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We’re vaccinated; we’re boosted, so why are we all still getting sick from Covid?

We’re vaccinated; we’re boosted, so why are we all still getting sick from Covid?
August 04
15:45 2022

Vidya Sethuraman
India Post News Service

COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations are on the rise in the United States, according to July 22 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 2/3 of Americans have tested positive for Covid. This may represent an undercount: more and more people are reporting that their at-home tests are coming back negative even when they are exhibiting clear symptoms of Covid-19. The BA5 sub-variant of Omicron is responsible for 78 percent of infections in the US. EMS briefing on July 29 discussed the BA5 Variants.

 Fewer Americans are getting a second booster shot and only 2.8% of young children under five years old have been vaccinated. Children 5 to 11 were first eligible for a vaccine in November 2021, and according to the CDC, 30% of older kids are now fully vaccinated. But adults aren’t rushing to get boosted. As of July 28, only 51.5% of U.S. residents 18 and older had gotten a booster while 90% had gotten a first shot.

Dr. Ben Neuman said that many Americans have not escaped infection during the epidemic, including people who have been vaccinated and boosted. According to data released by the CDC on July 22, more than two-thirds of Americans have tested positive for Covid-19, and many more reported that they were clearly experiencing symptoms of Covid-19. Dr. Neuman said of the 17 or 18 variants of the Omicron virus over the past few months, 20% of them were mutations in the secondary spike protein. In this process, weaker viruses are naturally eliminated, leaving relatively strong viruses. The subtype strain BA.5 is the more infectious one, and its many changes can escape the recognition of antibodies. However, he said that the current vaccines in the United States are developed against 29 mutated viruses, which can ensure that most of the mutations will not cause serious illness.

The BA5 Omicron sub-variant is causing 78% of infections in the U.S. BA5 is good at evading immune protection from a vaccine or a prior COVID infection, said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco. BA5 infects the upper respiratory tract, and while very infectious, it generally has milder symptoms than earlier variants like Delta. Chin-Hong said wastewater studies in CA. indicate there could be 3-8 times more infections than the official counts.

BA5 is circulating in every community in this country. The current recommendation is that if you are eligible for a booster, receive it this afternoon, said Dr. William Schaffner.

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