Today’s TIP News: COVID vaccines may have prevented more than 1 million deaths; Grammy-winner Billie Eilish says the vaccine saved her life; a family history of cervical cancer isn’t enough for moms to get kids HPV vaccination; and Drs. Julie and Marc Boom among Houston’s power couples.
Hello, and welcome to TIP News for Dec. 15, 2021. TIP News is a podcast production of The Immunization Partnership. My name is John David Powell.
In today’s TIP News: COVID vaccines may have prevented more than one million deaths; Grammy-winner Billie Eilish says the vaccine saved her life; a family history of cervical cancer isn’t enough for some moms to get their kids the HPV vaccination; and Drs. Julie and Marc Boom among Houston’s power couples.
We begin with that study from The Commonwealth Fund that suggests the COVID vaccines may have saved about 1.1 million lives and prevented more than 10.3 million hospitalizations by this past November.
These numbers mean that without the vaccines, US COVID deaths would have been about 3.2 times higher and hospitalizations would have been about 4.9 times higher than the actual toll during this year, for those keeping score at home.
Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Billie Eilish may be the new poster person for why everyone should get the COVID shots. She told Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Monday that she had a breakthrough case of COVID and would have died if she had not been fully vaccinated.
Eilish said she became ill in August from a breakthrough case that kept her sick for nearly two months.
She also said the vaccine kept her brother and songwriting partner, Finneas O’Connell, her parents, and her friends healthy.
In this case, we could safely say that despite the title of her big song, this time the party is not over.
The party is just getting started in Louisiana, where the unofficial state motto is Let the Good Times Roll. Only this party is all politics.
Governor John Bel Edwards said he will add FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines to the schedule of immunizations for anyone 16 years of age and older.
Edwards is a Democrat. Louisiana attorney general Jeff Landry is a Republican, and Landry has made some noises that he would raise a stink in court. He said earlier this month that such a move by the governor has no merit, is ill-advised, makes policy, and mandates vaccines. We think we’re pretty clear on where he stands, something like: Let the COVID times roll, maybe.
South African researchers say their study has mixed results on how well the Pfizer COVID vaccine works against the Omicron variant. Pfizer’s was the only vaccine available in South Africa at the time of their study funded by the South African Medical Research Council and Discovery Health, which is the country’s largest private health insurer.
The study showed the Pfizer vaccine effectiveness against infection dropped to about 30 percent for the Omicron variant, compared with about 80 percent against the variant before Omicron. This means the vaccine reduces a person's risk of getting infected by about 30 percent compared to somebody who is not immunized.
The data also suggest protection seems to hold up in folks with some risk factors, such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as in older people.
We have a vaccine to protect against HPV, the human papillomavirus, which studies consistently show protects girls and boys, woman and men, against many cancers, particularly cervical cancer.
But a study by researchers from Harvard Medical School found a family history of cervical cancer is not enough to convince some mothers to get their children the HPV vaccine.
That study in JAMA Network Open.
Researchers found no major difference in the HPV vaccination rate of children whose mothers had a history of either cervical cancer or a cervical biopsy versus children whose mothers had a history of neither.
The findings also suggest mothers with a history of adverse cervical outcomes may be unaware of the causal link between HPV and cervical disease or that increased connections of HPV risks do not outweigh other factors that contribute to vaccine hesitancy.
And finally today, a TIP tip of the hat to Drs. Julie and Marc Boom for their inclusion in the Houston Chronicle list of the city’s 29 most powerful couples. The Booms are long-time TIP supporters. Julie is a pediatrician at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. Marc is president and chief executive officer of Houston Methodist Hospital.
That’s our TIP News for today, Dec. 15, 2021.
TIP News is a podcast production of The Immunization Partnership. We invite you to subscribe to our podcasts, Vaxx Voice, which deals with vaccines in general, and Vaxx to the Future, where we feature information specifically related to COVID-19 and its vaccines. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also find more information on our webpage, immunizeusa.org. For all of us at The Immunization Partnership, I’m John David Powell. Thanks for listening.