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Mix n' Match COVID Vaccine Strategy Works Well: Study

Mixing and matching different types of COVID-19 vaccines is highly effective, new research shows.

The study found that protection against infection was stronger in people who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and a second dose of an mRNA vaccine than in those who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is a vector-based vaccine, while th...

Two-Thirds of Parents of Kids Ages 5-11 Plan to Get Them Vaccinated Against COVID: Poll

In some heartening news on the vaccine front, two-thirds of American parents of children ages 5 to 11 plan to get their youngsters vaccinated when COVID-19 shots are approved for that age group, a new survey shows.

"While we're encouraged to see that a majority of parents intend to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 once they are eligible, there is clearly more work to be done to h...

Another Study Finds Pfizer, Moderna Shots Effective Against COVID Variants

The Moderna and Pfizer COVID vaccines protect against a number of coronavirus variants, including highly contagious Delta, another study confirms.

The findings come as breakthrough infections in vaccinated people raise questions about the vaccines' ability to protect against emerging variants.

The shots do "induce high levels of antibodies against Delta and most variants," said stud...

WHO Approves First Malaria Vaccine, a Lifesaver for Children Worldwide

The first vaccine to protect against malaria has been endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and could prevent the deaths of tens of thousands of children a year.

Malaria kills about half a million people worldwide annually. Nearly all of those deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and include 260,000 children under the age of 5, The New York Times reported.


Pfizer Vaccine 90% Effective Against Severe COVID-19 for at Least 6 Months: Study

Full vaccination with the two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been 90% effective in protecting against hospitalization for at least six months, a new study shows.

That includes the time during which the highly contagious Delta variant has been circulating in the United States.

For the study, researchers analyzed Kaiser Permanente Southern California data on more than 3.4 mil...

CDC Pushes Hard on Vaccination for Pregnant Women in New Advisory

The country's leading health agency on Wednesday implored all Americans who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant to get a coronavirus vaccine.

COVID-19 poses a serious risk to women who are expecting, since they are vulnerable because of pregnancy's dampening effect on their immune system, experts say.

But less than one-third of pregnant women have received cor...

Side Effects of Pfizer Booster Shots Similar to First Two Doses

As millions of Americans sign up to get their Pfizer booster shot, a new government report delivers reassuring news about its expected side effects.

The study, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, evaluated the experiences of individuals who were able to get third doses starting in mid-August because they had compromised immune systems. In those cas...

You Think You Had COVID Before: Are You Really Immune Now?

It seems like common sense for people who've had COVID-19 to think they now have natural immunity, and therefore don't have to bother getting vaccinated.

Common sense, yes, but also incorrect, infectious disease doctors say.

Your case of COVID — especially if it was very mild — probably didn't create enough of an immune response to provide lasting protection against SARS-CoV-2, ...

Antibodies to Early Strains of COVID May Not Fight New Variants: Study

Antibodies from current COVID-19 vaccines don't bind well to the new variants of the virus, a study finds.

Researchers collected data from previously published papers about the sequence of antibodies produced by the vaccines. They focused on antibodies against the spike protein, a part of the virus that binds to receptors on human cells to infect them. It's the target of most vaccines.

White House Offers Nicki Minaj a Call After She Balks on COVID Vaccine

The White House has reached out to rapper Nicki Minaj over her concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine, which she said had caused swollen testicles in a friend of her cousin in Trinidad.

A White House official said Minaj was offered a call with a doctor to address her questions about the vaccine, after her message went viral on Twitter, various outlets report.

Minaj said

  • Dennis Thompson
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  • September 16, 2021
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  • Even When Undergoing Treatment, People With MS Gain From COVID Vaccines

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients undergoing a treatment that depletes a type of immune cell that fuels MS attacks still have a strong response to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, a new study finds.

    "The message from this study is clear — it is worthwhile for patients with MS receiving [anti-CD20] treatment to get a COVID-19 vaccine, which will prevent severe illness," said researcher E. John Whe...

    Is a Combo COVID/Flu Shot on the Way?

    During the next few weeks or months, you might find yourself dropping by the doctor's office or pharmacy to get your annual flu shot along with a dose of COVID vaccine.

    Unfortunately, you'll have to get two individual jabs. Though at least two drug companies are working on a combo flu/COVID booster, the single-dose shot won't be ready for this flu season.

    But rest assured that it's ...

    Ebola Vaccine Effective in African Clinical Trial

    An experimental Ebola vaccine appeared effective in children and adults in a clinical trial.

