Diversifying response options for COVID-19 infections, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis opens up more than 20 centers across state.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla is predicting a COVID-19 vaccine-resistant variant will probably emerge. He assures everyone that the company has a system to turn around a variant-specific jab within some three months.
“Every time that the variant appears in the world, our scientists are getting their hands around it,” Bourla told FOX News’ America’s Newsroom cohosts. “They are researching to see if this variant can escape the protection of our vaccine. We haven’t identified any yet but we believe that it is likely that one day, one of them will emerge.”
Bourla noted a company process to develop a variant-specific vaccine within 95 days from identifying the variant of concern. Infectious disease experts and public health officials have reiterated for months that broadening the reach of the existing vaccines across the population, in the U.S. and abroad, will reduce the opportunity for the virus to further mutate.
He also indicated that vaccinations would stop new strains from arising.
The company spokesman said he anticipates a vaccine-resistant variant, but stressed that if more Americans take the shot, the chances of such a mutation occurring will decrease.
I want to unpack some concerns I have with these statements. While I don’t mind getting an annual flu shot, I do mind the thought of an injection of a relatively new vaccine type at periodic intervals.
As I noted in my previous discussion of the first global coronavirus pandemic of 1889, the virus will return in waves of variants until there is enough population immunity that most people experience few to mild symptoms. The virus is now ubiquitous, so vaccinating a group won’t be effective, and vaccinating the entire global population won’t be practical.
Furthermore, the number of breakthrough infections is rising now…not in the distant future.
Some 25% of SARS-CoV-2 infections among Los Angeles County residents occurred in fully vaccinated residents from May through July 25, a period that includes the impact of the highly transmissible Delta variant, U.S. officials reported on Tuesday.
The data, published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly report on death and disease, shows an increase in so-called “breakthrough” infections among fully vaccinated individuals.
The CDC is relying on data from cohorts, such as the Los Angeles County study, to determine whether Americans need a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines to increase protection. Government scientists last week laid out a strategy for booster doses beginning on Sept. 20, pending reviews from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the CDC.
Perhaps instead of focusing so much on vaccines, Pfizer might be helping the world more by developing effective treatments at a sensible price point.
One treatment type that appears to be a good option involves monoclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies are proteins made in a laboratory to fight infections given to patients directly through an IV infusion or a shot. The treatment reduces the amount of the virus, or viral load, that causes COVID-19 in a person’s body, reducing the severity of symptoms and decreasing the likelihood of hospitalization.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is now opening up monoclonal antibody treatment centers throughout the state.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a monoclonal antibody treatment center in Fort Pierce Monday.
He and the Florida Division of Emergency Management Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kenneth Scheppke spoke at the Havert L. Fenn Center.
The visit was a part of the series of press conferences being held around the state that the governor and FDEM officials have been using to spread awareness about monoclonal antibody treatments, including Regeneron.
…DeSantis noted that while the vaccine is a tool for prevention, this will allow people who have gotten the virus to go through milder symptoms and possibly stay out of the hospital.
Another treatment center opened in West Palm Beach and about 20 other treatment centers are expected to be opened so that they are within driving range of most people, DeSantis said.
Ensuring effective treatments are available to citizens in the wake of vaccine breakthrough increases seems like a sensible move more in the public interest than in the interest of corporate profit.DONATE
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