Test Positive Cases And Test Negative Controls
We did separate analyses for each SARS-CoV-2 variant, selected on the basis of scientific relevance and prevalence in the KPSC population. These included delta , alpha , epsilon , gamma , iota , mu , and other . We defined test positive cases as the first specimen positive for SARS-CoV-2 identified by whole genome sequencing. We examined cases for which whole genome sequencing failed as a separate category . We defined test positive cases admitted to hospital with covid-19 as a variant with specimen collection date no more than seven days before or during hospital admission with covid-19 confirmed by chart review. We randomly selected test negative controls from eligible people with a negative SARS-CoV-2 test. We matched cases and controls 1:5 on age , sex, race/ethnicity , and specimen collection date .
We May Still Need Booster Shots
Though the current Pfizer vaccine appears to offer significant protection against COVID variants, the company reiterated recently that they are still anticipating a need for both booster shots and an upgraded vaccine.
On Feb. 25, the pharmaceutical company announced that they would begin evaluating booster shots in relation to new variants. “We want to be prepared for different scenarios,” Ugur Sahin, CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech, which co-created the Pfizer vaccine, said in the announcement. “Therefore, we will be evaluating a second booster in the current regimen as well as preparing for a potential rapid adaption of the vaccine to address new variants which might escape the current version of our mRNA-based vaccine.” And for more on the Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy, check out The Pfizer Vaccine May Be Less Effective If You Have This Common Condition.
The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine And Blood Clots: What You Need To Know
In the minds of many, the halt of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in April delivered doubt just as the mass COVID-19 vaccinations were making progress. There are three vaccines authorized for use in the United States, but Johnson & Johnsons was a particularly important one, partly because its one-shot dose made it seem as though we might achieve herd immunity faster. Then, the government recommended pausing the companys vaccine after six women who received it developed rare blood clotsand one woman died.
We spoke to Yale Medicine infectious diseases expert Jaimie Meyer, MD, MS, and Yale Medicine hematologist Robert Bona, MDthey shared insights about the pause and answered commonly asked questions.
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How Long With Coronavirus Vaccines Last
If you are fully vaccinated, you may be excited about gathering with family and friends this summer. But there are still nagging questions about how long protection from the coronavirus vaccines will last. Will it wear off gradually or suddenly? Will you need a booster shot? Unfortunately, we cant answer these questions with certainty yet. Though researchers know the vaccines have been effective against COVID-19 thus far, there is no track record to provide data for the future, which is the only way to know for sure.
We can only say that a vaccine is protective as long as we are measuring it, says Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist Jaimie Meyer, MD, MS.
In the meantime, there are a few things we do know.
Covid Vaccines Protect Against Top Variants Who Says
May 21, 2021 — The COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States and Europe offer protection against the four main coronavirus variants known to exist, a World Health Organization official says.
“All COVID-19 virus variants that have emerged so far do respond to the available approved vaccines,” WHO European Regional Director Hans Kluge said Thursday at a news conference.
Kluge said the B.1.617 variant now killing thousands of people daily in India, where it was first detected, is of special concern.
That variant has spread to all six WHO regions and has been detected in 26 of the 53 nations in the WHO European region. Most cases are linked to international travel, he said.
âIt is able to spread rapidly and displace the B.1.1.7 variant that has become the dominant lineage in Europe,â he said.
Kluge emphasized that while many people have not been vaccinated yet, all variants can be controlled with public health and safety measures, such as masks and social distancing.
“For the time being, we can say that all the four variants do respond to the vaccines made available, as of today,” he said. “But the best way to counteract is to speed up the vaccination roll-out.”
The other variants are the ones first detected in Brazil and South Africa .
Luge said the vaccination program is bringing down COVID numbers in the WHO European region, with case counts decreasing 60% in a month. But he warned against letting our guard down.
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What Mayo Experts Know About The Omicron Variant
The first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. caused by the omicron variant has been reported in California, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As Mayo Clinic COVID-19 experts learn more about the omicron variant, they are looking to answer several questions.
The World Health Organization recently classified this new COVID-19 strain as a variant of concern. The omicron variant was first reported to the WHO by South Africa in early November. Mayo experts say there is still a lot to learn.
