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February 10, 2021

Mission Accomplished. Second Vaccine Dose in Arm

As an old person, I was in Group 1b for vaccine distribution.  Almost 3 weeks ago I received Dose 1 and today I received Dose 2.  It feels good to have this behind me, and my husband will receive his second dose at the end of the week.   Read Below.

 

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I hope that everyone will get vaccinated.  It was almost a year ago that I was learning about how vaccines could be made isolating the coronavirus spike protein genetic code, coat it with lipids, and inject it as a vaccine.  When my cells use the code to make the spike protein, my immune system will recognize it as a foreign protein and produce an immune response.  I will go to bed tonight wondering how fast the spike protein will be made in my sore muscle.  What an amazing scientific accomplishment. 

February 6, 2021

Fever, Chills, Myalgias

Where is influenza this year?  It normally peaks between December and February, and this year the incidence is way down in the US and around the world.  Normally 20-30% of the Influenza tests would be positive.  Most people don't get tested when they have flu symptoms, but this year the positive tests were 0.2% during the 3rd week in January, and hospital cases are also reduced. 

Possible factors include:

Flu was significantly decreased in the Southern Hemisphere this past summer (their winter) - which usually predates our peak flu season - and there was less spread from there. 

The public health measures that are in place for Covid-19 also protect us from other respiratory viruses:  masks, social distancing, and hand washing.  Cleaning surfaces does protect against influenza. 

Children are a major carrier for flu and they are also congregating less.

A "twindemic", of Covid-19 and influenza was feared this winter, and influenza vaccination was strongly recommended.

There was reduced travel.                  See Below 

 

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The reduced incidence of flu this year may affect next year's flu shots.  Each year the flu strains that are circulating here this winter helps scientists make up the multivalent flu shots for next year.  Sometimes they are very well matched, other times not as well.  Next year's vaccine development may be challenging.    

 

February 3, 2021

Listening to Dr. Fauci

I listened to an interview with Dr. Fauci and David Ignatius of the Washington Post yesterday and wanted to share some of the discussion.

1.  Virus mutations will occur unless we stop replication.  The more cases we have the faster the viruses will mutate.  Many of the mutations do not change the virus behavior, others do causing: increased transmission of disease, more serious infection, and/or a change in the response of the virus to vaccines or monoclonal antibody treatments.  Right now the virus, which is out of control, will accumulate more mutations and we need increased genomic testing for surveillance and preparations to upgrade the vaccines.  We have the scientific skills to modify the vaccines and need to stay ahead of the changes.  The current goal is to push ahead with vaccinations as quickly as possible.

2.  The CDC is trying to study masks in order to determine the best way to prevent transmission, but won't have any new recommendations until they have the science to back them up.  Until then Dr. Fauci says if one mask is good, two are probably better (double masking).  It can't hurt and might help.  Read Below

 

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3.  The US gets an A+++ for vaccine development, but now needs to concentrate on distribution.  In order to beat the virus, we need to vaccinate as quickly as we can.  The federal government is working on the supply chain and developing outreach programs in communities to get the available vaccines equitably  "into arms" as quickly as possible.  They are also developing many programs to combat vaccine hesitancy because our control of the virus will depend on having 70-85% of the population vaccinated to reach herd immunity, which is the only way we can return to our prepandemic lives.  Everyone needs to be patient....

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