Important Information About The Astrazeneca Covid
The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, now called Vaxzevria, is a viral vector vaccine, just like the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
It uses a chimpanzee adenovirus to carry spike proteins from the coronavirus into your body to create an immune response. It can also be kept in a regular refrigerator, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Although mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna are actually easier to produce more quickly, the cold chain storage required to bring them to lower-income countries does not exist. This is why the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are incredibly important to global health.
Despite initial pauses about its safety regarding blood clots, the AstraZeneca vaccine has been deemed safe by the European Medicines Agency and is still recommended by the World Health Organization .
Is There Anything I Should Do Before Getting My Covid
There are only two cautions before getting a COVID-19 vaccine:
- Dont medicate with over-the-counter pain relievers before coming in for your shot. We dont know yet what impact that might have on your vaccine-induced antibody response.
- If you are getting a flu shot or another vaccination, do it at least 14 days before your first COVID-19 shot. If possible, a month before is preferable but not required.
Otherwise, eat and drink as normal and go about your daily activities.
After your vaccination, its OK to take over-the-counter pain relievers if you need them for a headache, mild fever or any other discomforts.
Covid Vaccine Immunity Is Waning How Much Does That Matter
For those vaccinated against COVID-19, antibody levels eventually wane, but this is not the whole story.Credit: Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library
Six months ago, Miles Davenport and his colleagues made a bold prediction. On the basis of published results from vaccine trials and other data sources, they estimated that people immunized against COVID-19 would lose approximately half of their defensive antibodies every 108 days or so. As a result, vaccines that initially offered, say, 90% protection against mild cases of disease might only be 70% effective after 6 or 7 months.
It felt a little bit out on a limb at the time, says Davenport, a computational immunologist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. But on the whole, his groups predictions have come true.
Immunological studies have documented a steady decline of antibody levels among vaccinated individuals. Long-term follow-up of vaccine trial participants has revealed a growing risk of breakthrough infection. And health-care records from countries such as Israel, the United Kingdom and elsewhere all show that COVID-19 vaccines are losing their strength, at least when it comes to keeping a lid on transmissible disease.
Also Check: How Much Is Rapid Testing At Cvs
Is There Any Difference In Vaccine Induced Immunity Between The First And Second Doses
Its difficult to get a sense of the entire immune response after one dose of vaccine versus two, but multiple studies have investigated antibody levels at different stages of dosing. One preprint study from researchers at University College London involving more than 50 000 participants found that 96.4% were antibody positive one month after their first dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines, and 99.1% were antibody positive between seven and 14 days after their second dose.15 Median antibody levels changed slightly up to two weeks after the second dose, at which point they rocketed.
Another study, also a preprint by researchers in the UK, evaluated the difference in peak antibody levels among 172 people over 80 who received the Pfizer vaccine.16 Those who had no previous record of covid-19 infection had 3.5 times more antibodies at their peak if they received their second dose 12 weeks later rather than three weeks later. However, median T cell levels were 3.6 times lower in those who had the longer dosage interval . This again shows how early we are in our understanding of the virus and immunity to it.
Why Do They Use Spike Proteins
For COVID-19 vaccines, all of the approved vaccines so far used the spike protein. The spike protein is located on the outside of a coronavirus and is how SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells. Its location on the outside of the virus makes it so the immune system can recognize it easily.
The spike protein is unique to SARS-CoV-2 it doesn’t look like other proteins your body makes. So antibodies created against the spike protein won’t harm your body, they will only target coronavirus.
You May Like: How Long Cvs Rapid Test
What Should I Do After I Get My Covid
To be sure you don’t have a serious reaction, you will have to wait 15 minutes before you leave the vaccination site . After that, you can go about your day as normal maybe with a touch of moderation. Experts say its fine to have a glass of wine or any normal meal that evening. But its probably not the time to line up stiff drinks.
As for exercise later that day or the next, its fine to go for a run, walk, bike ride or anything you normally do, as long as you feel OK. Fatigue is a possible side effect after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, so just don’t push it.
If you do plan to get an additional vaccine for something other than COVID-19, you may want to talk to your doctor first. However, the CDC advises that flu shots can be given at the same time as COVID-19 vaccines.
Reactions Are More Intense After Second Dose And Developing Covid
The Moderna shot is a messenger RNA vaccine that teaches our cells to make a piece of SARS-CoV-2 protein and mount an immune response against it.
That way, if a person were to be exposed to the coronavirus, their body would already know how to fight it and prevent severe disease.
The first dose is considered the prime and trains your body to recognize the virus, according to Swaminathan.
Since that is the first exposure, reactions tend to be mild, Swaminathan said.
The second dose, the booster, further cements the immune response.
Since the patients have already seen the vaccine from the first shot, the second booster is an exaggerated response to the same, Swaminathan said.
Research also suggests reactions are more intense in people who previously had COVID-19 since they likely have some level of preexisting immunity.
