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COVID-19 Briefing - Friday, 1/22

Biden's new COVID plan & more

Today's Recap:


Best Questions:

How are antibodies from the COVID-19 virus different than the antibodies you get from the vaccine?

There’s still a lot to study about COVID antibodies and immunity, but here’s how it generally works: Vaccines “trick” your body into producing antibodies that help protect your body from COVID. When you actually get COVID, then recover, you develop antibodies, too. The only thing is, we don’t yet know how long those antibodies can protect you. There’s some evidence that a mild case of the virus means your antibodies (read: your protection) fade faster, but some people naturally produce tons of antibodies while others produce very few. Basically, contracting COVID doesn’t result in a consistent level of antibodies. That’s where the vaccine comes in. Not only is it way more reliable, but we know exactly how much protection we can expect from it.

Will someone who has had COVID need the vaccine?

Yup. Even if you’ve already recovered from COVID, the CDC is still recommending you get the vaccine since there’s no reliable way of knowing how long you’ll be protected from reinfection (see answer, above). Just make sure you don’t have active COVID (or any other illness) when you go to get vaccinated.

Will the vaccines work against these new variants?

The short answer is: maybe? A new report, not yet peer reviewed, indicates that the variants may pose challenges to the vaccines’ effectiveness. It’s likely that vaccination will prevent you from becoming as sick, but that you might still get sick if exposed to one of the many new variants.

If Dose 2 appointments are postponed or canceled, does the delay mean I’ll have to start the series all over again?

Nope. The earliest you can receive Dose 2 is three-to-four weeks after Dose 1 (depending on which vaccine you got).  We don’t know the maximum amount of time you can go between doses yet, but the CDC and others don’t think the vaccine shortage will last long enough to worry about that. The UK is allowing the mixing of brands and the FDA is expected to make a final determination soon on whether it’s safe to do the same.

We operate inside of other organizations like colleges. Any guidance on how to best navigate their screening requirements and our own?

Many of our clients operate on college campuses, in theme parks and airports where that entity may have very specific COVID-related requirements.  For example, Boston University requires that anyone on campus gets tested twice per week and uses its screening tool (which only asks about symptoms but not about close contacts or testing). Our clients are complying with these screening requirements, but they’re also continuing to enforce their own. This is our recommended approach since, frequently, employees may pass the other entity’s very basic screening but will tell us they were tested for earlier symptoms or that they are living with someone who is confirmed positive.  


Best Listen:

I listened to this podcast on my walk yesterday and loved hearing Dr. Osterholm from CIDRAP talk about variants and vaccine distribution. This is where I’ve been getting some of my best info about what to expect with rollout.

Episode 40: An Imperfect Storm

Best Laugh:

Help is on the way.


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Disclaimer: This post is meant for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute, and is not intended as, any form of medical, legal or regulatory advice or a recommendation or suggestion regarding the same.  No recipient of this information should act or refrain from acting on the basis of this information without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.