Vaccines Stop Cases…If They’re Given

The Delta variant poses a huge threat—but not to vaccinated people. Unvaccinated people are still being hospitalized and killed by Covid, and we’re seeing worrying Delta-fueled outbreaks, particularly in places with low vaccination rates. 1/
Don’t get caught up in fears that Delta is evading vaccine immunity. Our vaccines are working. Evidence has shown that mRNA vaccines provide excellent protection, J&J announced that their vaccine is likely also effective against Delta. 2/
Good news: Getting vaccinated virtually eliminates your risk of being hospitalized or dying from Covid. 3/
Bad news: Delta is spreading rapidly around the world and millions of lives are at risk. We must reach the unvaccinated in the US, prioritize vaccination for health workers and people over 60 globally, and urgently expand vaccine manufacturing. 4/
No question Delta is much more contagious than the original strain, and it might be more lethal. In the US, Delta makes up an increasingly large share of cases. A couple weeks ago, it was 6% of identified cases. Within weeks, it will be more than half. 5/
Falling cases in the US hide what’s going on below the surface. Vaccination rates vary wildly among states: 66% of people in Vermont are fully vaccinated, for example, while only 30% (!) in Mississippi are. 6/
States and communities with low vaccination rates are letting the virus gain the upper hand—we’re starting to see increases in some of these places. There’s an increasing correlation between vaccination coverage and cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. 7/
As places with less vaccination have more outbreaks, this @NYTimes risk-level map is even more important. See how hard it’s raining Covid in your community. Unvaccinated people are at particular risk. Striking – 100-FOLD! – differences around the US. 8/
Covid, aided by Delta, is causing major spikes in much of Africa and other regions around the world, including Latin America, that don’t have access to vaccines. Must mask, avoid superspreading, protect health care, and vaccinate ASAP. 9/
Delta is also causing an outbreak in the UK. But relatively high vaccination coverage has limited its impact. And so far, hospitalizations and deaths have increased somewhat but not spiked, and they’re concentrated in unvaccinated populations. 10/
Covid isn’t over. Uncontrolled spread increases the risk of vaccine-escape mutants arising—but they’re not here yet. Globally, our focus must be expanding vaccination, masking up, limiting superspreading, protecting health care systems, and continuing social protections. 11/end

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More from @DrTomFrieden

21 May
Taming the World’s Leading Killer

An article was published this week that has findings which could save millions of lives. Why did you miss it? Because there was zero media coverage of it. Zero! Tells you something. Tells you a lot, actually. So, here are the details. 1/thread
High blood pressure is the world’s leading killer – and will kill more people, including more young people, than COVID-19 this year. It can be prevented (mostly by lowering sodium) & treated, but, globally, only 1 in 10 people with high blood pressure have it controlled. 2/
Elegant studies by @SarahLewington2 prove for every 20-point increase in blood pressure, the death rate from cardiovascular disease DOUBLES. What’s more, this starts at a blood pressure of 115/75 – way below the usual level at which we treat, or toward which we aim treatment. 3/
Read 14 tweets
18 May
Estimated excess mortality during the pandemic far outstripped officially reported Covid deaths in most countries. However, many countries, and in particular low- and middle- income countries, don’t estimate excess deaths 1/
Statistical modelling by @TheEconomist suggests the Covid death toll is between 7.1m and 12.7m. That means the official death toll represents, at best, about half the true toll and, at worst, a quarter of it. 2/
Most uncounted Covid deaths occurred in LMICs. In OECD countries, the true death toll was estimated to be 1.2 times the official number; in parts of Africa, it was estimated to be 14 times the official number. 3/
Read 4 tweets
14 May
A Tale of Two Pandemics

The pandemic won’t be over until most of the world is vaccinated, but access is a HUGE challenge.

Globally, we must scale up manufacturing and vaccinate the 50M health workers & 1B people over 60. In the US, we must proactively reach the unreached. 1/
Vaccine inequity is a serious problem, both ethically and epidemiologically. It increases the risk that dangerous variants will emerge. Wealthy countries have excess vaccines while lower and middle-income countries go without. 2/ Image
The reality is that global vaccine supply will lag the need for at least a year. Open IP is a step, but we need much more—transfer of vaccine technology and hubs for production. We can also be more strategic in use of the vaccine that is available. 3/
Read 23 tweets
13 May
The Last Pandemic?

The Covid pandemic has killed 3+ million people and driven 115M people into extreme poverty. It will cost the world $22 trillion by 2025. And it didn't have to happen.

A new report could be pivotal in efforts to prevent the next pandemic. 1/
The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (@TheIndPanel) was created last year by @WHO to ensure the world is better able to address health threats such as Covid. They released a sweeping new report. 2/
Because the recommendations detailed in the report are so important, I’m going to highlight some of them in the hope that the story of Covid isn’t repeated. Read the report here: 3/
Read 24 tweets
30 Apr
Globally, the end of the pandemic isn't near.

More than a million lives depend on improving our response quickly.

Don’t be blinded by the light at the end of the tunnel. There isn't enough vaccine and the virus is gathering strength & speed. Global cooperation is crucial. 1/
India’s surge is a reminder that the virus is learning about and adapting to us faster than we're learning and adapting to it. Covid, fueled by variants, is an ongoing & increasing risk. The pandemic is more severe than ever—more transmissible, more deadly, more human fatigue. 2/ Image
Dazzling scientific progress resulted in Covid vaccines that are more effective than many experts dared to hope. But although Israel, the UK, and, soon, the US will have a new reality with the virus largely tamed by vaccines, global vaccination lags badly. 3/ Image
Read 21 tweets
16 Apr
Benefits, Risks, and Future of Vaccines and the Pandemic

Our vaccine safety monitoring system works. Reports of blood clots led to quick investigation, quick action, and transparency about what is known, not known and next steps. Vaccines remain our way out of the pandemic. 1/14
Global collaboration has been critical throughout the pandemic. Public health and medical experts around the world are collaborating to determine whether the events associated with AstraZenenca vaccine are the same as these events which may be associated with the J&J shot. 2/14
Tech transfer is crucial. The pandemic is the world’s most important problem. mRNA technology is our best solution. Create high-quality manufacturing platforms and hubs around the world to improve vaccine access. mRNA technology is an insurance policy against the pandemic. 3/14
Read 14 tweets

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