Is a Fourth COVID Vaccine Necessary?
From eNewsletter 3/23/3022
DID YOU KNOW that quercetin, a frequent guest of nutrition journals, has appeared yet again in a study related to inflammatory disorders, particularly of the neurologic origin? According to the authors of a study from Nutrients, they were so taken with quercetin's positive effects on ameliorating neuroinflammation, they suggest that it be considered as a potential drug for the treatment of diseases related to inflammatory disorders in the central nervous system. There are myriad inflammatory disorders associated with the central nervous system, but post-COVID syndrome or "long COVID" is one that needs to be addressed immediately. Quercetin is one nutraceutical that fits the bill.
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Virus Prevention And Treatment Vaccines minimize COVID-19 related mortality and hospitalizations, but SARS-CoV-2 is here to stay. Moreover, it is not the only virus we fight. There are influenza (flu), norovirus (stomach flu), adenovirus (common cold), and four other coronaviruses (common cold), among others. Continue your immune support year-round. For more information, refer to our Prevent and Fight Viruses 2.0 Protocol.
Post-COVID Syndrome 2.0 The official diagnosis for post-COVID syndrome (PCS) are symptoms that last for 12 weeks or more. If you, a family member, friend, coworker, or neighbor is suffering from PCS, diligently following our Post-COVID Syndrome 2.0 Action Plan for purchase, or free to paid members here (must use the password), can bring measurable improvement.
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Steve: In an expected, but greedy move, Pfizer and Moderna have submitted applications to the FDA to approve a fourth COVID vaccine for those 65 and older. I hate to say it because the two-dose schedule saved so many from severe illness and death, but this reeks of a revenue grab. Given that the third shot was unnecessary for most Americans, a fourth shot is beyond the pale. There are so many reasons this is the wrong approach, starting with the fact that much of the world has not even received a first dose. The fourth dose is not even modified to address the Omicron and its sub-variants. Most importantly, the majority of you who complained about strong, long-term side effects happened after getting the booster. The only case in which a fourth dose should be considered is in severely immunocompromised individuals that had no antibody response to the prior three shots. Everyone else, please do not even consider it. After reading some of the following, it will be hard for you to disagree. And oh yeah, you'll see why you shouldn't be overly worried about the new "stealth variant". Previous Infection, Not Vaccination, Improves Antibody Performance New research to be presented at this year’s European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases shows that, although over time the number of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies falls in both previously infected and vaccinated patients, the performance of antibodies improves only after previous infection (and not vaccination). This difference could explain why previously infected patients appear to be better protected against a new infection than those who have only been vaccinated. In a study from New England Journal of Medicine, prior COVID-19 infection protects against infection with the Omicron variant 56% of the time and dramatically reduces the risk of hospitalization or death. Protection was 90.2% against the Alpha variant, 85.7% against the Beta variant, and 92.0% against the Delta variant. Antibodies in the Unvaccinated According to results of a study of unvaccinated US adults from JAMA Network Open, antibodies were detected in 99% of individuals who reported a positive COVID-19 test result, in 55% who believed they had COVID-19 but were never tested, and in 11% who believed they had never had COVID-19 infection. Moreover, antibody levels were observed after a positive COVID-19 test result for up to 20 months, much more than the previous 6-month durability data. Vaccine in 5-11 Age Group Underwhelms While the Pfizer vaccine reduced risk of severe illness in children, who are not at high risk for severe illness to begin with, it had virtually no effect on preventing infection, according to research in Medrxiv. The previous study is especially prescient given the fact that a recent JAMA Pediatrics study recommends using single-dose only, a lower dosage for 2 doses, or a lengthened interval between doses to reduce myocarditis risk in this age group. Even recent CDC data provides underwhelming vaccine results given the low risk of COVID-19 in children. Approximately one half of Omicron infections in unvaccinated children and adolescents were asymptomatic. Two doses of Pfizer vaccine only reduced the risk of Omicron infection by 31% among children aged 5-11 years. New England Journal of Medicine: One Dose Enough for Previously Infected In one study, getting at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine after recovering from COVID-19 was associated with a significantly lower risk of reinfection. Vaccine effectiveness was 82% for ages 16-64 and 60% for ages 65 and older. In a separate analysis, researchers found that vaccine effectiveness against reinfection was about the same for those who received one vaccine dose and those who received two vaccine doses after previous infection. J&J Underwhelms Again The risk of hospitalization after vaccination with Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine was about five times higher than for those who received the Pfizer shot, according to a large study from JAMA Network Open. Stealth Variant According to a new study from New England Journal of Medicine, we respond similarly to the stealth variant as we do Omicron, which caused much lower numbers of severe illness and death. Those who were vaccinated but never had COVID infection responded well. Those who had previous COVID infection responded even better.