Yes, we’ll probably need coronavirus booster shots - but which one?
Excerpt: Companies have already been testing boosters, including an additional shot of their own vaccines and revamped boosters designed against the variant. A test of the Moderna boosters showed that a third shot and a variant-specific version both increased antibody levels - an encouraging sign. A study of yet another booster option that would offer protection against the original strain and the variant-specific virus is ongoing. The mix-and-match trial should help answer practical questions about how to best use vaccines, and will consider public health questions - such as whether there are advantages or risks to switching brands or technologies. The trial is designed to yield results by midsummer, in hopes it could inform decisions as soon as this fall if necessary, Beigel said. The trial will test which combinations work best, and may simply show that any vaccine can be used - which could ease logistics so that people were not bound to one brand or technology platform. [I got this from Yahoo News, but it was originally posted by the Washington Post on 28 May 2021. There are also a couple of healthcare professionals here at RP keeping me up to date. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were produced with the same technology and methods, while the J & J used a different method. I was particularly interested in seeing results from a test of two Pfizer shots (what I’ve had) and a “booster” of J & J six months or so later. When I first asked about this a month or so ago, there was no information available and no plans to get that information. It looks as if that has recently changed. So, additional good news could be in our futures for next winter or spring. Alan25main]
Yes, we’ll probably need coronavirus booster shots - but which one?
The coronavirus mutates so fast and each mutation makes existing vaccines less effective. Also each mutation path diverges genetically from the original strain making a common vaccine more difficult to create. Given a vaccine takes about 18 months to research, manufacture, distribute and administer on a broad scale, the rate vaccines are being produced doesn’t look like it’s keeping up with mutations.
Then also add in that mutations keep emerging that seem to be both deadlier and more transmissible.
I don’t mean to sound alarmist but I don’t see how this isn’t the end of humanity as we know it.
I understand that the mRNA vaccines are somewhat easier to “tweak” than traditional vaccinations so I don’t see this as the end of humanity as we know it at all.
The influenza vaccine is produced based on predictions as to what variants and mutations are most likely to be circulating when the vaccine is actually being used. The current flu vaccine, in Australia, is quadrivalent meaning that it attempts to immunise against four “versions” of the virus.
Because of disappointingly slow vaccine rollout around the globe combined with vaccine hesitancy and vaccine refusal, the C-19 virus is mutating far more rapidly than the flu virus so making vaccines based on predictions, as with the flu, is unlikely to be successful. However, if it turns out to be correct that mRNA vaccines are relatively easy to “tweak” to adapt to specific mutations, an early “booster” shot, a third shot in most cases, may be a relatively simple method of control. I would expect, over time, that we end up with a tri- or quadrivalent annual jab.
Having said that, my hope is still that absolutely everyone who has no medical reason to refuse will accept whatever vaccine they are offered. We certainly need the wealthy nations to step up and ensure that less wealthy nations are given access to appropriate quantities of suitable vaccines as well and cold chain assistance as required.
I really don’t believe that it is too late to put the C-19 horse back in the barn but we need everyone to do their part. Vaccines, wearing masks, obeying lock-down restrictions, co-operating with contact tracers and so on are all of part of this.
New Zealand is a great example of how the virus can be controlled and, to a lesser extent, Australia as well. Places like Thailand and Viet Nam show what can happen when a country relaxes too much, too quickly. Both countries, in my opinion, believed their own rhetoric about being able to control the virus while opening up travel. From being one of the of the most successful countries in controlling C-19, there is a new mutation being reported in Viet Nam that appears to be a “hybrid” of the Indian and UK variants.
The C-19 virus can be beaten if we have the will to do so. Smallpox has been completely eradicated “in the wild” and polio is mostly eliminated. Measles was being very well controlled until the strange and completely unscientific belief(s) of anti-vaxxers became more prevalent.
The seasonal “flu” vaccine will be available in September at the Veterans Administration Medical Centers for all workers, Veterans and thier spouses like always , other outlets for the general population like pharmacies and the Covid-19 boosters should be ready in October and they will not be age restricted but registration is a must like last time and prior vaccination is a requirement.
Getting another shot is no big deal IMO, especially considering the benefits…when I got that 2nd Moderna…I put the card in my wallet next to my Drivers License…now the EEOC is saying it is ok for employers to require the vaccine for employment…
Our national airline, as it was before it was privatised, has stated that they intend to require proof of vaccination in the future as well. No vaccination, no Qantas travel.
Qantas have also announced that they will be giving away a number of “prizes” or “incentives” for people who get the vaccine so they are, to some extent, putting their money where their mouth is.
It wouldn’t surprise me if many or most airlines worldwide adopt a “no vaccine, no travel” policy.
Going forward, I can see hospitals and doctors requiring proof of vaccination for all non-emergency treatment, probably in the form of requiring those who can’t prove their “vaccine status” to wear a mask and sit in an isolated area.
Cinemas and theatres may well adopt a requirement that patrons have proof of vaccination as well. I would love to see sports venues implement this requirement but I’m not convinced that that will happen.
