Fail or success: Covid-19 Vaccine against new Omicron variant

covid 19 vaccine

Unprotected people (no vaccine or no previous infection) are most at risk. With the tremendous transmission ability of Omicron, it is most likely that many of us will get infected. If we get infected, the best thing is that the virus catches us vaccinated. Vaccines are not an impenetrable steel armor, we can get infected and we can infect others, but with less probability.

But that doesn’t mean the vaccines aren’t working. Vaccines help prevent severe cases on the patient, reducing hospital admissions and mortality. That was his goal. That is why we must be vaccinated, not only to protect ourselves, but to protect others.

Vaccine induce a powerful immune response.

Immunity is much more than antibodies. Antibodies prevent infection and cellular immunity prevents severe disease and mortality. But both are needed. That is why the most vulnerable people need antibodies and cellular immunity, because only the infection can take them to the hospital.

In older people, their immune system also ages (immunodeficiency) and they respond less well to vaccine stimuli. It can also happen that the antibody response decreases over time. For this reason, a booster dose, the famous third doses, may be recommended.

As we have said, it seems that the neutralizing capacity of the antibodies induced by the vaccines can be reduced with Omicron. Other works suggest, however, that the cellular response could indeed control the new variant. In any case, several studies with different vaccines (AstraZeneca, Johnson-Johnson, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer and Sinovac) suggest that a booster dose reduces severe COVID-19 in any age group and increases the neutralizing activity against Omicron significantly.

One of the best ways to protect you against SARS-CoV-2, regardless of the variant, is vaccine.

The priority should be:

1) Convince those people who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated.

2) Vaccinate the most vulnerable people (elderly, with previous pathology, etc.) with a third booster dose.

And also one that should not be forgotten that this is a global pandemic and what happens in other part or earth influences us, so covid vaccines must be provided in countries where vaccination rates are very low.

Is vaccinate children under 12 is necessary?

covid vaccine for child

We are in an extraordinary situation. Although cases of severe COVID-19 are very rare in a minor that does not mean that there have not been serious cases and even deaths.

Clinical trials have shown that vaccines for children between 5 and 12 years of age are safe and effective. In addition, more than 5 million children in the US have been vaccinated, and no serious secondary cases have been reported.

A doubt for childhood vaccination

Although from an individual point of view one could doubt the need for childhood vaccination, vaccinating minors can have other beneficial effects, not only preventive but even therapeutic: it can help reduce the incidence of the disease, improve the situation in schools and reduce the psycho-emotional stress to which minors and their families are also subjected.

Some argue that vaccinating children to protect the elderly is an aberration, but vaccines have always had that social component: they protect each one and protect others. We insist, the situation at this time is not normal, we are immersed in a pandemic.

On this point it should be remembered that in many countries, vaccination is not compulsory. Vaccinating children is a decision that parents have to authorize in good conscience. If you have any doubts, ask your pediatrician for advice. But we  have to respect any decision and not discriminate anyone.

The unvaccinated

risk of unvaccinated

It is not the fault of the unvaccinated if the sixth wave happens. The unvaccinated are at great risk, but they are not the only to blame for the increased incidence of the virus.

If the vaccines are not preventing the virus from circulating, what do we do?

Now is a good time to remember the image of Swiss cheese.

swiss cheese model for covid including vaccine

Vaccine are not the solution, but part of the solution

We do not have an impenetrable steel wall that blocks the virus, not even the vaccines. Vaccines are not the only solution but it is a part of the solution. No single measure is perfect for preventing the spread of the virus (every layer of cheese has holes). But an overlapping of measures compensates for individual shortcomings and significantly reduces risk.

Let’s remember that the virus is transmitted by aerosols, as if it were tobacco smoke. Imagine a person next to us smoking. Just as tobacco smoke moves around us and we end up breathing it, the virus will move if we had an infected person by our side.

Prevent contagion

For this reason, a closed, poorly ventilated place, with many people, talking for a long time and without a mask is the best place to get infected. Masks have turned out to be a very effective measure to prevent contagion.

Masks are necessary indoors and outdoors if there is no safety distance. Outdoors with a safety distance, the mask is not necessary. The risk of infection outdoors is much lower than indoors. One of the reasons why there are more infections of respiratory virus in winter, because we spend more time together indoors.

It makes no sense, therefore, to close the parks as has been done at other times during the pandemic. Any activity, better outside than inside. Going down the street with a mask and taking it off when entering a closed place is like walking down the street with a helmet and taking it off when you get on your motorcycle because it bothers you to drive.

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