccine.
The good news, albeit not sexy, is that masks do work, However, it’s got to be a good mask.
N95, KN95 masks provide greatest protection from coronavirus infection, CDC data suggest
The Washington Post(2/4, Bernstein, Sellers) reported that “wearing any kind of mask indoors is associated with significantly better protection from the coronavirus, with high-quality N95 and KN95 masks providing the best chance of avoiding infection,” according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Post added, “In indoor public settings, surgical masks reduce the chances of testing positive by 66%, the CDC estimated,” while “top-of-the-line N95 and KN95 masks…cut the odds of infection by 83%.”
So don’t run out and get another vaccine but do continue to mask indoors until we see a more dramatic drop in cases. Hopefully, that will come within the next two to four weeks.