‘you Personally Attack Me: ‘ Fauci Fires Back At Sen Paul In Heated Exchange
Two real-world studies published Wednesday confirm that the immune protection offered by two doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine drops off after two months or so, although protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death remains strong.
The Booster Jab Programme Has Been Extended To Include Adults Over The Age Of 40
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The Covid-19 booster jab programme has been broadened to include healthy people over the age of 40 after health officials warned of a bumpy few months ahead.
Previously, booster jabs were offered to people over the age of 50, as well as health and social care workers and vulnerable people six months after they received their second dose of a Covid vaccine.
So far, some 12.6 million people have had a third Covid-19 jab and around 80 per cent of the population over the age of 12 have had both doses of a vaccine.
But with winter fast approaching, health officials are concerned that rising cases of Covid-19, flu and other respiratory viruses may overwhelm the NHS.
Recent research has shown signs that vaccine efficacy declines over time, further fuelling the urgency of the booster programme to mitigate the number of deaths and hospitalisations due to severe disease during the colder months.
What If I Dont Know When I Received My Last Covid
To learn when you are eligible for a booster dose, you should consult your CDC vaccination record card for the date of your second COVID-19 vaccination. If you do not have your vaccination card, contact your primary care provider or the retail pharmacy where you were first vaccinated. If that is not possible, learn how to obtain your vaccination record, which could take up to 2 weeks, by visiting www.mass.gov/myvaxrecord.
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Has The Definition Of Fully Vaccinated Changed
No. For most people being fully vaccinated means it has been at least two weeks since:
- A second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
- One dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
For some immunocompromised people, fully vaccinated means it has been at least two weeks since receiving a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
What Is The Science Behind Booster Jabs
A new study from the UKHSA highlighted how booster jabs can significantly increase peoples protection against getting a symptomatic case of Covid-19.
The study showed that two weeks after getting a booster, adults over 50 had at least a 93 per cent reduced risk of getting a symptomatic case of the virus, with protection against more severe disease and death expected to be even higher.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, chair of Covid-19 immunisation for the JCVI, said: The booster dose markedly strengthens existing protection and will extend the duration of that protection against serious disease.
We therefore urge people who are eligible for a booster to step forward and have your booster and maximise your protection.
People who are eligible for a booster jab will be offered one six months after the second vaccine was given. They can book an appointment after five months.
Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow in Global Health at the University of Southampton, said the outcome of the study was excellent and indicates that the advice to offer booster doses to the over 40s is a good move.
A winter of Covid-19 and flu brings huge uncertainty around the potential impact on those infections upon the health service, so the more immunity we can build up now, the better, he added.
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General Prevention Recommendations For Covid
The most effective steps individuals can take to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including variants, include:
- Getting vaccinated and staying up-to-date on vaccinations. Vaccines are safe, free and effective.
- Having at-home tests to use any time you have symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, and isolating if positive.
- Continuing to wear a mask in indoor public settings for those who are not fully vaccinated or are in close contact with people at a higher risk of severe disease.
- Visit your doctor or go to an urgent care center as soon as you become positive, especially if you are at a higher risk for severe disease. Treatment is most effective within the first 5 days of symptoms.
- Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Practice proper respiratory etiquette, including coughing and sneezing into the back of your elbow or into a tissue. Immediately throw away the tissue and wash your hands.
How Can Individuals Assess Their Own Risk
Wachter acknowledges that the temptation to throw up ones hands at this stage of the pandemic is real. I do this for a living and its confusing to me, he says. Many of his 263,000 followers have said: You tell me what youre doing. Ill do that.
Wachter is fully vaccinated and received his second booster about two weeks ago. He is wearing an N95 mask or the equivalent in crowded indoor spaces and whenever hes around people whose vaccination status or current symptoms he does not know, such as at the grocery store or on an airplane. I would feel kind of bad if I got COVID in a place where I really could have kept myself protected, he says. But he is going out to dinner with friends and having friends over to his home.
Ranney says the value of a high-quality mask cannot be understated. This is the moment where you should expect that if youre out and about, doing indoor activities, going to restaurants and concerts without a high-quality, good-fitting mask, you should expect that if you didnt have omicron in the first wave, that youre going to catch COVID, she says. is that contagious.
Her lab has developed a COVID-19 risk calculator MyCOVIDRisk.app that can help you determine your risk of catching COVID-19. You enter your planned activity, how many vaccines youve gotten, your location, whether the activity is indoors or outdoors, and other factors and the app spits out your risk of catching the disease. It also gives you options to change that risk.
