CDC Admits Omicron Mutations Drastically Reduced Vaccine Effectiveness
Only to prepare you for the Omicron Booster.
It appears they are getting ready for a fall vaccine push. News out from the CDC yesterday was “fake news” only a few months ago - that Omicron’s Mutations Impaired Vaccine Effectiveness which were created for the original Wuhan strain, after they found nearly 40% of people hospitalized in the US this spring were vaccinated and boosted. As reported from Bloomberg:
“From the end of March through May, when the omicron BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 subvariants were dominant in the U.S., weekly hospitalization rates increased for all adults — with those over 65 hit the hardest. Even so, the total number of hospitalizations remained much lower than when the delta variant was rampant last fall.”
This report is out only a few days after both Pfizer and Moderna ask the FDA for approval of booster shots that specifically target the Omicron variant. Both companies plan to roll out booster shots soon after Labor Day.
CDC scientists found that vaccines and boosters did a better job against Delta when it came to keeping people out of the hospital - with efficacy dropping slightly with the BA.1 variant, and then 'significantly' falling off when BA.2 hit the scene. This “new” report is already old as BA.5 is currently 88% of new COVID cases.
The new vaccine combines the old version and adds targeted “protection” for the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants. Given the short time they had to develop the new formula, the data both companies supplied the FDA only included information of the safety and efficacy of the booster in Animals. But not to worry! The FDA seems to not only accepted that but they will review the animal study data without consulting its advisory committee. Human studies are planned and will be ongoing and parallel if the FDA decide to authorize and distribute the shots.
Bill Hanage, a Harvard epidemiologist, praised the "remarkably quick" turnaround time for the new version of the vaccine, saying it normally takes years for shots to be developed and distributed. Comforting right?
The data presented earlier by Pfizer and Moderna earlier this year was, well, underwhelming. Omicron-matched booster offered no more benefit than a standard booster. There is no clear evidence of a dramatic increase in neutralizing antibodies. (To be clear this was early results from the BA.1 Omicron booster and not the same formula being presented to the FDA currently.)
The media is already on board and are already calling it “the most important COVID vaccines offered to Americans since the initial doses.”
There is no guarantee the FDA will approve the new Omicron boosters, but all signs point to yes as they are the ones to have pushed Moderna & Pfizer to expedite development of Omicron boosters for a September rollout.
Get ready for “this one will protect you!” Where have we heard that before?
Will you be getting a Booster?
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