Update on COVID-19
As of July 6th, 2021, there have been 185,134,752 Coronavirus cases worldwide. There have been 4,003,843 deaths worldwide. Further 169,431,936 have recovered from this disease.
In the USA: total cases 34,600,521
total deaths 621,378
total recovered 29,112,082
|Worst States||Death/Million population|
|New Jersey (highest death rate in the world)||2,981|
When one coughs and covers his/her mouth with a hand, or sneezes into the hand or blows his/her nose with the hand holding a tissue, there is a huge inoculum (amount of virus) now on the surface of that hand. That inoculum can easily be transferred to a doorknob, pen, paper, shopping cart handle, etc. After you touch any of these items, if you now touch your mouth, nose, rub your eyes - bingo, you just transferred the inoculum to your mucus membrane, and you are now infected. The mask is a barrier to protect you. Also, it is strongly recommended to use hand sanitizers. Hand santizers have been shown to be 99.9% effective within 6 seconds!
Currently, there are three vaccines in this country for use against COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). The Pfizer and Moderna are based on the SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) and Ebola vaccine (2019). The target for these vaccines is the surface of the spike protein. The vaccines enable us to produce antibodies that cover the spike protein so as to stop the virus from entering our cells.
The third is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (Janssen COVID-19), what we call a COVID-19 adenovirus vector vaccine and is different from the other two. It has been associated (no cause and effect identified) with rare blood clots in the brain or abdomen. Currently, the benefits from the vaccine seem to far outweigh any risks of the vaccine.
The mRNA vaccine enables our body to produce antibodies that cover the spike protein and inactivate the “magnet,” so the virus does not attach to the cell and prevents illness.
This is not a really “new” vaccine but a modification of previous ones. It appears to be ~ 95% effective. The Pfizer vaccine is indicated for individuals 12 years or older and second dose given 21 days later. The Moderna vaccine is for individuals 18 years or older and second dose given 28 days later. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is for individuals 18 years or older, only 1 dose.
The Brazilian strain of SARS-CoV-2 appears to be a lot more contagious, but not more lethal. This strain along with the strains from Great Britain and South Africa are all covered by the current vaccines.
The CDC favors the vaccines in individuals who had COVID-19 and is not contraindicated in pregnancy. Both mRNA vaccines appear to exert full effect 2 weeks after the second vaccine.
There is “light at the end of the tunnel,” but we are not there yet. Let’s maintain our vigilance and if possible, strongly consider the vaccine.