Experts who got J&J vaccine try extra Pfizer, Moderna shots for Delta variant

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Business Insider 28 June, 2021 - 07:08am 42 views

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Officials have not recommended getting a booster shot after J&J's vaccine or any other vaccine, and two experts said everyone should wait for more data.

Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, said on Twitter Tuesday that she got the Pfizer vaccine to "top off" the J&J vaccine she received in April.  

Rasmussen said that the rise of the Delta variant in the UK where more than 95% of new infections are caused by Delta showed the "crucial importance" of getting as many people vaccinated as possible.

Rasmussen said that we don't know whether an extra vaccine dose after a J&J shot boosts protection against variants, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or CDC haven't made any recommendations. But it was likely to work, given that boosters work for nearly every other vaccine in use, she said.

"We shouldn't wait to make recommendations about this," she said. 

Rasmussen encouraged people who'd had J&J's shot, especially those living in communities with low vaccination rates, to speak with healthcare providers about getting an extra dose. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, said Wednesday that the Delta variant accounted for more than 20% of new infections in the US and was the "greatest threat" to the nation's efforts to eradicate COVID-19. 

There's no data on how well J&J's vaccine works against the Delta variant. More than 9 million Americans have been given the single dose vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Read more: Experts explain why the mRNA tech that revolutionized COVID-19 vaccines could be the answer to incurable diseases, heart attacks, and even snake bites: 'The possibilities are endless'

Jason Gallagher, clinical professor in infectious diseases at Temple University's School of Pharmacy, told Reuters Monday that he got J&J's vaccine in a trial in November, and recently had a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine.

Gallagher said he was concerned about data that suggested a single shot of either Pfizer or AstraZeneca's vaccine was only 33% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 caused by the Delta variant. "So I took the plunge," he said.

Professor Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said in a tweet on Thursday that adding a second J&J dose, or an extra shot of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, could provide broader protection against variants, "but we need data and CDC-FDA guidance."

Dr. John Beigel, associate director for clinical research at the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), told Reuters Monday that J&J recipients should wait for more data.

Read full article at Business Insider

Misinformation About WHO's COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance for Children

FactCheck.org 28 June, 2021 - 09:00am

A World Health Organization advisory group has concluded that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine “is suitable for use by people aged 12 years and above,” and is specifically recommending it for children ages 12 to 15 who are at high risk of severe COVID-19. The WHO did not say “stop giving kids the vaxx immediately,” as some have claimed online.

No vaccine or medical product is 100% safe, but large randomized controlled trials, involving tens of thousands of people and reviewed by multiple groups of experts, revealed no serious safety concerns and showed that the benefits outweigh the risks. 

As with any vaccine, safety is also being monitored as the shots are rolled out to members of the public to ensure there are no side effects of concern. A very small number of severe allergic reactions, for example — which are expected with any vaccine — have occurred with some of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines. The CDC said the reaction – anaphylaxis – occurred in 2 to 5 people per million vaccinated. This reaction “almost always occurs” within a half hour of receiving a shot, and vaccination providers have medicine to immediately treat it, the CDC said.

Also, after investigating 15 cases of a rare clotting condition out of nearly 8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccinations, the CDC and Food and Drug Administration are warning of a suggested increased risk of the conditions, which occurred in women and resulted in three deaths as of April 21. The CDC said “women younger than 50 years old especially should be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination, and that other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk has not been seen.” For more, see “Q&A on the Rare Clotting Events That Caused the J&J Pause.” (As of May 24, the agencies had identified 32 total cases among more than 10.2 million J&J vaccines administered. There still have been three deaths, as of May 7, according to the CDC.)

The World Health Organization said the English version of its COVID-19 advice page for the public was updated on June 22 to reflect more recent interim recommendations that WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts released June 15.

Importantly, WHO’s updated guidance said that its advisory group “has concluded that the Pfizer/BionTech vaccine is suitable for use by people aged 12 years and above.”

As of June 25, the page stated:

WHO COVID-19 Vaccines Advice page, June 25: Children and adolescents tend to have milder disease compared to adults, so unless they are part of a group at higher risk of severe COVID-19, it is less urgent to vaccinate them than older people, those with chronic health conditions and health workers.

More evidence is needed on the use of the different COVID-19 vaccines in children to be able to make general recommendations on vaccinating children against COVID-19.

The WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) has concluded that the Pfizer/BionTech vaccine is suitable for use by people aged 12 years and above. Children aged between 12 and 15 who are at high risk may be offered this vaccine alongside other priority groups for vaccination. Vaccine trials for children are ongoing and WHO will update its recommendations when the evidence or epidemiological situation warrants a change in policy.

So, the WHO says the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine may be used for children 12 and up. And out of concern for countries where the vaccine supply is still very low — not concern about the safety of the vaccine — the WHO recommends the shots be prioritized for individuals age 12 to 15 who are at high risk for COVID-19, specifically.

But the WHO’s seven-day delay in posting the update caused confusion online.

Some social media posts falsely claimed that “WHO is now recommending that children DO NOT get the COVID-19 vaccine,” and that the WHO said “stop giving kids the vaxx immediately.”

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene also tweeted June 22, “The WHO says ‘children should not be vaccinated.'”

Such claims were based on outdated guidance that was still on the WHO’s English advice page before it was updated June 22.

As of at least June 21, that page said:

There is not yet enough evidence on the use of vaccines against COVID-19 in children to make recommendations for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Children and adolescents tend to have milder disease compared to adults. However, children should continue to have the recommended childhood vaccines.”

