Pfizer: Vaccine Booster Protects Against Omicron Variant

Immune System Support from companies like Transfer Point should be seriously considered in the current phase of the COVID pandemic.

The omicron variant was first spotted in South Africa and it is spreading quickly across the globe right now. It was declared by the companies that a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 booster will provide more protection against the virus as compared to the initial 2 doses of the vaccine. 

It has been revealed by lad tests made by BioNTech and Pfizer that their vaccine’s third dose will be able to provide antibodies successfully that will be capable of neutralizing the omicron variant at present. In fact, individuals who have taken only 2 doses will be more susceptible to the virus in the long run.

The companies have unearthed that this omicron variant is capable of bypassing the immune protection offered by the existing vaccines as compared to the earlier strains. However, it is not known for sure to what extent this new variant will be able to go through the defenses of the body over time.

Blood samples taken from all those that have only received the initial doses of the vaccines revealed that not adequate antibodies were produced against the omicron variant. Thus it is evident that in spite of safeguarding us from severe infections, the initial doses might not be enough when it comes to protecting us from the new variant. However, one thing is for sure receiving 2 doses will be protecting us in a better way than no doses at all. 

It has been suggested by the authorities that folks that have attained the age of 18 ought to receive a booster 6 months after receiving the initial 2 doses of the Moderna or Pfizer series or a couple of months following the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which consists of a single dose only. However, more research has to be made regarding the effectiveness of the booster dose in the long run. 

Dogs Trained to Detect COVID-19 Deployed Globally

Canines have a unique ability to detect the odors of COVID-19 when the virus is active. Dogs from Austria to Britain to Thailand have been deployed to detect its presence, delivering an extra safety line for border entry, large events, and other group activities.

Airports in Chile and Finland were the first to deploy dogs as a screening tool against COVID in 2020.

According to Austrian authorities who have trained at least two dogs to detect COVID, the success rate is far above 80%

It Takes About Three Months to Train Dogs to Detect COVID

When a dog is already trained to sniff out substances, it only takes about two weeks for trainers to help them recognize the presence of COVID.

It then takes another three months for them to be fully trained to detect its presence in masks, clothing, or other items.

Most countries don’t have specific plans to deploy canines trained to detect COVID-19, but there is global support to help those who want this defense line.

Dogs have a remarkable capability of picking up the volatile compounds that different infections cause in the human body. Their sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than what humans have, which is why detecting the coronavirus is possible.

As the proof of concept work continues, you can expect to see more COVID-sniffing dogs at schools, airports, and public venues. Although the detection rate isn’t as high as some rapid antigen tests, it’s still a helpful tool to help us end this pandemic once and for all. 

Merck Reports COVID Pill Reduces Risk of Hospitalization

We’ve all seen the stories where seemingly healthy people get devastated by COVID-19. There are also numerous reports of people who eat healthily, get some sunlight, and include vitamins that barely have any symptoms.

Although including Thorne Research products is a great step for self-care, the COVID virus can create problems for anyone. That’s why Merck has worked to develop an antiviral pill while others have produced vaccinations.

The Merck COVID pill reportedly reduces the risk of hospitalization by half. 

This Pill Would Join Other Antiviral Care Products

Merck’s antiviral pill joins the infused product remdesivir and a generic steroid called dexamethasone to treat severe COVID cases. The other two products are typically given to patients once they’ve been hospitalized.

With the antiviral pill, Merck hopes to change the dialogue on how to treat or recover from COVID-19. 

The results from the Phase III study caused the company’s stock to rise nearly 10%. It produced such significant data that outside monitors recommended that the study stop early so that the treatment could proceed to market.

Merck says it is seeking emergency authorization use for the antiviral pill. 

Atea Pharmaceuticals is developing a similar product. Their shares went up by more than 20% on the news from Merck. 

With over 700,000 fatalities from COVID-19 in the United States alone, any treatment option is a welcome opportunity. Drugs similar to Merck’s have been linked to birth defects in some animal studies, but indications are that it doesn’t affect mammalian DNA – of which humans are included. 

North Korea Rejects COVID Shots from China

North Korea doesn’t record cases of COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean the disease hasn’t affected the country or its economy. The secretive nation has also had strict anti-virus measures in place since the beginning of the pandemic, closing its borders in January 2020.

The country recently asked that nearly three million Sinovac shots offered under China’s development program be redirected to other nations. This Chinese-made vaccine was provided under a program that helps poorer countries get what they need to keep people safe.

It isn’t the first time that North Korea has rejected COVID shots. It also turned down two million doses of the AstraZeneca shot under concerns of potential side effects. Russia has even offered its Sputnik vaccine multiple times without success. 

How to Handle a Potential COVID Infection

If you suspect that your physical symptoms are related to COVID-19, the first step to take is to get tested. The results can let you know if you’ve caught this virus.

