See An Old Tb Vaccine Finds New Life In Coronavirus Trials
Nonspecific effects have garnered some high-profile attention as a potential near-term tool for fighting COVID-19. Robert Gallo, best known for his role in identifying HIV as the cause of AIDS in the 1980s, joined with Aaby, Benn, and other authors to pen an opinion article in a June issue of Science calling for studies to determine whether the live polio vaccine could protect against COVID-19. Gallo, a cofounder of both the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Global Virus Network, wasnt successful in persuading the National Institutes of Health to back such trials, he says, but hes working with partners on clinical studies outside the US, chiefly in India. Netea says he knows of 15 current trials testing BCG against COVID-19, and two each of the oral polio and the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines.
If ongoing trials demonstrate that BCG reduces the incidence or severity of COVID-19, that finding could have implications beyond the current pandemic, says Curtis. It would indicate that the inoculation could also serve as a ready-made stopgap against future outbreaks of new viruses, he notes. He adds that his current study is examining whether BCG affects rates not just of COVID-19, but also of more-familiar respiratory infections such as the flu. If so, BCG might be something you would just use in population groups like the elderly that are more susceptible to infection.
Nyc Will Soon End Its Main Contact
New York City said it would end its main contact-tracing program for the coronavirus next month, in yet another sign that officials across the United States are shifting how they treat the threat of the coronavirus.
Trace will be coming to an end in late April giving us eight final weeks to complete your current work and get New Yorkers ready for the next phase as we learn to live with Covid, Dr. Ted Long, the executive director of the citys Test and Trace program, wrote in an email, shared with The New York Times, that was sent Monday night to the citys remaining contact tracers.
People working as contact tracers also received a second email notifying them that their contracts would be ending in late April, and inviting them to apply for other positions in the citys public hospital system.
On Tuesday, two of the citys contact tracers, who requested anonymity to discuss a policy that had not yet been publicized, said that they had been expecting the end of the program for months. One of them added that he was surprised the program had lasted as long as it did.
In early January, when New York State was overwhelmed by the Omicron variant, state officials announced that local health departments did not need to trace every case, but the city kept its program going anyway. Then on Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidance, and no longer recommends universal case investigation and contact tracing for Covid-19.
The Immune Systemthe Bodys Defense Against Infection
To understand how vaccines work, it helps to first look at how the body fights illness. When germs, such as bacteria or viruses, invade the body, they attack and multiply. This invasion, called an infection, is what causes illness. The immune system uses several tools to fight infection. Blood contains red blood cells, for carrying oxygen to tissues and organs, and white or immune cells, for fighting infection. These white cells consist primarily of macrophages, B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes:
Vaccines prevent diseases that can be dangerous, or even deadly. Vaccines greatly reduce the risk of infection by working with the bodys natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. This fact sheet explains how the body fights infection and how vaccines work to protect people by producing immunity.
- Macrophagesmedia icon are white blood cells that swallow up and digest germs, plus dead or dying cells. The macrophages leave behind parts of the invading germs called antigens. The body identifies antigens as dangerous and stimulates antibodies to attack them.
- B-lymphocytes are defensive white blood cells. They produce antibodies that attack the antigens left behind by the macrophages.
- T-lymphocytes are another type of defensive white blood cell. They attack cells in the body that have already been infected.
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Why Dont We Have Vaccines Against Everything
Money is just the obvious obstacle. A few diseases, like H.I.V., so far have outwitted both the immune system and scientists.
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Vaccines are among the most ingenious of inventions, and among the most maddening.
Some global killers, like smallpox and polio, have been totally or nearly eradicated by products made with methods dating back to Louis Pasteur. Others, like malaria and H.I.V., utterly frustrate scientists to this day, despite astonishing new weapons like gene-editing.
We have a vaccine for Ebola that protects nearly 100 percent of its recipients, but we are lucky to get a routine flu shot that works half that well.
We have childrens vaccines against measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, chickenpox, polio, hepatitis A and B, rotavirus, pneumococcus, haemophilus influenzae and meningococcal disease.
They have changed our expectations of mortality and of parenthood. In 17th century England, one-third of all children died before age 15. Today, thanks largely to those vaccines, less than 1 percent of English children do.
There is no universal flu vaccine. There are no vaccines with long-lasting protection against malaria or tuberculosis.
None for parasites like Chagas, elephantiasis, hookworm or liver flukes. None for some viral threats that could become pandemic, like Nipah, Lassa and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
None for some that already have, including Lyme, West Nile, Zika and hepatitis C.