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Protection Provided By Covid Vaccines Fades Over Time
This work builds on our previous analysis of vaccine effectiveness and after effects following the initial vaccine rollout, which we published back in April in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.
This time, we analysed data recorded by ZOE COVID Study app contributors who logged their COVID vaccinations between December 8, 2020 and July 31, 2021. We then looked to see whether any of these people reported a positive COVID test result between May 26 this year, when the Delta variant became dominant in the UK, and the end of July.
This analysis included:
- 411,642 test results from users who were doubly vaccinated with the Pfizer mRNA vaccine at the time of the infection
- 709,486 test results from users who were doubly vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine
- 76,051 test results from users who were not yet vaccinated at the time of the infection
We found that initial protection against infection a month after the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine was 88%, while after five to six months this fell to 74%.
For the AstraZeneca vaccine, there was around 77% protection a month after the second dose, falling to 67% after four to five months.
These graphs show the reduction in the risk of infection since May 2021 for the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines, from two weeks to a month after vaccination down to 5-6 months . The shorter the bar, the lower the protection.
Who Is Eligible For A Booster Shot
Individuals aged 5+ who received a Pfizer vaccine are eligible for a booster shot five months or more after completing their primary series. Those 18+ who received a Moderna vaccine are eligible for a booster shot five months or more after completing their initial series. Individuals 18+ who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a booster dose two months after their initial shot. The booster shot may be any available vaccine. However, the CDC has recently indicated that the mRNA vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna are preferred in most situations. A second booster shot is also recommended for certain people.
|5 months after the 2nd shot||For those 50+: 4 months after the 1st booster|
|Moderna||6 months after the 2nd shot||For those 50+: 4 months after the 1st booster|
|Johnson & Johnson||2 months after the initial shot Pfizer or Moderna recommended||For those 50+: 4 months after the 1st booster|
* The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only vaccine authorized for children ages 5-17.
The CDC recommends that moderately or severely immunocompromised individuals follow a different vaccine schedule. See below for more information.
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Covid Natural Immunity: What You Need To Know
If you had COVID-19, you may wonder if you now have natural immunity to the coronavirus. And if so, how does that compare to protection offered by the COVID-19 vaccinations?
Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H., senior director of infection prevention, and Gabor Kelen, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response, help you understand natural immunity and why getting a coronavirus vaccine is recommended, even if youve already had COVID-19.
What This Means For You
More research needs to be done, but it’s become clear that COVID-19 vaccines will need to be given more than just once. It’s likely that boosters and annual vaccineswhether the existing shots, or other therapies yet to be developedwill be needed throughout your life.
Like most vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines work in more than one way to prevent infection. The first involves the production of antibodies.
Your body uses antibodies to fight off infection, but not as easily when it has never seen a novel, or new, virus. Because COVID-19 was a new virus, human bodies had not developed an antibody defense for it. The vaccines help it to achieve that.
The second way the vaccines work is to help the body develop responses in what are called memory B cells and T cells. These are immune cells that store information for future reference.
However, immunity does wane. Your individual response and other factors contribute to this loss of protection. Like human memory, cellular memory is short. Booster shots help to “remind” it to respond to a virus or other pathogen. Here’s how each of the current vaccines work.
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Could One Type Of Vaccine Last Longer Than Another
No one knows for sure whether one vaccine will last longer than another. Instead, one question to ask might be whether Pfizer and Modernas mRNA vaccines, which had an especially robust response, also have potential to be the longest lasting, Dr. Meyer says.
The two mRNA vaccines use a relatively new technology that delivers a tiny piece of genetic code from the SARS CoV-2 virus into the body to provide instructions for making copies of spike proteins that will stimulate an immune response. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine takes a more traditional approach that involves an inactive adenovirus .
The mRNA vaccines are a novel tool that hasnt been widely rolled out with any other virus, and so far in clinical trials they have had a much more robust immune response, Dr. Meyer says. Whatever the answer to the question of which will last the longest, the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines work similarly, so it seems likely that they will have a similar impact on immunity, she says.
Its also possible that the length of immunity is somewhat dependent on the patient, Dr. Meyer adds. While more research is needed, there could be variations in immune responses from person to person based on such factors as age, medical conditions, and medications they may be taking. Overall, though, the mRNA vaccines appear to be so effective that they level the playing field in terms of achieving protection from infection, says Dr. Meyer.
What Is The Future Of Vaccination
Regardless of whether you receive a second booster or not now, there will likely be another booster shot in the fall.
