Safety For Those Who Are Pregnant Lactating Or Planning A Pregnancy
Early on in the Covid vaccine rollout, there were no data on which to determine if the vaccines were safe for people who are pregnant or lactating. But after several studies, experts have concluded the vaccines are safe during pregnancy and lactationand furthermore, they are important for these two groups to receive. This study in the New England Journal of Medicine, for instance, looked at the safety of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in pregnant and lactating people.
The CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advise that people who are pregnant or lactating should get vaccinated, because of the risk Covid infection poses to them.
There are a lot of rumors making the rounds that getting vaccinated against Covid will negatively impact a persons ability to conceive a child. ESPN football reporter Allison Williams recently announced she was quitting the network which has a vaccine mandate because she wants to have another child.
How Well Do The Covid
Anyone who gets COVID-19 can become seriously ill or have long-term effects . The COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and others.
Research has shown the vaccines help:
- reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
- reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19
- protect against COVID-19 variants
The 1st dose should give you some protection from 3 or 4 weeks after you’ve had it. But you need 2 doses for stronger and longer-lasting protection.
There is a chance you might still get or spread COVID-19 even if you have a vaccine, so it’s important to follow advice about how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19.
Understanding The Clinical Trial Data
There was a lot of buzz early on about how the vaccines compared with one another based on clinical trial data. You may have heard that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was only 66% effective in preventing people from becoming sick with COVID-19, while the other two vaccines were more than 90% effective. But a closer look at the data tells a more complex story.
Were not comparing apples to apples. Where theyve been studied is different, the type of people who are enrolled is different and the time period that they enrolled patients is different, Wohl says. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine enrolled people in parts of Africa where a new variant is highly prevalent, where more than 90% of the people who are getting infected nowadays get a variant we really dont have a lot of data on with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was tested later in the pandemic, in different countries with different sets of people when different versions of the virus were circulating. It had varying levels of efficacy depending on the country, which is why it was 72% effective in the United States where the variants were not as prominent but 66% effective overall in the large trial, which included Brazil and South Africa, where there were new variants.
It is important to note that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 85% protective against severe COVID-19 illness.
Again, most importantly: Each available vaccine will protect you from hospitalization and death due to COVID-19.
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Do I Need To Give Consent For My Child To Get Vaccinated
Parents generally need to consent to children receiving medical care, including Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. This is especially true for younger children.
However, depending on which state you live in, there may be a legal precedent for teens and other kids to request the vaccine without parental permission.
Tennessee’s vaccine director, Michelle Fiscus, was fired in August, allegedly in part for sending out a memo detailing the state’s “mature minor doctrine,” which explains how minors may seek medical care without the consent of their parents.
Answers To The Most Common Questions About Coronavirus Vaccines
Vaccines save millions of lives each year. The development of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is a huge step forward toward ending the pandemic and getting back to doing more of the things we enjoy with the people we love.
Weve gathered the latest expert information to answer some of the most common questions about COVID-19 vaccines. Keep checking back as we will update this article as more information becomes available.
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Booster Doses For Healthcare Workers
Healthcare workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 response are at higher risk of infection. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation recommends people working in a healthcare settings consider receiving a booster dose. Healthcare workers were prioritised early in the vaccination rollout, so many are due for their booster dose.
Do I Still Have To Wear A Mask If I Get A Vaccine
The CDC continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and makes recommendations for wearing face masks, both for those who are fully vaccinated as well as people who are not fully vaccinated.
The CDC also recommends that masks and physical distancing be required when going to a doctors office, hospital or long-term care facility, including all Johns Hopkins hospitals, care centers and offices.
Johns Hopkins Medicines mask safety guidelines have not changed, and we still require everyone to wear masks inside all of our facilities.
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Explain Potential Side Effects
Trust and open communication are so important, said Dr. Fryhofer. If you don’t tell people what to expect, physicians are going to be sorry because they’re going to get phone calls from patients about side effects.
That is because after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, most people are going to have some sort of side effect, she said. All three vaccines are going to cause a sore arm. You may feel a little bad, maybe a little tired, muscle aches, but it is so much better than getting COVIDand you do have to get that second dose.
You do expect to have more side effects with that second doseonly for Pfizer and Moderna, said Dr. Fryhofer, adding that if day one is the day you get vaccinated … most symptoms are going to be on day two, day three, possibly day four and then they’re usually gone. But for some people, they’re enough to make you not be able to go to work.