At a government level, I can easily imagine that visitors to some or most countries will be required to be vaccinated as part of the entry conditions.
In Australia, many or all states have a requirement that children are fully immunised or on schedule with recommended vaccines before they can be enrolled in day care or kindergarten. Although, as far as I know, there is no approved vaccination for children at this stage, I can see C-19 being added to the immunisation schedule in the future. The WHO, if I remember rightly, has recently approved at least one vaccination for people aged 12+ so we may see vaccination become compulsory for schools and universities.
In short, for employment, entertainment and international travel, at the very least, I can see being vaccinated as being a minimum requirement for most people. I understand that some people have genuine medical reasons that prevent them from getting vaccinated and that’s fine. I have absolutely no doubt that a genuine exemption will be honoured in the same way that proof of vaccination will be. I certainly hope that “religious” and “personal belief” exemptions will not be permitted though.
I watched the Indianapolis 500 race yesterday. 140,000 people in the stands with almost no masks. My PTSD went into overdrive and I watched the race in my leather recliner with my mask on all alone in the house. People are just getting too comfortable now after almost a year and a half. Lord help us !!!
RedCloud203 just sent me this link today; it’s very promising and great news for all of us. It’s worth reading. Be encouraged for a change!
Folks, this is an email I just received from our local university hospital. It appears to have good information in it, particularly for anyone who is imuno-compromised or otherwise at increased risk. More info will follow as they refine the guidelines. Alan25main
WHO NEEDS AN ADDITIONAL COVID 19 VACCINE?
To Our UMass Memorial Family:
Federal health officials and medical experts released a joint statement today announcing a plan to provide booster doses to all individuals eight months after they have received their second mRNA vaccine. We are actively reviewing this guidance to form a delivery plan for our caregivers and patients. This plan is still being reviewed by the FDA and CDC and we will continue to follow the guidance after they review and release recommendations. We will share more information as soon as we know more.
In the meantime, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) currently recommends that some people receive a third dose of the COVID 19 vaccine now. Below is some information regarding to whom this new recommendation applies:
WHO NEEDS AN ADDITIONAL COVID 19 VACCINE?
Currently, the CDC recommends that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. This includes people who meet the following:
RECEIVING ACTIVE CANCER TREATMENT
RECEIVED AN ORGAN TRANSPLANT AND ARE TAKING MEDICINE TO SUPPRESS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
RECEIVED A STEM CELL TRANSPLANT WITHIN THE LAST TWO YEARS OR ARE TAKING MEDICINE TO SUPPRESS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
ADVANCED OR UNTREATED HIV INFECTION
ACTIVE TREATMENT WITH HIGH-DOSE CORTICOSTEROIDS OR OTHER DRUGS THAT MAY SUPPRESS YOUR IMMUNE RESPONSE (E.G., PREDNISONE, TACROLIMUS, MYCOPHENOLATE, AZATHIOPRINE, HUMIRA, ENBREL, REMICADE, ETC.)
MODERATE OR SEVERE PRIMARY IMMUNODEFICIENCY (SUCH AS DIGEORGE SYNDROME OR WISKOTT-ALDRICH SYNDROME)
CAN I MIX AND MATCH THE VACCINES?
For people who received either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna’s COVID 19 vaccine series, a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine should be used. A person should not receive more than three mRNA vaccine doses. If the mRNA vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID 19 vaccine product may be administered.
WHAT SHOULD IMMUNOCOMPROMISED PEOPLE WHO RECEIVED THE J&J/JANSSEN VACCINE DO?
The current recommendations do not apply to J&J/Janssen Vaccine. Currently it is not recommended that anyone who received this vaccine receives an additional shot.
WHAT SHOULD I DO NEXT?
If you clearly meet one of these criteria, you can visit the state’s vaccine finder website to find a retail pharmacy or other location to get a booster injection. Your healthcare provider does not need to order the booster shot. If you have further questions regarding your eligibility, you can read the CDC updated recommendations, or you can contact your provider.
IF I AM NOT IMMUNOCOMPROMISED, SHOULD I GET A BOOSTER SHOT?
There are additional discussions around providing booster vaccination to all patients after 8 months from the second shot they received. We will provide more information about this as soon as it is available.
UMass Memorial Health
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs just announced they are adding Diabeties to the list of immune deficiencies to be qualified for the booster shot.
I heard on the News Yesterday that they don’t know about the J&J Vaccine Booster shot just yet.