When you don’t have any symptoms, the best thing you can do is to take care of your immune system. That means your body needs some vitamin D, and the best place to get it is by exposing your skin to the sun.

A healthy immune system requires nutrients from our diet. When you’re unable to get this need met from eating alone, products from brands like Core Med Science can be helpful. You could take Liposomal Vitamin C or Liposomal Glutathione for that extra support. 

As a final step, consider washing your hands frequently or using safe sanitizing products.

Everything We Know About the Delta Variant of Coronavirus

When the Delta variant struck India, it caused record numbers of infections. Hospitalization rates skyrocketed, oxygen was in high demand, and there weren’t enough beds to accommodate everyone who became ill.

After the wave hit India, it went on to impact the world. Infection rates rose sharply even in countries with robust vaccination programs.

While you give your immune system a boost with Apricot Power and Irwin Naturals, please remember to consider vaccination as a tool to help you and your family get through this pandemic as safely as possible.

Facts About the Coronavirus Delta Variant

1. The Delta variant is more contagious than the other coronavirus strains. That’s why it spread around the world so quickly. By the end of July 2021, it accounted for about 80% of all new cases in the United States.

2. Although all people have a small risk to consider, vaccines limit the issue significantly. Individuals who haven’t received their COVID vaccine are 2.5 times more likely to become infected by this coronavirus variant.

3. The transmissibility of the Delta variant is so high that it could lead to numerous local outbreaks. It can skip from one poorly vaccinated area to another, especially since vaccinations in children under 12 haven’t come close to reaching goals.

4. Breakthrough cases happen, but it often creates less severe symptoms when it does.

We have a lot more to learn about the Delta variant. Until these issues get under control, the best option for everyone is to mask up, get vaccinated, and maintain social distancing. 

How Coronavirus Spiraled Out of Control in India

It seemed like India had COVID-19 controls in place that limited the spread of the coronavirus. While the United States, Brazil, Italy, and other nations faced staggering infection and death numbers in 2020, the country of more than one billion people was barely a blip on the radar.

That changed in 2021. While other developed countries were distributing vaccines, India started begging for basic health supplies.

At the peak of the pandemic in the fall of 2020, India topped out at nearly 100,000 daily cases. On April 27, 2021, over 360,00 cases were reported. The crisis was past the scale of anything the world had ever seen.

During that fateful last week in April, over 1.8 million new COVID-19 cases were registered. Health experts believe that the actual numbers were probably twice that amount.

What Caused the COVID-19 Spike in India?

Although the scale of the April outbreak in India could be driven by a more transmissible version of the coronavirus, several other factors create a perfect storm for infections to rise.

About 40% of the households in India have a multigenerational structure. That fact alone increases the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

India also has chronic underfunding of its healthcare system, which is only 3.5% of its GDP. France spends about 11% in comparison, while the United States reaches close to 20% in some years.

There was also a recent religious holiday where people came out by the thousands to celebrate. Many of them didn’t take personal precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

It would be fair to say that there are equal parts of incompetence and complacency when looking at how India ran into this crisis. People ignored the warning signs, and the government didn’t take steps to mitigate the issue. Leaders even said on April 17, just ten days before the massive infections, that they were pleased to see large crowds.

As of May 31, the number of new cases was down to a 7-day rolling average of 175,000.

North Korea Will Skip the 2021 Olympics

According to a state-run website from North Korea, the government is deciding to skip the 2021 Olympics that Tokyo is hosting in 2021. The official reason for dropping out for the first time in over thirty years is the coronavirus, but it might be an issue that runs deeper than the virus.

In the past, North Korea used global sporting events like the Olympics to create diplomatic opportunities. The goal was to create sanctions relief in exchange for nuclear disarmament, which now cannot happen since they’re choosing not to participate.

That’s why some analysts think that the decision is more of a message to the Biden administration than an issue with COVID-19.

It’s Not the First Time North Korea Has Taken This Action

In previous years, North Korea boycotted the Olympics and other international sports events for political reasons. It has sometimes decided not to attend or support the global athletics community when no one qualified to participate.

It is the first time that the North Korean government has cited an infectious disease for deciding not to participate.

The government has the reputation for withdrawing from talks or political discourse, only to return at the last second to enhance its bargaining power. Since the nation has been on high alert to prevent COVID-19, this step might be a permanent one.

Without any healthcare infrastructure to support the general population, North Korea has had to take draconian steps to prevent the spread of the disease. That includes preventing foreign nationals from leaving while having a 15-month closure of its international borders.

With little movement on nuclear talks, Biden has already said that North Korea won’t get the same attention as it did with the Trump administration. That meant they’d leave Tokyo empty-handed, so there is no purpose for their attendance.

Continued domestic challenges might change that perspective in the future.