Can Immunizations Cause A Bad Reaction In My Child
The most common reactions to vaccines are minor and include:
- redness and swelling where the shot was given
- soreness at the site where the shot was given
In rare cases, immunizations can trigger more serious problems, such as seizures or severe allergic reactions. If your child has a history of allergies to food or medicine, or has had a problem with a vaccine before, let the doctor know before any vaccines are given. Every year, millions of kids are safely vaccinated and very few experience serious side effects.
Research continually improves the safety of immunizations. The American Academy of Pediatrics now advises doctors to use a diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine that includes only specific parts of the pertussis cell instead of the entire killed cell. This vaccine, called DTaP, has been associated with even fewer side effects.
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Vaccines Against Ebola Dengue And Zika Viruses Under Development
Live attenuated vaccines are usually superior at inducing immunity to viruses involving multiple target organs than nonreplicating inactivated vaccines. Approaches most favored for potential Ebola vaccine development include the use of VLPs or recombinant chimeric vaccines using VSV, human paramyxovirus3 or replicationdeficient adenoviruses as vectors. Of particular interest are recent reports of the successful use for ring vaccination of an experimental vesicular stomatitis virus vectored Ebola vaccine in human trials under field conditions.,
A chimeric live quadrivalent vaccine , using the 17D YFV vaccine strain as the vector and the prM and E protein genes of DEN 1 to 4, has been developed by SanofiPasteur as the first licensed vaccine against dengue viruses. These vaccines have been designed to induce responses to the four major dengue serotypes, in attempts to prevent the dengue hemorrhagic fever syndrome due to immune antibodydependent enhancement following superinfection with heterotypic dengue viruses. However, early studies with Dengvaxia® have shown that protective responses in very young children, compared with older primed children and adults, were relatively poor., Many aspects of immunologic protection against dengue infections are not well understood.
Australias National Immunisation Program
The National Immunisation Program sets out recommended immunisations for infants, children, older people and other people at risk, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Most recommended vaccines are available at no cost to these groups. If you need further information, talk to your GP or immunisation provider.
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Additional Vaccine Protection For Those With Prior Infection
What is infection-derived immunity?
When someone catches COVID-19, their immune system produces antibodies to fight off the infection. These antibodies remain part of the immune system for some time, providing some level of protection against reinfection from the virus. This is known as infection-derived immunity.
Do these people still need to get a vaccine?
Early evidence shows that getting vaccinated after infection provides significantly higher levels of protection against reinfection.
Comprehensive analysis is ongoing into exactly how much additional protection the vaccines provide against Omicron infections, but a rapid unadjusted analysis from the SIREN study indicated an increasing benefit of each vaccine dose in those with prior infection.
The SIREN analysis found participants with the strongest protection against infection were those who were vaccinated after having a previous infection, with each vaccine providing greater protection. Therefore, the best protection, whether you have been infected previously or not, is to get all three vaccine doses.
What does the data show?
Protection against reinfection from Omicron:
No vaccination and prior infection: Estimated at 44%*
Prior infection and three vaccine doses: Estimated at 71%*
*True figure sits within a wider range and is dependent on factors detailed in the report
What Vaccines Should My Child Receive
Your child should receive all the recommended vaccines. The timing for each shot may be slightly different depending on where you live. Here is what the Canadian Paediatric Society and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization currently recommend:
- 5-in-1 or 6-in-1 vaccine , DPT-polio, or Hib vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and Hib disease, as well as hepatitis B if 6-in-1.
- Rotavirus vaccine protects infants against rotavirus, the most common cause of serious diarrhea in babies and young children.
- Pneumococcal vaccine protects against infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, including meningitis , pneumonia, and ear infections.
- Meningococcal vaccine protects against diseases caused by the meningococcus bacteria, including meningitis and septicemia, a serious blood infection.
- MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella.
- Varicella vaccine protects against chickenpox, a very uncomfortable and sometimes serious infection.
- Hepatitis B vaccine protects against hepatitis B, a serious infection of the liver.
- dTap vaccine protects adolescents against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis .
- HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer, some other cancers, and genital warts.
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Biden Announces An Initiative To Pair Coronavirus Tests With Treatment
WASHINGTON President Biden, looking to usher the nation out of the coronavirus crisis into what some are calling a new normal, used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to sketch out the next phase of his pandemic response, including a new test to treat initiative aimed at providing patients with new antiviral medications as soon as they learn they are infected.
With caseloads declining across the country, the coronavirus perhaps the biggest challenge of the first year of Mr. Bidens presidency took a back seat in the speech to Russian aggression in Ukraine and the economy. Still, the president did not miss an opportunity to give himself a pat on the back for the latest Covid-19 trends.
I know youre tired, frustrated and exhausted, Mr. Biden said, adding: But I also know this: Because of the progress weve made, because of your resilience and the tools that we have been provided by this Congress, tonight I can say we are moving forward safely, back to more normal routines.
