According to the Ontario Hospital Association, Wave #3 is officially upon us, as ICU beds fill with new COVID-19 patients of a younger group (age 50s).
Ontario PCR testing now shows that 50% of cases are variants, most of which are the U.K. variant.
The R(t) value, the number used to measure the speed of the virus’s spread is 1.41 for the new variant compared to 1.07 for the original version. Ideally the R(t) should be less than 1.
Sunnybrook is getting ready with their mobile COVID-19 unit in their parking lot. Upper Canada College closed its school today due to an outbreak. Cases stay steady, but the positivity is high, especially with variant strain.
Bottom line: Wave #3 is here.
Here are three takeaways
1) Variant Strains: Look ahead; as Wayne Gretsky said, “Go to where the puck is.” and the 1.1.7 (UK Strain) is upon us, which is more contagious and more lethal. Next up, 1.351 (South African Strain)
2) Vaccine Efficacy: Not all vaccines perform in the same way, likely based on how they were built, RNA-based versus viral protein-based.
3) The Virus Can Only Mutate if it Can Replicate: We need to mask up (KN95 and medical-grade masks only), perform RAPID COVID-19 testing at home and work, and avoid social gatherings.
2) What do to before getting vaccinated
3) RAPID Antigen Testing
It appears that RNA-based vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are 95% effective against the variants. The AstraZeneca Vaccine is 75% effective against mild to moderate disease for 1.1.7 and not effective against the 1.351 strain.
I think the RNA vaccines now appear more effective against the variant strains because they were developed as a more ‘upstream’ solution compared to the more traditional vaccines based on viral protein. More to discover in the months to come.
Today, you should get access to RNA-based vaccines at hospitals and large vaccination centres. They will not be available at your local pharmacies due to their special storage needs.
I’ve also warned against the AstraZeneca vaccine risks this weekend on CP24 for your risk considerations.
Supplements to take before vaccination
AKE SPECIFIC SUPPLEMENTS: Maintain your use of antioxidants, especially Vitamin C and D, and boost your zinc – critical in immune health, and omega fatty acids as an anti-inflammatory.
Why Take AHCC Supplement: AHCC, an extract of the shiitake mushroom, which has known immunomodulatory effects in human studies and has been shown in multiple studies to increase T cell and NK cell activity. There are more than 20 human clinical trials showing the effectiveness of AHCC as an immune system booster.
COVID-19 RAPID Antigen Test
Like the PCR genetics based test to detect COVID-19, this SD Biosensor RAPID ANTIGEN Test also uses a swab taken from the nose to identify the presence of the virus proteins.
In 15 minutes, a RAPID ANTIGEN test tells a person if they are currently infected with COVID-19.
While not as sensitive as the PCR test at 85-90% (misses 10-15% of true positives) it is 100% specific which means if the test turns positive, it is truly positive.
The viral antigen protein load is most abundant around days 2 to 7 of an active infection. It is a practical test to identify those who may be in their more ‘contagious’ phase of infection. Early and recovering stages of COVID-19 will not be as easily detectible and hence, the reason for a lower sensitivity rate.
SD BIOSENSOR remains responsive to the detection of the new variants as site mutations have occurred on the N-terminal side of the nucleocapsid protein and there were no mutations on the C-terminal side. Since the recognition site of the raw materials used in the SD Biosensor antigen test are the C-terminal side, different from the mutation sites, this test remains able to detect variants including U.K. and South African strains.
NOTE: A COVID-19 RAPID Antigen Test cannot be used for air travel as proof of a negative test. Only a PCR test is accepted at this time.
Performing this type of RAPID ANTIGEN test twice a week will ensure optimal ongoing screening if the situation warrants higher vigilance. If there is concern of potential exposure, serial days of a RAPID Antigen and/or PCR test will be ideal.
ELAINE CHIN, M.D., M.B.A. FOUNDER, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER North American trailblazer in Precision Medicine. Founder of Executive Health Centre, a Medical Wellness and Anti-Aging Clinic. Medical expert on CitylineTV and in Good Housekeeping Magazine’s GH Institute.