A highlight from Boosters: Worth it or not, here they come

Vox's The Weeds
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Was another episode of the weeds on the fox media. Podcast network matthew yglesias here today with herman. Lopez propublica dera land. And we were going to talk about the vaccine situation in the united states of america. Which after i don't know what For a while like a lot of people want vaccines could get them then. Everybody could get vaccines but maybe some people didn't want them. And now i feel like we've entered a somewhat new state of confusion where there is talk about booster shots and i feel like i've read these stories but i'm still not a hundred percent. Sure who is supposed to get them or if these directives are warranted or what's going on her my new. You know what you're talking about. What's said do i need more shots. Do we all need more shots. So if you're to believe the biden administration all of us will need more shots eight months after and that's not to downplay what the binding administration like the science that they read to go to that conclusion but the thing is that for now the only people who are authorized by the fda to get more booster shots are the immuno-compromised so if you look at the evidence like the actual research the thing that the baden administration is saying is that there are some studies showing that the vaccine advocacy is waning. Four any kind of disease so meaning any symptoms like if with the vaccine before you were maybe ninety percent likely to avoid any kind of symptoms. Now it's closer to sixty percent maybe eighty percent. It really depends on which which study are looking at and the bottom minister basically argued that like look. This is a sign that the vaccines are waiting. And even though the studies have also found that the shots are holding up for hospitalization and death meaning. They're still ninety five plus percent effective for hospitalization. They're worried that eventually those numbers will start going down based on the fact that the other numbers are going down and when you say that the advocacy is waning. That's against whatever mix of variants are currently out there in the field right. It's not that like whoops. We missed in all of our testing the fact that this that like the resistance to the original variant goes down over time. It's more that because they weren't tested against delta et cetera. They have less efficacy against them to the point that as delta and other variants become more prevalent. That's what's going you know. The efficacy is going to decrease. The studies are careful about this. They say that they can't say it's the variance of its delta. There's also some questions about like how you measure overall efficacy in a population based on age and like there was there was an example out of israel that if you actually compare efficacy for the overall population it's much lower than if you just broke it down by age because of how young people are less likely to get covert to begin with and also less likely to be vaccinated so that can skew the numbers a bit right so ted. Jt explain that a little bit right like when the vaccines were. Scarce countries usually got older and more generally vulnerable people vaccinated first and then it filtered down to middle aged younger people. So if you say okay vaccination in the us started in december and so now eight months after december. What do we have happening. And oh people who got vaccinated in the more. Distant past are getting more breakthrough infections. So you could conclude okay the vaccines faded or it could just be that. The older population was vaccinated further in the past. And you would want to. Ideally get like a really big sample. do the physical controls. You might wanna like try and experiment find some of the younger people who were vaccinated early. Because they don't work healthcare settings and specifically studied them so that's like an argument people have about this one there was. this is rarely studied. It was definitely showing more breakthrough infections among people were vaccinated further. Back in the past and then the contention is that if you re analyzed that it's an age effect rather than a kind of distance effect so that impacts should we think of boosters as something we need to give to the most vulnerable people or are we doing you dislike whole society lagged weights. Right and i would even go further. It's not even just age. Necessarily although that's i think that's a big factor but also nursing homes like people in nursing. Homes are generally not going to be as healthy as even their same age cohorts so like they might have more immune system issues in my more of other kinds of illnesses that compound cova just to say that like these are people who regardless of a vaccine. They were more likely to get sick with with cova. And that's that's normal. With every vaccine there have been like actual cold outbreaks in nursing homes. That have led to deaths like just common cold. Like when you get old. Unfortunately your immune system wayne's and that's why one of the arguments initially for everyone getting vaccinated because it helps protect on a population level. The older populations to so anyway. It's just to say that like when you look at these studies the administration says that they were just being cautious. That they're acting early. They don't want to let cova get ahead of us but they also by effect of doing all this are kind of rushing ahead of the evidence a bit and we really don't know if the vaccine is waning to begin with that much for any disease but we definitely don't know of its waning at all for hospitalization and death which i think is what most people care about one. Think about cova again. Their argument is that they're being cautious. But the research to me at least is is pretty conclusive and a lot of experts as a result have been pretty baffled and some even angry at the decision so when you say that that there's anger at them kind of jumping at the science like let's talk a little bit about kind of what like why wouldn't you just want to be overly cautious right like it seems like this seems kind of similar to some of the other arguments we have around coverted. Where like one side says. Yeah okay maybe it's not necessary but the cost of it is so extremely low that there's no reason not to because you wanna maximize protection in the population like that is not actually the case here. But you can kind of you know the problem. The problem is that you don't have to acknowledge that cost when you're talking about you know getting everybody vaccinated right. Yeah so the. The big thing here is vaccine supplies ltd around the world and by getting third shots across the country were potentially going to be using up to what three hundred million extra shots.

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