“At this time, there are three big questions that still need to be answered and are still unknowns. The first one is we don’t yet know if this is more transmissible, as transmissible or less transmissible than the current delta variant that is prevalent in many parts of the United States,” says Dr. John O’Horo, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist. “The second big unknown is whether or not this has immune escape, meaning if vaccines and prior infection will confer the same amount of protection that they currently do or will confer some less protection. The third one is we don’t know what the severity of this is if this is more likely to land people in the hospital than prior variants were. However, as we’re looking at this story as it unfolds, the number of mutations make it plausible that any of these could change. And we need to be watching this carefully.”
Watch: Dr. John O’Horo talks about the omicron variant.
This One Vaccine May Protect You Against All Variants New Study Says
This is the only vaccine to be proven effective against new variants.
Last month, COVID numbers plateaued and then recently, they started to climb again in a dangerous trajectory that suggests we’re far from out of the woods. Experts say that rising U.S. case counts are likely due to two things: relaxed restrictions and the presence of more contagious new variants from the U.K., Brazil, and South Africa. These strains add an unpredictable new element to the pandemic, which many medical professionals warn could thwart our efforts to reach herd immunity.
Yet there are many reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the pandemic’s future, vaccines being chief among them. With three highly efficacious shots on the market, we now have a way to push back against these new COVID variants by slowing their spread. And while any of the current vaccines may be effective against emerging variants, only one company has formally assessed their own product and found it to be effective against these new threats. Read on to find out which vaccine was put to the test, and for more breaking vaccine news, check out Pfizer’s Vaccine Protects You for at Least This Long, Study Finds.
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Vaccine Protection And Transmission
COVID-19 vaccines are crucial tools in the pandemic response and protect against severe disease and death. Vaccines provide at least some protection from infection and transmission, but not as much as the protection they provide against serious illness and death. More evidence is needed to determine exactly how well they stop infection and transmission.
After being vaccinated, individuals should continue taking simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue. Get tested if you are sick, even if youve been vaccinated. Check local advice where you live and work. Do it all!
Does Age Matter For Vaccinations
Pfizer’s vaccine is also currently the only vaccine authorized for emergency use in children as young as 5. Both Moderna and J& J’s vaccines can only be used on people 18 and older.
Both Pfizer and Moderna have also started studies in the U.S. surrounding the vaccine and children as young as 6 months.
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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.
Us Travel Restrictions To Go Into Effect As Omicron Variant Spreads
The question is, if you keep priming and boosting with a strain, which is basically to make an immune response against the ancestral strain, will that limit your ability then to make an immune response to a virus, which is very much different than the ancestral? said Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine expert at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia.
Offit is describing a phenomenon immunologists call original antigenic sin in which the bodys immune system relies on the memory of its first encounter with a virus, sometimes leading to a weaker immune response when it later encounters another version of the virus.
Vaccines can activate this phenomenon, too, said Offit, also a member of the Food and Drug Administrations vaccine advisory committee. An example is with the human papillomavirus, or HPV, following the release of an updated vaccine that targeted nine strains of the virus instead of just four in the initial shot, he said.
If you got HPV4 and then got HPV9, knowing that the four strains in 4 were also in 9, you had a very good immune response to the four strains, but you didnt have as good as an immune response to the other five strains, he said.
Theoretically, it could apply to Covid, too, Offit said.
He said that some experts have argued it may be better for those not at high risk of severe disease to wait to get a booster until a variant-specific option is available.
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Reducing The Spread Of Covid: Flatten The Curve
As COVID hospitalization continue to rise, the best way to flatten the curve and protect yourself and others from the virus is to get the vaccine.
Wearing a mask and social distancing are important to protect yourself and prevent spread. The vast majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations around the country right now are among unvaccinated people. However, everyone should follow all masking guidelines, regardless of vaccination status.
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Age Probably Important In Likelihood Of Covid Reinfection
Research shows that age is also likely to play a role in whether we will be reinfected after having had the virus.
A study involving US war veterans, funded by the US Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Rural Health and still in the peer-review process, shows that among senior citizens, mRNA vaccines offered stronger protection against infection, hospitalization and death than prior COVID infections.
But for participants under 65, the protection offered by vaccines was more or less the same as previous infection, the study found. The authors did disclose previous financial support from Pfizer.
