What We Know About Why Some People Never Get Covid 19

Americans who haven’t had covid-19 are now officially in the minority. A study published this week from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 58% of randomly selected blood samples from adults contained antibodies indicating that they had previously been infected with the virus; among children, that rate was 75%.

What is different about that minority of people that hasn’t yet gotten infected? Stories abound of close calls, of situations where people are sure they could have (or should have) gotten sick, but somehow dodged infection. Not all the questions are answered yet, but the question of what distinguishes the never-covid cohort is a growing area of research even as the US moves “out of the full-blown” pandemic. Here are the possibilities that scientists are considering to explain why some people haven’t contracted the virus.

They behave differently

We’ve seen it play out time and time again—some people adhere more strictly to protocols known to reduce transmission of the virus, including wearing a mask and getting vaccinated. Some people avoid large public settings and may have even been doing so before the pandemic, says Nicholas Pullen, a biology professor at the University of Northern Colorado. Then again, that doesn’t tell the whole story; as Pullen himself notes: “Ironically, I happen to be one of those ‘never COVIDers’ and I teach in huge classrooms!”

They’ve trained their immune systems

The immune system, as any immunologist or allergist can tell you, is complicated. Though vaccination against covid-19 can make symptoms more mild for some people, it can prevent others from contracting the illness altogether.

Growing evidence suggests that there may be other ways that people are protected against the virus even without specific vaccines against it. Some could have previously been infected with other coronaviruses, which may allow their immune systems to remember and fight similarly shaped viruses. Another study suggests that strong defenses in the innate immune system, barriers and other processes that prevent pathogens from infecting a person’s body, may also prevent infection.

An innate immune system that’s already not functioning as well due to other medical conditions or lifestyle factors such as sleep or diet may put a person at higher risk of getting sick from a pathogen. There’s not single answer here yet, but initial studies are intriguing and may offer avenues for future treatments for covid-19 and other conditions.

They’re genetically different

In the past, studies have found interesting associations between certain genetic variants and people’s susceptibility to communicable diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, and the flu. Naturally, researchers wondered if such a variant could exist for covid-19. One June 2021 study that was not peer reviewed found an association between a genetic variant and lower risk of contracting covid-19; another large-scale study, focused on couples in which one person got sick while the other didn’t, kicked off in Oct. 2021.

“My speculation is that something will be borne out there, because it has been well observed that resistance embedded in genetic variation is selected in pandemics,” Pullen says. But most experts suspect that even if they are able to identify such a variant with some certainty, it’s likely to be rare. For now, it’s best for those who haven’t gotten covid to assume they’re as susceptible as anyone else. Whatever the reasons some people haven’t yet gotten sick, the best defense remains staying up to date with vaccinations and avoiding contact with the virus.

Source: What we know about why some people never get covid-19 — Quartz

“Being exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus doesn’t always result in infection, and we’ve been keen to understand why,” study author Rhia Kundu said in a statement, using the scientific name for the coronavirus. “We found that high levels of pre-existing T cells, created by the body when infected with other human coronaviruses like the common cold, can protect against COVID-19 infection.”

The study, which examined 52 people who lived with someone who contracted the coronavirus, found that those who didn’t get infected had significantly higher levels of T cells from previous common cold coronavirus infections. T cells are part of the immune system and believed to protect the body from infection. “Our study provides the clearest evidence to date that T cells induced by common cold coronaviruses play a protective role against SARS-CoV-2 infection,” study author Ajit Lalvani said in a statement.

Researchers cautioned that the findings should not be relied upon as a protection strategy. “While this is an important discovery, it is only one form of protection, and I would stress that no one should rely on this alone,” Kundu said. “Instead, the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is to be fully vaccinated, including getting your booster dose.” And the findings on the subject have been inconsistent, with other studies actually suggesting that previous infection with some coronaviruses have the opposite effect.

