My Latest Thinking About the Pandemic: July 15, 2021

I am following closely a National Institute of Health trial of fully vaccinated adults receiving a booster doses of different COVID vaccines. My wife, adult-age son and I are fully vaccinated with the Astra-Zeneca vaccine and I am considering getting a Pfizer booster before returning to Uzbekistan. Immunity may wane after some time and with possible new variants developing throughout the world, it might become recommended by public health agencies. I predict that both the CDC and WHO will be recommending booster vaccines as we go into the cold and flu season this winter. In this trial conducted by Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and the University of Maryland, 50 adults will get a booster 12-20 weeks after being fully vaccinated versus a control group that will not get a booster, but will be fully vaccinated. The challenge for my wife and me is that we received our second dose on June 5. If we get a booster next week before we head back to Tashkent, it will only be a 6-7 week gap between the second dose and the booster. However, this may be our only chance to get it as vaccines are still not widespread in Uzbekistan.

The trial results also hint that people who have already received two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine could have a stronger immune response if they were given a different jab as a booster if recommended in the autumn.

“Mixing Covid jabs has good immune response, study finds” BBC Roberts, Michelle 28 June, 2021

The BBC article quoted above describes the results of a study by Oxford University researcher that shows mixing vaccines improves the immune response, especially viral vector vaccines with mRNA developed vaccines. It is calming to know that 2-dose Astra-Zeneca vaccine regimen reduces our chances of hospitalization from COVID by 90%, so no matter if I get a booster of Pfizer before I leave, I’ll be protected. I encourage everyone to read the article by BBC Medical Editor Fergus Walsh.

Some officials in the Uzbek government are asking organizations to make vaccination mandatory for their employees. This is good news in my opinion as the only way schools will be able to offer the full co-curricular slate of programs is through vaccination. Other countries are moving towards mandatory vaccinations for certain groups. Health workers in the USA and in France and Greece are some examples of mandatory vaccination policies becoming a reality.

An employer can make the vaccination mandatory for his employees,” – Alisher Kadyrov

Alisher Kadyrov said that in accordance with Article 212 of the Labor Code, the employer, in agreement with the members of the trade union, can assign duties to the employee arising from the interests of the labor collective. In particular, the organization can make the coronavirus vaccine mandatory for its employees to ensure a healthy work environment.The deputy also stressed that we have the right to demand guarantees that the personnel serving us – a bank employee, a seller, a driver, a law enforcement officer, a doctor, a teacher, is not a carrier of infection.According to the deputy, citizens are not obliged to receive a vaccine, but in the name of stabilizing the situation in the country, it is necessary to restrict the freedom of non-vaccinated citizens.

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