J&J Proves A Good Booster Choice For Pfizer Shot Recipients In Study
This is according to a small study from Boston, which looked at protection given by a J&J booster shot after getting two Pfizer shots originally. Separate news says covid shots give cancer patients good protection and that Pfizer may have a shot for under-5s ready soon.
The New York Times:
J.&Amp;J. Booster Works Well For People Who Had Pfizer Originally, Study Finds.
People who received Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines may get as much benefit from a Johnson & Johnson booster shot as a Pfizer one. That’s the finding of a small study released on Sunday. Researchers at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston studied 65 people who had received two shots of the Pfizer vaccine. Six months after the second dose, the researchers gave 24 of the volunteers a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine and gave 41 the Johnson & Johnson shot. (The study was funded in part by Johnson & Johnson and has not yet been published in a scientific journal.) (Zimmer, 12/5)
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Works Well As Mix-And-Match Booster, Study Finds
A new study found that the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine serves as an effective booster on top of full vaccination from the Pfizer vaccine. A J&J booster, administered six months after two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, increased antibody and T-cell responses, according to the study, demonstrating potential benefits of mix-and-match boosters. “There is early evidence to suggest that a mix-and-match boosting approach may provide individuals with different immune responses against COVID-19 than a homologous boosting approach,” said Dan Barouch, director of the center for virology and vaccine research at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. (Tebor and Bacon, 12/6)
In other vaccine development updates —
COVID Vaccine Affords Cancer Patients Good Protection Against Infection
A US Veterans Affairs (VA) study finds that the COVID-19 vaccine offered good protection against infection starting 2 weeks after the second dose in cancer patients, who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19.The retrospective nationwide study, published yesterday in JAMA Oncology, involved 29,152 vaccinated patients who received systemic cancer therapy at VA sites from Aug 15, 2010, to May 4, 2021. (12/3)
Pfizer Could Have Vaccine Data For Children Under Five By End Of 2021, CEO Says
Pfizer could have data on COVID-19 vaccine efficacy for children under five by the end of the year, CEO Albert Bourla said on Friday in an interview with NBC News. Omicron has raised concerns that young children are becoming more vulnerable to the virus. Tshwane, the epicenter of South Africa's Omicron outbreak, has seen a high number of hospital admissions for children under two in the last few weeks, though scientists have not confirmed a link to the variant, Reuters reports. (Chen, 12/4)
And more on the vaccine rollout —
The Washington Post:
The Most-Vaccinated Big Counties In America Are Beating The Worst Of The Coronavirus
About 1 in 420 Americans has died of covid-19, according to official data. And we’re still averaging more than 1,000 deaths per day. But in certain areas — and indeed in many areas in which the population is much more tightly packed and the coronavirus could transmit more easily — the story is far less grim. A big reason: widespread vaccination. Death rates are far below the national average in the most-vaccinated, often-urban areas. (Blake, 12/4)
US Drugstores Squeezed By Vaccine Demand, Staff Shortages
A rush of vaccine-seeking customers and staff shortages are squeezing drugstores around the U.S., leading to frazzled workers and temporary pharmacy closures. Drugstores are normally busy this time of year with flu shots and other vaccines, but now pharmacists are doling out a growing number of COVID-19 shots and giving coronavirus tests. The push for shots is expected to grow more intense as President Joe Biden urges vaccinated Americans to get booster shots to combat the emerging omicron variant. The White House said Thursday that more than two in three COVID-19 vaccinations are happening at local pharmacies. (Murphy, 12/4)
The Washington Post:
Walgreens Cancels Covid Vaccine Appointments For Kids Without Notice, Angering Parents
Dania Palanker and her 7-year-old daughter, Nadia, felt excited as they bundled into the car in Washington last week to get Nadia’s coronavirus vaccine. The evening before, Palanker received an automated email from Walgreens confirming Nadia’s appointment at the chain’s outlet in Cheverly, Md. “We’ll see you tomorrow!” read the subject line. Their anticipation turned to disappointment once they arrived for the 6:30 p.m. shot. The store was still open, but the pharmacists had left, the pharmacy counter was closed and no one could provide vaccines. The pharmacy shuttered a half-hour before Nadia’s confirmed appointment, part of service cutbacks by Walgreens caused by a labor shortage hitting drugstores across the country. (Rowland, 12/5)
Is It Time To Change The Definition Of ‘Fully Vaccinated’?
As more indoor venues require proof of vaccination for entrance and with winter — as well as omicron, a new covid variant — looming, scientists and public health officials are debating when it will be time to change the definition of “fully vaccinated” to include a booster shot. It’s been more than six months since many Americans finished their vaccination course against covid; statistically, their immunity is waning. (Knight, 12/3)