Natural immunity comes from being exposed to a microbe that causes a disease. Vaccination-mediated immunity comes from being exposed to a vaccine that is similar to but not the same as the microbe. If we understand a bit more about our immune system and its memory, it will help us navigate the information and misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, the COVID variants, and the length of our immunologic memory.
Why is so much attention being given to those who refused to get vaccinated? Why would someone trade the safe harbor of vaccination for the risk of death from COVID-19 and its variants in the tradeoff calculus?
Roughly 70% of Americans have gotten or plan to get vaccinated – a percentage that has not changed since June. The public remains divided between those that fear the virus and its consequences and those who fear the vaccination.
As more and more of the US population is vaccinated, we are not clutching our vaccine supplies so tightly. We are beginning to send them to others in need. There is a great deal of talk about the costs, and you know, somewhere, some “bean counter” is doing a cost-benefit analysis.
Our first two vaccines have greater than 90% efficacy; Novavax reports 89.3%, Johnson and Johnson’s reports 66%. Should we care? What do those numbers mean to you and me when we worry about the protection the vaccine affords us?
Our elderly population living in nursing homes has been a target of COVID-19 and now early vaccination. Was COVID-19 preying upon the weak and frail -- where some co-morbidities more likely to be problematic -- or were nursing home protocols, and the staff administering them, one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
Vaccinating the population of the United States is quite an enterprise. The media has recounted the problems of extreme cold logistics and getting the vaccine from manufacturers to health care workers, along with the delays in the roll-out. But those problems are far more easily solved than the trip from vial to arm.
The Pew Research Center released a survey of 12,648 Americans on their current views on COVID-19. The headline was the increasing interest in vaccinations, up now to 60% of those surveyed, since Pfizer and Moderna's announcements. But the headline left a lot of great information "below the fold," if mentioned at all. This special edition of Every Picture Tells A Story shares a few of the salient findings.