Could Omicron Cause More Breakthrough Infections
Omicron has more than 50 mutations, with more than 30 in the coronavirus spike protein, which increases its ability to infect the body. The concern is that those mutations will allow the variant to evade vaccine-induced immunity to some extent. What scientists dont know yet is how much its going to evade that immunity.
The evasion will likely be at the level of antibody. The vaccines also induce T cells, which are kind of like a backup plan. And so I think a lot of folks in the field are thinking that there will be some level of immunity to omicron. We just dont know how much, Wherry said.
It will likely be immunity protecting you from severe disease and hospitalization. We may see a little bit of an increase in infections because of the evasion of antibody responses, but its very early, he said.
Hong emphasized that though breakthrough cases are possible, its important to remember that the vaccines still protect people from severe illness and lower the chances of spreading the virus to others.
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Vaccination Plays A Key Role In Getting Us Back To Normalcy
As more and more people are fully vaccinated, life will gradually and slowly return to normal.
We know that the vaccines protect people from COVID-19 including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Current knowledge also suggests that the approved vaccines against COVID-19 are instrumental in preventing the spread of infection. On this basis, we can now begin cautiously and gradually to lift some of our infection prevention measures for those who have been fully vaccinated. However, we do not yet know how long protection lasts. We continue to monitor scientific research closely and adapt our recommendations to the development. Still, for now, we recommend that even people who are vaccinated continue to comply with our general guidance in public spaces.
Who Actually Needs Booster Shots
There are two groups that experts widely agree benefit from booster shots: the elderly and the immunocompromised.
For older adults, there are two major considerations. One, this group has always been much more likely to die of Covid-19: People 65 and up comprise 75 percent of Covid-19 deaths in the US. Two, older immune systems seem to get less from the vaccines or, at the very least, see protection wane more quickly as the study of veterans found, vaccine effectiveness against death was about 10 percentage points lower for those 65 and older than those younger than 65.
People who are immunocompromised, meanwhile, may not get much if any benefit from just the two shots of Pfizer/BioNTechs or Modernas vaccine or the one shot of Johnson & Johnsons. But theres some evidence an additional shot or more may increase levels of protection.
Beyond those two groups, Gandhi said, theres just not great evidence for boosting.
Its not just about morality and ethics, Gounder said. We are so losing sight of what is most important here.
Still, chances are that at least some people will need boosters after global vaccination efforts scale up. And some people are getting boosters regardless in the meantime. For now, theres consensus that older and immunocompromised groups should be at the front of the line. But for everyone else, theres a lot more skepticism out of a concern that the extra doses for vaccinated people just dont come out on top of a cost-benefit analysis.
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Other Myths And Facts
No. The federal government does not mandate vaccination for people. Additionally, CDC does not maintain or monitor a persons vaccination records. Whether a state or local government or employer, for example, can require or mandate COVID-19 vaccination is a matter of state or other applicable lawexternal icon.
No. None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.
No. Your menstrual cycle cannot be affected by being near someone who received a COVID-19 vaccine.
Many things can affect menstrual cycles, including stress, changes in your schedule, problems with sleep, and changes in diet or exercise. Infections may also affect menstrual cycles.
Your Immune Response Takes About Two To Three Weeks To Produce The Antibodies
Tina and PJ Flannery from Dunboyne after receiving their Covid-19 vaccines. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
Our bodies can take weeks to build protection against Covid-19 after a vaccination jab, Claire OConnell finds out why it is worth the wait.
The joy, excitement and relief are palpable in the social media posts. Its not surprising that people are celebrating getting the text and then the jab, joining the swelling numbers of adults in Ireland who have received their first or second dose of a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
And with that relief comes the temptation to consider vaccination as a job done, and to relax the protective behaviours such as good ventilation, wearing masks and avoiding crowds. But not so fast. Getting a vaccine is just one step on a path to building protection against Covid-19, and the process needs time to work.
After you get the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and if your immune system has never seen this virus before, you are still not protected against the virus for a number of weeks, says immunologist Prof Paul Moynagh from Maynooth University.
