The vaccine rollout has been slower than expected. Thus far, 6 1/2% of the people in the U.S. have received their first shot of the vaccine and 1.3% have received two shots. That may not seem like a lot, but in a country of the U.S.’s size, that’s still 26 million doses.
In the U.K. (7.6 million) and Canada (887,000), almost 11% and about 1.4% of the population has received at least one shot. Ten million people (1.7%) in the E.U. have as well. Isreal is going gang-busters. At this rate it will have a majority of its population vaccinated in just 4 weeks. (Compare that to six months for the U.S.)
With over a dozen vaccines in phase III trials ,expect more vaccines to show up. (The Johnson & Johnson vaccine results were just released: it is effective (72%) against the common form of the variant but not against the South African B.1.351 variant.
Infection rates have slowed recently in the U.S., but deaths are still high, and the virus, unfortunately, is turning out to be more genetically nimble genetically that we’d hoped. New, more contagious forms of the virus that have popped up in the U.K., California, South Africa and Brazil have sparked concern.
Given the remarkably poor state of virus sequencing outside of the U.K. it’s not clear where the new forms of the virus are, but it is clear that when they show they up often rapidly come to be the most common form of the virus. The UK variant may be up to 70% more contagious. A South African variant that appears to be 50% more contagious has already been found in 32 countries. A genetic researcher said:
It’s amazing and terrifying how quickly it came to dominate (in South Africa), and it does feel like we’re in the beginning stages of watching this variant and other new ones, come to dominate around the world.
One model suggests that a combination of the slow vaccine rollout, the decrease in social distancing seen, and the spread of much more contagious forms of the virus could result in 300,000 more deaths in the U.S. over the next three months.
We should not make the mistake we have before and become complacent because the the more contagious forms of the virus haven’t hit us (yet). The U.K.’s experience has been illuminating. Death rates shot up threefold in the U.K. when the new form of the virus hit there. Despite a national lockdown in early January the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals is slmost double it’s prior peak.
The First Health Rising Coronavirus Vaccine Poll
The @1,700 participants in the first Health Rising coronavirus vaccine poll reported that most people (69%) are at least leaning towards taking the vaccine (29% say they will definitely take the vaccine, 19% probably will, and 21% are leaning towards taking it.)
On the other side of the coin thirty-one percent of respondents are at least leaning towards not taking it. (Definitely not – 9%; Probably not – 7%; leaning towards not – 15%).
The results suggest that the ME/CFS/FM community has taken this virus seriously. Seventy-one percent said they were either very concerned (48%) or concerned (23%) about getting infected with the virus, and a whopping 82% said they were being “very careful” regarding social distancing and mask wearing.
Still, about 150 people believed they’d already been infected with the virus. At least a month after coming down with the infection, many (59%) said they still had symptoms of the virus (23% – much worse off, 15% – moderately worse off, 21% – somewhat worse off.) Forty-one percent said they’d returned to baseline.
The reports from people three months after coming down with a suspected coronavirus infection (n=131) were not encouraging. The fact that the stats were almost identical to the one-month reports suggested that time was not being the healer one might have hoped for. Most people had still failed to fully recover from the initial infection (25% – much worse off, 16% – moderately worse off, 19% – somewhat worse off.) with just 40% back to baseline.
Coronavirus Vaccine Side Effects Poll
To view the results scroll down to the bottom of the poll and click “view results”.
Tell us how your coronavirus vaccination went and find out how other people with ME/CFS and/or FM fared with their coronavirus vaccination in Health Rising’s Coronavirus Vaccine Side Effects Poll.