…The Food and Drug Administration could authorize a second booster early next week, according to multiple people familiar with the deliberations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would then follow with its own advice.
A second booster is at best a stopgap measure. Many experts argue that the existing coronavirus vaccines need to be modified because the virus’s variants are diminishing their power; the question is how to reconfigure them. A surge in the fall is considered highly likely, whether it comes in the form of the Omicron variant, a subvariant like BA.2 or a new lineage entirely.
More than a dozen studies are underway to find the next generation of vaccines, with the first results expected in May or June. If all goes well, that would allow enough time to produce new doses before the fall. One major hitch is that the Biden administration says it does not have the money it needs to reserve its place in line by paying vaccine manufacturers for doses in advance.
On the plus side, data from the C.D.C. indicates that four to five months after a third shot, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines remain about 78 percent effective against hospitalization due to Covid-19. That might even be an underestimate, given the study’s limitations…
78% at 4-5 months? None of the real world data (outside CDC) support that assessment.
However, here are UK data from late last year on the efficacy of Moderna, Pfizer and Astra-Zeneca COVID shots at 2 weeks, 3 months and 6 months after being vaccinated. After 6 months, there is virtually no efficacy, and then you could be entering negative efficacy, where you are more at risk than the unvaccinated to develop COVID.
Back to the NY Times article:
Besides the C.D.C., Britain and Israel have put out data on the waning effectiveness of booster shots. The latest report by Britain’s health security agency states that effectiveness against symptomatic infection drops to between 25 percent and 40 percent 15 weeks or longer after a booster dose of either Pfizer or Moderna.
Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, recently authored a powerful article on the “high cost of disparaging natural immunity to Covid.”
“Public-health officials ruined many lives by insisting that workers with natural immunity to Covid-19 be fired if they weren’t fully vaccinated,” Dr. Makary writes. “But after two years of accruing data, the superiority of natural immunity over vaccinated immunity is clear. By firing staff with natural immunity, employers got rid of those likely to infect others. It’s time to reinstate those employees with an apology.”
“For most of last year, many of us called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release its data on reinfection rates, but the agency refused,” he added. “Finally last week, the CDC released data from New York and California, which demonstrated natural immunity was 2.8 times as effective in preventing hospitalization and 3.3 to 4.7 times as effective in preventing Covid infection compared with vaccination.”
“Yet the CDC spun the report to fit its narrative, bannering the conclusion ‘vaccination remains the safest strategy’,” he continued. “It based this conclusion on the finding that hybrid immunity—the combination of prior infection and vaccination—was associated with a slightly lower risk of testing positive for Covid. But those with hybrid immunity had a similar low rate of hospitalization (3 per 10,000) to those with natural immunity alone. In other words, vaccinating people who had already had Covid didn’t significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization.”
“Similarly, the National Institutes of Health repeatedly has dismissed natural immunity by arguing that its duration is unknown—then failing to conduct studies to answer the question,” Dr. Makary noted. “Because of the NIH’s inaction, my Johns Hopkins colleagues and I conducted the study.”
“We found that among 295 unvaccinated people who previously had Covid, antibodies were present in 99% of them up to nearly two years after infection,” he said. “We also found that natural immunity developed from prior variants reduced the risk of infection with the Omicron variant. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of the two-dose Moderna vaccine against infection (not severe disease) declines to 61% against Delta and 16% against Omicron at six months, according to a recent Kaiser Southern California study. In general, Pfizer’s Covid vaccines have been less effective than Moderna’s.”
“The CDC study and ours confirm what more than 100 other studies on natural immunity have found: The immune system works,” he concluded. “The largest of these studies, from Israel, found that natural immunity was 27 times as effective as vaccinated immunity in preventing symptomatic illness.”
It has become abundantly obvious that the mass media effort to downplay natural immunity from prior Covid infections is a deliberate strategy to tout the universal vaccination program at all costs. One is led to conclude from the historic levels of intellectual dishonesty that this agenda has less to do with Americans’ health than it has to do with politics.”