Tue 2024-Mar-12

Happily Getting Yet Another COVID-19 Booster

Tagged: CatBlogging / COVID / MathInTheNews / PharmaAndBiotech / Politics

Yesterday I got my 8th COVID-19 booster. It was ok!


Short answer: Because I’m not stupid.

Long COVID cost me more than I ever thought I’d have to pay without actually dying. Losing my mental edge to brain fog has been exceptionally trying, especially since almost none of my acquaintances either know that can happen, or seem to think it matters.

Every time you get COVID-19, you get damaged. Long COVID-19 probability goes up. In my case, the powers of concentration and deep thinking that defined the course of my life were blunted. I don’t want that to get worse.

You shouldn’t want anything like that, either. Not for you, not your loved ones. Not anybody.

That’s the real reason why, here at Château Weekend, we’re extremely pro-vaccination.

Of course, it helps that the US CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met on 2024-Feb-28, as we blogged here [1], and recommended another booster for those over 65.

First Bit of Evidence: Efficacy

Vaccine efficacy of booster vs partially immune control population: about 50% As Ruth Link-Gelles presented at the ACIP meeting, efficacy wanes. Here in her chart, consider the bottom group, those aged ≥ 50 years, which is the clade here for Weekend Staffers. The control group here an old monovalent dose, whereas our group is the last line (updated 2023-2024 monovalent dose, in last October).

That means, for us, right here in the real world, we have 50% vaccine efficacy beyond the control group, with a confidence limit of 30% - 60%.

That’s… better than nothing, I guess? But we can do better with a booster!

Second Bit of Evidence: Economics

Economic analysis: payoff in $/QALY is only for seniors The University of Michigan group did an economic analysis, which kind of ruffled my feathers at the time since pikuach nefesh is not a matter of money!

Still, let’s take them seriously, especially since I suspect their hearts are in the right place. We’re in the last row of the table shown here, age ≥ 65. The acronyms are ICER (“incremental cost-effectiveness ratio”, i.e., do you “make a profit” by paying the cost of boosters) and QALY (“quality-adjusted life years”, i.e., do you extend life, giving more credit for good quality of life).

The comparison here shows that it’s cost-saving economically (ICER) and extends life (QALYs, on another slide).

So, even with what is in our eyes a somewhat inappropriate economic analysis, it just makes sense to get a booster!

Pretty much as expected

So that’s what I did.

The Weekend Publisher and Assistant, so deeply concerned about vaccine non-eligibility they cannot properly use a couch The Weekend Editrix, having had COVID-19 as contracted on a flight from Japan in January, will have to wait until the end of April. The Weekend Publisher and the Assistant Weekend Publisher, being cats, are not eligible. Observe here their concern, so great as to cause them to use a couch… unconventionally.

COVID-19 vax number 7, last October COVID-19 vax number 7, post-vax celebratory cider donuts at Wilson Farms I applied through the CVS web site, logged into my account, entered a few particulars, and chose a vaccination appointment later the same day.

I got there, checked in electronically, and they were read for me even like 15min before my appointment. So I got my Moderna booster pretty straightforwardly.

But, unlike all the other times, I didn’t get a photo. The pharmacist was so fast I couldn’t even get my phone in position before he was done. He’s done it a few times before, I guess. Kind of brusque, actually, but that’s ok.

Now, due to a combination of Long COVID-19 brain fog and being dazed by anti-depressants, I didn’t blog the 7th booster last October, either. So to make up for the lack of photos this time, let’s look at the October booster photos shown here.

The injection looks like every other injection in this series. Afterwards, we got celebratory cider donuts, freshly made at Wilson Farms. Longtime readers, both of you, will recall that cider donuts have been an obsession of this Crummy Little Blog That Nobody Reads since the beginning with M. Ciderdonuteur.

(Or really, pastry in general, to be honest.)

The Weekend Conclusion

Ok, so today I’m a little tired and sore. Fine. It’s to be expected, and I’m happy to pay that tiny little price for future security. Think of it as an insurance premium to avoid medical disaster later.

This week in my religious community I was obsessing about Psalm 118. Like many Davidic Psalms, it starts out cataloging the woes of the writer, and then pivots crucially to a position of hope. The operative phrase here is that you “should live and not die”. (Phrasing depending on translation choice.)

COVID-19 boosters save lives.

You should live and not die.

(Ceterum censeo, Trump incarcerandam esse.)

Notes & References

1: Weekend Editor, “US CDC ACIP Meeting: COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations”, Some Weekend Reading blog, 2024-Feb-28.

Published Tue 2024-Mar-12

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