    Two doses of Johnson & Johnson's Ebola vaccine appear safe, well tolerated and produce a strong immune response in people over the age of 1, according to two just-published papers.


    Data Doesn't Support Need for COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters: Experts

    COVID-19 vaccine booster shots might not be needed for most people, according to a large international review.

    The review -- conducted by a team that included scientists from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration -- concluded that current vaccines are effective enough against severe COVID-19, even from the Delta variant, and that booster shots are unnece...

    Death From COVID 11 Times More Likely If You're Unvaccinated: Study

    There's more sobering news for anyone still unvaccinated against the new coronavirus: Your odds of dying from COVID-19 are 11-fold higher than someone who's fully immunized, new research shows.

    The data comes from one of three studies published Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    "Looking at cases over the past two months when the Delta variant was the pre...

    COVAX Cuts Global COVID Vaccine Supply Estimates By a Quarter

    Fewer COVID-19 vaccine doses than expected will be available through the global COVAX program, affecting many less-affluent nations waiting on these doses.

    The United Nations forecast last week that it would have about 25% fewer vaccines to distribute through COVAX this year — 1.4 billion compared to an earlier projection for 1.9 billion doses,

  • Cara Murez
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  • September 13, 2021
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  • Vaccinated Have 1 in 13,000 Chance of Breakthrough Case Needing Hospitalization

    With tens of millions of Americans now vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of August, so-called "breakthrough" cases are bound to occur. But there's reassuring news from new data: Most such cases are mild and those leading to hospitalization are exceedingly rare.

    Overall, the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that as of Aug. 30, there have been...

    Getting Your First COVID Shot Can Boost Mental Health: Study

    When you got your first COVID-19 jab, did you breathe a sigh of relief? If so, you're not alone.

    U.S. adults who got the vaccine between December 2020 and March 2021 experienced a 4% reduction in their risk of being mildly depressed and a 15% drop in their risk of severe depression, researchers reported Sept. 8 in the journal PLOS ONE.

    "People who got vaccinated experienced a reduct...

    In Cancer Patients, COVID Vaccine Immunity at 6 Months Is Similar to General Population

    Cancer patients who get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine appear to maintain the same levels of antibodies as people without cancer, Israeli researchers report.

    They compared the rate of COVID infections after the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine (Comirnaty) among 154 patients with solid tumors with that of 135 patients without cancer.

    In all, 79% of the cancer patients had antibodies --...

    Which Cancer Patients Need a COVID Booster Shot Most?

    An alliance of leading U.S. cancer centers has updated guidance about COVID-19 vaccine boosters for cancer patients and the people around them.

    The National Comprehensive Cancer Network's new recommendations are intended for health care providers.

    "COVID-19 can be very dangerous, especially for people living with cancer, which is why we're so grateful for safe and effective vaccines...

    Top Federal Health Officials Ask White House to Scale Back on COVID Boosters

    Top U.S. health officials have reportedly warned the White House to curtail its plans to offer COVID-19 booster shots to Americans later this month.

    Leaders of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both told White House pandemic coordinator Jeffrey Zients in a meeting Tuesday that their agencies will not be able to fully assess the n...

    Few Symptoms After Your COVID Shot? Don't Worry, You Still Got Immune Boost

    Just because you didn't have a significant reaction after your COVID-19 shot doesn't mean it's not working, researchers say.

    "It wasn't known if a lack of symptoms following vaccination or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection would indicate a less-than-adequate antibody response in people who received either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, so we studied an available group of staff from our...

    COVID-19 Vaccines Boost Antibodies, Even in People With Weak Immune Systems

    COVID-19 vaccines trigger antibody production in most people who have weakened immune systems, but a new study reveals that their responses are weaker than in healthy people.

    "Some of our patients have been hesitant about getting vaccinated, which is unfortunate because they are at increased risk of having more severe cases of COVID-19 if they happen to get infected, compared to those not...

    Monoclonal Antibody Treatments for COVID-19: An Expert Explains

    Monoclonal antibody infusions can help prevent severe COVID-19, but the best protection is to get vaccinated, experts say.

    Antibodies are made by the immune system to fight infections.

    "The problem is that our immune system takes two to three weeks to make good antibodies," said Dr. Turner Overton, co-director of the Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic at the University of Alabama at Bi...

    Pentagon Says Troops Must Start Lining Up Now for COVID Shots

    Unvaccinated U.S. troops must immediately start getting COVID-19 vaccines, says a memo issued Tuesday by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

    The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which recently received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will be added to the list of required shots for U.S. troops. They'll be able to get their shots at their bases and from their commands worldwid...