Your immune response takes about two to three weeks to produce the antibodies and T-cells that you need in order to be able to stop the virus from infecting you.
Antibodies and killer cells
Protect against delta
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How Is Lasting Immunity Measured
Different studies are used to measure how well a vaccine works, and the duration of protection they provide.3 For example:
- Efficacy studies look at a vaccines ability to prevent disease in a controlled research setting.
- Effectiveness studieslookathow well a vaccine performs in the real-world, often in much larger, more diverse populations and geographies.
- Immunogenicity studies are a more complex measure, looking at the specific immune response a vaccine triggers and how long it lasts.4 Scientists study antibodies and T-cells for example, looking at how they interact in the body and the levels that might protect from illness.5,6,7
Immunogenicity studies can also measure whether theres a decline in antibodies over time, or waning immunity. The exact duration of immunity varies with different diseases and different vaccines.8 Importantly, a drop in antibodies following vaccination doesnt necessarily mean a greater risk of serious illness, thanks to the bodys memory B and T-cells.
Frequently Asked Questions About Covid
NOTICE: FDA has granted full approvalfor Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is meeting on Monday, August 30, 2021, to discuss its updated recommendation for this vaccine.
- Below are answers to commonly asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination.
- Bust myths and learn the facts about COVID-19 vaccines
If you have lost your vaccination card or dont have a copy, contact your vaccination provider site where you received your vaccine to access your vaccination record. Learn more about how you can locate your vaccination provider.
Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 because:
- Research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19.
- Vaccination helps protect you even if youve already had COVID-19.
Evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having had COVID-19. One study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than 2 times as likely than fully vaccinated people to get COVID-19 again.
If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
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How Often Will People Need Booster Shots
The simple truth: No one knows how often booster shots will be necessary.
What are the long-term benefits of a booster? How long does it last? Will we need another booster a year from now? Will we need another booster sooner than that? Jha said. We dont know the answers to that.
The recent evidence suggests vaccine-induced protection against infection starts to wane after a few months. But thats only after a person has been fully vaccinated for the first time.
Theres some reason to hope that a booster shot could produce a more permanent effect. Theres some reasons to believe, immunologically, that once you get a booster six months after your second shot, that that should have a lot more durability than the first two shots did, Jha said. But, right now, we cant prove that. We dont know for sure. We dont have that long-term data.
Even if vaccine-induced immunity does wane, there are other considerations. If in six, eight, or 12 months, Covid-19 cases are low, vaccine protection against severe disease and death is holding up, and especially if few people are dying of the virus, maybe using boosters merely to stop the spread of the disease wont be worth it.
This, however, is all speculative. Experts are in agreement on only one thing here: We need more data.
And then theres one more question about boosters to answer.
Recommendations For Everyone Who Has Been Vaccinated
The added protection that vaccination gives you:
- allows you to socialise with other fully vaccinated people without keeping your distance or wearing a face mask
- allows you to socialise with family or close friends who are not vaccinated without keeping your distance or wearing a face mask. However, this does not apply if the person you are with has not been fully vaccinated and is at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19
- renders self-isolation unnecessary if you are a close contact of someone who is infected. However, you must still follow the guidance on self-isolation and testing if at any time you develop symptoms of COVID-19
- Furthermore, you do not need to go for regular testing.
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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.
What Does It Mean To Be Fully Vaccinated
You are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after your last injection, regardless of which vaccine you received.
For those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19, immunity to the virus can last at least 8 months.
The Danish Health Authority continuously updates its assessment of how long you can expect to be immune after vaccination or after recovering from COVID-19.
Please bear in mind that even though you have completed vaccination, you should always self-isolate and get tested if you experience symptoms of COVID-19. No vaccine is 100% effective, and therefore there is a slight risk that you may still become infected and ill from COVID-19.
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Do You Still Need To Take Precautions After Being Vaccinated
If youve received both doses of the vaccine, its important to still continue to take precautions, including:
- Wearing a mask.Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when youre around people outside of your household.
