The Medical Thread: Vaccine Search / Staying Healthy / Treatments Etc

Theatregirl1122

Needs a nap
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Every day I look to see ifBiontech Pfizer have applied for children vaccinations 5-11.
Any insider information about this apart from probably this month?

I have very :sekret: info from the podcast I’m listening to with 73,000 reviews on iTunes :lol:

Most recent report out of Pfizer still seems to be early October for 5-11. Maybe early November for 6 mo - 5.
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
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The Atlantic on boosters:

Boosters-for-all is looking more like boosters-for-some, for now.

Per the plan set out by the White House last month, next week was supposed to mark the rollout of booster shots for all Americans over 16, as long as they were eight months past their initial course of vaccines. But today an FDA advisory committee recommended only offering such shots to people over 65 and those with a high risk of severe disease who got their second Pfizer dose more than six months ago.

How did this whole thing get so messy? First, let’s look at the science. Then, the politics. Then, what it all means for you.

On the science

Today, the FDA’s panel of outside experts reviewed data on vaccine performance and debated what we should be asking of our shots, my colleague Katherine J. Wu explains.

The shots, Katie says, were designed to prevent severe disease—and are still doing just that. And so, since the White House announcement, researchers and laypeople have been debating whether boosters are really safe and effective for everyone, particularly considering the limited data available.

In the end, the scientists weren’t convinced. “I’m actually feeling more optimistic than I have in weeks, because everything I saw today … really followed the science,” Katie told me.

On the politics

In announcing a timeline before the FDA approved it, President Joe Biden “front-ran the scientists” and “put his thumb on the scale,” Peter Nicholas, who covers the White House, told me over the phone in advance of today’s panel vote. The administration’s initial announcement raised concerns among some public-health experts that the process had been politicized. Vaccinated Americans, the people who’d primarily benefit from these boosters, arguably form Biden’s base.

And now Biden is in a tough spot. “He has to follow the FDA’s guidance here,” Peter told me. “He can’t pressure the FDA—can’t start firing FDA officials, saying, ‘I have to have this booster program,’ or then he would really look like Donald Trump.”

On what comes next

The rollout looks restrained for the moment, but the FDA still needs to officially rule on the panel’s recommendation. And next week, the CDC will meet to discuss the issue

“I don’t want people to despair that they’ve lost something that was promised to them,” Katie told me. “The ringing endorsement from today’s meeting is that the vaccines are still doing their job incredibly well.”

If it’s any consolation, now might not be the best time for a booster anyway.
 
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I have very :sekret: info from the podcast I’m listening to with 73,000 reviews on iTunes :lol:

Most recent report out of Pfizer still seems to be early October for 5-11. Maybe early November for 6 mo - 5.
Oh, I hope so. I hadn’t heard much about the under 5 age group. I’ll feel so much better about being out and about and having my kids visit people when my kids can get vaccinated.
 

clairecloutier

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“I don’t want people to despair that they’ve lost something that was promised to them,” Katie told me. “The ringing endorsement from today’s meeting is that the vaccines are still doing their job incredibly well.”


And yet, there’s a study just posted in the other thread noting a decline in efficacy for Pfizer about four months after full vaccination. Which is … exactly where I’m at. Yeah, I know this doesn’t mean I’m necessarily likely to get it or get hospitalized. Just that my chances of that are somewhat greater. But not enough to warrant a booster, apparently. 🤷🏻‍♀️
 

wickedwitch

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And yet, there’s a study just posted in the other thread noting a decline in efficacy for Pfizer about four months after full vaccination. Which is … exactly where I’m at. Yeah, I know this doesn’t mean I’m necessarily likely to get it or get hospitalized. Just that my chances of that are somewhat greater. But not enough to warrant a booster, apparently. 🤷🏻‍♀️
Data like this is incredibly messy, so it can be hard to separate factors like waning immunity with other factors like change in the population's behavior or the rise of a new variant.

Furthermore, it's a zero-sum game. If you get a booster, that means someone else isn't getting a vaccination.
 

MsZem

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Furthermore, it's a zero-sum game. If you get a booster, that means someone else isn't getting a vaccination.
Not really, given that there are vaccines in storage now that can't be given to people who don't want them, and aren't necessarily easy to transport and use in countries that do need them.

Manufacturing capability is far greater than it was earlier this year.
 

Allskate

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I'm trying to understand why the decision about boosters was different in the United States than it was in the U.K. and Israel. It does make me a little uncomfortable to know that I'd be getting a booster now if I were in those countries but am considered by the FDA to be just fine without a booster. Can anyone explain the differences to me? Not policy reasons such as providing others with first round doses, but a scientific basis for why someone would be considered in need of a booster elsewhere, but not in the U.S.. I would like to understand if I am at a higher risk and should be stepping up precautions.
 