A major question that has come from the so-called ‘never COVID’ group is whether genetics plays a role in preventing infection. In fact, the question has spurred a team of international researchers to look for people who are genetically resistant to COVID-19 in the hopes that their findings could improve therapeutics. “What we are doing essentially is that we are testing the hypothesis that some people might not be able to get infected because of their genetic and inborn makeup, meaning that they might be genetically resistant to COVID,” says Spaan, who is a member of the COVID Human Genetic Effort.

The effort has sequenced genetic data from about 700 individuals so far, but enrollment is ongoing and researchers have received thousands of inquiries, according to Spaan. The study has several criteria, including laboratory test confirmation that the person has not had previous COVID-19 infection, intense exposure to the virus without access to personal protective equipment like masks and an unvaccinated status at the time of exposure, among others. So far, the group doesn’t know what the genetic difference could be – or if it even exists at all, though they believe it does.

“We do not know how frequent it is actually occurring,” Spaan says. “Is it like a super rare individual with a very, very rare mutation? Or is that something more common?” But the hypothesis is “embedded in human history,” according to Spaan. “COVID is not quite the first pandemic that we are dealing with,” Spaan says. “Humans have been exposed to viruses and other pathogens across time from the early beginning, and these infections have left an imprint on our genetic makeup.”

Those who haven’t gotten the coronavirus are “very much at risk,” says Murphy of Northwestern University. “I think every unvaccinated person is going to get it before this is over.” Experts stressed that research to determine why some people get COVID-19 while others don’t is still very much underway, and no one should rely on any of the hypotheses for protection. Instead, those who haven’t gotten the coronavirus should continue mitigation measures that have been proven to work, like vaccination and mask-wearing.

“You don’t ever want to have COVID,” Murphy says. “You just don’t know which people are going to get really sick from this and die or who’s going to get long COVID, which is hard to diagnose and difficult to treat and very real.” But with coronavirus cases on the rise and mitigation measures like mask mandates dropping left and right, it’s not an easy task.

COVID19: Face masks could return as cases spike Financial Mirror

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Findings About Dostarlimab, A New Antibody Drug, Very Encouraging, Says Expert In Cancer Treatment

According to New York Times, in a small clinical trial, 18 patients took a drug called Dostarlimab for around six months, and in the end, every one of them saw their tumours disappear. The findings concerning dostarlimab, an antibody drug, in experimental treatment of rectal cancer patients is very encouraging but there is need for long-term studies to understand the real impact, an expert in cancer treatment has said.

“This new trial at MSKCC in a small number of patients, with locally advanced rectal cancer patients who had MMR (MisMatch repair) deficiency, have shown total disappearance of tumour without any additional treatment in all 100 percent of them. This is very encouraging but we must note that long term studies are required to understand the real impact,” Dr. (Col.) R. Ranga Rao, Chairman, Oncology, of Paras Hospitals in Gurugram said.

“The drug is still investigational and the trial is limited to patients of a specific type , that constitute about 4 to 5 per cent of rectal cancers. While this is highly encouraging, we must not prematurely jump to conclusions that we have found a cure for all cancers, all stages, and no chemotherapy, surgery is ever required,” he added.

He said it is well recognized that Immunotherapy with PDL 1 blockers in MMRd patients is effective. “Already immunotherapy has made a big difference in the field of cancer of all types. Several earlier trials have shown encouraging responses,” Dr Rao said.

In what appears to be a miracle and ‘first time in history’, a small clinical trial has found that every single rectal cancer patient who received an experimental treatment found that their cancer had vanished.

According to New York Times, in the small clinical trial conducted by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 18 patients took a drug called Dostarlimab for around six months, and in the end, every one of them saw their tumours disappear. Dr Luis A. Diaz J. of New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) said this was “the first time this has happened in the history of cancer”.

According to experts, Dostarlimab is a drug with laboratory-produced molecules and it acts as substitute antibodies in the human body. The cancer is undetectable by physical exam; endoscopy; positron emission tomography or PET scans or MRI scans, added Experts. This proves that Dostarlimab can be a ‘potential’ cure for one of the most deadly common cancers.

