Mix And Match Boosters
It appears getting a booster shot is going to be a choose your own adventure type of experience after the FDA stipulated that people eligible for boosters can choose any of the jabs, regardless of what brand they initially received.
There is a growing body of evidence that boosting with a different vaccine could induce a broader and longer-lasting immune response though some combinations may work better than others.
In announcing the emergency authorizations for the Moderna and J& J boosters, the FDA stated no preference for who gets what, or in what order. People who got J& J can get a second shot of Moderna or Pfizer. People who got one of the mRNA vaccines can get the J& J vaccine as their booster, the agency said.
Not stated in the FDAs announcement is the fact that this new policy will make life much easier for folks delivering booster shots, especially those trying to boost people living in long-term care, homeless shelters or prisons. They will need to bring only one vaccine when they go to administer booster shots, rather than trying to match people to their original vaccination brand.
Will We Need A New Dose Every Three Months
Israel is currently rolling out fourth Pfizer doses to some high-risk groups.
Some people will be concerned this trend means well need a new dose every few months.
But I dont think that will be the case.
We cant keep boosting people every few months chasing waning immunity.
Its likely after each round of boosting, faith in the vaccines will diminish.
Its worth remembering we have never tried to vaccinate against a respiratory coronavirus so we are still learning about how to best generate protective immunity.
Theres also the ethical question of rolling out multiple rounds of booster doses in wealthy countries when many people in some parts of the world havent received their first two doses yet.
While there are high levels of infection in countries with low rates of vaccination, all countries remain at risk of outbreaks, particularly if new viral variants emerge which is sure to happen while theres so much transmission globally.
But better vaccines are coming. Universal COVID vaccines are in development, which target areas of the virus that dont easily mutate, meaning theyll likely be effective across different variants.
In the future, we may get a yearly COVID vaccine combined with the flu vaccine.
Treatments will improve, too, so you can minimise symptoms at home.
These developments will reduce the impact the virus has on us, so eventually COVID will stabilise to a predictable level of transmission that doesnt cause disruption that is, it becomes endemic.
Beyond 120 Days Moderna’s Shot Maintained Over 90% Effectiveness Against Hospitalization
byIan Ingram, Managing Editor, MedPage Today September 17, 2021
In terms of preventing COVID-related hospitalizations, the two-dose mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna offered the best protection upfront and over time, a case-control analysis involving data from 21 U.S. hospitals showed.
From March to August 2021, the vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 hospitalizations landed at 93% for the Moderna vaccine, 88% for Pfizer’s, and 71% for Johnson & Johnson’s , reported Wesley Self, MD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues, writing in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
After 120 days from the time of vaccination, however, Moderna’s VE against hospitalization only dipped to 92%, a non-significant decline, while Pfizer’s dropped to 77% .
“Differences in VE between the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine might be due to higher mRNA content in the Moderna vaccine, differences in timing between doses , or possible differences between groups that received each vaccine that were not accounted for in the analysis,” Self and co-authors suggested.
No data were shown for the J& J shot after 120 days due to the limited number of patients who received the vaccine, but the VE rate dipped to 68% for the single-dose vaccine after 28 days.
Overall, 20% were fully vaccinated with Pfizer’s vaccine, 12.7% with Moderna’s, and 3.1% with the J& J vaccine 64.0% were unvaccinated.
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What Is The Outlook For People With Guillain
The symptoms of GBS usually become most severe within four weeks of symptom onset, and then plateau. The majority of people recover, though the process may take weeks, months, or even years. Fortunately, most people who develop GBS are eventually able to return to their usual everyday and work-related activities without any significant residual physical impairment.
In some cases, even after recovery people may continue to experience weakness, pain, or fatigue, and require ongoing care. GBS is usually a once in a life-time occurrence, but a small number of people may experience a relapse.
Can My Child Get The Covid
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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What Risks Are Associated With Covid
Research has shown that COVID-19 booster shots can help provide additional protection against COVID-19.
But that doesnt mean theyre free of any risks. Risks of COVID-19 booster shots resemble the risks of previous vaccine doses. These can include:
Common side effects: Booster shot side effects seem to be similar to side effects you may have felt from your initial dose. And if you received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines originally, these side effects are pretty similar to side effects you may have felt after your second dose. This can include tiredness, fever, and pain or swelling where you received the shot.
Heart concerns: The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been connected to myocarditis and pericarditis . This risk, while rare, has been reported most frequently in young men. Research suggests that this risk may be higher for the Moderna vaccine than the Pfizer vaccine.
