University Of California Irvine
At University of California Irvine, doctors are watching the first vaccinations with a bit of envy. Their first shipment of 3,000 doses should arrive on Wednesday, and they are ready to start working through their list of priority health care workers from among the 15,000 on staff. We are planning on administering all 3,000 doses within the first couple of days, says Dr. Nasim Afsar, chief operating officer at UC Irvine.
Mangers are also planning on vaccinating only about 25% of any unit to make sure that if people experience side effects, and need to miss work, that staffing wont be affected.
A Nurse In New York Was Among The First To Receive The Shot Monday Morning
The first U.S. Covid-19 vaccinations outside of clinical trials began Monday, kicking off the most urgent mass immunization campaign since polio shots were rolled out in the 1950s.
A nurse in New York was among the first to receive the shot, and health workers throughout the U.S. were also set to receive the newly authorized vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. Pfizer shipped vaccine vials out Sunday, and hospitals and health departments across the country received them early Monday.
The Way This Vaccine Works Is Not New
There are different types of vaccines, but they all have the same purpose.
The first one ever created was for smallpox. A doctor realized that people who got a milder but similar virus called cowpox seemed to be immune to smallpox.
Modern vaccines, fortunately, make significant improvements upon that. We dont have to get sick with a virus to gain immunity or inject ourselves with cow scabs.
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Return To Regular Shipments
Major General Fortin announced on February 18, that the period in which Canada experienced limited supplies, is now over and there will be an “abundance of supplies” in the spring and summer months. This will result in a “significant scaling-up of immunization plans in provinces.” Pfizer’s new “locked in” delivery schedule includes 475,000 doses in February and 444,600 per week in March, according to the PHAC’s vaccine distribution tracker. A February 18, 2021 article in New York Times said that Canadians were concerned about the rollout of the vaccination program. According to the same Times columnist, who had interviewed those involved in “vaccine development, epidemiology, infection control and medical supply chains”, they all said it was not surprising that Canada’s rollout was not happening as planned. While they could understand why Canadians were frustrated, they said, this is the “nature of new vaccines”.
Do Vaccines Protect Against The Variant
Mr Johnson said on Dec 12 that two doses of a Covid vaccine are “simply not enough to give the level of protection we all need” from the “tidal wave of omicron coming”.
“But the good news is that our scientists are confident that with a third dose a booster dose – we can all bring our level of protection back up,” he said.
On Dec 15, Sir Chris Whitty reiterated the Prime Minister’s words, stating that the protection provided by the vaccines was going to be “eroded” because the current vaccines are “less well matched” to the omicron variant.
He added that the point of boosters was to replicate the previous level of protection.
This has been echoed by Professor Salim Abdool Karim, former chairman of South Africa’s ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19, who told the Telegraph it would take “weeks and weeks” to see if Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will defend against the new B.1.1.529 variant.
Stéphane Bancel, chief executive of the vaccine maker Moderna, has himself predicted that there will be a “material drop” in the effectiveness of vaccines against the omicron variant, due to the high number of mutations in the spike protein, which the virus uses to latch on to human cells – but this is being disputed.
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Pfizer Vaccine: Which Country Developed It How Effective Is It And Who Would Be On The Priority List
On December 8 2020, less than a month after the government approved the Pfizer vaccine, the first person in the UK received their first dose.
It was the first Covid-19 vaccine to roll out in the UK but shortly afterwards, it was joined by the Oxford vaccine and months later, by the Moderna vaccine. All three have contributed to the UKs successful vaccination programme, which in turn, has allowed for the lockdown roadmap to go ahead as planned. At the moment, there are no warnings that well go back into lockdownlater this year although there have been discussions over a potential circuit breaker lockdown in the future.
At the time of writing, over half of the UK population have had both doses of the jab. So where did the Pfizer vaccine come from? Whos next on the list to receive their vaccine? And importantly, is the Pfizer vaccine effective in combating new Covid-19 strains like the Delta variant? These are all questions people have been asking as more information around the Pfizer vaccine comes up.
What Are The Side Effects Of The Pfizer Vaccine
About one in three people report side effects of the vaccine, including: soreness at the site of the injection, fever, aches and chills.
This comes from a recent report by the Zoe app, a team at Kings College London. They found that from those who had received the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine in early January this year, 51% of people reported one of these side effects but none were serious. The most common one at 37% was pain or swelling near where the jab was given, after both the first and second injections.
None of the side effects reported in the study, which used the experiences of around 40,000 people who were mostly healthcare workers, were serious at all and went away within just a few days.
The side effects are caused by the injection itself or the bodys process of building protection against the virus, rather than the virus itself. None of the Covid-19 vaccines use the live virus and none can give people the illness. To combat the virus, the vaccine uses a harmless element of coronavirus to teach the body to recognise and fight Covid-19 if it comes into contact with it.
