How Effective Are Covid Vaccines Against Variant In India?
New research indicates that they may be less effective. Other studies look at the efficacy of mixing and matching shots, as well as antibodies in vaccinated people.
COVID Vaccines Possibly Less Effective Against Indian Variant -German Health Official
The currently available COVID-19 vaccines could be less effective against the coronavirus variant that was first found in India, the chief of Germany's public health agency said on Friday, referring to initial studies. However, the level of knowledge was still very poor and he hoped for better data within two weeks, said Lother Wieler at a news conference. Health Minister Jens Spahn said that Germany was currently reassessing its travel recommendations for Britain, which is currently listed as a risk region becase the spread of that variant there has caused concern in recent days. (5/21)
Mix-And-Match COVID Vaccines Trigger Potent Immune Response
Vaccinating people with both the Oxford–AstraZeneca and Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines produces a potent immune response against the virus SARS-CoV-2, researchers conducting a study in Spain have found. Preliminary results from the trial of more than 600 people — announced in an online presentation on 18 May — are the first to show the benefits of combining different coronavirus vaccines. A UK trial of a similar strategy reported1 safety data last week, and is expected to deliver further findings on immune responses soon. (Callaway, 5/19)
Scientists Zero In On Long-Sought Marker Of COVID Vaccine Efficacy
After people have been vaccinated against COVID-19, the levels of infection-blocking antibodies in their blood are a strong indicator of how much protection they’ve gained against the disease, according to a modelling study. The study showed that the presence of even small quantities of these potent ‘neutralizing antibodies’ indicates that a vaccine is effective at protecting against COVID-19. The study is the best attempt yet to define features of the immune response that can act as a proxy for protection against COVID-19, known as a ‘correlate of protection’, says Daniel Altmann, an immunologist at Imperial College London. “Finding the correlate of protection has really been a holy grail for this disease, as for others. It’s surprisingly hard to do.” (Mallapaty, 5/21)
Two AstraZeneca Shots Could Be 85-90% Effective, UK Data Suggests
Two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine may be around 85% to 90% effective against symptomatic disease, Public Health England (PHE) said on Thursday, while cautioning that it did not yet have enough data to be conclusive. (Smout, 5/20)
Bay Area News Group:
The Fall From Grace For Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 Vaccine
For quick, one-shot protection, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine promised to be a key tool in the race to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than two months after its rollout, it represents merely 5% of all inoculations in California’s ambitious vaccination campaign. Supplies are down, with no new doses delivered this week while a manufacturing plant is suspending production during an inspection by U.S. regulators. But demand has dropped, also. (Krieger, 5/20)