2020 Is finally coming to an end. But the virus won’t be anytime soon. Especially if people don’t get the vaccine. December 2020 was the worst pandemic month. And January will be even worse. Ivermectin for COVID 19? Vitamin D for SEVERE Covid 19? Let’s talk.
More people traveled through US airports this past Sunday than any other day this pandemic, about 1.3 million. Simultaneously, more Americans were hospitalized this past week than any other week of the pandemic.
This past week, about 40% of all ICU patients in the US had Covid 19, according to data published Monday by the US Department of Health and Human Services. That’s up from 16% in late September, 22% in late October, and 35% in late November. More than 63,000 Americans have already died so far this month, which is the worst month of this entire pandemic.
Vitamin D for SEVERE Covid 19?
And next month is only going to be worse. Three big reasons. One, because of holiday travel and indoor gatherings. Two, because of colder temperatures. And three, that new coronavirus variant B.1.1.7, that is more contagious, more transmissible… it’s nowhere in the US, first identified in a Colorado man. So I think that January is going to be the worst month of this entire pandemic.
Of course, the way we fight this is with distancing and masks, and the more people do this, the better the numbers will be. And the more people who get the vaccine, the higher the likelihood of bringing this pandemic to an end. Most experts believe that about 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity. Most polls show that about 60% of Americans want the vaccine. Based on my YT poll, 10,000 of you voted. And 47% want the vaccine. 37% don’t want it. And 16% are still undecided.
So this virus will not be extinguished anytime soon unless these numbers change. The soonest I expect this pandemic to be over would be by next fall. But people need to get the vaccine to make this happen. I’m glad that I was able to get my Pfizer vaccine back on Dec 15th. Other than some arm soreness in the first 24 hours or so, I didn’t have any side effects. So, I feel great. And I’m going to get by second shot a week from now.
With the second shot, the chances of developing side effects are slightly higher than the first shot, so we’ll see, and I’ll keep you posted. One concern with these vaccines is the potential for allergic reactions.
Reactions to vaccines, in general, are rare. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) has updated its advice regarding allergic reactions to these new mRNA vaccines. They say that anyone with a severe allergic reaction to the first shot should not get the second shot. People with allergies to medications, foods, insects, and latex are no more likely than the general public to be allergic to these vaccines.
It’s still unclear whether having had an allergic reaction to an older type of vaccine means people will react badly to the mRNA vaccines. For people who have had a previous allergic reaction to a specific component of the new vaccine, such as propylene glycol or lipid nanoparticles, they should hold off on getting the vaccine. Regardless, these people should discuss the vaccine’s benefits and risks with their health care providers, ideally, an allergist. These are the latest recommendations at the time of this video, and they are subject to change.
Now, with this new coronavirus variant, which scientific experts are saying is more contagious. Does that mean the vaccine will be less effective? This is still an unknown at this point. And if the vaccine is less effective against this new variant, how much so? Again, an unknown. Most scientists think that the vaccine will remain effective against it. Also, because these are mRNA vaccines, they can easily be tweaked to make it more effective against the new strain.
A lot of people are also talking about the parasitic drug Ivermectin. Is it useful against COVID 19? Too early to tell. Some weak studies that show it might help against COVID 19, but nothing conclusive so far. We will need a large RCT to know if it works or not, and that hasn’t happened yet.
What did just come out, though, from Brazil, is an RCT for giving Vitamin D to patients with severe COVID 19? We know that low vitamin D levels are linked with a higher risk for severe COVID 19. Still, when vitamin D was given to critically ill COVID 19 patients who had lower vitamin D levels, it did not shorten their length of stay in the hospital or decrease mortality. The way that I look at it, it’s important not to be vitamin D deficient in the first place, as getting a large dose of vitamin D when you are critically ill is not going to save you.
Dr. Mike Hansen, MD
Internal Medicine | Pulmonary Disease | Critical Care Medicine