Linkedin, Covid, Josh Fishman discussed on 60-Second Science
Beyond to the world's largest professional network of over 770 million people. Focus on candidates with the skills and experience you need. You screening questions to get your role in front of only the most qualified people and then use the simple tools on LinkedIn jobs to quickly filter and prioritize who you'd like to interview and hire. LinkedIn jobs helps you find the candidates worth interviewing faster. Did you know that every week nearly 40 million job seekers visit LinkedIn? Post your job for free at LinkedIn dot com slash 62nd pod. That's LinkedIn dot com slash 62nd pod to post your job for free. Terms and conditions apply. Hi, and welcome to COVID quickly, a scientific American podcast series. This is your fast track update on the COVID pandemic. We bring you up to speed on the science behind the most urgent questions about the virus and the disease. We demystify the research and help you understand what it really means. I'm Josh fishman, scientific American senior health editor. Tanya Lewis usually right here with me is taking a well deserved day off. Today we'll be talking a particularly how vaccines and boosters protect against the new variant and will sum up what Americans have done this year to keep themselves and their communities safe. All right, you've been seeing headlines about Akron every day now for three weeks since it was first detected. It's scary stuff. It's now in 60 countries, travel has been restricted. School districts are seeing big outbreaks, and some colleges seeing sudden huge spikes in cases are ending their semesters with remote learning. Clearly this is not how we want it to end the year. People are really on edge. Now we're getting some real world data on what amaran does and what vaccines do against it. Maybe that can take a bit of the edge off. It is now clear, however, that the variant spreads very fast. In the United Kingdom, cases are doubling every three days, scientists at the UK's health security agency reported. In South Africa, it's become the dominant variant overtaking delta, that speed is going to mean high numbers of cases, and lots of cases mean that even if a higher portion of them are milder than we saw with other variants, some are going to be serious. If the overall acron caseload is high, the serious portion of those cases is going to be a big number. Scientists just don't know how big yet. Researchers do know that prior infection with the virus does not protect you very much. Studies by discovery health, South Africa's largest insurer show that people who contracted the delta variant faced a 40% risk of reinfection with a Macron. Now here's some good news. We've learned that three shots of a vaccine, the regular two shot routine plus a booster is the best way to stop the spread. The UK scientists found that the Pfizer vaccine at two shots was only about 30 to 40% effective at stopping a infection. But a third booster shot improved protection 70 to 80%. That is a big deal. The clear message here is to get a booster. The Pfizer shots also do a really good job of keeping you from getting seriously ill. The research from discovery health found the vaccines were about 70% effective at keeping people out of the hospital. That number held up pretty well across all age groups, though it did drop to 60% for people aged 70 to 79. Why is Akron speeding through the population? It does appear that the heavily mutated variant is evading the body's initial defenses called neutralizing antibodies, a team at the Africa health research institute in durban, South Africa, looked at them. Such antibodies in people who got the Pfizer vaccine were roughly 40 times less potent against Akron than they were against other variants. But the vaccines do trigger a second type of protection. It comes from immune cells called T cells. They search for and destroy cells in your body that are infected with the virus, and T cells from vaccinated people respond aggressively to a crime. Researcher Wendy burgers from the university of Cape Town reported this week. That was a study of cells in a lab, not in people. So scientists want to be cautious, but it is a hopeful sign that vaccines can still offer a broad umbrella of safety as this variant keeps spreading. Despite aron and what seems like a whole parade of other scary variants, people in the U.S. have been trying hard to keep themselves in their communities safe in this pandemic. About 203 million people are fully vaccinated now. That's 65% of all eligible people aged 5 and up. This month, every day, about 2 million people are getting shots. 56 million people have received an additional booster shot, and those have only been available for a short time. By the end of November, 79% of adults across the country said they already got will definitely get or will probably get a booster, according to a national survey by the Kaiser family foundation. In the military, 97% of active duty members have had at least one vaccine dose. In private industry, when companies told workers they had to get vaccinated, the majority did. United Airlines says 99.5% of employees did so. At Tyson Foods and the NBA, vaccination rates top 90%. The numbers show that most people in America are taking COVID very seriously and are taking action. After a long year, that's a hopeful sign. Now you're up to speed, thanks for joining us. We're taking a short holiday break to recharge and refresh and spend time with our families and friends. I hope you do that too. We'll be back.