Most Utah doesn’t need it another vaccine from COVID-19 soon, said infectious disease specialist Intermountain Healthcare, despite the new several states study he was assisted by the author, who found that the effectiveness of the third dose of the vaccine decreases sharply after about four months.
“Here in Utah, I think we’re in a position where we need to wait for the fourth dose,” said Dr. Eddie Steneham. This was stated on Tuesday by Deseret News. He called the 78 percent protection against hospitalization provided by vaccinations after four months, which he cited in a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “still pretty, pretty good.”
In addition, the doctor said, there is a transfer of COVID-19 going down in Utah, as measured by the number of cases and other factors such as availability virus in wastewater, as well as when hospitalized and attending an emergency room for the virus. Although mortality from COVID-19 in the state remains high, Stenehjem said they will also start to decline.
Combined with a milder disease caused by the omicron variant of the virus, which continues to dominate Utah and the rest of the United States, he said it means a reduction in vaccination effectiveness in preventing hospitalization from 91% after two months. not enough to guarantee a extra dose now.
The recommendation could appear later this year, possibly in the fall, when annual flu vaccinations will be held, Steneham suggested, although he said the CDC could act earlier if another option, such as the so-called “Stealth” omicron which is already common in other countries is starting to return cases in the United States.
President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Foci, cited a study involving health systems in 10 states, including Intermountain Healthcare in Utah, during a briefing at the White House on COVID-19 on Wednesday about a “sharp downturn. »The current outbreak.
Foci described the 78% effectiveness of booster injections after four months as a “still good protection zone” for Americans.
“Vaccination and incentives will be crucial to maintain this downward trajectory,” he said, noting that “potential future needs” for additional vaccination are being closely monitored in real time, and guidelines will be updated as necessary. data as they develop ”.
But some Utah residents are already eligible for the fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine CDC Guide because they have moderately or severely impaired immunity due to cancer chemotherapy, organ transplants, or other conditions that limit antibody production.
Dr Hannah Imley, an associate professor of infectious disease at the University of Utah who treats immunocompromised patients, acknowledged the confusion around the overdose, although the CDC first supported a fourth injection for the group last October.
“There is a lot of information – both misinformation and confusion – about who and when should be,” Imlai said during a virtual news conference on Wednesday. She said some pharmacies may not yet offer a fourth vaccination to immunocompromised individuals.
Imlay said the fourth vaccination is equal to the first booster vaccine for immunocompromised people because they already need an extra dose to be considered fully vaccinated. For the general population it takes two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson.
The timing of booster doses for immunocompromised individuals also differs, now only three months after completion of the initial COVID-19 vaccinations. For everyone else 12 and older, additional injections – which can be mixed or combined – come five months after two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or two months after a single dose of Johnson & Johnson.
Recommendations for immunocompromised people could eventually include a fifth or even a sixth vaccination, Imlai said.
Like Stenehjem, she said that additional additional injections for everyone else depend on what happens next with COVID-19.
“I do not know such an answer yet. So it really will depend on how far we continue to spread and what we see next in terms of options, “said Imlay, especially as resistance to current vaccines develops. Both Pfizer and Moderna are currently experimenting with vaccines specific to for omicron.
The study, published last Friday, is the first in the United States to evaluate the declining effectiveness of vaccines and additional vaccinations against the omicron variant, Steneham said. In addition to Utah, data were provided by health systems in California, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Their findings are similar to those from the United Kingdom, where experts advised the government not to offer additional vaccinations last month, although other countries, including Israel, Denmark and South Korea, offer them to at least some at-risk groups such as the elderly.
Steneham said the priority should be to increase the number of Utahs who already have vaccinations available. Less than 61% of all Utah residents are fully vaccinated, and only 26.2% have been vaccinated despite significant impact the extra dose has against omicron, according to a preliminary study the same health care systems.
“We have a long way to go to raise people in general,” he said.
Stanham and Imlay said Utah residents could protect themselves from COVID-19 in other ways, including by wearing well-suited masks with high filtration indoors. Imlai said everyone should take precautions to protect not only themselves but also those in a society with reduced immunity.
“These patients work like everyone else, they go to school like everyone else. This is really a population that needs to be protected, ”Imlai said. In addition to the mask, she urged Utah residents to get vaccinated and fortified, and to avoid large gatherings to avoid catching and spreading the virus.
The Utah Department of Health is following the CDC’s recommendations for additional vaccinations against the virus, despite new findings, said spokesman Tom Hudachka.
“We are constantly learning more and more about COVID-19, and our efforts have always been based on data and research. This study will help to supplement this amount of knowledge, ”he said. “However, we continue to follow the CDC’s existing guidelines regarding the timing and frequency of dose adjustment of COVID-19.”