Additionally, with the J& J vaccine, its one dose and youre done, so you dont have to go for a second dose, she said. Its just the one time, but for our patients that means youre only going to have side effects one time.
Learn more from the CDC about myocarditis and pericarditis following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.
Securing Safe And Effective Vaccines
The European Commission has been negotiating intensely to build a diversified portfolio of vaccines for EU citizens at fair prices. Contracts have been concluded with 8 promising vaccine developers, securing a portfolio of up to 4.2 billion doses.
Deliveries of vaccine doses to European Union countries have increased steadily since December 2020. Vaccination has gathered pace across the European Union.
Effective and broad vaccination is the best strategy to overcome the pandemic. Based on current evidence, all vaccines authorised in the EU are highly protective against hospitalisation, severe disease and death, with an effectiveness in the general population of over 80%.
There is a clear link between the level of vaccination and hospitalisation and death rates: the higher the vaccination rate, the lower the risk of being hospitalised or dying.
Increasing vaccination rates of all eligible groups, particularly of the elderly, the vulnerable and healthcare workers across the EU, therefore remains the first priority to control the spread of COVID-19.
Evidence shows booster doses offer a significant increase in protection against infection and severe diseases. The ECDC therefore recommends a booster for adults, prioritising those over 40, at least 6 months after primary vaccination.
At the same time, the Commission has started work to anticipate and tackle new variants of the virus and to rapidly develop and produce vaccines effective against those variants on a large-scale.
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Pfizer Says Tweaked Covid
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Pfizer announced Saturday that tweaking its COVID-19 vaccine to better target the omicron variant is safe and works just days before regulators debate whether to offer Americans updated booster shots this fall.
The vaccines currently used in the U.S. still offer strong protection against severe COVID-19 disease and death — especially if people have gotten a booster dose. But those vaccines target the original coronavirus strain and their effectiveness against any infection dropped markedly when the super-contagious omicron mutant emerged.
Now with omicron’s even more transmissible relatives spreading widely, the Food and Drug Administration is considering ordering a recipe change for the vaccines made by both Pfizer and rival Moderna in hopes that modified boosters could better protect against another COVID-19 surge expected this fall and winter.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech studied two different ways of updating their shots — targeting just omicron, or a combination booster that adds omicron protection to the original vaccine. They also tested whether to keep today’s standard dosage — 30 micrograms — or to double the shots’ strength.
In a study of more than 1,200 middle-aged and older adults who’d already had three vaccine doses, Pfizer said both booster approaches spurred a substantial jump in omicron-fighting antibodies.
Which Vaccine Will I Get
You cannot usually choose which vaccine you have. When you book, you’ll only be offered appointments for vaccines that are suitable for you.
Most people can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines, but some people are only offered certain vaccines.
- if you’re pregnant or under 40 you’ll usually be offered appointments for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines
- if you’re under 18, you’ll only be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
You should have the same vaccine for both doses, unless you had serious side effects after your 1st dose.
Why Children And Teens Should Get Vaccinated For Covid
There are approximately 28 million children between the ages of 5 and 11 years old in the United States, and there have been nearly 2 million cases of COVID-19 within this age group during the pandemic. COVID-19 can make children very sick and cause children to be hospitalized. In some situations, the complications from infection can lead to death.
Children are as likely to be infected with COVID-19 as adults and can
- Get very sick from COVID-19
- Have both short and long-term health complications from COVID-19
- Spread COVID-19 to others, including at home and school
As of mid-October 2021, children ages 5 through 11 years have experienced more than 8,300 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and nearly 100 deaths from COVID-19. In fact, COVID-19 ranks as one of the top 10 causes of death for children ages 5 through 11 years.
Children who get infected with COVID-19 can also develop serious complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome a condition where different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Since the pandemic began, more than 2,300 cases of MIS-C have been reported in children ages 5 through 11 years. Children with underlying medical conditions are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with children without underlying medical conditions.
Planning For Your Covid
Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and help ensure others in your community are vaccinated. Here is what you can do:
- Make a plan for yourself or your family members to get vaccinated.
- Remember, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit.
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Could The Vaccine Cause Issues If Im Getting A Mammogram
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine might result in swollen lymph nodes under the arm in which the injection was given.
