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Coronavirus vaccines

The vaccines are coming…Will they be able to snuff out the more contagious viruses before they spread? Image by torstensimon from Pixabay

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.

vaccinations worldwide

Coronavirus vaccinations per country over time

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.

Time to double-mask? Staying safe is more important than ever and experts are recommending better and more effective mask protocols be used. Check out three articles on the best masks to wear.

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.) Only 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.

ME/CFS and FM Experts on Whether to Take the Coronavirus Vaccine – Plus The Vaccine Polls

Update! The Coronavirus Vaccine Side Effects Poll for the Severely Ill

In an attempt to find out how more severely ill ME/CFS/FM patients are doing Health Rising now has a side effects poll just for them. If you score 30 or below on the functional capacity scale shown below feel free to take both polls but if you take just one poll – please take the poll for the severely ill.

30: Moderate to severe symptoms at rest. Severe symptoms with any exercise. Overall activity level reduced to 50% of expected. Usually confined to house. Unable to perform any strenuous tasks. Able to perform deskwork 2-3 hours a day, but requires rest periods.

Coronavirus Vaccine Side Effects Poll

Please do not take this poll if you don’t have ME/CFS or fibromyalgia.

To view the results scroll down to the bottom of the poll and click “view results”. 

Last Chance to Participate in the High Dose Thiamine Survey!

increased energy

The high-dose (200/mg or more of oral thiamine daily) survey is closing soon – and will be open until Friday, May 7. If you are currently taking high-dose thiamine or have done so in the past, and feel comfortable sharing your experience, please complete the survey here.  (Please do not start high-dose thiamine just to participate in the survey.) Find out more about high-dose thiamine in ME/CFS/FM here.

THE ME/CFS and FM CORONAVIRUS VACCINATION SIDE EFFECTS POLL

Coronavirus vaccines

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.

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