Current State of COVID Strains: Is There Any Reason to Worry?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, the virus behind COVID-19 keeps going through mutations. This behavior is normal, but it also creates problems for those seeking to find a solution to get society back to some semblance of normalcy.

Although several COVID strains are circulating, only three of them have authorities concerned. That’s because the virus seems to have adapted its protein spikes to make itself a more infectious agent.

The three strains under investigation are B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1.

Another variant found circulating in New York City and California is called B.1.526. Its infection rate is under investigation as well, offering a unique set of changes that could pose antigenic challenges for the current therapies being deployed.

Why Are the Variants Concerning Researchers?

As medical authorities research the shifting coronavirus mutations, including the UK and South African variants, they have noticed that transmissibility changes are taking place.

With the California variants labeled B.1.427 and B.1.429, a mutation that lets the virus bind to human receptor cells with greater ease makes it easier to catch COVID-19.

This issue might be part of why the United States continues reporting over 50,000 cases per day. In February 2021, over 500,000 deaths had the coronavirus listed as a contributing factor, with about 30 million total cases recorded.

Although the vaccine makers can insert the new genetic materials into the inoculations they distribute, Pfizer and BioNTech are looking at the idea of a third vaccine dose to trigger an additional immune response.

Since ongoing mutations could make the virus deadlier than it is now, the race to get everyone vaccinated is underway. Most global governments’ goal is to have the majority of adults receive both shots by the fall.

Until everyone gets their vaccines, people must follow today’s best practices to prevent transmission. That means social distancing, wearing a facial covering, and limiting indoor contact with others.

What Steps Is Europe Taking to Battle COVID Resurgence?

When the United States started taking action to battle a COVID resurgence, it became a patchwork quilt of regulations and restrictions. Each state had a different approach to preventing the coronavirus from spreading over the winter months.

In Europe, the approach was a little different. Most countries adopted temporary rules that would halt the spread of the coronavirus with common-sense decisions.

There were local curfews implemented, alcohol bans, and restrictions on indoor social gatherings.

When the UK recognized that a new variant was more contagious and potentially deadlier, they put in the strictest lockdowns that matched what people experienced in March and April 2020.

We Are in a Race to Vaccinate

Global stories of rising infection rates show how critical the need is for us to find a vaccination protocol that works. Although the UK was the first western nation to start an inoculation program, the rest of Europe fell far short with ordering bottlenecks and global production shortages.

With 1.8 million people dying from COVID-19 in 2020 (and potentially many more who died from undocumented circumstances), we cannot afford to let a resurgence continue.

Each holiday creates a sharp rise in infections and deaths as people gather and the virus spreads. In Thailand, a single outbreak at a seafood market led to a countrywide spread that affected 53 of the 77 provinces.

The coronavirus moves fast. When French police booked hundreds of partygoers at an illegal rave, the risk for more infections was massive.

Even when there are outdoor environments involved, close contact can still create COVID-19 problems. Dozens of infections are directly tied to the January 6 insurgence at the US capitol building, for example, and similar issues have crept up in Europe.

What can you do to ensure that you’re staying in the fight against COVID-19? You can eat healthy foods, take your supplements daily, and keep wearing a mask.

What Do We Know About the New COVID-19 Strains?

All viruses mutate. Scientists expected that the new coronavirus would change and adapt to the environment as it got opportunities to explore.

The problem with viral mutations is that the process can be unpredictable. If something happens that makes COVID-19 more transmissible or deadly, it could impact how we can manage the disease.

It also changes how the developed vaccines work against it, although the mRNA sequences are still relatively the same

Three Variants Have Scientists Sounding Alarms

We know of three coronavirus evolutions that have changed the way we respond to COVID-19. The first one happened in May 2020, which is the D614G variant. This change made the coronavirus more transmissible to others, although the death rates remained relatively constant.

The second variant is called B.1.1.7, commonly referred to as the “UK variant” in the press. Research suggests that this evolution not only makes the virus more contagious, but it could also be deadlier. Vaccine producers have enough concerns about it that they’re proposing a third booster might be necessary to provide enough protection.

A third variant is called B.1.351, which is often called the “South African variant.” It is more contagious, but it might have the same fatality rate among those it infects.

Additional variants in Ohio and Los Angeles have also been identified, with research exploring ways to treat these options.

What Will the Vaccines Do to the Variants?

The vaccine producers are not overly concerned about the different mutations they see in the coronavirus. Since they can quickly change the mRNA sequences that trigger an immune response in the body, it won’t take nearly as long to develop counter-agents against each new evolution.

What you might eventually see in a COVID-19 vaccination is a series of mRNA sequences for each variant that gets delivered all at once. For now, you’ll need to keep wearing a mask, practice social distancing, and take care of yourself to prevent these variants from spreading.