Swollen lymph nodes under the arm might show up on a mammogram done to screen for breast cancer, which could cause concern and might lead to the need for further tests.
If youre scheduled for a mammogram soon after you get a COVID-19 vaccine, its important to tell your doctor when and in which arm you received the injection. Based on your situation, they can discuss with you if you should change your mammogram appointment. Do not delay your mammogram without speaking to your doctor first.
Is It Ok For Cancer Caregivers To Get The Vaccine
Yes. In fact, getting the vaccine can help lower the risk that the person youre caring for might get COVID-19.
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. The CDC also has guidance on who might be eligible for a third dose or booster dose of the vaccines. 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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An Unchartered Situation For All Of Us: From Shipping Containers To Security Concerns A Covid
And Pfizers pediatric vaccine will be easier still to administer, which may make it more likely pediatricians will become involved in the vaccine rollout. The 10-dose pediatric vaccine vial can be stored for up to 10 weeks at refrigerator temperatures. The bounds of trust between pediatricians and parents will be key in getting people who are uncertain about whether they want to vaccinate their children to agree to do so.
Modernas vaccine must be shipped at -4 degrees Fahrenheit, which is within the range of a regular refrigerator freezer. The Moderna product is stable at fridge temperature for 30 days and at room temperature for 12 hours. J& Js vaccine can be stored at room temperature not to exceed 77 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 hours when the vial hasnt yet been punctured. After the first dose is withdrawn, the vial can be stored in a fridge for six hours or at room temperature for two hours.
Andrew Joseph contributed reporting.
An earlier version of this story mischaracterized the way in which viral vectored vaccines work and incorrectly stated that the single dose J& J vaccine contains more antigen than the doses in its two-dose regimen.
Help Protect Your Child Your Family And Others
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect children ages 5 years and older from getting COVID-19.
- Vaccinating children can help protect family members, including siblings who are not eligible for vaccination and family members who may be at increased risk of getting very sick if they are infected.
- Vaccination can also help keep children from getting seriously sick even if they do get COVID-19.
- Vaccinating children ages 5 years and older can help keep them in school and help them safely participate in sports, playdates, and other group activities.
Help protect your whole family and slow the spread of COVID-19 in your community by getting yourself and your children ages 5 years and older vaccinated against COVID-19.
Protect Unvaccinated ChildrenUnvaccinated children ages 2 years and older should wear a mask in public spaces and around people they dont live with. Learn more about protecting unvaccinated family members.
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Number Of Doses/amounts Of Vaccine Per Dose
The primary series of both the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines is two shots: a priming dose, followed by a booster shot. The interval between Moderna doses is 28 days for the Pfizer vaccine, its 21 days.
Each dose of Pfizers contains 30 micrograms of vaccine. Moderna went with a much larger dose of vaccine, 100 micrograms. It means the company is using a little more than three times as much vaccine per person as Pfizer is. While Modernas initial results didnt seem to justify the much larger dose, data suggest the protection the companys vaccine generates is declining at a slower rate than Pfizers is some experts believe the higher dose may be at least partially responsible.
The J& J vaccine is, as mentioned, a single-dose vaccine. The company has also tested a two-dose regimen, with the two shots given 57 days apart. The results from that 30,000-person trial were presented during an Oct. 15 meeting of FDAs Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, as part of its application for an EUA for its booster dose.
Which Vaccine Is The Best One
The experts agreed: The best vaccine is the one that is first available to you.
What I tell my patients and family members is to take whatever vaccine you can get, says Mark Mulligan, MD, a professor at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and director of the NYU Langone Vaccine Center, who led the clinical trials for the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines at New York University . Theyre all highly effective. You cant really make any discernment from one to another.
Some have speculated that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines with their roughly 95% efficacy rates in clinical trials are better than the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the AstraZeneca vaccine . But comparing the different vaccines efficacy rates is sometimes like comparing apples and oranges, according to Anna Durbin, MD, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore who specializes in infectious disease and vaccines.
What I tell my patients and family members is to take whatever vaccine you can get. Theyre all highly effective. You cant really make any discernment from one to another.
Another complication is what the researchers conducting the clinical trials were measuring. The efficacy number reported in clinical trials was against any COVID-19 symptoms even mild ones.
What were trying to do is prevent severe illness, Durbin explains. All of them are close to 100% at preventing hospitalized COVID-19.
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