The Covid fight is not over yet, but vaccines remain the best weapon

A combination of good science and even a bit of luck appears to have protected us from the kind of chaos we know Covid-19 can unleash.

Experts point to the welcome coordination between the dominant strain of coronavirus and the booster shot to combat it. But none of this should be taken for granted. As we know only too well, complacency is not our friend in the ongoing fight to keep Covid at bay.

Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly’s reminder that the number of cases had risen “quite significantly” in recent days – including the number of patients hospitalized with the virus – should give food for thought.

He noted the HSE was prepared for “a perfect storm” with a bad flu season expected on top of the Covid cases.

Unlike in other years of the pandemic, the free movement of people for which we are grateful nevertheless raises risk factors.

Mr Donnelly has appealed to people to get both their Covid booster and a flu vaccine not only to protect themselves but to relieve our hospitals.

This week the Health Service Executive launched its winter vaccination programme, offering both the flu shot and new Covid-19 boosters.

Latest data from the Central Statistics Office shows that first-time vaccination rates of Covid-19 range from 36 to 75 percent nationwide.

Only 14 percent of employees across all sectors were not fully vaccinated. Certainly at this stage the reason for strengthening our defenses against contracting the disease is obvious. The state’s new chief medical officer, Dr. Breda Smyth said there were 405 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in hospitals after a 74 per cent surge in the past three weeks.

“The scientific data tells us that the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines decreases over time. It’s important to keep your vaccination schedule up to date and make sure you get a booster dose as soon as you qualify,” said Dr. Smith.

Given the toll the virus has taken, the reasons for the reluctance are difficult to understand, but they have been studied by researchers in the US.

They identified a trend that has many people “wait and see.”

They felt it might be justified for some, including those who have recently suffered from Covid-19.

U.S. policy generally calls for getting a sting sometime between recovering from the virus and three months later. Various studies have shown that previous vaccines became less effective after five or six months.

In many countries, the reason for low intake is simply fatigue and reluctance to vaccinate. Others argue that chasing the virus with new boosters every few months is not a sustainable long-term strategy.

For now, however, it’s by far our most effective weapon. The wait continues for a next-generation vaccine that can target all or most variants and provide long-lasting protection.

From today’s perspective, it makes little sense to skip the booster or take a risk.

https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/the-covid-battle-is-not-over-but-vaccines-remain-the-best-weapon-42043987.html The Covid fight is not over yet, but vaccines remain the best weapon

Fry Electronics Team

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