Today, I’ll be getting the snazzy new bivalent booster that incorporates the Omicron BA.4/5 spike protein (along with a flu shot). A few thoughts:
- I really hope this booster doesn’t drag me like the last three doses. 18-30 hours of severe flu-like symptoms isn’t fun (though it obviously beats the alternative). These side effects can’t help vaccine uptake.
- Yesterday, I listened to the White House briefing on COVID. Two things struck me. First, despite of all the talk about “stepping up” (to help others), there was no mention of masking. That brings us to sunny point #2: they’ll going all in (again) on a vaccine-only strategy.
- Related to the above, I’m actually fairly optimistic about the bivalent vaccine preventing symptomatic infection, but if it doesn’t work as well as we hope, what then?
- They administration also seems to pushing an annual booster, though it’s possible to interpret what they said as an annual formula update with more frequent boosters (which would be preferable).
- As always, long COVID is unmentioned, despite this disturbing pre-print, which had much higher levels of fatigue among Omicron-infected younger people that I expected. How that ends well without lowering prevalence of infection escapes me.
- Of course, the White House didn’t discuss releasing hospital intake prevalence data either (which would allow us to have a handle on the prevalence of COVID). I think they’re giving up and hoping people will ignore things like long COVID. Shameful.