Australia should be using Pfizer boosters now 21-Aug-21

This story caught my attention

  • High risk to double-vaccinated Health Care Workers from delta variant - Community is in danger if we lose vaccinated health care workers to delta.

    • 23-Aug-21       https://twitter.com/EricTopol/status/1429523296349872131    

      • Don't give your vaccination a Delta stress test. (aligns with prior posts that we don't have a true handle on US Delta breakthroughs, and concern Dr. Sauza raises with our healthcare workforce)    https://twitter.com/drmeowza/status/1429221776270135296   

        • "I tested positive for COVID this week, along with 9 of 12 fully vaxxed friends (among others), days after we attended an outdoor wedding (that required proof of vaccination) in 1 of the lowest-risk states in the country. Thankful for protection against bad outcomes but YALL- uncontrolled spread of the more transmissible #DeltaVariant means that even relatively uncommon events are going to happen in significant numbers. I’m worried about its potential to wipe out ranks of HCWs (Health Care Workers), many of us vaxxed > 7 months ago = waned immunity relative to much of the public. It’s depressing, but we need to change behaviors in response to the mounting data showing that delta presents a new level of risk."

The Pfizer booster is already proven in highly Pfizer-vaccinated Israel to be very effective

  •  10/Aug/21 https://twitter.com/EricTopol/status/1425089101926080514   

    • "Current Israel data for mRNA vaccination in people age >60, 1st to get vaccines >6 months ago, now confronting Delta infections 1. Vaccines work but their apparent effectiveness is diminished over time + Delta 2. Boosters showing some preliminary evidence of working"

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​Many other countries are already starting to implement Pfizer COVID Boosters. https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/countries-weigh-need-booster-covid-19-shots-2021-08-05/

The UK will be starting to use Pfizer boosters next month. And the USA will be starting to implement COVID boosters soon

 

Highly Pfizer-vaccinated Israel has already proven that the Pfizerbooster (3rd shot) is having a dramatic impact to help improve the protection of their people from the delta variant. https://twitter.com/EricTopol/status/1425089101926080514

 

But as best I can determine, the only boosters that Australia has ordered are 15million  Moderna boosters and they do not arrive until 2022. https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-vaccine-government-response/australias-vaccine-agreements   Fifteen million COVID vaccine boosters is not enough for Australia - & just backing the one horse again, a strategy which has caused Australia to be so far behind most countries. The Pfizer COVID booster is already proven to be highly effective, and from a risks management perspective, it is always best to back proven solutions rather than gambling on unproven possible solutions.

 

So it seems as if this is CONDITION NORMAL in Australia. Australia is about 6 months behind  in vaccination vs most developed countries. https://ig.ft.com/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker/?areas=gbr&areas=usa&areas=aus&areas=can&areas=sgp&areas=eue&areas=isr&cumulative=1&doses=full&populationAdjusted=1

 

The Australian government seems to be fighting today's COVID bushfires AND does not seem to be effectively thinking strategically from a medium-term perspective. We should have already placed adequate booster vaccine orders for ALL Australia - and we should have started to provide boosters to fully vaccinated (2-dose) older Australians & front-line health workers. And we should be ordering excess boosters - doubling up to be safer in case one or more of the boosters are not effective against delta or the next more dangerous variant that will probably be globally dominant by Christmas time. And if we end up having ordered too many effective boosters, that is a good problem to have (far better than not having enough) and we can always share the excess boosters with our neighbours in the Pacific and with our friends in SE Asia.

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    • Vaccine are more effective for younger people than for older people. Therefore, to protect older people better, they need to continue to be the priority for vaccines and booster.          https://www.ndm.ox.ac.uk/covid-19/covid-19-infection-survey/results/new-studies     "The time between doses does not affect effectiveness in preventing new infections, but younger people have even more protection from vaccination than older people."

    • Herd immunity now appears unachievable with delta variant & current vaccines.

      • https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/delta-astrazeneca-pfizer-scientists-oxford-b951340.html    19-Aug-21

        • "Sarah Walker, professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at the University of Oxford, said: “We don’t yet know how much transmission can happen from people who get Covid-19 after being vaccinated – for example, they may have high levels of virus for shorter periods of time. But the fact that they can have high levels of virus suggests that people who aren’t yet vaccinated may not be as protected from the Delta variant as we hoped.  This means it is essential for as many people as possible to get vaccinated – both in the UK and worldwide.”

        • Bruce Baker bottom line: Herd immunity may not be achievable with Delta variant and current vaccines. So high vaccination levels will not provide protection for the unvaccinated in our community!!!! So it is even more important that we get COVID vaccine boosters to those people prepared and able to receive COVID vaccination - because that will provide a greater level of protection to the unvaccinated.

  •  The UK variant (Alpha) was first seen about November 2020 and was globally dominant by about February 2021.   The delta strain was first seen above April 2021 and was globally dominant by July 2021. https://covariants.org/per-country  In the USA, a cousin AY.4 of the main delta variety B.1.617.2, is already rapidly displacing B.1.617.2 in the USA https://outbreak.info/location-reports?loc=USA&selected=B.1.1.7&selected=B.1.617.2&selected=P.1&selected=AY.3    And there are a already number of other COVID variants contending to be the next even-more-dangerous globally dominant COVID variant.  

    • So we should expect the delta variant to be displaced by an even more dangerous globally dominant COVID variant by Christmas time.   But is the government planning for this????   NO!!!  What is the government thinking?    

    • What should Australia be doing?

      • Australia should already have ordered 25 million doses of the Pfizer boost by now.   Have they done this?   Not as far as I can tell.   We at least know Pfizer boosters are very effective in substantially increasing protection against delta - and Pfizer booster is proven in the field in Israel already

      • Australia has ordered 15 million doses of Moderna, but these are not due for delivery until 2022 as best I can tell.  https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-vaccine-government-response/australias-vaccine-agreements  I think there is some already some good preliminary results for teh Moderna booster - but these are not yet proven in mass vaccination. I did hear of a potential health (heart) issue over the last few days with the Moderna booster.  But because these vaccines are mRNA and because Moderna's original COVID vaccine is about as effective as Pfizer's, these boosters will probably be quite effective.  Probably.   But we should not be leaving this to guesswork. Best to double order by buying enough boosters from multiple suppliers. The cost/benefit/risk equation makes this decision a no-brainer in my opinion.   Look at the cost to Australia (the Federal & State budgets, and lost business income and lost wages) of Australia not getting our original vaccine strategy right. We cannot afford to get this wrong - again.

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