Some research suggests that for elderly people, a previous COVID infection is less likely to protect them from reinfection
The study, published in September, supports findings from a population-level Denmark study published in March, which was based on data collected during the second surge of the pandemic in late 2020 before vaccines were widely available. Among younger people who had tested positive during the first wave, protection against repeat infection was around 80%. However among people aged 65 and older, immunity acquired through past infection was only around 47% effective.
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Vaccines Remain The Best Defence Against Omicron Variant Says Furey
Vaccines against the Omicron variant of COVID-19 may not be perfect but remain the best defence against the virus.
Premier Andrew Furey made the comment during a year-end interview with VOCM News.
Furey notes the jury is still out on the effectiveness of vaccines against Omicron, but it is known that it spreads faster than any other variant to date.
The premier says thats why government is taking extra precautions now, before the health care system can become overwhelmed.
He says the vaccines, and particularly the booster shot, could become the annual norm to combat COVID.
Furey says while there are so-called chinks in the armor, it may ultimately lead to three doses of vaccine for all, eventually becoming a yearly regimen against COVID.
The premier says vaccine series often come in three doses, but reiterated that its too soon to scientifically say how effective that regimen will be against the virus, and its mutations, long term.
Meanwhile, the provincial government is hosting a live COVID briefing this morning.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald and Health Minister John Haggie are hosting the briefing at 11 a.m.
VOCM News will carry the briefing, probably the last before Christmas, live as it will help to provide additional information for families heading into the holiday season.
The Johnson & Johnson Covid
Theres little data that shows how effective the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine is at protecting against the Delta variant.
Alpha versus Delta
A clinical trial suggests the vaccine is 85 percent effective against severe disease. In the study, it demonstrated strong, persistent protection against hospitalization and death.
Another study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed and only examined 27 people, suggests the J& J vaccine is 67 percent effective against the Delta variant.
The study also found the vaccine produced fewer antibodies against Delta than it did for the Alpha variant, but scientists say it may not accurately reflect the vaccines real-life performance.
The most recent findings, and the only real-life data, are from South Africa, which suggests that the vaccine offers about 71 percent protection against hospitalization when the Delta variant dominates.
Estimated effectiveness of J& J COVID-19 vaccine
As with other vaccines, the J& J vaccine shows a slight dip in effectiveness against the Delta variant, but more comprehensive studies are needed to reach a definitive answer.
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How Does The Covid
Vaccines are one of the most effective tools we have in preventing and reducing the burden of infectious diseases. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines are once again poised to change the tide in our favor in the fight against a deadly virus. But how exactly do vaccines work? And are they safe?
Watch this video to learn more about the fundamentals of how vaccines work, how they are developed, and the importance of vaccination for public health.
Why Vaccines May Be Helping Some With Long Covid
As more people get vaccinated against COVID-19, a surprise discovery has been that vaccines seem to provide some relief for some patients with whats being called long COVID. A prominent Yale researcher is working with colleagues to launch what she predicts will be a large collaborative study to learn more.
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Getting Your Second Dose Of The Covid Vaccine Here’s What You Should Know
Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna shots, the J& J vaccine uses a cold virus, called an adenovirus, to carry the spike gene into the body. J& J uses a human adenovirus to create its vaccine while a similar vaccine not yet approved in the U.S., AstraZeneca, uses a chimpanzee version.
J& Js shot uses a cold virus like a Trojan horse to carry the spike gene into the body, where cells make harmless copies of the protein to prime the immune system in case the real virus comes along. Its the same technology the company used in making an Ebola vaccine.
Vaccine Efficacy And Effectiveness
All COVID-19 vaccines approved by WHO for emergency use listing have been through randomized clinical trials to test their quality, safety and efficacy. To be approved, vaccines are required to have a high efficacy rate of 50% or above. After approval, they continue to be monitoredfor ongoing safety and effectiveness. But what is the difference between efficacy and effectiveness?
A vaccines efficacy is measured in a controlled clinical trial and is based on how many people who got vaccinated developed the outcome of interest compared with how many people who got the placebo developed the same outcome. Once the study is complete, the numbers of sick people in each group are compared, in order to calculate the relative risk of getting sick depending on whether or not the subjects received the vaccine. From this we get the efficacy a measure of how much the vaccine lowered the risk of getting sick. If a vaccine has high efficacy, a lot fewer people in the group who received the vaccine got sick than the people in the group who received the placebo.
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