That led at least one website to misleadingly report: “The World Health Organization (WHO) published revised advice on June 21, 2021, clarifying which populations should receive COVID-19 vaccines. The WHO’s website now states, ‘Children should not be vaccinated for the moment.'”

That wasn’t new guidance, as that story suggested. That language had been used on the page since at least early April, according to archived versions of the page.

In North America, it wasn’t until May 5 that Canada authorized the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children 12 to 15 years of age. Then the U.S. Food and Drug Administration followed with its own expanded authorization of the vaccine for that age group on May 10. (Canada and the U.S. had previously authorized use of the vaccine for people 16 and older in December 2020.)

The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts met May 27 to propose recommendations to the WHO on the use of COVID-19 vaccines, and SAGE’s interim guidance on the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines was released June 15.

As it relates to vaccines for children, the guidance documents for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines advise against use for individuals under age 18, as more information on those vaccines’ safety and efficacy in children is still needed.

However, the guidance document for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, or BNT162b2, said:

WHO interim guidance on the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, June 15: For children and adolescents COVID-19 is rarely severe. Evidence suggests that adolescents, particularly older adolescents, are as likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 as adults. WHO recommends that countries should consider using BNT162b2 in children aged 12 to 15 only when high vaccine coverage with 2 doses has been achieved in the high priority groups as identified in the WHO Prioritization Roadmap.

Children 12-15 years of age with comorbidities that put them at significantly higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, alongside other high-risk groups, may be offered vaccination.

There are currently no efficacy or safety data for children below the age of 12 years. Until such data are available, individuals below 12 years of age should not be routinely vaccinated.

But those recommendations weren’t added to the WHO’s advice page until June 22, after social media posts based on the out-of-date guidance went viral.

So far, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the only COVID-19 immunization authorized for children 12 and older in the U.S., although Moderna completed a trial and submitted its application for this age group to the Food and Drug Administration on June 10. Both companies are conducting additional trials in younger children as well.

World Health Organization. COVID-19 advice for the public: Getting vaccinated. Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Archived 25 Jun 2021.

World Health Organization. COVID-19 advice for the public: Getting vaccinated. Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Archived 21 Jun 2021.

World Health Organization. COVID-19 advice for the public: Getting vaccinated. Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Archived 8 Apr 2021.

McClorey Hackett, Karen. “The WHO Says Children Should Not Receive COVID-19 Vaccines.” Precision Vaccinations. 21 Jun 2021.

World Health Organization. “Interim recommendations for use of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2, under Emergency Use Listing.” Interim guidance. 15 Jun

World Health Organization. “Interim recommendations for use of the Moderna mRNA-1273 vaccine against COVID-19.” Interim guidance. 15 Jun 2021.

World Health Organization. “Interim recommendations for the use of the Janssen Ad26.COV2.S (COVID-19) vaccine.” Interim guidance. 15 Jun 2021.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Key Things to Know about COVID-19 Vaccines. Cdc.gov. Accessed 25 Jun 2021.

Mass vaccination for Rio's Paquetá Island residents

AP Archive 28 June, 2021 - 09:00am

Some experts who had Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine are now getting extra shots of Pfizer or Moderna to try to protect against the Delta variant

Yahoo News 28 June, 2021 - 07:07am

They did it for extra protection against the fast-spreading Delta coronavirus variant, they said.

The FDA and CDC don't recommend getting an extra shot, after a J&J vaccine or otherwise.

See more stories on Insider's business page.

Some experts who got Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine are trying an extra shot of Moderna or Pfizer's vaccines to try to protect against the fast-spreading Delta coronavirus variant.

Officials have not recommended getting a booster shot after J&J's vaccine or any other vaccine, and two experts said everyone should wait for more data.

Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, said on Twitter Tuesday that she got the Pfizer vaccine to "top off" the J&J vaccine she received in April.

Rasmussen said that the rise of the Delta variant in the UK - where more than 95% of new infections are caused by Delta - showed the "crucial importance" of getting as many people vaccinated as possible.

Rasmussen said that we don't know whether an extra vaccine dose after a J&J shot boosts protection against variants, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or CDC haven't made any recommendations. But it was likely to work, given that boosters work for nearly every other vaccine in use, she said.

"We shouldn't wait to make recommendations about this," she said.

Rasmussen encouraged people who'd had J&J's shot, especially those living in communities with low vaccination rates, to speak with healthcare providers about getting an extra dose.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, said Wednesday that the Delta variant accounted for more than 20% of new infections in the US and was the "greatest threat" to the nation's efforts to eradicate COVID-19.

There's no data on how well J&J's vaccine works against the Delta variant. More than 9 million Americans have been given the single dose vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Read more: Experts explain why the mRNA tech that revolutionized COVID-19 vaccines could be the answer to incurable diseases, heart attacks, and even snake bites: 'The possibilities are endless'

Jason Gallagher, clinical professor in infectious diseases at Temple University's School of Pharmacy, told Reuters Monday that he got J&J's vaccine in a trial in November, and recently had a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine.

Gallagher said he was concerned about data that suggested a single shot of either Pfizer or AstraZeneca's vaccine was only 33% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 caused by the Delta variant. "So I took the plunge," he said.

Professor Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said in a tweet on Thursday that adding a second J&J dose, or an extra shot of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, could provide broader protection against variants, "but we need data and CDC-FDA guidance."

Dr. John Beigel, associate director for clinical research at the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), told Reuters Monday that J&J recipients should wait for more data.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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