Recommended Reading: Cvs Testing Price
Q: How Should We Counsel Patients About Taking Acetaminophen Or Non
A: Routine prophylactic administration of these medications for the purpose of preventing post-vaccination symptoms is not currently recommended, as information on the impact of this on both the immune response to the vaccine and on post-vaccine symptoms is not currently available. Per CDC, acetaminophen or NSAIDs may be taken for the treatment of post-vaccination local or systemic symptoms. In those that are pregnant, acetaminophen is preferred.
How Long Will The Covid
It is not yet known how long the protection of the COVID-19 vaccine will last. We will know more through ongoing research. Clinical trials are currently happening to find out if we will need booster doses on an annual or longer basis.
What we do know is that evidence shows the Pfizer and the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines prevent severe disease, people going to hospital and dying. The aim of Australias COVID-19 vaccination program is to reduce COVID-19 related harm. Vaccines do this by preventing serious illness and death, and, as much as possible, transmission of the virus that causes disease.
With new COVID-19 vaccine developments every day, its normal to have questions or concerns, and possibly feel hesitant about getting a vaccine. That’s why we’re providing accurate, evidence-based answers to questions about COVID-19 vaccines.
Read Also: Cvs Rapid Testing Price
Even If Most Vaccinated Individuals Are Not Getting Really Sick Are There Other Benefits To Boosters
Reducing rates of infection should help break the cycle of viral transmission, which would ultimately result in fewer cases of severe COVID-19 and death. And according to Fyodor Kondrashov, an evolutionary geneticist at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria in Klosterneuburg, it should also help keep the emergence of vaccine-resistant variants at bay.
Things that are good from the epidemiological perspective, he says, are also good from the evolutionary perspective.
As Kondrashovs modelling work has shown, resistant viruses are most likely to emerge when transmission is not controlled. Getting more people vaccinated is the single most effective intervention to keep transmission rates low, but any bump in vaccine effectiveness can help as well.
So far, no human vaccine has been completely undermined by resistance in the way that many anti-infective drugs have, says Andrew Read, who studies the evolution of infectious diseases at Pennsylvania State University in University Park. Its eroded their benefits, he says, but in ways that have been fixable with tweaks in vaccine design.
Thats not to say it wont happen with COVID-19 vaccines. Were on new territory here, says Read. The Delta variant took the world by surprise. Evolution and our immunological responses could have more surprises in store.
What Level Of Immune Response Is Needed To Fight Future Infection
Using knowledge and evidence gained from immunogenicity studies, scientists can establish the levels and mix of antibodies and T-cells a vaccine needs to trigger to prevent serious illness. These are called the correlates of protection.
In addition to what is already known from efficacy trials and real-world evidence, defining the correlates of protection can help to determine:13
- how well a vaccine is working
- if there are certain individuals who are more susceptible to an illness or virus and whether additional protective measures are needed
- if theres a need for additional vaccine doses or boosters
- the overall immunity of a population, which can help guide public health decisions.
Don’t Miss: Cvs Pcr Test For Travel Cost
Q: What Is Known About The Impact Of Covid
A: There are limited data about the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections, and apart from isolated case reports , most of what is known is based on indirect evidence. Transmissibility depends on a variety of factors, including the magnitude and duration of viral shedding. Prior to the emergence of the Delta variant, there was some evidence that COVID-19 vaccination may be associated with lower peak viral loads . Importantly, the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant has been attributed to higher viral loads and earlier viral shedding compared with ancestral strains of SARS-CoV-2 , which may have implications for the effect of COVID-19 vaccines on transmission of Delta. In a still unpublished study of Delta infections in Singapore, the investigators evaluated viral and serologic kinetics of infection in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals they found that although both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals had similar initial cycle threshold values, Ct values increased much faster in vaccinated individuals compared with unvaccinated individuals .
Covid Natural Immunity: What You Need To Know
If you had COVID-19, you may wonder if you now have natural immunity to the coronavirus. And if so, how does that compare to protection offered by the COVID-19 vaccinations?
Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H., senior director of infection prevention, and Gabor Kelen, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response, help you understand natural immunity and why getting a coronavirus vaccine is recommended, even if youve already had COVID-19.
Recommended Reading: How Much Does Covid Testing Cost At Cvs
Q: What Is The Efficacy Of The Vaccines In Those With Comorbidities Such As Obesity Hypertension Chronic Kidney Disease Diabetes Or Chronic Heart And Lung Disease
A: All the COVID-19 vaccine Phase 3 trials included individuals with co-morbidities associated with an increased risk for severe COVID-19. In the analyses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine trials, these individuals were pooled together for vaccine efficacy calculations because there were too few cases in the subgroup of patients with each comorbidity to determine a robust point estimate stratified by individual condition. Overall, there were no significant differences in efficacy for each of the vaccines between individuals with any comorbidity and those with no comorbidities.
It’s Ok To Want Zero Risk
When it comes to making choices and assessing various risks, its also perfectly fine to go the most cautious route, if you can, Dr. Meyer says.
