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Boosters Won’t Change Covid Trajectory: Johns Hopkins’ Adalja (Video)

  • 00:00Dr. Adalja it’s simple America is bundled in with Kosovo Lebanonand Montenegro. It is about the idea of travel. When you look at
    our hospitalizations in the regional disparity of how we’redealing with this epidemic are you surprised that Europe tells
    us we can’t travel there. I’m not surprised because we know thatpolitical leaders often run for travel bans and travel
    restrictions as their first way to reassure their domesticpopulations. But we know that travel bans and travel
    restrictions don’t work. It didn’t keep Copa 19 out of theUnited States and it won’t keep any of these cases out of other
    countries because and I think now in the era when we havevaccines when we can verify people’s vaccination status and we
    have testing you can have much more for your travel. Even whenthere are cases that might be higher in one country versus
    another you can you can restrict travel to vaccinated people.You can ask for testing or serial testing. So I don’t think we
    need to be in the era of travel bans. And remember the US stillhas travel bans on many parts of the world as well which I don’t
    think are keeping our cases down or our cases controlled becausewe have a domestic problem and many other countries have a
    domestic problem. So I think we need to use the tools at hand tofacilitate travel. There is the travel right there folks on
    radio. I’m putting up my cell phone or my Excelsior pass on itand I’m ISE. I mean there it is. It’s being solved at the state
    level. At the local level as well. Critically here.Do you have a sense of optimism about where we’re going to be on
    travel and business.Three months out. Six months out.
    I’m optimistic in the sense that people are learning how to riskcalculate better. Vaccinations are going up. There are people
    that are getting infected and that’s going to give them naturalimmunity. So that’s going to give you a little bit of a buffer.
    We’re getting more and more people comfortable with using hometests to know their status if they have to travel somewhere or
    if they visit somebody and maybe they’re not vaccinated if theywant to know their status. But we’re also I think coming to
    grips with the fact that Cobain 19 is not going to magically goback into battle. That we’re going to be dealing with it. Years
    from now. And our goal is to tame it to remove its ability tocause crisis in hospitals. And I think that’s something that’s
    taken a while for people to think about. And once they actuallyrealize that I think they will start to go back to their lives.
    And at the same time I think emphasize that that vaccinationsare the way to to learn to live with this. So so I do feel
    optimistic that we will start getting back to our lives. Andindeed in some parts of the country in the United States we are
    we are back to our lives because we’ve vaccinated so many highrisk individuals that even though we see hospitalizations in
    cases we’re not worried about it in the way that we were earlyon. But we’ve got a regional problem in the United States and I
    think that’s that that’s the priority. Dr. Adalja how importantour boosters to getting back to some sort of normalcy and I say
    this as we look at Israel it just recorded its highest numberever of cases of dew covered cases despite the fact that that
    nation is one of the most highly vaccinated. You have toremember this is an endemic respiratory virus it’s not going to
    go anywhere and I don’t think that third doses for healthypeople are going to change the trajectory of the pandemic.
    It’s first and second doses that will remove the ability of thevirus to cause serious disease and hospitalization. And that has
    to be our goal because if our goal is chasing mild illnesses infully vaccinated individuals by continually boosting them we’re
    boosting them even once more that there’s really no off ramp. Ithink we’ve got to realize that this doesn’t magically go back
    into bats that we’ve got to try to manage just like otherrespiratory viruses that we deal with year in and year out or
    we’re never going to be able to to move. I think that’ssomething we have after really about Dow Jones to do the health
    officials to the senior health officials in the United Statesagree with you agree with that assessment of how to look at the
    risk of cove it and how to live with it going forward.I do think many of them realize that this is a virus that’s not
    going anywhere. I think that what we’ve had is kind of a policyjungle where people have differing goals because when you saw
    the CDC guidance for masks for vaccinated individuals changingsome of the requirements for vaccinated individuals recently
    that sort of reflects this idea that somehow these mildillnesses are what we have to chase. And I don’t think that’s.
    That’s right. But I think from the very beginning they’ve alwaystalked about flattening the curve to be able to maintain
    hospital capacity. I think that has to be the overarching goalwhen you’re dealing with a virus like this. So I do think we’re
    kind of at a port. There are some differences in policy ideas.But overall I think people don’t disagree on the biology or the
    epidemiology. It’s just we have to step take a step back as acountry and say where do we want to go with this. What are we
    going to do with the virus. It’s never going to disappear. Andwhat’s the best step forward. I think that has to be reframing
    the entire debate. Now that we have vaccines and I think we haveto get first and second doses into people that has to be the
    priority in third doses I think maybe down the line. But at thesixth month of the eight month interval I don’t think that’s
    going to make a major difference. And again we haven’t seen thestrong clinical data to show that this is something that’s
    necessary because we haven’t seen the vaccines really erodewhere it matters preventing serious illness and hospitalization.
    How should we be thinking about the vaccines and thinking aboutthe flu. Every year you test a few. You hope that you catch the
    right strain for that season. Is that how we should be thinkingabout the future of this vaccine.
    Not necessarily. Remember flu is a very different virus from avery different family of viruses. It has a lot of genetic
    characteristics that are different than the Corona virus. Sowhat we’re seeing even with these variants that we worry about
    like the Delta variant the beta variant is that when it comes tovaccines our original version of the vaccine the one directed
    against the ancestral strain that came from one that is able tohandle the Delta variant especially when it comes to what
    matter. So I don’t think we’re going to be in a prospect wherewe have to update the vaccine because the virus the strain has
    changed so much. It seems that even though it does mutate thevaccines are able to do what matters. And I think that makes it
    so so much easier than dealing with it in terms of vaccines.

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