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UK recommends Covid-19 booster doses for seniors and high-risk people

A healthcare professional composes a dose of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen, Wales on April 7, 2021.

A healthcare professional composes a dose of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen, Wales on April 7, 2021.
Photo: Jacob King (Getty Images)

New data from the UK show that some vaccinated people, especially the elderly, have experienced greater loss of protection from COVID-19 symptoms and serious illness over time than the general population. The findings were sufficient for the country’s vaccine experts. recommend booster shots for high-risk groupsincluding all adults over 50 years of age.

On Tuesday, the United Kingdom’s Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunizations (JCVI) released their updated guidance on booster doses. Their verdict was based on a recent analysis real-worldwide case data from Public Health England.

Both good and bad news could be found in the analysis. People aged 40 to 65 who received the Pfizer / BioNTech or AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine appeared to experience only a modest decrease in protection against symptomatic diseases, for example after six months (for Pfizer it remained about 75%). But the drop was more significant for people over 65: Pfizer’s vaccine efficacy dropped from 80% shortly after the second dose to 55% at six years.month mark.

The same is true for serious illness. Pfizer Vaccine Remained Highly Effective in Preventing Hospitalization in People of All Age – Over 92% –but by sixmonth mark. However, given age, the attenuation effect was very small or absent for middle-aged people who received the Pfizer vaccine, but it was more for those over 65 and the largest for people over 80 years old. The analysis also took into account the underlying health condition. and found that the decline in protection was much more pronounced for the poorer elderly, with 71% efficacy against hospitalization for these people. For those who received the AstraZeneca shot, the overall attenuation effect was greater, although there was a wide range of estimates of how much he fell after six months.

There was no data for the last three to four months for people under 40 who only later became eligible for the program.e vaccine this year. Likewise, the Moderna vaccine was approved in the UK in January.but doses were not available until mid-April. So there is less long-term dataa, available to any group, but overall protection remained high after three to four months for the younger vaccinated people as well as those receiving Moderna.

“We saw a limited decrease in the effectiveness of the vaccine against hospitalization and death more than 20 weeks after vaccination. [the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccine]”, – wrote the authors in their article, now accessible as a preprint. “The deterioration was greater in the elderly and those at clinical risk, suggesting that these people should be prioritized for booster doses.”

JCVI has confirmed that vaccines continue to provide reliable protection against serious illness and death. But to “maintain this high level of protection throughout the coming winter,” experts advised giving booster shots to those at greater risk of serious illness, as well as groups that received the earliest vaccinations… This will include residents of nursing homes, people over 50, healthcare and social workers living with immunocompromised people, and young people with medical conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 infection. And boosters will be recommended no later than six months after the second shot, preferably with mRNA vaccine.

The UK has now joined nine other countries that recommend boosters for at least some residents, the Financial Times reported. reported Wednesday. This list includes the United States, although it is unclear how it is the strategy will be successful. Earlier, the White House announced by September 20, boosters will be authorized for the first groups of vaccinated. and then for everyone else eight months after the second dose. But some kind of government and outside scientists questioning whether boosters are needed for everyone presently and instead insisted on a more gradual introduction, starting with those most vulnerable to serious illness.

New data from the UK, together with some data from the US, does seem to suggest that immunosuppression may be a more serious problem for people at high risk and older adults than for the general population. But there are other wrinkles here too too. The UK soon shifted to roll out the vaccine. dosing strategy, site selection doses of vaccine for eight up to 12 weeks, while other countries adhered to three-weekly interval including USA and Israel. And according to the JCVI, there is some evidence that longer wait times between doses may have allowed immunity to remain more robust in these UK residents than in those on a shorter vaccination schedule.

Other experts, such as Anthony Fauci, the current chief medical adviser to President Biden, have disagree with recent criticism White House plan, arguing that data from Israel and elsewhere do indicate the need for ubiquitous accelerators sooner rather than later. At least in Israel, there is already evidence that boosters have restored a significant level of immunity to infections and serious illnesses, at least temporarily.

All eyes will be on meeting this friday FDA Vaccine Advisory Committee, where outside experts will discuss revaccination and all related data. While their recommendations are not binding, they can affect the FDA. and CDC solutions on accelerators.


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