Dr. Robin’s Covid-19 Updates

The New “Omicron Vaccine”

Robin Schoenthaler, MD
5 min readSep 7, 2022

The new vaccine the CDC is recommending for everyone over 12

Augmented neutralisation resistance of emerging omicron subvariants BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5. Image Credit: Naeblys / Shutterstock

Today’s missive is about the new bivalent “Omicron vaccine”

Cases (unreliable numbers) and hospitalizations (pretty reliable) and deaths (most reliable) all are in decline but basically we’re in a plateau — a long summer plateau — looking nervously at winter.

Covid marches on. It is still all around us and it still has the potential to disrupt our lives.

We truly are at a new normal. Things with Covid are much worse than during an average flu season, both in terms of cases and hospitalizations, but they are nothing compared to how much death and destruction we had prior to vaccines. Our hospitals are reeling but they’re not collapsing. It’s bad but not catastrophic. Covid’s here and not going away and we have to get used to it.

Which is a good news/bad news situation.

(I’m a Boston-based cancer doctor and I’ve been writing weekly fact-based-no-blame-no-rumors-all-science-all-the-time essays about Covid-19 since March 2020. If you liked this and some of my other missives, you can support both Medium and me here.)

Bad news: Covid truly is not going to go away. We are going to have to cope with its threats and irritations and concerns for years.

Good news: It is very very unlikely we will die of it, or even end up in the hospital.

Bad news: It is super dooper contagious at a time when masks are essentially gone and lots of people are no longer taking precautions.

Good news: You can still take your own precautions. Most importantly, you can make sure you are vaccinated and boosted. You can mask indoors, you can avoid eating indoors, you can try to stay out of big indoor crowds, and overall you can try and choose where and when you take risks.

Bad news: You will probably get it anyways (and this isn’t a moral failing or a character flaw, it’s just a fact of life with a wildly infectious virus).

Good news: When you get it, you probably won’t end up in the ER, hospital, or ICU if you’re low risk. If you’re high…

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Robin Schoenthaler, MD

Covid-Translator. Cancer doc: ~Three decades at MGH. Writer and storyteller: Moth Grand Slam Champion. Mom. www.DrRobin.org, @robinshome, robinshome2@gmail.com