According to New York Times, patients involved in the clinical trial earlier underwent treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and invasive surgery that could result in bowel, urinary, and even sexual dysfunction. The 18 patients went into the trial expecting to have to go through these procedures as the next step. However, to their surprise, no further treatment was needed.

The findings of this trial have shocked experts and they have pointed out that complete remission in every single patient is “unheard-of”. Dr Alan P. Venook, who is a colorectal cancer specialist at the University of California, said that the complete remission in every single patient is “unheard-of”. He hailed the research as a “world-first”. Experts stated that the research was impressive as not all of the patients suffered significant complications from the drug trial.

Critics:

Tesaro, a biotech company based out of Massachusetts developed the drug. Tesaro was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2019, dostarlimab is also known by the brand name Jemparli. Dostarlimab was developed to treat women with recurrent or advanced endometrial cancer.

On August 17, 2021, the FDA approved dostarlimab-gxly (brand name Jemperli) for adult patients with mismatch repair-deficient recurrent or advanced solid tumours, as determined by an FDA-approved test, that have progressed on or following prior treatment and who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options.

Rectal cancer remission

According to reports, 18 patients in the clinical trial took Dostarlimab for around six months and after over 12 months the doctors found that their cancer disappeared. While it’s a small trial so far, the results have been impressive; they were published in The New England Journal of Medicine and featured at the nation’s largest gathering of clinical oncologists in June 2022.


In every case, rectal cancer disappeared after immunotherapy — without the need for the standard treatments of radiation, surgery, or chemotherapy — and cancer has not returned in any of the patients, who have been cancer-free for up to two years.

It’s incredibly rewarding to get these happy tears and happy emails from the patients in this study who finish treatment and realise, ‘Oh my God, I get to keep all my normal body functions that I feared I might lose to radiation or surgery,’ expressed Dr Andrea Cercek, Medical Oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK).

Dr Cercek added, “The most exciting part of this is that every single one of our patients has only needed immunotherapy. We haven’t radiated anybody, and we haven’t put anybody through surgery.” She continued, “They have preserved normal bowel function, bladder function, sexual function, fertility. Women have their uterus and ovaries. It’s remarkable.”

This clinical trial could pave the way for treating other forms of cancer in the future. As the trial continues at MSK, Dr Luis Alberto Diaz, Medical Oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) said, “It’s the tip of the iceberg.” He explains, “We are investigating if this same method may help other cancers where the treatments are often life-altering and tumours can be MMRd. We are currently enrolling patients with gastric (stomach), prostate, and pancreatic cancers.”

Dostarlimab clinical trial reception by the Indian medical community

Since the trial results have been published, it has created a lot of buzz and has got the entire medical community discussing how it could pave the path for future treatment for various cancers, ETHealthWorld spoke to few experts on the drug trial. Commenting on the trial, “It is definitely a big step towards efficient cancer care. The preliminary data on Dostarlimab PD1 monotherapy has been very encouraging in high-risk rectal cancer patients and has been recently presented at the ASCO meeting in Chicago and subsequently published in NEJM.

We would definitely need further studies on larger groups of patients across the globe to establish it as a standard of care for rectal cancer. Trials are also being conducted to study its effectiveness for cervical cancer, and endometrial cancer amongst others,” said Dr Pankaj Kumar Panda, Senior Research Officer, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre.

Source: Findings about Dostarlimab, a new antibody drug, very encouraging, says expert in cancer treatment

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How To Tell If You Have a Yeast Infection or UTI

Itching, burning or the constant urge to go — when it comes to problems down there, figuring out what’s wrong can be a tricky task. That’s because many issues that affect the vagina present with symptoms that may seem similar or even overlapping.

This is particularly true when it comes to urinary tract infections and yeast infections, two of the most common to afflict women — about 50% to 60% will experience a UTI at least once in her lifetime, and around 75% of women will experience a yeast infection at some point.

