UK Lowers COVID Alert Status As Pressure on Hospitals Eases
The United Kingdom has lowered the COVID alert level to 3 from 4 (where the disease is in general circulation and is growing exponentially). This is a welcome step forward because COVID case and death numbers have fallen consistently, and the pressure on hospitals is easing.
Those over 70 are at the highest risk of being admitted to hospital because of COVID-19
The risk of hospitalisation for COVID-19 is higher among those over 70 years old. Smokers, pregnant women, and those with other chronic conditions are also at risk. People over 70 are also more likely to die due to COVID-19.
Patients who have respiratory symptoms should seek medical care immediately. They should be evaluated closely, as a worsening episode could indicate an underlying lung disease. Those with COPD, pulmonary embolism, or severe pulmonary disease should see a physician if their symptoms persist or worsen. Chest pain is another common symptom of COVID-19, and may be a symptom of heart failure, pericarditis, or severe COPD.
Vaccination programs should prioritize those at risk for COVID-19. A national vaccination program aimed at those at high risk is currently being implemented in the United Kingdom. The vaccination is expected to be available in Scotland in winter 2020-21. The study aims to estimate the frequency of COVID-19 hospitalisation and characterise high risk patients.
Booster shots restore immunity from waning immunity
Booster shots are important tools to protect against illness. In fact, they have been a crucial public health tool for decades. Researchers have found that some vaccines are no longer effective, or their durability has waned. Fortunately, there is a vaccine for many illnesses.
The efficacy of vaccines depends on the level of preexisting immune responses. The immune response is best assessed using measurable antibody levels. However, because antibody levels naturally decline, they are not routinely tested. Booster shots can help restore waning immunity and extend protection.
The effectiveness of booster shots gradually declined after the second dose. For example, BNT162b2 had a 82*1% efficacy at five months and 81*6% at six months. But, it was significantly lower after eight months. A booster dose did not significantly reduce the number of cases of BA. The study also found no significant adverse effects related to booster shots.
Booster shots reduce the circulation of omicron variant
A recent study by Pfizer and BioNTech concluded that booster shots could reduce the circulation of Omicron variant by 25 times compared to the first dose. While two doses of the vaccine are not enough to protect you against infection, these shots are still beneficial for your child’s health. In fact, some studies show that they may even provide better protection against the COVID-19 strain than the first.
The WHO Emergency Use List for vaccines aims to protect against severe disease and the impact of the disease on the health system. The COVID-19 vaccine has the WHO Emergency Use Listing, which indicates that the vaccine provides high protection against severe disease and death. The mutational profile of the Omicron variant indicates that booster shots reduce the circulation of the virus in the blood while preserving its effectiveness against severe disease. However, further studies are required to confirm the effect of the booster shots in terms of death, hospitalization, and the risk of severe disease.
The third dose of the mRNA vaccine is needed to generate high concentrations of antibodies against the omicron variant. These antibodies neutralize deltacron and the original BA.1.1. Therefore, booster shots are not likely to trigger a new omicron infection outbreak. The researchers from Ohio State University published the findings in Cell Host and Microbe.