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Repeat COVID Vaccination Could Shield Against Wide Range of Viruses

Powerful COVID vaccines could be setting people's immune systems up to successfully fight off not just future COVID variants, but other types of coronaviruses as well, a new study shows.

People repeatedly vaccinated for COVID -- the initial shots, followed by boosters and updated vaccines -- generate...

Pandemic Didn't Lower Parents' Trust in Childhood Vaccines

Lots of vaccine disinformation spread during the pandemic, and doctors worried that may have given some parents pause about not only the risks of the COVID shot, but of childhood vaccines as well.

Now, new research puts that worry to rest.

"We did not see a significant increase in parents who are hesitant toward routine childhood vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to bef...

Anti-Vax Trend May Harm Pet Dogs, With Half of Owners Against Immunization

Some people mistrust the safety and effectiveness of human vaccines for COVID-19 and other diseases, a fact that became abundantly clear during the pandemic.

Now, a new survey of 2,200 dog owners shows this mistrust may often extend to canine vaccinations.

The finding suggests there is spillover between the issues, with those who have negative feelings about human vaccines more lik...

Does Prior Omicron Infection Shield Against Future Infection? Maybe Not

People may assume that a COVID-19 infection protects them the next time they encounter the virus, but that's not necessarily true.

A new study of 750 vaccinated seniors living in retirement homes and long-term care facilities found that those infected during the first omicron wave were actually more vulnerable to reinfection with a later wave.

"This research highlights the need for...

Got Smallpox Vaccine as a Child? You're Probably Immune to Mpox

Smallpox vaccines, which were routinely given into the 1970s, seem to provide protection from mpox, a new study says.

The mpox virus, responsible for a worldwide outbreak last year, could surge again this summer, public health experts have warned. It was previously called monkeypox.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden wondered whether the smallpox vaccine would offer ...

FDA Panel Backs First RSV Vaccine Given in Pregnancy to Protect Infants

The first vaccine designed to protect infants against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by vaccinating their mothers during pregnancy has been backed by a panel of advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

On Thursday the independent committee of experts voted unanimously that the Pfizer-made vaccine was effective, and 10-4 that there was adequate data on safety to move the vacci...

FDA Panel to Vote on First RSV Vaccine Given in Pregnancy to Protect Infants

The first RSV vaccine designed to protect infants is under consideration by a panel of advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

An independent committee of experts will vote Thursday on whether to recommend the shot for pregnant mothers at 24 to 36 weeks gestation.

"Before the pandemic, RSV was the No. 1 cause of infant hospitalization in the United States, so this is...

Severe Obesity Could Mean Faster Decline of Immunity From COVID Shot

Severely obese people may need more frequent COVID-19 booster shots to keep their immunity going, new research suggests.

Protection from the shots declines more rapidly in those who are severely obese compared to those at a normal weight, according to scientists at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh in the United Kingdom.

"Because of the high prevalence of obesity across ...

'Muted' Immune Response May Explain Why COVID Is Tougher for Obese People

Obesity is a well-known risk factor for severe COVID-19, and researchers think they've uncovered a possible reason why.

Obese folks appear to have a blunted inflammatory response to COVID, leaving their immune systems less capable of fighting it, according to a recent study.

The findings were a surprise to researchers, given that severe COVID often has been tied to an overactive imm...

A Good Night's Sleep Could Give Your Vaccine a Boost

It may be possible to nudge your vaccine to work a little better. The trick is a good night's sleep.

Sleep helps the immune system respond to vaccination, according to a new meta-analysis of past research, published March 13 in Current Biology.

In it, researchers found that people who slept fewer than six hours per night produced significantly fewer antibodies than people w...

Strong Side Effects From Your COVID Shot? That Could Be a Good Thing

Side effects from a COVID-19 vaccination might have made you feel poorly for a day or two, but that may have come with an extra benefit.

A new study of health care workers finds a link between stronger side effects and a longer-lasting vaccine.

In addition, those who had a COVID-19 infection prior to their vaccination also had a more powerful immune response, according to researche...

Prior COVID Infection Brings Strong, Long-Lasting Immunity: Study

Natural immunity acquired from a COVID infection provides strong and lasting protection against severe illness if a person becomes reinfected, a new evidence review has concluded.

Ten months after a COVID infection, protection against hospitalization and death remains at 89% for Omicron and 90% for earlier variants, according to pooled data from 65 studies conducted in 19 countries.