Researchers will continue to study the effects of COVID-19 vaccines, especially as it relates to myocarditis, pericarditis, and serious blood clots.
We Might Compare Vaccines Head To Head
One way we can compare vaccine efficacy directly is to run head-to-head studies. These compare outcomes of people receiving one vaccine with those who receive another, in the same trial.
In these trials, how we measure efficacy, the study population and every other factor is the same. So we know any differences in outcomes must be down to differences between the vaccines.
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The Vaccine Is Here: Your Questions Answered
The new COVID-19 vaccine is here. But its still hard to know exactly what this will mean in our individual and collective lives.
For questionsbig and smallwe went to our foremost expert for a frank, socially distanced question-and-answer session. Onyema Ogbuagu, MBBCh, is a Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist and the principal investigator of the COVID-19 vaccine studies supported by the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation at Yale School of Medicine, in partnership with the Yale New Haven Health System.
How Are We Monitoring The Coronavirus Vaccines
Pfizer and Moderna have been monitoring immunity in people who were given their vaccines in the initial clinical trialsboth companies had reported strong overall efficacy at the six-month mark.
One thing researchers are monitoring in vaccine recipients is levels of antibodies, which are proteins produced by the bodys immune system when it detects harmful substances, and that are easily measured from blood samples. Antibodies are a really good marker for protection against infection, so we will be monitoring those levels for as long as we can measure them, says Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, a professor of immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine.
I tell my family, ‘It’s great that youre vaccinated… But even the vaccines dont have 100% guarantees, so… you want to keep weighing the risks,'” says Yale Medicine infectious diseases expert Jaimie Meyer, MD, MS
A report in The New England Journal of Medicine in April showed that 33 participants who had received the Moderna vaccine during the Phase I trial had a gradual decline in antibody protectionand, based on the slope, Iwasaki says, that is hopeful news. If antibodies are going down very quickly, you would expect that to last for a short time. The slow decline raises hopes that the mRNA vaccines will be protective for at least a year, if not longer, she says.
This is a reason why the CDC recommends vaccinations for people who have had a COVID-19 infection as well as for those who have not.
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How Are Vaccines Performing Against The Omicron Variant Is One Better Than The Others
Health experts say being vaccinated can be the difference between getting COVID and being hospitalized or dying from COVID, but beyond that, symptoms can also vary depending on your vaccine.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said last month that data showed both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were performing better than Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine at preventing breakthrough infections, but all three protect against hospitalization and death.
“The CDC has changed its guidance to recommend as the first choice either Pfizer or Moderna,” Arwady said. “I want to reassure people that the J& J vaccine continues to do a good job of protecting against those severe illnesses, but we are seeing more breakthroughs.”
Last month, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Vaccine Practices on Thursday unanimously recommended Pfizer and BioNTech’s or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines, which use mRNA technology that hasn’t been linked to the blood clots, over J& J’s, which uses a more traditional virus-based technology. The CDC confirmed 54 cases of mostly younger women who developed blood clots with low blood platelet levels a new condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS after receiving J& J’s shots. Of those cases, 36 required treatment in intensive care.
The panel’s presentation of the data showed the greatest rick of TTS is among females 30 to 49 years of age.
In the unvaccinated, however, the symptoms were more severe.
J& j Pause Shows System Is Working
Among nearly 8 million doses of the J& J vaccine administered through April, the Food and Drug Administration and CDC reviewed data involving 15 reported cases in the U.S. of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis with thrombocytopenia in people receiving the vaccination. Most were in women between 18 and 49, with symptoms developing six to 13 days after vaccination.
Overall, These adverse events appear to be extremely rare1.9 cases per millionbut COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority and health problems following vaccination are taken seriously. The reporting rate is higher for women under 50 at seven per 1 million and highest for women in their 30s at 11.8 per million. For women 50 and older, the reporting rate is less than one in 1 million.
Since the pause was lifted April 23, the J& J Janssen vaccine is recommended for those 18 or older under an amended FDA emergency use authorization, which includes additional warnings and precautions, especially for women under 50.
AMA President Susan R. Bailey, MD, commended ACIP for reaffirming its recommendation on the use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for those 18 or older under the FDAs emergency use authorization. The population-level data presented during ACIPs meeting clearly demonstrates that the benefits of this approach outweigh the risks, she said.
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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.
Vaccine Effectiveness In The Omicron Wave
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 25: A person wears a face mask in Times Square on January 25, 2022 in … New York City.
As everyone knows, the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant began to emerge late last fall, just in time for traditional winter holidays.