In fact recent findings from the MHRA, the UKs vaccine regulator, has found that both the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines are extremely safe. In their study, only 3 in 1,000 people were affected with any side effects at all from the vaccines. These were the same side effects recorded by the Kings College report, with mild cases of sore arms, tiredness and flu-like symptoms topping the list.
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Do Booster Jabs Protect Against The Variant
Data from a government-funded Covboost trial, published in The Lancet, has found that booster jabs produce long-lasting T-cells that are likely to work against all current and future coronavirus variants, including omicron.
The scientist behind the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination, Dr Ugur Sahin, has also said that he remains optimistic that the jab will provide protection against severe disease caused by omicron. He told the Wall Street Journal: “Our message is: Dont freak out, the plan remains the same: Speed up the administration of a third booster shot.”
Pfizer itself has said in a statement that three doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine are effective against the omicron variant, adding that boosted individuals had the same level of protection as people received with two doses against the original form of the coronavirus.
Lab studies using blood samples of triple and double-jabbed individuals were infected with omicron and analysis revealed antibodies effectively neutralise the variant of concern
On Dec 12, Mr Johnson announced the launch of the Omicron Emergency Boost, “a national mission unlike anything we have done before in the vaccination programme”.
He confirmed that all adults should get the third dose by the new year, bringing the previous target of boosting all adults by the end of January forward by an entire month, with the wait between the second and third doses being halved from six months to three.
How Long Does The Pfizer Vaccine Last
The Pfizer vaccine produces a strong immune system response in the body that may protect against Covid-19 for years, according to a new study.
The research, published in the Nature science journal, discovered that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine offer long-lasting protection against the virus. This adds to the expanding evidence suggesting that those who received a mRNA vaccine may not need a booster dose. However, this is depending on whether the variants evolve again beyond their current condition.
Dr Ali Ellebedy, an immunologist and lead author of the study, said that the findings were a good sign for how durable our immunity is from this vaccine.
Dr Ellebedy and his team also previously conducted a study on immunity levels in people who had recovered from Covid-19. They found that similar to the vaccine, those who have contracted the illness previously may not need boosters. Based on these study results, scientists are now saying that immunity to Covid-19 from the combined protection of the vaccines and previous infection could last for years and possibly even a lifetime.
However, experts have warned against getting the second Covid vaccine early as this may decrease the levels of protection.
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The Coronavirus Pandemic: Key Things To Know
The global surge.As the Omicron variant sweeps across the planet, the global tally of new coronavirus cases has for the first time passed one million per day on average. The previous daily average global case record set last April has already been broken three times this week.
Canceled flights.With Covid surge, has come thousands of flight cancellations, as airlines are unable to adequately staff their flights. Looking for relief, the airline industry pushed the CDC to shorten its recommended isolation period for Americans infected with Covid-19. On Monday, it reduced the recommended quarantine period to five days for those without symptoms.
Around the world.South Africa announced that its Omicron wave had passed without a large spike in deaths. Case counts in the country are down 30 percent in the last week. The announcement offered cautious hope to other countries grappling with the fast-spreading variant.
Staying safe.Worried about spreading Covid? Keep yourself and others safe by following some basic guidance on when to test and how to use at-home virus tests . Here is what to do if you test positive for the coronavirus.
But C.D.C. officials said it would be hard to narrow eligibility, and the F.D.A.s advisory panel endorsed offering the pediatric dose to the entire age group by a 17-0 vote, with one abstention.
We know who to prioritize asthmatics, those with heart disease, people who are obese, he said.
Kitty Bennett contributed research.
Omicron Symptoms: What They Are And How The Covid Variant Differs From Previous Strains
Everything you need to know about the latest variant, including slowing its transmission and the protection offered by vaccines and boosters
The omicron variant, which has double the number of mutations compared to the delta variant, is highly contagious and has led to cases being found worldwide.
The UK confirmed the presence of omicron, which was first detected in South Africa, on Nov 27, 2021.
Sir Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, said in a press conference on 15 December: “It looks as if delta which has been with us for a while is still flat, and the growth is omicron.
“So what we’ve got is two epidemics, on top of one another, an existing delta epidemic, roughly flat, and a very rapidly growing omicron epidemic on top of it.”
However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the public’s response to the Government’s booster drive, launched in a bid to tackle omicron.
Over 61 per cent of people aged 12 and above in the UK have been boosted so far, with a record number of 968,665 booster jabs administered on Dec 21 alone.
Below, we have answered the key questions about the variant, the vaccines, and what the future may hold:
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Pandemic Far From Over
The big week finally comes more than nine months after the World Health Organization officially labelled global SARS-COV-2 outbreaks a pandemic and Canadians first entered lockdown amid a first wave of infections. Since then, infections dipped and surged again. Health officials in Canada have confirmed more than 460,000 cases of COVID-19 and close to 13,500 deaths as of Monday. Worldwide, the novel coronavirus has killed more than 1.6 million people.
