No one, it seems, is immune to Covid-19. Dr. Peter Hotez with the Baylor College of Medicine is now fighting off a breakthrough infection.
Hotez, in his trademark bow-tie, is a familiar face to many via his countless appearances on cable news shows touting the importance of masks and vaccinations. He’s double-boosted and wears a mask, but fears he may have let his guard down last week while picking up an honorary degree in Virginia.
“This new BA.2.12 sub-variant is the most transmissible one we’ve seen to date and it’s up there with measles in terms of its reproductive number and its ability to infect. So when you have something this transmissible, even a good vaccine is going to be tough to fight.” He says it also has some escape mutations that make it more resistant to the vaccine.
How infectious is measles? Any individual shedding that virus is likely to infect 12 other people.
Hotez says the good news is his vaccinations have kept him from getting very sick. He has a headache, fatigue, sniffles and a sore throat. He is also taking the Pfizer anti-viral drug Paxlovid. Hotez is isolated at home doing zoom calls. “If I weren’t vaccinated and boosted I could be in the hospital right now.”
BA.2.12 is now poised to become the dominant variant in the United States. Hotez says prior infection from Omicron doesn’t offer much in the way of immunity.
Roughly 6,800,000 Texans have gotten at least one booster dose. This means 23 million have not.
“That gives us a lot of vulnerability and remember, for the last two summers we’ve seen terrible Covid waves. I have to believe this coming summer we’re going to be vulnerable yet again. Don’t screw around. Get vaccinated, get boosted and get your kids vaccinated.”
The testing positivity rate was below 2% in the middle of March. Now it’s up to 8.4%.
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