Two Vaccines May Soon Shield Seniors Against RSV

Older people have vaccines available to prevent severe influenza and COVID-19, but there's been nothing to protect against the third respiratory virus that contributed to this season's wretched "triple-demic."

Until now.

Two major pharmaceutical companies published clinical trial results this week that pave the way for an RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) vaccine to be available for...

How Worried Should the World Be About Bird Flu in Humans?

A highly infectious strain of avian influenza is tearing through commercial and backyard poultry flocks, causing egg prices to rise as sick chickens are culled across the United States.

Now, some experts are worried that the H5N1 avian flu might become humankind's next pandemic-causing pathogen, if the raging virus makes the leap from birds to humans.

That's because other mammals ha...

In a First, COVID Vaccine Is Added to Adult Immunization Schedule

For the first time, COVID-19 vaccines have been added to the list of routine immunizations recommended for adults -- a further sign the virus is here to stay.

The addition is being made to the 2023 Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule, released Thursday by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP), an expert panel that advises the U.S. federal government on vaccination rec...

Flu Shot Could Be a Lifesaver for Folks With Chronic Ills

The U.S. flu season is expected to extend into spring, and experts say it's not too late to get a flu shot.

Last year's flu season was mild, but this season has already seen triple the number of flu-related deaths in the United States.

"Even a minor respiratory virus can be hard on someone with lung disease, and the flu is especially challenging,"said

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 8, 2023
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  • Knowing Someone Who's Been Ill or Died of COVID Pushes Folks to Get Vaccine: Study

    A new study shows the importance of the messenger when trying to encourage people to get their COVID-19 vaccines.

    People who know someone who was sickened by the virus or who died from it were twice as likely to get their own vaccinations, researchers report.

    "This study shows that the messenger matters more than the message: Hearing about the experiences of a trusted person, such...

    Yes, Kids Ward Off COVID More Easily. But Their Immune System Pays a Price

    Children's amped-up immune systems allow them to beat back COVID-19 easily, producing a strong initial response that quickly slaps away the virus.

    But there might be a price to be paid for that sharp reaction, a new study from Australia says.

    Because the initia...

    Vaccinated Moms' Breast Milk Could Protect Baby From COVID

    Infants too young to be vaccinated for COVID-19 get some protection from their mothers' breast milk, researchers say.

    The new study follows up on findings published in 2021 that showed the breast milk of vaccinated people contained antibodies against the COVID-19 virus.

    For the study...

    Bivalent COVID Boosters Offer No Extra Protection, Studies Suggest

    The updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters intended to defend people against emerging Omicron variants don't appear to provide any better protection than the original shot does, two new studies find.

    The new mRNA bivalent boosters produced by Moderna and Pfizer only attack the COVID-19 virus about as well as the companies' first-wave vaccines, according to

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 11, 2023
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  • Adults May Be Losing Immunity to Mumps. Are Boosters Needed?

    Despite routine use of a childhood vaccine, the United States still sees outbreaks of mumps. Now, a new study reinforces the belief that it's due to waning immunity post-vaccination.

    Mumps is a viral infection best known for causing puffy cheeks, a swollen jaw, fever and general misery. While it's usually relatively mild, mumps occasionally causes serious complications like brain inflamma...

    Getting COVID Booster Helps Your Antibodies Last Longer

    While getting a COVID-19 vaccine provides antibodies against the coronavirus, getting a booster shot creates a longer-lasting antibody response, according to new research.

    "These results fit with other recent reports and indicate that booster shots enhance the durability of vaccine-elicited antibodies,"said senior researcher

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 28, 2022
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  • Defenses Down: COVID Antibodies in Nose Decline First

    Researchers think they've figured out why people can become reinfected with COVID-19, despite immunity gained from either vaccination or a previous infection.

    It turns out that antibodies produced in the nose -- the first line of defense against respiratory viruses like COVID -- decline faster than antibodies found in the bloodstream, British scientists say.

    Nasal antibodies tend to...

    FDA OKs Bivalent COVID Boosters for Kids 6 Months and Older

    The updated bivalent COVID-19 boosters are now approved for use in children as young as 6 months of age, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today.

    Children can receive either a Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster shot, although the rules differ depending on their age and what type of vaccine they got as their primary series, the FDA said.