Durbin predicts that well have a bivalent vaccine a vaccine that is designed to fight at least two strains of the coronavirus. Moderna recently announced that its bivalent vaccine containing strains of the beta and original coronaviruses performed better than its existing vaccine.
Ranney also believes well have a bivalent vaccine but is hopeful that the fall booster incorporates some elements of the omicron strain. Its going to be too early for some of the exciting types of vaccine, like the nasal vaccines, she says. But I would suspect that what were going to get in the fall is tailored to the strains that were seeing. There is a possibility that there will be a combined COVID-flu vaccine, but thats still up in the air.
One concern among all the experts is booster fatigue particularly if there are diminishing returns for subsequent booster shots.
With each new booster, were losing more and more people, Wachter says. Im not confident that if theres a surge coming and theres a campaign that says theres a new vaccine that that will lead to a massive uptake.
The use of antivirals and other therapeutics to counter the worst effects of COVID-19 will also be critical, Topol says.
We have to have complementary strategies, Topol says. We cant keep going into the booster mode its not an ideal way to counter a virus.
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How Long Will Immunity Last
According to Pfizer, initial results based on Phase 3 clinical trials in adults found the vaccine was:
- 100% effective in preventing severe disease
- 95% effective in preventing severe disease
- 91% effective in providing immunity against COVID-19 for six months
A November 2021 update focused on how effective the vaccine was in people ages 12 to 15. These results showed the vaccine was 100% effective against COVID-19.
Further research on the Pfizer vaccine, also known as Comirnaty, supports its effectiveness. A November 2021 research review of studies on nine different COVID-19 vaccines developed around the world found that overall, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines performed better than alternatives in preventing symptomatic disease.
What Does It Mean To Be Up
The CDC recommends that people remain up-to-date with their vaccines, which includes additional doses for individuals who are immunocompromised or booster doses at regular time points. Getting a second booster shot is not necessary to be considered up to date at this time. Ensure you are optimally protected against COVID-19 by getting vaccinated and staying up to date with booster shots.
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Effectiveness Against New Strains
The COVID-19 virus has changed over time due to mutations that result in a different strain of the virus. This is common for viruses, but some changes have greater impact than others. They may spread more rapidly, cause more or less serious illness, or fail to respond to the existing vaccines.
The CDC will classify some strains as a “variant of concern” when they have the potential for this greater impact. As of December 2021, there were two variants of concern in the U.S. They were:
- Omicron first identified in Botswana and South Africa
- Delta first identified in India
Where Does The Vaccine Go
Here’s a peer-reviewed study that shows where intramuscular vaccines travel in macaques . Vaccines mostly remain near the site of injection and local lymph nodes.
This makes sense: Lymph nodes produce white blood cells and antibodies to protect us from disease. A key part of the lymphatic system, lymph nodes also clean up fluids and remove waste materials. Finding pieces of spike protein in the lymph nodes is completely normal, because lymph nodes act as the trash removal service for the body. That means the vaccine did its job and will be cleared from the body.
Another peer-reviewed study tested exactly where an mRNA vaccine went in mice. Most of the mRNA vaccine stayed in the injection site muscle where you get the shot. Look at Table 1. A lot of mRNA vaccine was found in local lymph nodes, which peaked about eight hours after the shot was given. A much smaller amount of mRNA vaccine went to farther away lymph nodes.
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How Rapidly Does The Covid
Added to this is the extent to which the virus or bacteria mutates or evolves. A rapidly evolving infectious agent may become able to evade the bodys defences if it looks sufficiently different to previous incarnations or finds new methods of attack. And creating a vaccine against a rapidly evolving enemy is like trying to hit a moving target.
We see examples of this each year with flu season. As the influenza virus replicates, small changes can emerge in its genetic make-up. This can lead to changes in the viruss surface proteins, which are key to our immune systems ability to recognize infection and trigger a response. This so-called antigenic drift usually produces viruses fairly similar to their predecessors, and antibodies created against one flu virus will probably still recognize and respond to similar viruses.
How is the World Economic Forum helping to identify new technologies to fight COVID-19?
As part of work identifying promising technology use cases to combat COVID, The Boston Consulting Group recently used contextual AI to analyze more than 150 million English language media articles from 30 countries published between December 2019 to May 2020.
The result is a compendium of hundreds of technology use cases. It more than triples the number of solutions, providing better visibility into the diverse uses of technology for the COVID-19 response.
To see a full list of 200+ exciting technology use cases during COVID please follow this link.