Despite a shaky start, the US coronavirus testing programme was able to provide tests to those in need by the end of last year.
When vaccines arrived, though, the focus shifted. Because so many people who had been immunised didn’t think they needed to be tested, the market for these tests dropped precipitously.
Abbott Laboratories, a prominent test maker, was forced to destroy millions of tests after closing or converting testing sites into vaccination centres.
The new Omicron variety has sparked a resurgence in demand for testing, which is outpacing supply.
This episode of “The Daily” examines the current state of testing in the United States and the options available to the Biden administration.
Injections against COVID-19
The serious illness, hospitalisation, and death caused by COVID-19 can be prevented with vaccines currently available in the United States. Immunization against COVID-19, like vaccination against other vaccine-preventable diseases, is most effective when administered at the appropriate intervals and followed by booster shots.
Within the United States, four COVID-19 vaccines have been authorised or granted approval:
- Janssen, a brand name manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. (However, due to safety concerns, the CDC advises that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccination be considered only in limited instances.)
Recent (Bivalent) Boosters
The term “bivalent” is used to describe the modern (updated) boosters since they offer protection not just against the COVID-19 virus but also its Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5.
Prior boosters were only effective against the primary COVID-19 virus, hence they were single-valent. Similarly, they offer some defence against Omicron, albeit inferior to that of the modern, bivalent boosters.
The COVID-19 virus is a constantly evolving pathogen. Variants are the several strains of the virus that have emerged over time. Research the various COVID-19 viral variants.
Pfizer and Moderna, two of the vaccine industry’s stalwarts, have both produced and released improved (bivalent) COVID-19 boosters in recent years.
When Did You Last Check in?
If you have finished a primary series of COVID-19 vaccination and received the most recent booster dosage recommended by the CDC, you are considered fully vaccinated.
The three pillars upon which the COVID-19 vaccination recommendation rests are as follows:
- If you could tell me your age
- When you first got the vaccine and how long it’s been since you’ve had a dose
Different COVID-19 vaccination schedules are recommended for people with varying degrees of immunosuppression.
If you get the full course of the COVID-19 vaccine and subsequently contract the disease, you will still be up to date. You can wait before getting revaccinated or getting a booster shot.
Injecting Oneself With Vaccines For Those Who Have or Currently Have COVID-19
Delaying your next vaccine dosage (whether main or booster) by three months from the time your symptoms began or, if you had no symptoms, the time you first obtained a positive test is something to think about if you recently had COVID-19.
In the weeks and months following an infection, reinfection is less likely. However, there may be good reasons to get vaccinated right once, including the following: your own risk of severe disease, the risk of severe disease in a loved one or close contact, The local COVID-19 Community Level, and the most prevalent COVID-19 variation now causing sickness.