Dr. Paul A. Offit is Director of the Vaccine Education Center and professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Offit is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of virology and immunology, and was a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is a member of the Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, a member of the Institute of Medicine and co-editor of the foremost vaccine text, Vaccines.
He is a scientist, a skeptic, a thinker and an individual deeply passionate about children’s health.
This week we sit down again to discuss the latest with Covid, vaccines and children’s health as new data has prompted a new discussion.
I hope that you enjoy my latest conversation with Dr. Offit,
What we can glean from this data set is very clear. With successive SARS2 mutations coupled to increased population based exposure to virus via infection or vaccine, we are now seriously in a reduced risk state unless you are older than 65 years with a comorbid disease or younger than 65 with a serious disease. 95% of hospitalizations were related to a comorbid disease regardless of age. The other big takeaway was this: if you are in this high risk group, getting every available booster is vital to your survival based on the risk reduction data. For everybody else, the data is clear, you are ok – to boost or not to boost is up to you. But, absolutely work on your general health.
Coronavirus Update 67
Natural infection provides a much better route to transmission protection than intramuscular systemic vaccination because of the induction of mucosal immunity via IgA and tissue resident T cells. (Tang et. al. 2022) If you can tolerate a natural infection without much morbidity, this seems to be a reasonable choice at this time. This is especially important now with the immune escaping variants of Omicron lineage and the reality of the current vaccine booster pool is lackluster in its effect on transmission. This calculus may change dramatically with a newer Omicron BA.5 specific vaccine that is in the works. And much more this week!