Friday wrote:You were at higher risk for the original strain on one dose.
If I correctly understand what you're saying, I believe you're wrong? Having received a single dose of vaccine is better than having received zero doses. But not as good as receiving two doses.
mharr wrote:AFAIK both vaccines target the specific mutation that made the virus communicable to humans, so they should be somewhat effective on any variants that matter to us?
The vaccines target a specific spike-shaped protein that makes the virus easily communicable to humans. The vaccines should remain fully effective against any variants that don't have a mutation affecting that protein.
Because our immune system uses fuzzy matching, they should retain partial effectiveness against any variant that uses a similar protein. Because all forms of coronavirus use some form of spike protein (this is the definition of a corona virus), it's even possible that the Covid-19 shots provide some level of protection against the common cold!
So even variants that have one or two mutations affecting that spike protein should be well protected against. However, the more the spike protein evolves through mutation, the less effective these initial vaccines will become. And increasing vaccine adoption creates a selection pressure towards vaccine-evasive strains.
Coronaviruses are notorious for their fast rate of mutation, too, which is why nobody's ever put the money and effort into creating a vaccine for the common cold. The advent of this delta strain indicates that we're in for one of three broad possible futures:
1) We may be in for a few years of new variant -> new vaccine -> new variant -> new vaccine... until eventually the continued creation of vaccines exert a collective pressure that causes the disease to evolve in a direction of creating milder symptoms.
2) We will have to make a collective effort to completely eradicate the disease, similarly to how we responded to polio. This seems a bit less likely because it will require politically expensive things like mandatory vaccinations, which are going to be difficult to convince the public to cooperate with in this climate of science-skepticism.
3) Humanity simply gives up and lets Covid continually wipe significant chunks of the population. Because it mutates as it spreads, there will always be a new strain that can re-infect people that survived the previous versions, and we go into a global population decline until people with some form of genetic immunity to covid come to dominate the population of humanity. Again, this seems less likely than the first scenario, because pharmaceutical companies can make money by selling vaccines to governments and/or individuals.
How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks.