As the virus spread around the world, it mutated into more transmissible strains, including alpha and delta variants. While vaccines have been shown to be effective against these variants, experts warn that it is necessary to anticipate them with widespread vaccination.
Offit said that as the virus continues to spread, the chances of producing more contagious variants increase.
“If the virus is more contagious, a larger proportion of the population needs to be protected and immunized if you want to stop its spread,” he added.
Offit said that by winter, when the virus is likely to increase again, the United States must have full vaccination rates of 80% or more to protect the population.
The good news, Offit said, is that while the spread of more infectious variants may be less inhibited by vaccines, the level of protection still appears to be high.
“I think the vaccines will keep you out of the hospital, keep you out of the ICU and keep you from dying,” Offit said.
Study shows immune system protection can extend for up to a year after infection
Researchers report that memory B cells in the human immune system will continue to protect against Covid-19 for at least a year.
Studies have shown that people who have recovered from coronavirus infection may be susceptible to new variants of the virus, but vaccines, especially mRNA vaccines such as those made by Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna, generate a strong response that protects people against these variants.
Additional boosters to the vaccine could increase the protection of recovered patients, the researchers say.
“The data suggest that immunity with the agonists will be long lasting and that purified individuals receiving the available mRNA vaccines will produce antibodies and memory B cells which should protect against circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2,” said writes the researchers.
“The antibodies produced by memory cells have increasingly evolved in size and potency,” Michael Nussensweg, a molecular immunologist at Rockefeller University who worked on the study, told CNN.
Nussensweg said the study should encourage people who have already had Covid-19 to get vaccinated if they haven’t already had it. “Yes, they should be vaccinated,” he said, “and if they did, they should be bulletproof from SARS-CoV-2.”
The first country to close its doors completely
California was the first state to issue a stay-at-home order due to coronavirus concerns. And now, 15 months later, it has completely reopened.
From Tuesday, capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements will be lifted for all businesses. While major events, such as concerts, conferences, and sports, are still subject to certain restrictions, including vaccine verification requirements for attendees of indoor events with 5,000 or more people and recommendations for events. outdoors with more than 10,000 people.
California has made nearly 40 million vaccines and about 72% of the state’s population is at least partially vaccinated, California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday. About 47% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated.
There will be no claimed vaccination passport, but Newsom plans to release an electronic version of the state’s vaccination cards later this week.
California has invested $ 116.5 million in incentives, offering gift cards and cash prizes. On Tuesday, state officials will hold a raffle in which 10 vaccinated people will each win a first prize of $ 1.5 million.
People who have not been vaccinated should always wear face covers in indoor public places, but those who have been vaccinated can do without a mask in most situations.
The masks will remain in place in some places, including on public transport and inside hospitals and prisons.
Companies can order masks at their discretion and Cal / OSHA will introduce new rules for face coverings in the workplace, but this is not expected until the end of June, Newsom said it would sign a more executive order. late this week “to clarify any ambiguity.”. “”.
CNN’s Holly Yan, Virginia Langmaid and Sherry Mossberg contributed to this report.