If your level of comfort with risk really is zero, then you should continue doing exactly what youve hopefully been doingsticking to outdoor visits and masks and distancing, she says. Im really happy that we live in a place like Connecticut where anyone over the age of 16 is now eligible to be vaccinated, and most adults may be vaccinated by summer. That is the push right now for vaccinationgetting us to a new normal.
For many of us, it cant come soon enough.
Don’t Miss: How Much Is A Rapid Test At Cvs
Q: Are There Any Data Concerning Vaccine Administration During Pcr
A: Vaccination of persons with known current SARS-CoV-2 infection should be deferred until they have recovered from the acute illness and criteria have been met for them to discontinue isolation. This recommendation applies to persons who develop SARS-CoV-2 infection before receiving any vaccine doses as well as those who develop SARS-CoV-2 infection after the first dose but before receipt of the second dose.
Q: What Is The Evidence Regarding Waning Immunity After Covid
A: There are limited clinical data on waning immunity after COVID-19 vaccination. Since COVID-19 vaccines only began to be used in the general population in late 2020, studies are naturally limited in their ability to determine the effect of time on vaccine effectiveness. In addition, it is possible that in the future emerging variants of concern could evade vaccine-induced immunity enough to result in high rates of severe disease, which would make it difficult to discern whether vaccine effectiveness was decreasing due to waning immunity or vaccine escape.
Notably, population-based studies whose primary objective was to compare the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against emerging variants found that the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines were as effective against the Alpha variant as they were in earlier phases of vaccine roll-out .
As detailed in another FAQ, observational studies of previously infected individuals have demonstrated a protective effect of natural infection against re-infection however, the duration of follow-up in all these studies is at most a few months therefore, the durability of protection from natural infection cannot be determined.
Also Check: Cvs Testing Cost
Q: What Do We Know About The Ability Of The Covid
A: The primary efficacy endpoints of all the COVID-19 vaccine trials were clinical disease however, all of the studies collected data that provide some insight on the ability of these vaccines to prevent asymptomatic infection, including surveillance nasopharyngeal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 viral testing and/or serologies. Since baseline serostatus was known in all these studies, if a subject converted from negative to positive serology during the trial in the absence of a COVID-19 illness, it would imply asymptomatic infection. Some of the vaccines have additionally been evaluated in post-authorization studies in various settings where they have been deployed. Below is a summary of what is known about the impact of each vaccine on asymptomatic infection note that these studies were conducted prior to the emergence of novel variants of concern, including Delta, and these findings may not be generalizable to all variants whose viral kinetics may be substantially different from ancestral strains of SARS-CoV-2:
Pfizer-BioNTech Multiple post-authorization observational studies of BNT162b2 in diverse settings suggest that this vaccine is effective against asymptomatic infection.
United Kingdom: An analysis of new SARS-CoV-2 infections among U.K. health care workers following a mass vaccination campaign with BNT162b2 identified 51 asymptomatic cases among unvaccinated individuals compared with only 10 in the vaccinated cohort .
How Does The Coronavirus Vaccine Work
There are a few main COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Pfizer received full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Aug. 23 to be used for people ages 16 and older and has emergency-use authorization for kids ages 5-15. Moderna received emergency-use authorization for ages 18 and older. Both are two-dose messenger RNA vaccines. These vaccines include a fragment of the mRNA that encodes for a certain portion of the coronavirus’ spike protein. When the vaccine is given to us, our cells make that protein a fragment of it and then our bodies build an immune response to the protein.
The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which has emergency-use authorization for people ages 18 and older, is a DNA vaccine. However, it delivers the same product in the end as the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines. This new DNA vaccine allows the body to have an immune response against the spike protein, and ultimately, an immune response to infection.
Read Also: How Long Does Rapid Testing Take At Cvs
Q: Why Is It Necessary To Vaccinate People Who Have Had Covid
A: Given that we do not know how long immunity after COVID-19 infection lasts , and given people have variable immune responses after having COVID-19 , CDC recommends offering vaccination to individuals regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Viral testing to assess for acute SARS-CoV-2 infection or serologic testing to assess for prior infection solely for the purpose of vaccine decision-making is not recommended. Vaccination of individuals with known current SARS-CoV-2 infection should be deferred until they have recovered from the acute illness and criteria have been met for them to discontinue isolation.
What Omicron Symptoms Should Prompt You To Get Tested
Covid has a wide range of symptoms, according to the CDC and if you’re experiencing any of them, you should get tested. Omicron’s symptoms may differ slightly, though, more resembling a harsh cold: runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and/orbody aches.
Especially given omicron’s rampant transmissibility, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Even if you think you just have a cold, consider getting a Covid test.
Lines at many testing clinics are lengthy right now, and some pharmacies are limiting the number of at-home tests you can buy at a time due to recent surges in demand so plan accordingly.
If you come into close contact with someone who tests positive, you should also get tested even if you’re vaccinated or boosted, the CDC says.Dr. Ho points out that vaccinated people may not test positive for Covid for at least three days post-exposure, and the CDC says it can take as long as five to seven days.
If you’re unsure if you should get tested, the CDC’s interactive testing tool can help you find an answer.
Also Check: Cost Of Cvs Covid Test