March 23, 2023

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Booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine can stop the spread of Delta variants?

Booster shot (3rd dose) of COVID-19 vaccine can stop the spread of Delta variants?

Booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine can stop the spread of Delta variants?  The United States wants to fully launch the booster vaccination program, can it prevent the mutant strains?

It is still unclear whether young people and healthy people need a third shot. 

The United States is expected to fully launch the “COVID-19 vaccine booster vaccination” program for people over 18 years old in the week of September 20 to deal with the spread of mutant strains.

According to a joint statement by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other agencies, the first batch of booster vaccinations are mainly high-risk groups who received the first dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at the beginning of this year, including medical care. Personnel, residents of nursing homes, residents of long-term care institutions and other elderly people, etc. The booster shot should be completed about 8 months after the second dose.

President Biden, 78, said in an interview with ABC that he and the first lady received the first dose of the mRNA vaccine in December 2020, “it has exceeded the time limit. We will receive the third dose.”

Reuters quoted CDC data as saying that 59.9% of the US population had received at least one dose and 50.9% had been fully vaccinated. “But there are still millions of Americans who haven’t received a single shot. Many people around the world are still waiting for the vaccine to be available. In this way, the United States has launched a ‘strengthening plan’.”

It was also on the day when U.S. officials announced that the booster injection would be fully launched, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tan Desai again called for a moratorium on booster injections at a briefing, “Please supply the vaccine to other countries. Some countries cannot even provide medical care. People and high-risk groups are vaccinated. They are experiencing a severe peak in case growth.”

Booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine can stop the spread of Delta variants?
Photo caption: On August 14, local time, an elderly American woman with a chronic disease received a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at a pharmacy. /Reuters

The effectiveness of vaccines against infection is declining

Reuters and other media reported that the “Strengthening Needle Program” is an important node in the US COVID-19 vaccine strategy.

The United States fully opened on July 4. However, in the past month or so, the epidemic situation in the United States has risen instead of falling. The number of new cases per day rose from less than 10,000 in early July to a daily increase of more than 150,000 in August.

Also rising is the number of hospitalizations. In the past week, there were an average of 11,000 new hospitalized patients in the United States every day. CNN reported that according to this growth rate, the United States may create a new high in the number of hospitalizations for the COVID-19 within a month.

In the face of increasingly severe data, the CDC issued an appeal to “put back the mask you removed.”

“Over time, the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing symptomatic infections has declined. This may be related to the decline in antibody levels and the spread of variant strains.” Vivek Mersey, a member of the US COVID-19 Epidemic Task Force and a surgeon, told the media, “We are worried that this decline pattern will continue for several months and may even affect the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing severe illness, reducing hospitalizations and deaths.”

In the aforementioned joint statement, the CDC announced the results of three studies to support the necessity of booster vaccination. One of the studies of 15,000 nursing home residents showed that the effective rate of the COVID-19 vaccine to prevent infection was 74% in March, April, and May, and fell to 53% in June and July.

In addition, as highly infectious delta variants became the main epidemic strain, CDC cited Israeli data as saying that the effectiveness of vaccines against delta infections decreased from approximately 95% in June to 64% in July.

At present, the FDA and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization (ACIP) are reviewing the research data of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine booster to evaluate its safety and effectiveness. ACIP will make recommendations based on relevant evidence. After obtaining the approval of the FDA, the comprehensive vaccination booster injection will be officially launched.

Also approved for emergency marketing in the United States is the single-dose adenovirus COVID-19 vaccine. The US FDA and others said that it is expected to see more research data in the next few weeks, and then decide whether and when the relevant vaccinators will receive booster shots.

Regarding whether the COVID-19 vaccine will be repeatedly vaccinated like the flu in the future, Rochelle Valensky, director of the US CDC, told the National Broadcasting Corporation that it is not clear. “We know we need to strengthen now… but I don’t think we will continue to do so.”

“Comprehensively strengthened” is still lacking of evidence

Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the White House, said: “The key lesson we learned from the new coronavirus is to transcend it, not run after it.”

Based on this “pre-deployment” concept, in early August, the US FDA approved and allowed people with low immunity to be vaccinated with booster shots, including cancer patients and organ transplant recipients. In addition, Israel, the United Kingdom, France, etc. have successively given booster injections to people over 50 years of age and weakened immune systems.

“However, based on the available data, it is not clear whether young and healthy people are also at risk of reduced vaccine efficacy, especially in terms of preventing severe illness and reducing hospitalization and deaths of these people.” The European Medicines Agency official said on the 18th that the current view , There is no need to carry out “intensified injections” in a wide range of people.

Indian virologist and professor at Vellore Christian College of Medicine, Gagan Depu Kang believes that booster needles are not “reassurance pills.” There are many questions to be answered. For example, the optimal dose of booster needles is unknown, and it is not clear whether more antibodies are equal to higher ones. Protection, whether it will increase adverse reactions.

Reuters said that the comprehensive promotion of “intensified vaccination” may arouse “vaccination hesitation.” “Some people have doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccine. Now they are even more reluctant to fight.”

Vaccines are still insufficient in developing countries

The WHO publicly opposed the strengthening of the needle plan.

Mike Lane, the executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, said: “This is a plan to send another “life jacket” to people who already have a “life jacket”, but let other people drown without a “life jacket”. die.”

Recently, the WHO convened 2,000 experts from around the world to debate the existing data on vaccine boosters. Sumia Swaminathan, WHO’s chief scientist, pointed out that the available evidence does not indicate that everyone should be vaccinated with booster shots. She warned that if billions of people in developing countries are not vaccinated in time, it may cause “more terrible problems.”

Cornell University professor and epidemiologist Isaac Weissfors believes: “The world may be in an awkward situation: Europe and the United States are getting more and more booster shots, and those countries and regions that do not have vaccines hatch more, A more dangerous mutant strain.”

Dan McQuellen, the president-elect of the American Academy of Infectious Diseases, told Reuters that more important than boosters is to vaccinate everyone as soon as possible.

Tan Desai said: “Vaccine unfairness is a pity for all mankind. If we do not solve this problem together, we will prolong the severe epidemic stage to several years. It might have ended in a few months.” “At least until the end of September, the booster shot will be suspended globally so that low-income countries can get more first doses of vaccine.”

In response, White House officials stated that the United States has donated 115 million doses of vaccine to 80 countries and regions. This is more than the sum of donations from all other countries. The United States has enough vaccines to inject booster shots for its citizens.

Jeffrey Zienz, the White House epidemic response coordinator, pointed out that the government is still committed to persuading more people to get the first dose. For example, it will be mandatory for nursing homes to vaccinate staff in order to continue receiving federal funds. “This pandemic still mainly targets people who have not been vaccinated.”

(source:internet, reference only)

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