This story, in combination with the FDA’s emergency use authorization for Paxlovid yesterday, should help turn public opinion toward a greater emphasis on therapeutics as a policy response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The vaccine benefits are clearly established, but the risks are turning out to be far less perfectly acceptable than we originally thought. It is also becoming increasingly clear that Covid-19 is merely comparable to severe influenzas we have seen in the past, and may, with Omicron, be burning out just as they did.
To illustrate, the Spanish Flu of 1918 killed about 655 per 100,000 population in the U.S., whereas Covid-19 has killed about 242 per 100,000 population. (1) The Spanish Flu pandemic ended about two years after it was declared, although it may have started as early as 1915. (2)
Of course, one needn’t cite vaccine adverse effects to promote therapeutic strategies, since today even the vaccinated are becoming infected.
(1) Calculated based on 675,000 Spanish Flu deaths in a U.S. population of 103,000,000 and 800,000 Covid-19 deaths in a U.S. population of 331,000,000.