Sunday, August 01, 2021

Laurie Garrett in Foreign Policy: "The Science Says Everyone Needs a Covid-19 Booster Shot -- and Soon"


PW County park 2021-7

Laurie Garrett has a booklet-length article in Foreign Policy (paywall) “The Science Says Everyone Needs a Covid-19 Booster Shot – and Soon” with the byline “The biology of the delta variant has made mass revaccination an urgent necessity”.

There is a lot of attention to Israel’s starting its third dose revaccination for those over 60.  She also discusses the UK, which seems to be reversing its rise in Delta cases now (maybe because a longer time before the second shot). 

The basic problem seems to be, if you don’t vaccinate everyone in the world very quickly, selective pressures may encourage nastier vaccine-evading variants. 

For my money, that sounds like pressuring China to take even more responsibility for vaccinating the entire developing world.

Yet the Sinovac vaccine doesn’t sound like it has done as well in preventing serious disease as the mRNA’s.  That’s a soft statement.  In theory, since it seems to use a greater variety of proteins, its protection ought to be more stable.  But that would be a whole new subject for Garrett to take up, what kind of vaccine really will be the most dependable in discouraging selective escapes.  China does sound capable of the mass production and it owes the world this given the origins. 

The world has never tried to vaccinate its way out of public health crisis quickly before (which is what mRNA specifically intends to do).  But the only other alternative would be some mass-produced rapid testing and automated smartphone contact tracing for everyone (Mina’s idea).  Well, plus, more rapid testing and approval of therapeutics to be given by mouth or simple injection right after infection (the “gay medicine” idea).  We haven’t gotten there, either.

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