MsZem

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I'm trying to understand why the decision about boosters was different in the United States than it was in the U.K. and Israel. It does make me a little uncomfortable to know that I'd be getting a booster now if I were in those countries but am considered by the FDA to be just fine without a booster. Can anyone explain the differences to me? Not policy reasons such as providing others with first round doses, but a scientific basis for why someone would be considered in need of a booster elsewhere, but not in the U.S.. I would like to understand if I am at a higher risk and should be stepping up precautions.
The FDA panel recommended something similar to the eligibility when Israel started its booster campaign. Because Israel had a large-scale vaccine operation before other countries really got going, most of the eligible population was fully vaxxed by the end of March, so waning immunity became an issue sooner; also, for many months everyone got Pfizer, which doesn't seem to hold up quite as well as Moderna. So the FDA is looking at a different set of circumstances at the moment than we have here in Israel, but they may well recommended a broader eligibility for boosters later on.
 

Hedwig

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Germany took the same decision as US.

No booster except for very old people in care homes and immunocompromised people.
Here it was also explained by amount of vaccine available. as long as most countries did not get enough vaccines, it is more important - for us all! - that the rest is vaccinated also against variants. But Israel is tiny. the amount of vaccine needed for a booster are nothing compared to Germany or the US so in a sense they are the gunia pigs for this booster shot.
 

Allskate

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The FDA panel recommended something similar to the eligibility when Israel started its booster campaign. Because Israel had a large-scale vaccine operation before other countries really got going, most of the eligible population was fully vaxxed by the end of March, so waning immunity became an issue sooner; also, for many months everyone got Pfizer, which doesn't seem to hold up quite as well as Moderna. So the FDA is looking at a different set of circumstances at the moment than we have here in Israel, but they may well recommended a broader eligibility for boosters later on.
The majority of vaccinated Americans got the Pfizer vaccine, and the FDA panel was considering only Pfizer booster shots not Moderna or J&J. They also were considering the question of whether a person would receive a booster after six months, so the dates that Americans got vaccinated versus the dates that Israelis got vaccinated isn't an explanation for the difference. The U.K. also has a requirement of waiting six months for a booster shot, but they have a different age cutoff than the U.S.. There are Americans who have been vaccinated for six months and there will be a lot more soon, and that will be happening as the weather gets cooler, people spend more time gathering indoors, and Thanksgiving approaches.

I understand the policy argument for sending vaccines to countries where people are still waiting for their initial doses, but that is a policy issue, and the FDA panel said that it wasn't making its decision based on at that. So, considering that other countries who are supposedly looking at the science and the data are giving boosters to people who are under the age of 65, I would like to understand the scientific basis for that. If the reason the FDA is making a different decision is purely to save vaccine doses for those who have not yet received a first shot, then they should say so. I would like guidance on how much more at risk I am and what protections I should be taking for myself and others. And I would like others who are making larger scale decisions to have that information, too.
 

MsZem

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The majority of vaccinated Americans got the Pfizer vaccine, and the FDA panel was considering only Pfizer booster shots not Moderna or J&J. They also were considering the question of whether a person would receive a booster after six months, so the dates that Americans got vaccinated versus the dates that Israelis got vaccinated isn't an explanation for the difference. The U.K. also has a requirement of waiting six months for a booster shot, but they have a different age cutoff than the U.S.. There are Americans who have been vaccinated for six months and there will be a lot more soon, and that will be happening as the weather gets cooler, people spend more time gathering indoors, and Thanksgiving approaches.
The point is that in Israel, the vast majority of those vaccinated received their second shot between January and March, and everyone got Pfizer. The US has greater variability in terms of when people became fully vaccinated and what vaccine they got, so Israel's waning immunity problem is more pronounced and hit just in time for Delta. Given that other countries are a few months behind Israel on this, it makes sense to expand booster eligibility more gradually and learn from the data we'll produce. The FDA is generally a cautious organization, so this is to be expected.

The boosters do seem to be helping here, but what Israel really needs is approval to vaccinate kids. We have a relatively young population, and a lot of the cases are among children who are not yet able to get vaccinated. This also sends massive numbers of other kids (and parents) into isolation, which is far from ideal.
 

Miezekatze

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My German state offers a booster to people 60+ , if their 2nd shot is 6 months ago.

That's nice news for my parents, who'd both be eligible (but only in November/December, when the 6 months are over). That's no German wide policy (yet) though.
 

