The Best Birthday Present In 2021 A Covid Vaccine
Turning 12 has taken on added significance this summer, as tweens line up for shots allowing them to see friends and play sports again.
Zoe Tu, a seventh grader in Brooklyn, likes to celebrate her birthday with dulce de leche Haagen-Dazs ice cream cake. This year, her 12th, was no exception, but the day was also marked by a treat of another kind: her Covid vaccine.
Zoe got the shot the first day she became eligible, on Aug. 2, and it was accompanied by a $100 gift certificate given as a vaccine incentive at the Barclays Center.
The nurse was really excited about wishing me a happy birthday, Zoe recalled.
Zoes mother, Nicole Tu, said she had told her daughter she could wait if she wanted. But, Zoe said: I knew that was the quickest I could get it. I was excited because I could feel safer.
Many birthdays are rites of passage, especially for young people. Getting to 14 or 15 opens the doors to high school; turning 17 grants permission to view R-rated movies; 18 delivers the right to vote; and 21 brings the legal age to buy alcohol in many states.
But since early May, 12th birthdays have new significance, because the Food and Drug Administration gave the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine emergency use authorization for children 12 and older.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nations leading infectious-disease expert, has said he supports such mandates for school children.
Appendix A: Clinical Trial Evidence Summary For Pfizer
Study C4591001 is the pivotal Phase 1/2/3 trial for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Evidence on immunogenicity is available participants aged 12 to 15, 16 to 55, and 65 to 85. Evidence on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine is available for adolescents 12-15 years of age and adults 16 years of age and older. Studies did not include participants from long term care facilities. The Phase 2/3 portion of the trial involved approximately 46,000 study participants randomized to receive either the vaccine or placebo. The data presented below are for an interim analysis, therefore the time of follow-up is not consistent but was less than four months after the second dose for all participants.
Evidence from the ongoing Phase 2/3 trial were published in December 2020 and May 2021 respectively, after NACI’s review of the evidence. Evidence from post-marketing surveillance and studies is found in the main body of this statement.
Vaccines Affect The Immune System In Complex And Mysterious Ways
The first months following immunization are the heyday for antibodies: Theyre plentiful, recently trained to recognize their target virus, and varied enough to recognize several of its features. A virus looking to invade is unlikely to sneak past.
But as that initial spate of antibodies decays, the immune system can rely on its memory banks the legions of white blood cells in which resides the battle plan for fighting a new infection. The appearance of a virus should prompt these specialized cells to swing into action. Helper T cells stimulate B cells to produce a fresh crop of antibodies. They also prompt other T cells to hunt down cells that have been infected and kill them.
But this process isn’t instantaneous, and if the coronavirus can establish itself in the nose and mouth quickly enough, the immune system may not respond fast enough to bar the gates. Infection happens.
For most people but clearly not all the cavalry will arrive in time to blunt an all-out invasion and head off severe disease. That may explain why researchers have found that the longer the time since vaccination, the greater the odds that inoculated people test positive for a coronavirus infection, even though the rate at which they’re being hospitalized for COVID-19 has risen much less steeply.
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The Johnson & Johnson Covid
Theres little data that shows how effective the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine is at protecting against the Delta variant. The company is also reportedly researching whether a second shot would boost immunity against the variants.
A recent clinical trial suggested that the vaccine was 85 percent effective against severe disease and demonstrated strong, persistent protection against hospitalization and death.
It also showed that the J&J vaccine prompted neutralizing antibody activity, which stops the virus from infecting healthy cells, against the Delta variant at a higher level than it did for the beta variant.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines had shown a decline in effectiveness against the latter in another study.
Interim results from a study involving 20 people have shown that the J&J vaccine neutralized the Delta variant within 29 days of the first shot, and protection improved over time.
Current data for the eight months studied so far show that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine generates a strong neutralizing antibody response that does not wane; rather, we observe an improvement over time. In addition, we observe a persistent and particularly robust, durable cellular immune response, said Dr. Mathai Mammen, the global head of Janssen Research & Development at Johnson & Johnson, in a July 1 press release.
The data has sparked discussions about a possible booster for the one-shot vaccine.
Why The Vaccines Will Likely Work
Researchers have been studying how the COVID-19 vaccines will respond to the variants, and the findings are promising.
In the new study the researchers looked at postvaccination sera from 20 participants and found it successfully neutralized the coronavirus.
This suggests the variants identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa with the N501Y mutations wont diminish the effectiveness of the vaccines.
The variant in South Africa contains several other mutations, one of which is also located in the spike protein.
