I had a helpful conversation with Dr. Aaron Wendelboe, a professor at OUHSC and former state epidemiologist, about waning antibodies this morning. Here's a little thread for anyone interested. #okhealth
We keep hearing that after six months, you don't have "circulating antibodies anymore." That does not mean your immunity is gone.
It is normal, for any disease response, to lose those circulating antibodies. They aren't your only defense.
Wendelboe: After 6 months, vaccines still help. "You have memory cells, and those memory cells, when they get re-exposed to a pathogen, they will make those antibodies (they learned from the vaccine) and they will make those killer T-cells, and they will mount the response."
Wendelboe: The new variants are "replicating so fast... that's the primary reason why people are getting infected — they can infect you before your memory cells have a chance to kick in. But they're still blunting some of that risk of getting hospitalized or severe illness."
Wendelboe: Someone who has never been immunized, it's going to take about two weeks for their body to mount an attack. For the vaccinated, it's just a few days. The response coming sooner makes a huge difference. Here's why:
Wendelboe: "It's not just like a linear increase because the way viral replication works is exponential." Your body is fighting way more virus after nine days.
This is dumb but the analogy seems to me (the not-epidemiologist) is this. There are two sides fighting a battle. Your side doesn't grow — same number of guys til backup comes. The other side is multiplying consistently. Having your backup come sooner means fighting fewer guys.
Getting your booster means good backup shows up quick. Getting your initial shots and being more than six months out means you still get back up, but it takes them longer to get there. No vaccine means very little backup and they come way later.

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More from @CathJSweeney

7 Dec 21
Gov. Kevin Stitt and AG John O'Connor are giving an update on their legal fight against the Biden Administration regarding vaccine mandates. #okhealth Here's the link if you want to watch.
Stitt repeats the quote that President Biden, right after his election, said he would not mandate the vaccine. top-ranking Republicans, such as U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Here's a look at that. washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/…
O'Connor: We've been asked, why so many lawsuits? "It's because the Biden Administration has rolled out its vaccine mandates on multiple fronts." He says the President does not have the authority under the Constitution or the laws of this country to mandate the vaccine.
Read 11 tweets
16 Aug 21
Saint Francis will be providing weekly information to the media — with the intent of informing the public — on COVID. As of now, 237 people are in the system with COVID. #okhealth We're getting a presser from them now.
Stream here:
Dr. Cliff Robertson, president and chief executive officer of Saint Francis Health System: If the trends continue, we will have to delay care for certain patients to make room for COVID patients.

We're going to hear from Dr. Ryan Parker, an emergency medicine doctor.
Parker: COVID patients at St. Francis are younger now. Average is 56. "That's a full greater than 10 years younger than our average patient back in the winter." We had a pregnant woman in her 30s die last week, a 40 year old man over the weekend. "It is very personal."
Read 14 tweets
13 Aug 21
The State Department of Health briefing has started. We'll be hearing from Commissioner of Health Lance Frye, Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed and Dr. Gitanjali Pai, the chief medical officer. #okhealth
Frye: 50 percent of Oklahomans have received at least one dose. "I know this is no small task." We've been seeing a significant increase in COVID. We've spent a significant amount of time with hospitals, and the former surge plan is still in place.
The governor has approved emergency rules, which among other things, will require hospitals to submit the capacity data they did earlier in the pandemic and will set a floor on the number of COVID samples they send for genomic sequencing. oklahoma.gov/content/dam/ok…
Read 21 tweets
27 Jul 21
We're getting the Healthier Oklahoma Coalition briefing. Dr. David Kendrick, Department Chair of Medical Informatics at OU School of Community Medicine is giving a statistics update.
Dr. Kendrick shared this. Top is overall hospitalizations over time, trending down. But bottom is percent of cases hospitalized. Testing is low, so people aren't getting diagnosed until they're sick. But it does appear that Delta is more likely to cause hospitalization.
Kendrick: Hospitalizations appear more likely with the Delta variant, and the share of ICU admittance is also higher than we had during the peak this winter. "When they're being admitted, they're being admitted to a higher level of care." #okhealth
Read 10 tweets
15 Feb 21
Briefing on winter storm situation from Gov. Kevin Stitt, Director of Oklahoma Emergency Management Mark Gower and Secretary of Energy and Environment Ken Wagner is just about to start. I'll be tweeting here.
Will also be hearing from Brandy Wreath, Oklahoma Corporation Commission Public Utilities Division Director.
Stitt: "We are experiencing unprecedented cold weather." We are currently preparing a request for federal disaster declaration. We're asking for personal utility assistance and for ag assistance.
Read 21 tweets
15 Feb 21
Secretary of Energy Ken Wagner: I'm thankful SPP has temporarily withdrawn their level 3 emergency announcement. That means no rolling blackouts for the time being. "We've dodged that bullet for a moment."
Blackouts are already underway, though, so not sure if they mean moving forward there won't be any.
Read 5 tweets

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