The US Omicron wave peaked in mid-January at around 800,000 new cases per day more than three times higher than the previously largest peak , which occurred almost exactly one year earlier.
Daily cases of Covid-19 in the US. Data from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource … Center.
John M. Drake
Scientists knew from the beginning that Omicron was different. Virologists quickly discovered that the variant possesses thirty-two mutations in the gene that codes for the Spike protein, a key part of what makes the SARS-CoV-2 virus recognizable by people who have immunity, suggesting that Omicron might be a so-called escape mutant, i.e. a variant of the virus so different from the ones that came before that it is not recognized by the adaptive immune system. Of course, escape comes in degrees and the protection offered by vaccines varies accordingly. For a fully escaped mutant, vaccines would not provide any protection at all.
So, how much did these two factors immune escape and waning immunity contribute to the massive Omicron wave?
Lets take a closer look at the numbers.
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The Coronavirus Pandemic: Key Things To Know
Mask mandates ending.Several Democratic governors have announced plans to roll back mask mandates for schools and indoor public spaces, citing a drop in recent infections. But the move to loosen the restrictions for schools has divided public health experts.
Johnson & Johnson vaccine.The company quietly paused vaccine production at a key factory, raising concern over whether it can meet commitments to developing nations. It is not clear whether the halt has had an impact on vaccine supplies yet, thanks to stockpiles.
Around the world.As Ottawa remained paralyzed by protests against Covid measures, a new truck blockade effectively cut off Canadas busiest link to the U.S. In Europe, Italy is ending its outdoor mask mandate while Denmark has dropped all restrictions.
Staying safe.Follow some basic guidance on when to test, which mask to pick and how to use at-home virus tests. Here is what to do if you test positive for the coronavirus, and if you lose your vaccination card.
Injected vaccines are the right approach for generating the systemic immunity needed to prevent death and disease, the urgent goal at the start of the pandemic, Dr. Tal said. And the Trump administration ushered in several candidates through Operation Warp Speed.
That was a good first step, but we needed to have intranasal vaccines ready for boosting for right after that, she added. What I really wish we had was a Warp Speed 2.0 for nasal vaccines.
Are The Vaccines Safe
Every vaccine that is approved in the United States, even if under emergency use authorization, undergoes stringent safety testing, and the CDC continues to collect data on any side effects or adverse outcomes that could be related to the vaccine over time.
People who receive vaccines may experience a number of side effects, such as a sore arm, fever, fatigue, chills, nausea, and body aches especially after the second dose of one of the two-dose regimens. This is a sign that the immune system is reacting and is not a cause for concern. The CDC recommends taking a painkiller after getting the shot and exercising the arm to avoid soreness.
The side effects are generally more intense after the second shot, as the immune system reacts to the known spike protein. The CDC also reports that 80% of those who reported experiencing side effects were women, which may be related to sex hormones role in the immune response, according to a New York Times article.
There are some rare serious side effects, such as anaphylaxis a life-threatening, but treatable, allergic reaction. In the United States, this reaction has occurred in about two to five people per million vaccinated and has not resulted in any deaths.
The CDC requires that vaccinated people stay at the vaccination site for observation for at least 15 minutes after getting the shot in case they do have a negative reaction.
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How Does Astrazenecas Vaccine Compare To Pfizers Modernas And Johnson & Johnsons
Before variants took over, all four vaccines showed strong efficacy against serious COVID-19, preventing outcomes like hospitalization and death. Against mild illness, Comirnaty and Spikevax performed the best, followed by Vaxzevria, then Johnson & Johnsons vaccine.
If you can get a vaccine, get vaccinated.
The Omicron variant, a mutated form of SARS-CoV-2 that appears to be less susceptible to the vaccines, is now causing most cases of COVID-19 throughout the world. A third dose of Vaxzevria administered as a booster offers increased antibody response to the Omicron variant in an ongoing trial, per a January AstraZeneca press release.
Booster doses of the mRNA vaccines also seem to increase immune response against Omicron, at least in laboratory studies: Pfizers Comirnaty effectively neutralizes the variant, while Modernas Spikevax increased virus-fighting antibodies by 37 times. The CDC recommends receiving a booster dose two months after getting Johnson & Johnsons vaccine or five months after receiving your second dose of Comirnaty or Spikevax.
All four vaccinesside effects are similar, including potential injection site pain and flu-like symptoms, including fever, fatigue, headaches, and muscle soreness, which are to be expected as your immune system is primed, especially after a second dose. Vaccines stimulate the immune system, and you do have some side effects from that, Dr. Durbin explains. Symptoms generally last one to two days.