Its called the E484K mutation, and preliminary evidence suggests convalescent sera and monoclonal antibodies dont work as well on variants with this mutation.
The spike protein is thousands of amino acids long, so a mutation would alter only a minor piece of a large protein.
The vaccine produces a broad immune response that involves various antibodies and cell-mediated immune responses working on various sites of the spike protein.
The mRNA vaccines generate a number of proteins, and humans antibody responses target multiple regions of these proteins, said Dr. Dean Winslow, infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care.
The antibody response is broad and even in the presence of certain protein substitutions like E484K, antibodies may still be able to neutralize and prevent attachment/entry of the virus, Winslow said.
Consequently, scientists believe these variants wont evade the vaccine.
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Important Information About The Moderna Covid
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was made for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 , caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is a messenger RNA vaccine, which means that its not a live virus vaccine. There are two doses, given 28 days apart, required for this vaccine.
While there may be minimal side effects, the side effects experienced are drastically fewer and less severe than with a COVID-19 infection. Its comparable to the Pfizer vaccine regarding its efficacy and mode of protection and is available free of charge to those in the United States.
How Does The Moderna Covid
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine. These vaccines take a piece of genetic code from the SARS CoV-2 virus and deliver it to host cells in our body. Basically, it gives the cells instructions on how to make copies of spike proteins. These proteins then start an immune response, and the body produces antibodies.
If you then contract SARS-CoV-2, your body recognizes it and the antibodies attack it.
COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, like the one made by Moderna, cannot give you COVID-19. They do not enter the nucleus of a cell, so they do not interact with your DNA, and the mRNA from the vaccine leaves your body within hours.
While the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are new, scientists have been studying mRNA for vaccines for over 10 years with diseases like flu, Zika, rabies, and others.
While there have been very few people experiencing blood clots with the Johnson & Johnson and the AstraZeneca vaccines, COVID-19 carries a much more significant risk of blood clots. One study found that the risk of a serious blood clot in the brain is about 100 times higher in those with COVID-19 than in those without COVID-19.
The AstraZeneca vaccine isnt approved for use in the United States. Blood clots have occurred in about 5 people for every 1 million people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
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Covid Vaccines Still Effective Against Delta Variant
Senior health, science and environment reporter
Having two doses of Covid vaccine remains the best way to protect against the Delta variant, first identified in India and now dominant in the UK.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, though initially less effective, offers the same high protection as the Pfizer-BioNTech after four to five months, the largest study of its kind suggests.
But neither is as effective as it is against the Alpha variant, responsible for most UK infections last winter.
There is insufficient data for Moderna.
But researchers believe it “almost certainly at least as good as the others”.
They analysed two and a half million tests results from 743,526 participants in the UK’s Covid-19 household-infection survey – led by Oxford University and the Office for National Statistics.
Summary Of Considerations For Covid
There are currently four authorized COVID-19 vaccines in Canada for the prevention of symptomatic COVID-19 that use two different vaccine platforms. The merits of both vaccine platforms have been summarized in Table 5 below. Caution should be taken when comparing vaccines due to differences in studies conducted for each vaccine .
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Moderna Leads The Authorized Covid Vaccines In Lasting Effectiveness
Researchers say all three authorized COVID vaccines are good at keeping people out of the hospital, but Moderna seems to have the longest-lasting protection.hide caption
Researchers say all three authorized COVID vaccines are good at keeping people out of the hospital, but Moderna seems to have the longest-lasting protection.
A head-to-head comparison of all three COVID-19 vaccines found Moderna is holding up better than Pfizer and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides the weakest protection.
But the researchers stressed that all three vaccines are still providing strong protection against people getting so sick that they end up in the hospital.
Are These Vaccines Authorized
The Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and J&J COVID-19 vaccines are currently authorized in the United States by the FDA under an emergency use authorization . This is a little bit different than a typical FDA approval.
Simply put, an EUA is a method through which the FDA can allow unapproved medical products to be used during a public health emergency, like a pandemic.
When reviewing a product for an EUA, the FDA must decide that the overall benefits of the product outweigh its potential risks.
Heres what happens during this process:
In addition to the United States, these three COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized or approved in a variety of other countries around the world.
Its important to note that additional authorizations or approvals may occur rapidly.
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Is One Of The Vaccines Best At Preventing Covid Experts Say No Even As New Data Emerge
Recent studies comparing the performance of different COVID-19 vaccines are leading some people to wonder: Did I get the right one?
If you have questions about which vaccine provides longer-lasting protection or prevents breakthrough infections better, youre not alone. The answers, however, are not clear cut.