But they did say that Moderna and Phizer will need a bump 8 months after our last shot.
ok just woke up, didn’t read clearly what you said Alan…Duh me
Pfizer, Merck launch new trials of oral COVID-19 drugs
Excerpt: (Reuters) -Pfizer Inc and Merck & Co Inc announced on Wednesday new trials of their experimental oral antiviral drugs for COVID-19 as the race to develop an easy-to-administer treatment for the potentially fatal illness heats up. Pfizer said its latest mid-to-late-stage trial will enroll 1,140 non-hospitalized adults diagnosed with coronavirus infection who are not at risk of severe illness. Patients in the trial will be given Pfizer’s pill, known as PF-07321332, and a low dose of ritonavir, an older medication widely used in combination treatments for HIV infection. Pfizer’s drug is designed to block the activity of a key enzyme that is needed for the coronavirus to multiply. [This barely begun study might be an additional, and far more palatable, alternative way to administer the current vaccines. From speaking to several vaccine-hesitant friends, I know that reluctance to “getting a shot” is at least a partial reason for some of those declining to be jabbed. Even in published images of those being jabbed, you can often see them cringing from what they expect to be excruciating pain. Note that properly administered, shots are barely noticeable, pain-wise. Simply avoiding the shot while providing the same–or nearly the same–protection will solve a lot of problems, if this turns out to be practical. Alan25main)
A primer on what we know about mixing and matching Covid vaccines
Excerpt: “A followed by B may not be the same as B followed by A,” explained Bruce Gellin, chief of global public health strategy for the Rockefeller Foundation’s pandemic prevention institute. A number of small studies done in Europe have shown that following up AstraZeneca’s adenovirus-vectored vaccine with a Pfizer or a Moderna mRNA booster elicits a greater immune response than what is seen from two doses of the AstraZeneca alone. But an ongoing research effort at Britain’s University of Oxford comparing Covid vaccine combinations called the Com-CoV trials suggests that the inverse may not be true. Scientists conducting the original Com-CoV trial gave volunteers two doses apiece of either AstraZeneca or Pfizer, comparing the antibody levels those regimens elicited to AstraZeneca followed by Pfizer or Pfizer followed by AstraZeneca. Pfizer after AstraZeneca generated higher antibody levels than two doses of AstraZeneca alone; but AstraZeneca after Pfizer was not better than two doses of Pfizer. [This is a good, clearly written article that explains what they’re doing in terms even I can understand; it’s worth reading. I’ve been interested in how the two types of vaccines (mRNA or natural) would work in combination since I first heard of the possibility last Fall. I doubt I’ll pursue it beyond reading since I’m now double vaxxed and boosted–all 3 were Pfizer doses because that was what I could get–but, I still want to keep an eye on what develops. It’s very rare that we have multiple vaccine choices like this, so we may have a chance to learn something useful. ~ Alan25main]
[I feel as if I ought to be one of the street-corner kids shouting “Extra, Extra, read all about it!” in some old B & W movie. You may not be able to read the whole NY Times article as it’s behind a paywall. ~ A]
Excerpt: Two reports released today on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could lead to a heated debate about whether and how to offer additional shots to Americans who received the company’s shot. [Considering the amount of money these three companies have at stake, “heated” just might be the understatement of the year. Bare knuckle brawl is more likely. ~ R]
Preliminary data from a federal clinical trial suggests that the 15 million Americans who received a J. & J. vaccine may be better off with a Moderna or a Pfizer booster shot. Adding to the matter, an F.D.A. analysis published earlier in the day questioned whether Johnson & Johnson had robust enough evidence in its application for booster shots.
Now, the question about whether to authorize J. & J. boosters heads to the F.D.A.’s advisory panel, which will meet on Friday to vote on whether to authorize the company’s application. [Keep in mind: unlike the others, this is the vax that needs only normal refrigeration and handling ~ A]
In the federal clinical trial, National Institutes of Health researchers mixed and matched vaccine doses to test their effectiveness. They found that:
People who got a J. & J. shot and a Moderna booster saw their antibody levels rise 76-fold within 15 days.
People who got a J. & J. shot and a Pfizer booster saw a 35-fold rise.
People who got two J. & J. shots saw only a fourfold rise. [These are very impressive numbers, but how much overkill is “too much?” Is there any advantage to having that much more? ~ A]
The authors cautioned about the study’s small size and noted that they did not follow the volunteers long enough to identify rare side effects.
They also had a narrow focus: Researchers looked only for antibodies that can stop the coronavirus from replicating, but they did not examine how well the booster trains immune cells to recognize and kill infected cells.
[This isn’t a clear slam-dunk for or against any one vax or combination. The best answer will probably depend a lot on where and how it’s going to be transported to and used. ~ Alan25main]
My dad who is 85 just had his booster and flu jab same time - he had the Pfizer 1 and 2 jabs and now had the J + J as a booster as that is what his is given. I had the J+J once and that’s all I had 2 mths ago
we have to stop thinking what jab we should have - if not its like vegan or not - lactose milk or full fat - who know
if you are healthy and jabbed up live your live as next week it will change - do what you will with the information you have today - if not then just get your jabs and don’t worry aboard the info as you will end up having 10 jabs in panic
2 years ago there was no jabs and yet in CZH 2 days ago we have more covid cases than we have had for a long time
be smart - be sensible - and if you ever come across me and sneeze or cough without your hand over your mouth - i will react the same as I did 10 years ago - go do one manners are free
I see life now is the new normal - workplaces are doing this as so should we
Just everyone please get the shot!