I started writing almost a year ago to spread the word about the novel coronavirus. I feared the worst and wanted to keep my friends safe. Most of us have made it this far safely which is a relief. I am hearing more about friends and relatives getting their vaccines and that makes me glad. Don’t despair if you are waiting or having trouble finding one. More are coming and slots will be available. Your vaccine will come.
I suggest reading this New York Times article about why the vaccines are more successful than we give them credit for. One big reason is that they all prevent serious illness and deaths. We have wondered about what effect the vaccines have on the “viral load” or amount of virus someone is carrying, because it can influence transmission as well as how serious the illness is. The higher the viral load, the more infectious that person is. Also the more virus someone gets exposed to when they are first infected influences how ill they become. Today a study showed data that we have been hoping for. This study shows that within 12-28 days after vaccination with the PfizerBioNTech vaccine; if someone catches the virus, the viral load is much lower in those people who were vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated.
Decreased viral load after immunization will really help decrease transmissions. We are going to need that. The UK variant B.1.1.7 has been detected in a University of Washington Student. We must assume more of that variant is here, and thus probably most areas in the country. But along with that comes news that the new variant may re-infect someone who already had COVID-19 from a different strain. Something to take note of. The vaccines seem to raise the level of immunity higher than a mild case of COVID does, which is why vaccination is recommended for those who recovered from COVID-19.
This means we need to remain vigilant and extra careful to avoid exposures. Increasing our vaccination rates is also key to cut down on the variants and keep new mutations from arising. Booster vaccines are being tested now for future use to provide protection to new strains.
All these facts have me want to hunker down a little while longer, wear double masks or KN95’s, keep up the kindness, and help others find the vaccine, if possible. Our goal is to all come out the other side.
Wash your hands, cove your nose, keep safe six, visualize your vaccine.
And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.