Experts agree that all three vaccines available in the United States provide remarkably good protection from serious illness and death against any strain of the virus, including the highly contagious Delta variant. Theres little reason for vaccinated Americans, at this point, to worry that the vaccine they got wont protect them against the worst possible outcomes of an infection.And while it may be useful to study the details of breakthrough cases in which fully vaccinated people contract COVID these cases are rare and are not driving the current surge, which overwhelmingly affects unvaccinated individuals.
Dr. Dan Barouch, who runs the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, which co-developed the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, said comparing vaccines is a first-world problem, a debate that vaccinated people in affluent countries are fortunate enough to have.
In a lot of these discussions… the big picture is lost, he said. The most important issue is getting shots into the arms of people who havent been vaccinated, and that effort will require multiple vaccines, he said.
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Is It Ok For Cancer Caregivers To Get The Vaccine
Some vaccines for other diseases contain changed versions of the live viruses that cause the diseases. These types of live virus vaccines typically are not recommended for cancer caregivers because they might have unwanted effects on cancer patients. However, the available COVID-19 vaccines do not contain these types of live viruses, so getting one of these vaccines does not put you at risk for passing COVID-19 on to the person youre caring for.
Its important to know that if you do get a COVID-19 vaccine and are later exposed to the virus, its not yet clear if the vaccine will prevent you from infecting someone else .
For people who are fully vaccinated , the CDC has guidance on things you can now do , as well as what types of precautions you should still be taking. This guidance is being updated regularly, so check the CDC website for details. The CDC guidance may not apply if you have a weakened immune system , so its important to talk a health care provider about which precautions you still need to take.
People getting the vaccine might not feel well for a few days after each shot, so it might make sense to have someone else available to help with caregiving during this time.;
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You Might Get A Little Sick
Even though J&J’s vaccination may not eliminate disease entirely, it makes getting COVID-19 tolerable.
People who were vaccinated with J&J’s shot in the trial but got sick in what are called “breakthrough” infections had much milder symptoms.
Dr. James Hildreth, also on the FDA expert advisory committee, said it was an “important point” about the shot.
It’s similar to what happens with annual flu shots: They tend to make flu symptoms milder and illnesses shorter, when and if vaccinated people do get infected. That’ll be an important feature of any good coronavirus vaccine, as COVID-19 becomes endemic.
Starting four weeks after immunization, no one receiving J&J’s vaccine was hospitalized. There were also no deaths among vaccinated participants .
“The efficacy at preventing relatively mild or even moderate disease may be different,” Dr. Cody Meissner, an infectious-disease expert at Tufts School of Medicine, said during the FDA meeting on Friday, speaking of the differences between Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J.
“Yet all of the vaccines seem to be equally effective at preventing very severe disease, intensive-care needs, and deaths.”
And isn’t that what all the best vaccines are designed to do? Keep us alive and free of serious diseases.;
As the virologist Angela Rasmussen , “I’ll take it.”
She added: “I’d recommend it to my parents and older relatives too.”
Does Age Matter For Vaccinations
Pfizer’s vaccine is also currently the only vaccine authorized for emergency use in children as young as 12. Both Moderna and J&J’s vaccines can only be used on people 18 and older.
What about younger kids? According to experts, those under 12 likely won’t be able to receive the COVID vaccine until later this year or early next year.
Both Pfizer and Moderna have started studies in the U.S. surrounding the vaccine and children ages 6 months to 11 years. Results on those studies could come sometime in the fall.
How Effective Are The Covid Vaccines
Questions about vaccine effectiveness have been paired with a rise in spread of multiple COVID variants.
So far, studies suggest that the vaccines currently in use can recognize the emerging variants but they;may not provide as much protection;against the new strains.
Pfizer’s latest study results, however, suggested that the vaccine is effective against the coronavirus variant that first emerged in South Africa.
These data also provide the first clinical results that a vaccine can effectively protect against currently circulating variants, a critical factor to reach herd immunity and end this pandemic for the global population,” Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, said in a statement.
In mid-March, CNBC reported the J&J shot demonstrated 64% efficacy in South Africa, where the;more contagious and virulent B.1.351 variant;is rapidly spreading.
Still, White House chief advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said during an interview with;MSNBC’s Medhi Hasan last month that people may need to get booster shots in a year.;
Pfizer;CEO Albert Bourla also previously said people will “likely” need a third dose within 12 months of getting fully vaccinated. ;
The need for a booster shot likely won’t depend on how effective any of the three COVID vaccines are, according to Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. Rather, another shot could aid in protecting against any possible new variants that could arise during the summer.
But what about without the variants?