It’s Friday and I decided I’d put out a short diary that would mention some of the good news out there about the pandemic even as we are apparently in the midst of a surge.
As far as vaccinations, the CDC says that 71.3% of the US population has had at least one shot at this point. Why is this important? Because the 5-11 age group are just starting to hit the point where they’re able to get their 2nd shot. 60.6% of the US population is fully vaccinated. Once those younger kids start getting their 2nd shot, we should see that number start to shoot up significantly.
Worried about whether people are getting boosters? It appears that they are: 25.7% of fully vaccinated people have gotten their booster, and keep in mind that people vaccinated less than 6 months ago are not eligible yet, so the number of those eligible that have gotten vaccinated is actually much higher.
Moderna and Pfizer are already working on tweaking their respective mRNA vaccines to address Omicron. The good news/bad news is that it will be about 2-3 months before either will be ready for clinical testing, though clinical testing should be much quicker than it was for the original vaccine. Why’s that bad news? Well, 2-3 months is a long time in a fast-moving pandemic. Why’s it good news? 2-3 months is a HUGE leap in how quickly we can adjust vaccines, made possible by the mRNA technology used. Normally, the lag would be much longer.
Although it’s still early days, the vaccines still seem to provide good, if reduced, protection against Omicron. It is not completely evading the vaccine protection, and those that do contract it seem to have pretty good protection against hospitalization and death.
And finally, Pfizer expects to have initial data on it’s trials for 2-5 year olds by around year’s end. This bodes well to having an effective vaccine for that age group sometime early next year.