    Kids 6 months to 5 year...

    Immune System T-Cells Can Still Fight COVID Variants, But for How Long?

    While people's immune system T-cells can still target the spike proteins of the COVID coronavirus, their power to do so is waning over time, researchers report.

    As the virus continues to mutate, T-cell recognition of newer variants may be lost, the researchers cautioned. That could lead to decreasing overall protection by the immune system.

    Despite the fact that T-cells were still a...

    Many U.S. Parents Avoid Vaccine Talks With Child's Doctor

    Vaccines have become a hot topic in the past few years, but a new survey finds many parents aren't discussing immunization with their child's doctor.

    Though a child's pediatrician has often been the go-to resource on vaccines, the University of Michigan Medicine poll found that 1 in 7 parents have not discussed vaccines with their child's doctor during the pandemic.

    While 80% of p...

    Kids Born by C-Section May Have Weaker Response to Vaccines

    Babies born via cesarean section may not mount as strong an immune response after some childhood vaccines compared to babies delivered vaginally, researchers suggest.

    Antibody levels can be checked in blood or saliva, and babies born vaginally had higher levels of antibodies in their saliva to pneumonia shots at one year and meningococcal shots at 18 months, a new study showed.

    But ...

    Three-Fifths of World's People May Have Been Exposed to COVID

    COVID-19 swept across the world far more effectively than previously thought, with a stunning number of cases left unreported as recently as the summer of 2021, a new World Health Organization (WHO) study says.

    About 3 out of every 5 human beings carried antibodies against COVID-19 in their bloodstream as of September 2021, according to

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 11, 2022
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  • For Pregnant Women and Their Newborns, COVID Vaccine Offers Better Protection Than Prior Infection

    Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 while pregnant provides higher levels of antibodies for both mom and baby than catching the virus does, a new study finds.

    When pregnant women received one of the two available mRNA vaccines, researchers found that the women had 10-fold higher antibody concentrations than those who were infected naturally.

    The research team from Children's Hospital o...

    As Tough Flu Season Looms, CDC Hopes for More Flu Shots Among Minorities

    It's a troubling equation: Many Americans with the highest rates of hospitalization for influenza have the lowest uptake of the annual flu vaccine.

    That's why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is stepping up outreach to minority communities, including Black, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) groups, and working to reduce barriers to vaccination.


    With Tough Flu Season Already Here, An Expert Answers Your Flu Shot Questions

    Indications are that this year's flu season is going to be particularly nasty, making the annual influenza vaccine even more important than usual, infectious disease experts say.

    People already are landing in the hospital with severe cases of influenza, about a month ahead of when flu season usually begins, said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infect...

    More Evidence COVID Boosters Improve Seniors' Immunity

    For older adults, getting vaccinated provides protection against COVID-19, but getting a booster is a key part of maintaining that immunity, a new study confirms.

    "The data support the CDC guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination and affirm that the vaccine is initially able to mount a good a...

    'Breakthrough' Infections After COVID Vaccine Can Help Prevent Future Illness

    It's very frustrating to get a COVID-19 vaccine and then wind up catching the virus anyway.

    But these breakthrough infections actually do yo...

    COVID Shots' Effect Fades, But Boosters Bring Protection Back: Study

    Updated COVID-19 booster shots that target Omicron variants are rolling out across the United States, and a new study argues they're coming at just the right time.

    Protective antibody levels tend to decline by at least 15% each month after a person receives a single COVID booster shot, researchers rep...

    Regular Exercise Can Help Shield You From Severe COVID

    Looking for a new reason to work out?

    Here's a good one: Regular exercise appears to significantly reduce your risk of getting COVID-19, a large international research review has found.

    And, if you do get COVID, the study found, routine moderate and/or intense exercise dramatically lowers your...

    Is the War Against COVID Variants Won in the Nose?

    The best booster for COVID vaccinations might not be yet another shot, but a nasal spray, an early study hints.

    Since early on in the pandemic, some researchers have speculated that the most effective way to fight COVID is through vaccines that not only spur an immune response in the blood, but also in the mucus membranes of the nose and the rest of the respiratory tract.

    That type ...

    25 Million Kids Missed Routine Vaccinations Worldwide in 2021

    Roughly 25 million children around the world missed critical vaccinations during 2021, as the pandemic continued to disrupt routine medical care, a new report from the World Health Organization and UNICEF shows.

