Covid-19 vaccine and immunity Q-and-A

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, there’s more controversy than clarity when it comes to issues like lockdowns, vaccines, immunity and origin. 

Dr. John Dye, the lead virologist at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases answered some of our questions.

Q: What’s the difference between a different “variant” and a different “strain” of coronavirus?

A: No new “strains” have been detected in the U.S. There is a U.K. “variant” that has shown up in this country, which is no surprise. Strains are more different from the original virus than variants. Existing treatments and vaccines are less likely to work against new strains, and more likely to work against new variants.

Q: Has the U.S. ruled out the theory that Covid-19 came from the Wuhan, China lab?

A: No, nothing has been ruled out. We may never know the true origin because we have no original, early sample of the virus, such as from Wuhan, China to conduct a DNA examination and comparison. 

Q: When a vaccine is said to be 90% effective, does that mean for the rest of one’s life?

A: No. Right now, the Covid-19 vaccines have been tested only for weeks or a few months. It’s impossible to know how long immunity will last, but it typically wanes after months or years. We’ll know more as time goes on, but some people may need a booster in six months. Others may need one in a year or two depending upon how their immune system responds.

Q: What happens between the first and second dose?

A: Your immunity is building but not complete.

Q: The first two US vaccines are “RNA” vaccines. What does that mean?

A: It refers to the “modality” of getting the protein into your system. In the past, RNA vaccines are somewhat limited in terms of how quickly it helps you develop immunity and how long it lasts. That’s why you need the booster 21 or 28 days later. But even with the non-RNA vaccines coming out, you’ll likely need a booster because immunity wanes over time.

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4 thoughts on “Covid-19 vaccine and immunity Q-and-A”

  1. Sharyl,

    If you had asked :

    Can you explain
    why Covid-19 has
    suppressed colds
    and flu by 98%, as
    reported on NBC
    Nightly News a
    few days ago ?


    1. Because people are so obsessed with the Covid virus that apparently nothing else matters. The big pharmaceutical companies can’t cure the common cold or flu. The treatments don’t make them much profit and no one is scared of the flu or colds. You can’t scare people out of their wits with anything but the Covid virus.

    2. If she had asked the question that way, then the doc would have had to resort to giving more of a runaround than this one given. Rick, I’m pretty sure you can answer that question better than any doctor these days and I’m not being facetious nor sarcastic. I read your post routinely and you seem to be pretty well informed, I must say!

  2. I would also like to know where all the flu cases and deaths have gone. Washington State has had zero, I repeat ZERO, cases of the flu this year.

    Masks and social distancing work on the flu but not COVID? Or flu cases and deaths are now counted as COVID cases and death?

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