From the Editor
It appears to me that we in the USA have entered a new phase in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. While some states appear to have the case/hospitalization and death rates under control, a number continue to report spread with children & young adults being the predominant groups requiring hospitalization (fortunately deaths remain relatively few).
While vaccination against SARS-Cov-2 certainly appears to be of great value in preventing spread and protecting the population, recent data from Israel suggests that it’s efficacy is significantly less than previously thought (~ 64% vs 95%). In addition, and equally concerning, the Delta (and Delta Plus) mutation, now the predominant variant in the USA, and a new spike protein mutation labeled Lambda by the WHO, presently circulating in South America, are all believed to be not only significantly more infectious but also more successful in evading vaccine immunity. A booster vaccine dose requirement now seems quite likely.
A recent interesting modeling article looks at what has been a very successful system in minimizing the pandemic. In Taiwan the focus on containing the pandemic has been primarily on public health measures (vs. vaccination) e.g. face masks, social distancing and hand sanitation, with great benefit to all. (The CDC still recommends the wearing of face masks!)
It appears that success against SARS-Cov-2 infection is possible and we’ve known how to achieve it for some time! It’s a combination of vaccination, with distances between us, in our hands (pardon the pun!) and on our faces!
Vaccinate and take care.
Jack Wolfsdorf, MD
Editor in Chief