Richard A. Lopchinsky

Covid-19, The 4th Vaccine: Time for Action, Not Reaction

The world has been “reacting” to the COVID-19 infections for two years now. Because of the seriousness and rapidity with which this virus has infected the world, the initial “reaction” was to mandate: masks, social distancing, 2 vaccine doses, then a booster and now perhaps a second booster. These mandates were put in place based upon scientifically relatively weak studies: There were no randomized controlled studies – the gold standard in medicine. (I am not suggesting that we should have waited for them during the initial severe phases of this virus.)

The Omicron variant of the virus, while more contagious, appears to be less virulent with a smaller proportion of hospitalizations and deaths. Would it not behoove the scientific community to take back the decision regarding the benefits of the 2nd booster from the politicians and examine scientifically if there is clinical benefit to another booster? Yes there is data that the 2nd booster will increase the antibody response but does that have any clinical benefit and to whom. Before spending millions of dollars (shekels), man-hours for medical staff and patients, and extending perhaps false hopes, wouldn’t it be better to know the real benefits of the 2nd booster now while we have a chance to do the study?

I suggest a randomized controlled study of the 2nd booster versus placebo to see if there is clinical benefit (or detriment) to that additional immune challenge before recommending or mandating it.

There are many excellent scientists in Israel that can work out the details of such a study to learn as much as possible from its results. The people need to tell the wind-blown politicians it’s time to give the science back to the scientists!

About the Author
Strong religious zionist background: First trip in 1963 - bar mitzvah, spent a summer volunteering at Hadassah in 1970, spent a year in Yeshiva in Jerusalem in 1971-72, parents made aliya in 1979, Tried to make aliyah in 1983 but was told I wouldn't fit into the system (after completing a fellowship in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) Professional: Board certified in general surgery, private practice in Manhattan for 28years, the Chief of the ENT / Head & Neck Service at the Phoenix VAMC, Clinical professor of surgery at Univ of AZ-Phoenix for 8 years. Finally made Aliyah in 2016 to work in Rambam. Licensed and Board certified in Israel Hobbies: Skiing, Hiking, Creating
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