“These conditions can sometimes mirror one another because they both cause vaginal and bladder irritation,” says Jessica Shepherd, M.D., an ob-gyn, women’s health expert, and founder of Sanctum Wellness in Dallas, Texas.

lite9-4-1-1-1-1-3Here’s how to tell the difference between a UTI and a yeast infection so you can get the proper treatment.

Symptoms

UTI symptoms include:

  • A persistent urge to urinate, even if the bladder is empty and not much comes out
  • Incontinence
  • Burning, stinging or discomfort when urinating
  • Abdominal pain or cramping, especially when urinating
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain in the lower back or flank
  • Fever, chills, nausea

Yeast infection symptoms include:

  • Constant itching, burning, or pain when urinating
  • Abnormal discharge (white and cottage cheese-like)
  • Itching or irritation in the vaginal area
  • Vaginal pain or soreness

Causes

UTIs occur when bacteria gets into the vaginal area, giving it the opportunity to travel up to the urethra or bladder where it becomes a full-blown infection and triggers uncomfy symptoms, explains Dr. Shepherd. Women are more likely than men to get one (although men can have a UTI, too) because our urethras (the pathway to the bladder) are shorter, making the bacterial journey easier.

Yeast infections happen when there’s an overgrowth of yeast that disrupts the vagina’s delicate microbiome. “Yeast naturally grows in our vaginas, along with other ‘good’ bacteria, but sometimes these levels can become imbalanced, leading to an infection,” says Staci Tanouye, M.D., a board-certified OB/GYN in Jacksonville, Florida and a Poise partner. “This can be caused by things like taking antibiotics, pregnancy, diabetes or a compromised immune system.”

Treatment

You need antibiotics to get rid of a UTI, so schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you notice symptoms. “If left untreated, a UTI could potentially spread to the kidneys, causing pain in the lower back or side, as well as fever, chills, or nausea,” Dr. Shepherd says.

Yeast infections can be treated with antifungal medications, but always talk to your doctor before trying any over-the-counter products, Dr. Tanouye says. Your doctor can help you determine which medication is right for you (there are oral options or suppositories that you insert into the vagina, as well as creams to help alleviate discomfort like itching).

Yeast infections require antifungal medications. These can be prescribed or purchased without a prescription and are available in a variety of treatments. You may take an oral medication, use a topical substance, or even insert a suppository. The duration of treatment varies and can range anywhere from one dose to multiple doses over a week’s time. Just like UTIs, you should take the yeast infection medication for the entire recommended duration to prevent the condition from coming back.

It’s possible that you have recurring UTIs and yeast infections that require a more aggressive treatment. Your doctor will outline these treatments if you experience multiple infections over a short course of time.

Preventing UTIs and yeast infections:

“Lifestyle factors can go a long way in helping you ward off UTIs and yeast infections,” says Dr. Shepherd. Here are some tactics to keep in mind:

  • Stay hydrated. “This can help prevent mild UTIs because fluids help flush bacteria from the urinary tract while decreasing inflammation,” Dr. Tanouye says.
  • Exercise. Being active supports a strong immune system, which is important for you to be able to fight off infections.
  • Ditch tight clothing. “Wear breathable clothing and keep skin dry,” Dr. Tanouye says, and try to change out of damp or sweaty clothing as soon as possible. Yeast thrives in warm, moist environments.
  • Avoid scented products. Feminine perfumes, deodorants, wipes or tampons that are scented may disrupt the makeup of vaginal bacteria, causing infection.
  • Wipe from front to back. This can help prevent you from spreading bacteria (which may cause a UTI) from the rectum to the vagina.
  • Don’t douche. This can disrupt your vagina’s natural bacterial makeup, which may lead to a yeast infection.

UTIs are common, with 10 in 25 women, and 3 in 25 men experiencing a UTI in their lifetime. Women experience UTIs more commonly than men because a woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s, and closer to the vagina and anus, resulting in more exposure to bacteria.