    "This is a red alert for child health. We are witnessing the largest sustained drop in childhood immu...

    What's the Best Timing for COVID Shots in Pregnancy?

    Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can help protect both mother and baby.

    But does it matter which vaccine or at what stage of pregnancy a woman receives her shots? New research suggests it does, and that getting immunized earlier in pregnancy may be better.

    In t...

    Babies, Toddlers & the COVID Shot: An Expert Answers Your Questions

    After a very long wait, babies, toddlers and preschoolers can now get COVID-19 shots.

    Many parents may feel relief, but some may also have questions. Dr. Jessica Ericson, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Penn State Health Children's Hospital in Hershey, Pa., offers some answers to help parents weigh the benefits of

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 27, 2022
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  • COVID Boosters Raise Antibody Levels by 85% in Nursing Home Residents

    Getting a COVID-19 booster shot can significantly increase an at-risk person's immunity and protect against the contagious Omicron variant.

    New research focusing on nursing home residents and their caregivers found a third dose of vaccine boosted antibodies by more than 85%...

    U.S. HPV Vaccination Rates Rising, Even Among Boys

    More and more of America's teens are getting vaccinated against the human papillomavirus virus (HPV), new research indicates.

    Between 2015 and 2020, the study found, the percentage of 13- to 17-year...

    COVID Breakthrough Infections More Likely in People Living With HIV

    Even after vaccination, living with HIV ups the odds for COVID infection, new research shows.

    The study found that vaccinated people living with HIV have a 28% higher risk of developing a "breakthrough" COVID infection compared to those who don't have the AIDS-causing virus.

    That's the bad news. But there's good news, too: The overall risk for COVID infection among people vaccinate...

    How Many Days Do COVID Antibodies Stick Around?

    Adults who get COVID-19 could have antibodies circulating in their blood for nearly 500 days after infection, new research suggests.

    "We now have a good estimate of how long antibodies last after a COVID-19 infection," said study author Michael Swartz, an associate professor and vice chair of biostatistics at th...

    It's the Number of COVID Shots You Get, Not Combination, That Brings Immune Boost

    The number of COVID-19 vaccine doses received - not the combinations - is the key to strengthening your immune system to protect against different variants of the coronavirus, including Omicron, a new study suggests.

    A team from the Chinese University of Hong Kong also determined that a third shot - a booster dose - is needed to prevent infection by the

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 2, 2022
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  • Prior COVID Won't Shield Kids From Omicron, But Vaccine Might

    Children who have had COVID-19 aren't protected against the Omicron variant, but vaccination does cut their chances of infection, a new study shows.

    "I hear parents say, 'Oh, my kid had COVID last year,'" said senior study co-author Dr. Adrienne Randolph, from Boston Children's Hospital.<...

    Cancer Patients Have Even Greater Need for COVID Boosters: Study

    Cancer patients continue to face more risk from COVID-19, even if they've been vaccinated.

    Although vaccination is effective for most people who have cancer (even though they're immunocompromised by the disease and their cancer treatments), its effectiveness wanes more rapidly in this group, by three to six months compared to the general population, new research shows.

    The U....

    Could a COVID Infection Help You Ward Off the Common Cold?

    If you get infected with COVID-19, there may be a sliver of a silver lining: COVID may help protect you against the common cold, researchers say.

    The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 belongs to a large and diverse family of coronaviruses that include common cold viruses.

    Because viruses in this f...

    Could Obesity Blunt the Response to the COVID Vaccine?

    Obesity can complicate the course of COVID-19. Now, a new study says it can also reduce the effectiveness of COVID vaccines.

    The researchers also found that the two vaccines used in their study triggered different levels of immune responses in severely obese people. They found, too, that prior infection had an impact.

    "These results provide new information on the antibody response t...

    Antibiotics in Infancy May Weaken Response to Childhood Vaccines

    Babies and toddlers who've been given antibiotics might have a less vigorous immune response to routine childhood vaccinations, new research warns.

    The study is the first to suggest that antibiotics might dampen youngsters' ability to generate infection-fighting antibodies in response to vaccination.

    Experts caut...

    COVID Infection as Protective as Vaccines, Study Finds

    A prior COVID-19 infection may provide unvaccinated adults with as much immunity against reinfection as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines, new research suggests.

    However, the study was conducted before the surge of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

    "We found that...