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Tue Jul 14, 2020, 05:50 AM

'We're Wasting Time Talking About Herd Immunity': 'Even w/o Covid Vaccine There's Reason For Hope'

"We're wasting time talking about herd immunity." Opinion by William Haseltine, Mon July 13, 2020, CNN.

(CNN) Debate over whether herd immunity will be our salvation to the escalating Covid crisis was recently fueled by two new reports. The first was the release of a new nationwide study from Spain, a former Covid hotspot, which suggested that too many lives would be lost while waiting to achieve the approximate 60% infection rate needed for herd immunity, whereby so many people become immune to the disease that it is effectively stamped out.

The second was a report from New York, which suggested that in some communities herd immunity may have already been achieved, with one health care clinic reporting that slightly more than 68% of Covid tests taken had come back positive. But we waste critical time with this pointless discussion, because the facts are already quite clear: herd immunity will likely never be achieved for Covid-19 or any other coronavirus. We know this thanks to new research on the development and decline of Covid antibodies and from a wealth of epidemiological evidence on coronaviruses as a whole.

While SARS and MERS are the coronaviruses that grab the headlines, there are four other mostly unknown coronaviruses that are much more common: 229E, HKU1, NL63 and OC43. What we know from 60 years of research into these viruses is that they come back year after year and reinfect the same people -- over and over again.

One New York City study, conducted between the fall of 2016 and the spring of 2018, showed that people could test positive multiple times for infection by the same strain of coronavirus, within the same year. Antibodies to the virus would increase sharply after infection and peak after about two weeks. But then their presence would decline, generally disappearing entirely somewhere between four months and one year. In one case, a person was reinfected with the same strain of coronavirus after just four weeks from first infection...

More, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/13/opinions/herd-immunity-covid-19-uncomfortable-reality-haseltine/index.html
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*Related: "Even Without A Covid-19 Vaccine, There's Reason For Hope." Opinion by William Haseltine, CNN, July 8, 2020.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/08/opinions/covid-19-treatment-reason-for-hope-haseltine/index.html

[Editor's Note: William Haseltine, PhD, is chair and president of the global health think tank, ACCESS Health International. He is author of numerous books, including the recently released, "A Family Guide to COVID-19: Questions and Answers for Parents, Grandparents and Children." The views expressed in this commentary are his own.]

(CNN) A lot of hope has been placed on the possibility of a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of this year. However, overcoming the technical challenges of developing a vaccine -- and the safety issues inherent in making one that works for the populations most at risk -- is no easy feat. While it may be possible to deliver a vaccine by the end of this year, absolutely every step of its development would have to go perfectly. From experience, I can tell you how rare that is.

..Of the more than 100 vaccines currently in development, the ones tested on primates have not prevented nasal infections, though in one case the vaccine prevented the disease from spreading to the lungs where it is known to cause severe damage. However, since Covid-19 progresses somewhat differently in monkeys than in humans, it's hard to know how effective these vaccines will be in human trials. One thing we do know is that some of the vaccines currently being tested in humans are already causing serious side effects. The side effects are likely a result of the powerful ingredients added to the vaccine to help inflame the body's immune system.

These ingredients called adjuvants -- help vaccines work better, but if they can land the young and healthy patients in the clinical trial in the hospital because of high fevers and fainting, imagine what they might do to those already ill with secondary conditions or to those who are older. Indeed, the elderly may need repeated doses of the vaccine, given how resistance to some vaccinations becomes progressively more profound with time.

But even without a vaccine, there is reason for hope that a medical solution to the crisis will soon be at hand. It will likely take the form of anti-Covid drugs that will be able to treat patients newly infected and prevent others from becoming ill. These drugs can likely help us bridge the gap between where we are today -- with only masks, hand hygiene and physical distancing to protect us -- to where we hope to be tomorrow -- with a vaccine in hand. Recent studies have shown two types of drugs with particular promise. The first are antivirals --...

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Reply 'We're Wasting Time Talking About Herd Immunity': 'Even w/o Covid Vaccine There's Reason For Hope' (Original post)
appalachiablue Jul 14 OP
PoindexterOglethorpe Jul 14 #1
Bernardo de La Paz Jul 14 #4
Bernardo de La Paz Jul 14 #2
Bernardo de La Paz Jul 14 #3
lagomorph777 Jul 14 #5

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Jul 14, 2020, 06:26 AM

1. So maybe this is the end of all of us.

It's relatively trivial if we don't get lasting immunity from the corona viruses that cause colds. Colds are almost never fatal, nor do they leave lasting disability in their wake.

But this corona virus? Whoa. It kills a relatively small percentage, yeah, but it seems to leave a larger percentage permanently disabled. Aside from the impact on those specific people we're looking at needing to take care of those disabled. Which takes at least two or three other people. And that's assuming they never get affected.

It's not just individuals who need to make out our wills. It's every single one of us. The entire species.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 14, 2020, 06:56 AM

4. No. . . . nt

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Jul 14, 2020, 06:51 AM

2. Masks, hand hygiene, and distancing work very well, when actually practiced. . . . nt

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Jul 14, 2020, 06:56 AM

3. While antibodies may drop, new study found T cells ready to defend against re-infection


https://www.democraticunderground.com/100213746036
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/05/t-cells-found-covid-19-patients-bode-well-long-term-immunity?fbclid=IwAR1cKY5K2Ri9Yhav3Kw5pO2TkArMmD80n7l0uJ4_5NyzOeuZBsC7uoWGMvM

Immune warriors known as T cells help us fight some viruses, but their importance for battling SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been unclear. Now, two studies reveal infected people harbor T cells that target the virus—and may help them recover. Both studies also found some people never infected with SARS-CoV-2 have these cellular defenses, most likely because they were previously infected with other coronaviruses.

“This is encouraging data,” says virologist Angela Rasmussen of Columbia University. Although the studies don’t clarify whether people who clear a SARS-CoV-2 infection can ward off the virus in the future, both identified strong T cell responses to it, which “bodes well for the development of long-term protective immunity,” Rasmussen says. The findings could also help researchers create better vaccines.


More at links

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 14, 2020, 08:43 AM

5. Exactly! Antibodies are always temporary; there is far more to the immune system than antibodies.

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