You may also be more at risk for a UTI if you:

  • are sexually active
  • are pregnant
  • are currently using or have used antibiotics recently
  • are obese
  • have gone through menopause
  • have given birth to multiple children
  • have diabetes
  • have or have had a kidney stone or another blockage in your urinary tract
  • have a weakened immune system

Women experience yeast infections more frequently than men, and 75 percent of women will get a yeast infection in their lifetime. Yeast infections commonly occur in the vagina and vulva, but you can also get a yeast infection on your breast if you’re breast feeding and in other moist areas of the body, like the mouth. A vaginal yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted infection, but in rare occasions you can pass it to your partner during sex.

Your risk of contracting a vaginal yeast infection increases if:

  • you’re between puberty and menopause
  • you’re pregnant
  • you use hormonal birth control
  • you have diabetes and don’t manage high blood sugar effectively
  • you’re using or have recently used antibiotics or steroids
  • you use products in your vaginal area like douches
  • you have a compromised immune system

Source: How to tell if you have a yeast infection or UTI

More contents:

Vaginal yeast infections fact sheet”. womenshealth.gov. December 23, 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.

Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2006″. MMWR Recomm Rep. 55 (RR-11): 1–94. PMID 16888612. Archived from the original on 2014-10-20.

Vaginal yeast infection”. MedlinePlus. National Institutes of Health. Archived from the original on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.

Diagnosis of vaginitis”. Am Fam Physician. 62 (5): 1095–104. PMID 10997533. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06.

Thrush in men and women”. nhs.uk. 2018-01-09. Retrieved 2021-01-16.

Yeast infection (vaginal)”. Mayo Clinic. Archived from the original on 16 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.

Vaginal Candidiasis | Fungal Diseases | CDC

Treatment of vaginal candidiasis for the prevention of preterm birth: a systematic review and meta-analysis”.

“Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Candidiasis: 2016 Update by the Infectious Diseases Society of Amerika

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Scientists are Studying Blood Tests For Dementia

As pharmaceutical companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, other researchers are focusing on a more elemental question. How can you tell whether a family member or loved one has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia?

These researchers say a new generation of blood tests could offer an easier and accurate way to detect signs of Alzheimer’s, a disease that afflicts an estimated 6.5 million Americans. New research found one blood test can detect hallmarks of the disease in older adults with memory problems. It is among more than a half dozen blood tests being developed and tested to detect early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Experts say the tests are important because they would be easier, cheaper and available to more people than brain scans or spinal taps now used to detect biological hallmarks of the disease.

Developers of blood tests say the immediate payoff would be testing older adults with signs of memory loss as well as quickly screening large numbers of people necessary to test new drugs that aim to slow or halt Alzheimer’s disease. Eventually, the tests might be useful in detecting the earliest signs of disease, informing individuals of their risk years before memory and thinking problems take root.

Blood tests represent “a very early start to a new era of diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Stephen Salloway, a professor of neurology and psychiatry at Brown University who directs a memory and aging program at Butler Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. “I see them as being transformative for Alzheimer’s, because once we validate them a little bit further, and hopefully get coverage for them, we can use them both to screen for clinical trials and to screen for treatment.”

Diagnosing the disease is time-consuming and inaccessible to those who live far away from memory clinics or other specialists. Doctors might quiz a patient or family members about habits, changes in behavior or personality. Specialists conduct memory and cognitive tests and rule out other potential causes such as depression. Brain scans and spinal taps confirm biological signs of the disease.

One blood test, called the PrecivityAD test, which uses a technology called mass spectrometry, measures amyloid proteins and genetic risk for the disease. In two studies published April 21 in Journal of the American Medical Association Open, the test accurately detected the protein amyloid in 81% of samples when compared with a brain scan.

Amyloid accumulates and forms clumps in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Researchers and drug companies have spent hundreds of million of dollars over the past two decades on the theory that drugs clearing amyloid from the brain could slow memory decline, but those drugs have not proven to halt Alzheimer’s disease.

Other drug studies are now underway to administer amyloid-targeting drugs even earlier, before memory and thinking problems emerge. C2N Diagnostics CEO Joel Braunstein said the peer-reviewed study is an important step for doctors who want to see more evidence before recommending his company’s test to patients with memory and cognitive problems.