The Pfizer-BioNTech shots are the first of several vaccines expected to be on the market soon, according to experts, after record-breaking development and production by scientists around the world. Americans began receiving Pfizer vaccines on Monday as well.
Canada has signed deals with seven vaccine manufactures, securing more than 400 million doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines, should all trials pan out.
This is incredible stuff. We all know how horrible its been with the pandemic globally and of course here in Canada, said Bogoch.
But officials are still warning that V-Day excitement doesnt mean the pandemic is over. On Sunday night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that Canadians should continue wearing masks, washing hands, avoiding gatherings and using the COVID Alert exposure notification app.
This is good news. But our fight against COVID-19 is not over, he wrote. Now more than ever, lets keep up our vigilance.
Initial Approvals And Rollout
On December 9, 2020, Health Canada authorized emergency use of the PfizerBioNTech COVID-19 vaccine under the Interim Order Respecting the Importation, Sale and Advertising of Drugs for Use in Relation to COVID-19. The Public Health Agency of Canada supervises the rollout and administration of the vaccine. By mid-December 2020, Pfizer had agreements to supply 20 million doses to Canada. Healthcare institutions began administering the first 30,000 doses of the PfizerBioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Canada on December 14. A total of 249,000 doses was expected to be delivered by the end of 2020.
In the same week as initial vaccinations for the PfizerBioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Health Canada authorized the Moderna vaccine on December 23, and it was announced that Canada would receive 168,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine before the end of 2020. Unlike the PfizerBioNTech vaccine, the Moderna vaccine does not require extreme cold temperature storage which meant that as of December 28, Northwest Territories and Yukon had received their first shipments of 7,200 each of the Moderna vaccine. Vaccinations in each territory are not scheduled to occur until mid-January.
By February 2021, the NRC and the ISED support for domestically-produced vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19 included $37 million in stage 1 funding for six vaccine candidates, and seven therapeutics candidates.
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Agreements With Moderna Pfizer And Astrazeneca
With the CanSino deal falling through, and the VTF revising its recommendations based on clinical trial data from other countries, Minister of Public Services and ProcurementAnita Anand announced on August 5, 2020, that the federal government had committed to purchasing doses of the Moderna and PfizerBioNTech vaccines. In anticipation of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Canadian government purchased more than 75 million hypodermic needles and syringes.
After the NRC found that its current lab would not meet good manufacturing practices Prime Minister Trudeau announced on August 31 a federal investment of $126 million to “design, construct, commission and qualify a new biomanufacturing facility”the Biologics Manufacturing Centre, which was projected to be completed by the end of July 2021. It would be built next to the NRC’s current Royalmount site in Montreal and have a production capacity of approximately 2 million does per-month”.
In September 2020, the federal government committed to purchasing 20 million doses of the OxfordAstraZeneca vaccine. It also announced that it would make a $440 million investment in the COVAX initiative, to help fund the equitable procurement of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.
In November 2020, Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole criticized the federal government for focusing too heavily on the CanSino agreement, arguing that he “would not have put all our eggs in the basket of China.”
Fda Chief Willing To Fast Track Covid
To have just one vaccine enter the final stage of trials eight months after discovering a virus would be a remarkable achievement to have three at that point with more on the way is extraordinary, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.
NIH Director Francis Collins tweeted that his agency “is supporting several vaccine trials since more than one may be needed. We have all hands on deck.”
AstraZeneca said development of the vaccine, known as AZD1222, is moving ahead globally with late-stage trials in the U.K., Brazil and South Africa. Further trials are planned in Japan and Russia. The potential vaccine was invented by the University of Oxford and an associated company, Vaccitech.
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Philippines Finally Receives First Batch Of Covid
The Philippines launched its national coronavirus vaccination campaign Monday amid widespread public skepticism and a struggle to procure vaccines.
Dr. Gerardo Legaspi, the director of the state-run Philippine General Hospital in Manila, received the first dose of the CoronaVac vaccine developed by China-based Sinovac Biotech Limited. The doctors inoculation came just hours after President Rodrigo Duterte greeted the arrival of 600,000 doses of Sinovac donated by Beijing.
The Philippines is the last Southeast Asian nation to receive a COVID-19 vaccine supply. The Duterte administration is aiming to vaccinate 70 million of its citizens, but some public opinion polls have revealed a resistance among a majority of people due to uncertainty over the safety and efficacy of the CoronaVac vaccine.
But Carlito Galvez, who is leading the Philippines vaccine procurement efforts, urged his compatriots to get the first vaccine that becomes available.
Lets not wait for the best vaccine. Theres no such thing, Galvez said in a speech at the Philippine General Hospital. The best vaccine is the one thats safe and effective, and arrives early.
But just receiving vaccines has been an issue. An expected shipment of 525,600 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine that was due Monday has been postponed due to supply problems.