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December Newsletter – COVID vaccine news

  •  Vaccines are arriving at lightspeed compared to development efforts in the past.  The first vaccines may be available in late December.  The rest of the vaccines may take a year to dispense. Some questions still to be answered: can vaccinated people still spread the disease, how long will immunity last, will enough people get vaccinated to stop the pandemic. If you are working in a high exposure job and would like a chance at getting a vaccine early, you may be able to sign up for a vaccine trial here.
  •  Eli Lilly and Co. is giving New Mexico 10,000 doses of its experimental synthetic antibody treatment, Bamlanivimab for non-hospitalized patients. (The state already has 878 doses from the federal government). This therapy may reduce the severity of the disease in high-risk patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. In one study the percentage of patients who had a Covid-19-related hospitalization was 1.6% in the bamlanivimab group versus 6.3% in the placebo group, so the hope is it will keep people out of the overtaxed hospitals.

Vaccine info from NYT article Dec 4.

  • Which is better protection – immunity from a real infection or from a vaccine? No one knows for sure, but vaccines are the safer route to go.  People who had Covid, were exposed to a wide range of viral loads and had a wide range of responses, some fatal. Vaccines for some pathogens like pneumococcal bacteria induce better immunity than natural infections, and the covid vaccine may fall in that category. One study showed that volunteers who had the Moderna vaccine had more antibodies in their blood than people who had been sick with Covid. 
  • If you are young and healthy, it is better to get the vaccine than take the risk of getting COVID-19. In a study of 3,000 people aged 18 to 34 who were hospitalized for Covid, 20% required intensive care and 3% died. Even if you have no symptoms, you might pass it along to someone else who could suffer from the disease and die,

If you already had COVID, it is safe to get a vaccine and probably beneficial.

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