“Clinicians like to see evidence that a test works,” Braunstein said. “This was an important step forward because of the transparency of the scientific findings.”

The test, which has been available since 2020, is now mostly used to accelerate research for new drugs being studied to slow cognitive decline and memory loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Braunstein believes more doctors will be willing to recommend the test as they grow comfortable from findings in the studies.

Blood tests promise quicker, cheaper diagnosis

Scans and spinal taps now used can be invasive and don’t work for all patients. For example, people who are on blood-thinning medication might not be able to get a spinal tap, Salloway said. In such cases, a validated blood test would be suitable replacement.

Blood tests also might be more affordable than positron emission tomography, or PET scans, which cost consumers $3,000 out of pocket, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Hospitals charge for administering a PET scan, which includes special chemical tracers to reveal the amyloid. Consumers also can expect a bill from an imaging specialist who interprets the results to verify whether a patient has amyloid.

The PrecivityAD test, which is not yet covered by Medicare or private insurers, costs $1,250. The company offers financial assistance for eligible consumers, Braunstein said, while it is “making progress” in efforts to get Medicare and private insurers to pay for the test.

The company is allowed to market the test under Food and Drug Administration rules because it’s performed at the company’s lab, which is certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, the federal laboratory law known as CLIA. Doctors or testing sites ship samples to the lab and the company completes the test within 10 days, Braunstein said.

Braunstein said the company’s lab has the capacity to handle tests performed within the United States and Canada. As the company seeks to offer the test overseas, it probably will partner with other labs that can perform the intricate measurements the test requires.

Another blood test developed by Eli Lilly detected signs of Alzheimer’s disease 20 years before cognitive problems were expected in a group of people who carry a rare genetic mutation, according to a study published in 2020 in JAMA. The p-tau217 test measured the tau protein on more than 1,400 people already enrolled in dementia studies in Sweden, Arizona and Colombia.

Eli Lilly used the test during a 257-patient Phase 2 study of its Alzheimer’s drug called donanemab. The drugmaker also will use the test to screen people for a prevention trial to test donanemab in at-risk patients who have not yet exhibited memory and thinking problems. Lilly plans to send mobile units to communities and use the test to screen people, which would expand the company’s efforts to recruit patients from diverse populations, a Lilly spokeswoman said.

Quest Diagnostics, a national lab company, launched a new blood test in March that measures two amyloid variants, a Quest spokeswoman said.

Advocacy organizations would like to see tests that are simple, inexpensive and accessible to doctors and their patients, said Heather Snyder, vice president of medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer’s Association.

“We ultimately want to be at a place where we can identify an individual at the earliest possible point who may be at the greatest risk and may have initial changes associated with the disease,” Snyder said.

She said it’s important for the field to have “a toolbox of potential interventions” such as medications or lifestyle changes “that would allow us to stop or slow the progression of the underlying biology at that time.”

In 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved Biogen’s Aduhelm, a $28,000-a-year drug that yielded mixed results in clinical trials, even though the agency’s own experts suggested the agency reject the application. The agency that oversees Medicare decided to pay for the drug only in clinical trials.

Aduhelm is part of class of Alzheimer’s drugs known as monoclonal antibodies, several of which could soon land before FDA decision-makers. Lilly expects to submit donanemab, a monoclonal antibody, for approval later this year. Roche’s Genentech has studied two Alzheimer’s drugs, gantenerumab and crenezumab, in late-stage clinical trials.

By:

Source: Scientists are studying blood tests for dementia: ‘A new era of diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease’

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More contents:

Unvaccinated People Increase Risk Of Covid Infection Among Vaccinated, Study Finds

Unvaccinated people threaten the safety of vaccinated people even with high levels of immunization against Covid-19, according to a new study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), countering a popular narrative that vaccination is purely is a matter of individual choice and supporting policies requiring the shots.