Allskate

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The point is that in Israel, the vast majority of those vaccinated received their second shot between January and March, and everyone got Pfizer. The US has greater variability in terms of when people became fully vaccinated and what vaccine they got, so Israel's waning immunity problem is more pronounced and hit just in time for Delta. Given that other countries are a few months behind Israel on this, it makes sense to expand booster eligibility more gradually and learn from the data we'll produce. The FDA is generally a cautious organization, so this is to be expected.

The boosters do seem to be helping here, but what Israel really needs is approval to vaccinate kids. We have a relatively young population, and a lot of the cases are among children who are not yet able to get vaccinated. This also sends massive numbers of other kids (and parents) into isolation, which is far from ideal.

A quarter of a million American children tested positive for ********* last week alone. We will see many more in the coming weeks. And many of those children will be going home to parents or grandparents under the age of 65 who were vaccinated with Pfizer six months ago or more. (Over a hundred million Americans were vaccinated with Pfizer - where I live, every vaccinated person I work with or know got Pfizer). They will be wondering how much protection their Pfizer vaccine gives them, especially since cases set a record last month and almost all of them are the more infectious Delta variant. Whether or not others in our country got Moderna or J&J probably will not prevent them from worrying about whether their Pfizer vaccine is protecting them and what additional precautions they need to take.

What should my 59 year-old friend who got Pfizer over six months ago do when considering whether she should help her friend who is undergoing cancer treatment or help her immunocompromised daughter? What about my 62 year-old friend who babysits her grandchildren who are too young to get vaccinated? How about employers who think it's safe for their vaccinated employees to congregate in large numbers even if those vaccinations were six months ago? (In addition to our current large work events, my employer already is planning a Christmas party.) We need some more guidance. I'm hoping we get that later this week.
 

Miezekatze

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But the protection from severe disease from Pfizer stays very good, mainly the protection from infection wanes.

And even the waned protection from Pfizer against severe disease is still better than the protection astra zeneca or J&j ever gave in the first place in trials without delta in the mix and yet there's millions of people who only got those vaccines as of now, so honestly I think some people are a bit entitled...nobody even speaks about giving boosters to under 65 year olds here either.

It's not even clear if there's going to be a need.
 

Theatregirl1122

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The science that they are following is that the protection against hospitalization and death remains strong even after 6 months. It’s the protection against infection that wanes. They are also potentially looking at minimal data on boosters and waiting to see the data from Israel.

The fact is that some of them are engaging in politics rather than science as a rationale, but that is the science portion.
 

Hedwig

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But the protection against infection is not that inportant anyway. For the pan*demic as a whole maybe but not for a single person.
We will likely all get infected a few times in the coming years and each time it will less severe and be like a natural booster shot.
As long as there are no huge risks in the illness- and with two shots of Pfizer there aren‘t- I would not be too concerned about a booster.
 

Miezekatze

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But the protection against infection is not that inportant anyway. For the pan*demic as a whole maybe but not for a single person.
We will likely all get infected a few times in the coming years and each time it will less severe and be like a natural booster shot.
As long as there are no huge risks in the illness- and with two shots of Pfizer there aren‘t- I would not be too concerned about a booster.
I think it's probably important for people that are very very old or have many risk factors, since they are still at a relatively high risk even vaccinated, so I'd guess that boosters will eventually be recommended for them in most countries.

I also think many countries have not really communicated very clearly yet, that when the ***** becomes endemic, it means a lot of people will still be infected, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.

I know Britain has been rather open about that, since they are already in that phase.

Our virologist Drosten said that Great Britain is already in the phase were most of the country has obtained a basic immunity by vaccination or infection and over winter many people there will get reinfected which will improve the overall immunity in the population even more.

While for example we in Germany are still in the phase were many people need their initial immunity via vaccination or infection. Unfortunately too many people here choose infection, even though they keep being warned about it that it's too risky, especially if you are over 50 or 60 (apart from that it puts an unnecessary strain on the hospitals that could be avoided).
 

Judy

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But the protection against infection is not that inportant anyway. For the pan*demic as a whole maybe but not for a single person.
We will likely all get infected a few times in the coming years and each time it will less severe and be like a natural booster shot.
As long as there are no huge risks in the illness- and with two shots of Pfizer there aren‘t- I would not be too concerned about a booster.
I was reading in the last couple of weeks that Moderna's future intention will be that it's included in the flu shot. No idea how that will work.
 

Miezekatze

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I read that Novavax is also working on a combo vaccine for flu and *********.

I'm that would be very helpful in the future to make sure older people get both shots before winter.

Our German health authority also said that nothing speaks against giving ********* vaccination and flu at the same time even now. They say it's not necessary to leave 2 weeks between the shots,theoretically one could give one in one arm and the other in the other.
 

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