Planning Begins For Covid Booster Shots
Vaccine providers are beginning to get ready for covid boosters, amid debate over which booster strategies will work best. Separately, vaccines of all sorts in the future may use painless "microneedles" for delivery.
The Washington Post:
Yes, We’ll Probably Need Coronavirus Booster Shots. But Which One?
“As we know, covid is not going to go away anytime soon, and we know that the antibodies decrease over time, so that a boost will be needed at some juncture. I can’t predict when,” said John Beigel, associate director for clinical research in the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Beigel is working on a U.S. trial, set to launch this week, that will provide one piece of the answer, testing whether people can mix and match shots when the need arises. Can a person fully vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine in February take a third shot of Moderna? Is there an advantage — or a risk — in switching from one brand or vaccine technology to another? (Johnson, 5/27)
Community Health Centers Prepping For Potential Vaccine Boosters
The provider community is started to prepare for the potential rollout of booster shots to maintain immunity from COVID. And front and center in the preparation are a key segment: community health centers. Those providers have played a vital role in the current vaccination effort, administering more than 10 million doses since December with 61% of those patients belonging to racial and ethnic minority populations. But more resources will be necessary to remain pivotal in the battle to stop the spread of the virus. (Ross Johnson, 5/27)
COVID Immunity Could Last Years, Studies Find
Immunity to coronaviruses lasts at least a year and could possibly last a lifetime, two new studies have found. This could offer some peace of mind for lingering concerns about how long protection against COVID-19 will last, the New York Times reports. (Reed, 5/27)
Vaccine Patches Use Microneedles To Eliminate Pain
It's the rare individual who actually looks forward to getting jabbed with a needle, even if what's in the needle can protect them from a serious disease such as COVID-19. But several teams around the world are working on a way to inject a vaccine without the ouch. The trick is to make the needles small. Really small. So small they don't interact with the nerve endings that signal pain. (Palca, 5/27)
And looking to the next pandemic —
Future Pandemics Targeted By New Oxford Research Center
Oxford University is launching an effort to bring together academic, industry and government experts from around the world to use the lessons learned from COVID-19 in the fight against future pandemics. The Pandemic Sciences Centre will unite Oxford researchers in disciplines ranging from immunology and public health to computing and social sciences in an effort to improve the rapid identification of and response to emerging threats, the university said in a statement released Friday. (Kirka, 5/28)