Unvaccinated people pose a “disproportionate” risk of Covid-19 infection to vaccinated people, according to the peer reviewed study from University of Toronto researchers, which examined the interactions between unvaccinated and vaccinated groups using a computer model.

The model simulated the spread of Covid-19 under a variety of different parameters and mixing between unvaccinated and vaccinated people, including vaccine effectiveness and uptake, baseline levels of immunity among the unvaccinated and the rate of recovery from infection.

The model revealed a “markedly higher” risk of infection in all scenarios where unvaccinated and vaccinated people mixed, even the ones where immunization rates were high.

The findings counter the common argument that the decision to get vaccinated is a personal one, the researchers said, as the unvaccinated are ”likely to affect the health and safety of vaccinated people in a manner disproportionate to the fraction of unvaccinated people in the population.”

While the risks of forgoing vaccination are greatest for the unvaccinated—they are more likely to be infected, hospitalized and die from Covid-19 than vaccinated people—the findings dent a commonly-used argument that it is the refuser alone who bears the consequences of this decision.

Given the disproportionate levels of risk the unvaccinated pose to the vaccinated, vaccination cannot be framed as an entirely “self-regarding” choice, explained study author Dr. David Fisman, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Toronto. In light of this, Fisman said policies like vaccine mandates or vaccine passports that restrict access to non-essential services such as restaurant dining or public transport seem “reasonable.”

Such policies are also in line with other regulations designed to protect public health, he said, pointing to compulsory treatment for tuberculosis and restrictions on driving while intoxicated. There is a strong history of law and policy supporting vaccine mandates for the sake of public health in the U.S. as well, with a Supreme Court precedent favoring mandatory smallpox vaccination dating back over a 100 years.

“Vaccinated individuals have a right not to have their efforts to protect themselves undermined,” Fisman said, stressing that the findings are “very supportive” of vaccine mandates for flights and trains.

The paper does not capture another series of health risks the unvaccinated impose upon the vaccinated, Fisman said. As the unvaccinated are more likely to end up in hospital with Covid-19, Fisman said they take up more resources and deprive the “vaccinated of access to care for other conditions” such as cancer or heart disease.

I am a London-based reporter for Forbes covering breaking news. Previously, I have worked as a reporter for a specialist legal publication covering big data and

Source: Unvaccinated People Increase Risk Of Covid Infection Among Vaccinated, Study Finds

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Critics:

By: Morgan Lowrie 

While remaining unvaccinated against COVID-19 is often framed as a personal choice, those who spurn the vaccines raise the risk of infection for those around them, a new study suggests.

The research published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that vaccinated people who mix with those who are not vaccinated have a significantly greater chance of being infected than those who stick with people who have received the shot.

In contrast, unvaccinated people’s risk of contracting COVID-19 drops when they spend time with people who are vaccinated, because they serve as a buffer to transmission, according to the mathematical model used in the study.

Co-author David Fisman, of the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana school of public health, said the message of the study is that the choice to get vaccinated can’t be thought of as merely personal.

“You may like to drive your car 200 kilometres an hour and think that’s fun, but we don’t allow you to do that on a highway partly because you can kill and injure yourself, but also because you’re creating risk for those around you,” he said in a recent interview.

More contents:

By The Numbers: Who’s Refusing Covid Vaccinations—And Why

Unvaccinated More Likely To Get Long Covid—And Suffer Symptoms For Longer—Studies Find

Tracking every case of COVID-19 in Canada

Coronavirus vaccination tracker: How many people in Canada have received shots?

Experts advise Canadians to consider personal risk before getting 4th COVID vaccine dose

Canada’s updated border restrictions: What you need to know

Less than a third of hospitalized COVID patients feel fully recovered a year later, U.K. study finds

Being with unvaccinated people increases COVID-19 risk for those who are vaccinated: modelling study

Another COVID-19 wave ‘almost baked in’ for the fall: top Ont. science adviser

COVID-19 shots still work, but researchers hunt new improvements

How well is our immunity holding up against COVID-19?

Coronavirus stats worldwide: Compare Canada and other key nations

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