The White House has been working on a detailed new coronavirus response strategy, which officials said they would introduce on Wednesday. It is expected to address a broad range of issues, including developing new vaccines and therapeutics and how to keep schools and businesses open even if the pandemic takes a turn for the worse.
I cannot promise a new variant wont come, Mr. Biden said. But I can promise you well do everything within our power to be ready if it does.
How Do Vaccines Help Our Immunity
Our immune system is like a library it stores information about every germ ever defeated. We sometimes call this immunological memory.Some antibodies remain on patrol in our bloodstream. So if we ever encounter the real germ in the future, our immune system can quickly trigger the memory cells and produce antibodies to defeat it. And this often occurs before we experience any symptoms of illness. Each vaccine is designed according to how the specific germs make us sick. For example, measles is the result of the bodys reaction to the whole virus and so the vaccine contains a weakened form of the virus. On the other hand, tetanus is caused by the bodys reaction to the toxin produced by the tetanus bacteria and so the vaccine contains inactivated tetanus toxin.
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If These Diseases Are So Rare Why Does My Child Need To Be Vaccinated
All of the diseases that we vaccinate against exist in the world today. Therefore, if your child has not been vaccinated, there is still a risk that they could get the disease and become very sick. We know that decreases in vaccination uptake can result in outbreaks of diseases such as measles.5 Regular vaccination is needed to keep our children healthy, prevent outbreaks from occurring and to eventually eradicate these diseases altogether. Infectious diseases are easily passed from person to person and entire communities can rapidly become infected. If a high enough proportion of a community is protected by vaccination, it makes it difficult for the disease to spread because the number of people who can be infected is so small.
Your immune system is there to protect you by vaccinating your child, you give his/her immune system all the tools it needs to keep them safe from many severe diseases – Meike Heurich-Sevcenco, BSI Vaccine Champion
This type of protection is known as herd immunity and is particularly crucial for some individuals who are unable to receive some vaccines. This may include those that are too young, undergoing certain medical treatment or have a health condition that impairs the function of their immune system . Declines in herd immunity caused by decreasing vaccination rates have recently caused outbreaks of measles and whooping cough in the UK.6,7
Newly Emergent Human Viral Pathogens
Over the past 20 years great concerns have been expressed by the WHO and other bodies following disease outbreaks by avian influenza A subtypes H5N1, H7N9, H9N2, and H3N2v and the SARS and MERS coronaviruses, Ebola filoviruses and the Zika flavivirusesall singlestranded enveloped RNA viruses from different families, some first described in developing countries. Infections by influenza A H5N1, SARS, MERS, and Ebola viruses can result in high rates of mortality . However, Zika viruses are especially a concern because of their ability to induce neural and other birth defects in the developing fetus, and to be transmitted sexually.
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How Vaccinations Help Our Bodies Fight Infection
Vaccinations work by imitating a bacteria or virus. While vaccines traditionally use a dead or weakened version of the virus, theres also a new type of vaccine that uses messenger RNA . This new way of developing a vaccine was used to create COVID-19 vaccines. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the spike protein of the coronavirus. The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Once the instructions are inside the immune cells, the cells use them to make the protein piece. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them.
Next, the cell displays the protein piece on its surface. Our immune systems recognize that the protein doesnt belong there and begin building an immune response and making antibodies, like what happens in natural infection against COVID-19.
As is the case in traditional vaccines, our immune system pre-catalogs the invader and is more prepared to attack it should we become infected for real. The imitation infection caused by a vaccine may cause minor symptoms, such as fever. You should expect these minor symptoms as your body builds immunity.
Vaccines And Your Immune System
Vaccines give you immunity to a disease without you getting sick first. They are made using killed or weakened versions of the disease-causing germ or parts of the germ . For some vaccines, genetic engineering is used to make the antigens used in the vaccine. Its much safer to get a vaccine than to get the disease it prevents.
When you get a vaccine, your immune system responds to the vaccine the same way it would to the real germ. It:
- Recognizes the germ in the vaccine as being foreign.
- Responds by making antibodies to the germ in the vaccine, just as it would for the real germ.
- Remembers the germ and how to destroy it. That way, if you are ever exposed to the disease-causing germ in the future, your immune system will be able to quickly destroy it before it has a chance to make you sick. This is how you get immunity from vaccines.
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If We Didnt Have Vaccines Would Clean Water And Modern Hygiene Prevent These Diseases Anyway
No. Clean water and good personal, home, and public hygiene help slow down or stop some germs from spreading, but they dont get rid of diseases. Some diseases especially respiratory diseases that spread through the air, like measles are more difficult to prevent.
The bottom line is that as long as diseases are around, people will continue to get sick. And thats why its so important to get vaccinated. Learn more about getting vaccinated.