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Covid vaccine update

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The CDC just released new Covid vaccine guidance:

For now,to be considered up-to-date, everyone should have at least one bivalent vaccine. However, only higher-risk people should be getting repeat bivalent vaccinations.

Also, while previous vaccination with the older, monovalent version of the vaccine used to be a prerequisite for bivalent vaccination, under the new guidelines, even people who haven’t gotten anyCovid-19 vaccines can get a bivalent shot.

Bivalent vaccine uptake has not been great in the US. Only 42 percent of people 65 and over — who are at highest risk for severe disease and hospitalization due to Covid-19 — have received the shot. In all, fewer than 17 percent of all Americans have gotten a bivalent vaccine.In a statement, FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research director Peter Markssaid, “The agency believes that this approach will help encourage future vaccination.”

The latter statistics are pretty amazing, considering that the bivalent version of the Covid vaccine is vastly more effective against newer strains of the virus than the old versions.

And although Covid mortality rates continue to fall, we’re still seeing more than 1000 deaths per week in the US from the disease, so the fact that less than half of the most vulnerable demographic has gotten by far the most effective protection against the virus is yet more testimony to how pandemics “end” in social terms long before they end in terms of epidemiology.

Anyway, everyone should get the bivalent booster, although per the new guidelines only people 65 and older and the immuno-compromised should get more than one, at least for now.

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