    Study Gives Hope for 'Dream' Vaccine Against All COVID Variants

    A multi-purpose vaccine that would protect humans against any future COVID-19 variants could one day be possible, a new study suggests.

    The key to it all lies in a coronavirus scare that happened nearly two decades ago.

    People previously infected with SARS -- the original coronavirus pandemic from 2003 -- produced an incredibly powerful immune response when given the Pfizer COVID-19...

    Delta Variant Has Americans' Stress Levels Rising Again: Poll

    As coronavirus cases spike in the United States due to the highly contagious Delta variant, a new poll finds Americans' anxiety about COVID-19 at its highest since January.

    "I wouldn't have said this a couple of years ago, but I'm not as confident as I was in America's ability to take care of itself," David Bowers, 42, a Peoria, Ariz., Democrat told the Associated Press, adding: ...

    Pregnant Women Show No Worse Symptoms After COVID Vaccines

    If you're pregnant and worried that getting a COVID-19 vaccine might trigger severe side effects, you can relax.

    New research shows that pregnant women and new mothers don't suffer more reactions after a shot than other women do.

    "Pregnant people do well with the vaccine," said lead study author Dr. Alisa Kachikis, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the ...

    Even Delta Variant Can't Evade Vaccine-Linked Antibodies: Study

    Antibodies generated by COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the Delta variant and other coronavirus variants of concern, new research shows.

    The findings may help explain why most vaccinated people have avoided the surge of Delta variant cases sweeping across the United States.

    "In face of...

    4 Out of 10 Parents Have No Plans to Get Child Vaccinated for School: Poll

    Almost 90% of U.S. parents plan to send their kids back to the classroom this fall, but fewer than 60% plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine for those who are old enough, a new poll reveals.

    Anxiety is also high among many parents, who wonder just how safe in-person learning will be as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads nationwide and the pandemic grinds on.

    "To feel safe sending ...

    COVID Booster Shots for All Americans, Starting Sept. 20

    After concluding that a third dose of a coronavirus vaccine is needed to fight off waning immunity in the fully vaccinated, the Biden administration said Wednesday it will begin offering booster shots to all Americans starting Sept. 20.

    The plan, which only involves the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at this point, calls for Americans to get a booster shot eight months after their second dos...

    COVID Vaccines Offer Good Protection for People Living With HIV

    COVID-19 vaccination triggers a strong immune response in people with HIV, meaning they're likely protected against the coronavirus, a new, small study shows.

    "Previous research has suggested a suboptimal response to COVID-19 vaccines in people living with HIV; however, these studies did not fully characterize and define that response, both for cellular [where the immune system directly a...

    FDA OKs Third COVID Shot for Vulnerable Americans

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized a third "booster" shot of coronavirus vaccines for people with weakened immune systems, as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to surge across the country.

    Expanding the emergency use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines should help protect those patients who are considered most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. The auth...

    FDA to OK COVID Booster Shots for Vulnerable Americans

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans on Thursday to authorize a third "booster" shot of coronavirus vaccine for people with weakened immune systems, as the highly contagious Delta variant surges across the country.

    Expanding the emergency use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines should help protect those patients who are considered most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and most likel...

    Third Vaccine Dose Can Help Shield Transplant Patients From COVID

    A third dose of a two-shot COVID vaccine significantly boosts transplant patients' protection against SARS-CoV-2, according to a new study.

    "We knew from previous studies that two doses were not enough to produce a good immune response against COVID-19 in transplant patients," said study co-senior author Dr. Deepali Kumar. She is director of transplant infectious diseases at the Universit...

    Pfizer Shot May Help Fight COVID Variants in People Previously Infected

    A small, early study suggests that people who've already encountered SARS-CoV-2 may gain a big boost against COVID-19 if they get just one dose of the Pfizer vaccine -- and that protection may extend to new viral variants.

    The study "supports the notion that vaccine effectiveness, even against emerging neutralization-resistant [variants], may be improved following an additional vaccine bo...

    Could COVID Be Eradicated Someday? Maybe, Experts Say

    Could COVID-19 one day go the way of smallpox and polio?

    New research suggests it might be possible to beat the coronavirus with high vaccination rates and rapid responses to immunity-evading variants, the study authors said.

    "While our analysis is a preliminary effort, with various subjective components, it does seem to put COVID-19 eradicability into the realms of being possi...

    The Delta Variant & the Vaccinated: One Expert's Take on the Data

    News that the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 can be picked up and spread by vaccinated folks has sparked confusion and concern, and an infectious disease expert wants to clarify.