- Hand-washing.Hand-washing is particularly important after being out in public, after coughing and sneezing, and after using the bathroom.
- Practicing physical distancing. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from people outside of your household.
- Avoiding crowded areas. Places that are crowded or poorly ventilated can make it easier to contract and transmit the virus.
These precautions are important because we currently dont know whether people whove been vaccinated can still spread the virus to others, even if they themselves dont develop symptoms.
How Long The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Takes To Be Fully Protective Against Covid
The Johnson & Johnson COVID shot is one dose only. Youâre considered fully vaccinated two weeks, or 14 days, after your Johnson & Johnson vaccine, per the CDC, but your immune system continues to react to the shot for at least a month. Data from Johnson & Johnson published in the New England Journal of Medicine in January 2021 shows that the protectiveness of its vaccine against serious COVID also grows over time, becoming even more effective at 28 days post-shot â from 85% prevention of hospitalizations at 14 days to 100% prevention at 28 days. U.S. clinical trials revealed that for mild to moderate cases, the efficacy dropped a little, from 74.4% on Day 14 to 72% at 28 days.
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If The Gap Between Your Appointments Is Less Than 6 Weeks
If you have already booked and the gap between your appointments is less than 6 weeks, you can keep the second appointment or choose to change it.
The important thing is to get 2 doses of the vaccine to be fully vaccinated.
To cancel or modify your booking you can:
- call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on .
Efficacy Across Different Groups
A consistently high efficacy was observed in the clinical trials across age groups, sex, race, ethnicity and people with underlying medical conditions.
This means after getting two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, more than 9 out of 10 people are protected against COVID-19 regardless of their age, health status or ethnic group.
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Kaye Adams Says She Had ‘no Side Effects’ From Booster
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The phase two trial of booster vaccines, published in the Lancet, examined specifically people who received an initial two doses of AstraZeneca or Pfizer.AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Janssen, Moderna. CureVac and Novavax vaccines all produced an increase in immune activity.Valnevas vaccine did not produce an increase in immune activity in this study when boosting an initial dose of Pfizer, but did improve immunity in people who had previously received the AstraZeneca vaccine.After the studys publication on Thursday shares in Valneva declined by 24 percent.
What Percentage Efficacy Means
Percentage efficacy for vaccines refers to the proportion of people that get full protection after a vaccine. With 80% efficacy, 80% of people have full protection, and 20% don’t.
For those who get full protection the first time around, the second shot improves the quality of the immune response and its durability.
For the people who don’t get full protection with the first shot, some will get full protection after the second dose. Some people won’t ever get full protection from a vaccine because their immune system doesn’t respond at all.
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Moderna: At Least 80%
Moderna’s vaccine was 69.5% effective at preventing COVID-19 with symptoms between the first and second dose, with a true value between 43.5% and 84.5%. There was a fairly wide range because the number of people that caught COVID-19 in the trial during this time period was low.
The 69.5% figure includes the 13 days before protection starts, so the real percentage could be higher.
There were a small number of people in Moderna’s trial about 7% that didn’t get their second dose for unknown reasons. In this group, the shot was 50.8% effective at preventing COVID-19 with symptoms for up to 14 days after the first dose and 92.1% effective after 14 days.
It is unclear how well one shot of the vaccine protects against hospitalization and death because not many people got severe COVID-19 two in the vaccine group and four in placebo.
Evans said that you get at least 80% protection and probably better than 90% for Moderna’s vaccine against COVID-19 with symptoms after a single dose for 28 days. After 28 days it was unclear because it hadn’t been tested. Again, this was based on his overall reading of the FDA data, he said.
Johnson & Johnson: 66%
J& J looked at protection against moderate to severe COVID-19 in trials, rather than symptomatic COVID-19, like Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.
Protection kicked in at 14 days and was 66.1% effective at 28 days. The vaccine’s efficacy varied depending on the country it was used in it was 72% effective in the US but 64% and 68% effective in South Africa and Brazil, respectively. These countries both have coronavirus variants circulating that could partially evade antibodies.
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