    These worries follow a recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that urged even vaccinated folks to wear masks indoors in areas with substantial or high rates of COVID-19...

    Easy Steps to Get Your Child Ready for the COVID-19 Vaccine

    Vaccination is the best way parents can protect the health of kids 12 and older during the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.

    AAP offers a checklist to prepare older kids and teens for the shot.

    To begin, tell their health care provider you're planning to have your child vaccinated against COVID. Ask questions and outline any concerns.

    Your child ...

    COVID Antibodies Stable 7 Months After Infection: Study

    Antibody levels remain stable or even rise seven months after infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, European researchers report.

    The study from Spain also found that preexisting antibodies against coronaviruses that cause the common cold may also protect against COVID-19.

    Researchers analyzed blood samples collected from 578 health care workers at a Barcelona hospital four times betw...

    One Dose of Pfizer Vaccine May Be Enough for Folks Who've Had COVID

    I think I've had COVID-19 already, so do I really need two doses of vaccine?

    It's a question millions of people around the world are asking, and now a small, new study finds that people who know they were infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the past may need only one shot of the Pfizer vaccine to gain strong immunity.

    In fact, "we observed higher SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels in previously in...

    How the Delta Variant Is Changing the U.S. Forecast for COVID-19

    COVID-19 vaccines are helping protect the unvaccinated as the new Delta strain surges across the United States, but experts say its high infectiousness could mean even more people need to take the jab to achieve true herd immunity.

    Tracking data shows COVID cases aren't spiking as much in places with high vaccination rates as they are in places that are under-vaccinated, said Dr. Ricardo ...

    Use Facebook a Lot? You're More Likely to Be Unvaccinated

    Americans who get their COVID-19 news and information solely from Facebook have much lower vaccination rates than the general population.

    That's the takeaway from a new survey of nearly 20,700 people across the United States. The researchers asked them in June which of six sources they use for COVID-19 news and info. The six included: Facebook, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, the Biden administrati...

    Survey Finds U.S. Parents Split on COVID Vaccination for Kids Under 12

    As a new school year approaches, U.S. parents are nearly evenly split on whether they'll vaccinate their young kids when a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for their age group, a new survey finds.

    "It's important that parents and providers don't wait for full COVID vaccine approval to begin discussions about vaccination," said Sarah Clark, co-director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital Nati...

    Secret Weapon: Why the 2nd Dose of Pfizer Vaccine Is So Crucial

    It takes two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to "wake up" cells that play a very important role in the body's immune response, with the second dose increasing their numbers 100-fold, according to new research.

    The Stanford University study may help explain why getting the second dose of mRNA vaccines, such as the Pfizer or Moderna shots, is so crucial to building a strong im...

    CDC Advisors to Discuss 3rd COVID Vaccine Dose for Immunocompromised

    Giving a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines to adults with weakened immune systems -- the immunocompromised -- will be up for discussion during a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel meeting next week.

    At the meeting scheduled for July 22, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will focus on the 2% to 4% of U.S. adults with weakened immune systems. These i...

    COVID Antibodies From Vaccination Are Almost 3 Times Higher Than From Infection

    People who've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 have a much stronger immune system response against the new coronavirus than those who've previously been infected, according to a new study.

    "Vaccinated individuals had the highest antibody levels, nearly three times higher than that of convalescent individuals recovering from symptomatic COVID-19," an Israeli team reported.


    Inhaled COVID Vaccine Shows Promise in Animal Trials

    Breathing in protection: Scientists say an experimental inhaled COVID-19 vaccine shows promise in animal tests.

    "The currently available vaccines against COVID-19 are very successful, but the majority of the world's population is still unvaccinated and there is a critical need for more vaccines that are easy to use and effective at stopping disease and transmission," said study co-leader ...

    She Got Her Shots and Is Helping Other Seniors Rejoin Society

    Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Sandra Banner was an active octogenarian. She enjoyed going to movies, traveling from her Palm Desert, Calif., home to Los Angeles for Dodgers baseball games and having friends over for happy hours.

    Early on, she avoided isolation by teaching outdoor tai chi classes and staying engaged online, but once she was fully vaccinated, Banner, 85, was ready to get ba...

    Black Churches Could Be Key to Boosting Vaccination Rates

    Black churches could prove crucial in improving COVID-19 vaccination rates among Black Americans, a new study suggests.

    The COVID-19 death rate among Black Americans is three times higher than among white Americans, and health officials had hoped that vaccines would narrow that gap.

    However, Black communities are disproportionately affected by barriers to vaccination, such as limite...