New York, June 29 (IANS) Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing severe infections or death, but patients with multiple myeloma -- a type of blood cancer --- are immunocompromised and often on immunosuppressive therapy.The mRNA-based Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines evoked a lower and delayed response in them compared to healthy people, finds a study, asserting need for monitoring or continued precautions in patients with cancers.Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that almost 16 per cent of patients with multiple myeloma developed no detectable antibodies after both vaccine doses. These findings may be relevant to other cancer patients undergoing treatment and to immunocompromised patients. The study will be published in Cancer Cell."This study underscores the need for routine blood tests on multiple myeloma patients after vaccination to understand their risk and potential need to continue wearing masks and socially distance until the pandemic wanes," said Samir Parekh, Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology), and Oncological Sciences, at Mount Sinai."This also calls for clinical trials to study the use of prophylactic therapies, like monoclonal antibodies, to mitigate Covid-19 risk or to use different vaccines or booster vaccinations in these patients," he added.Repeat antibody measurements from before patients' first vaccine dose until 60 days after the second vaccination showed delayed and suboptimal responses, particularly in patients with multiple myeloma who had not contracted Covid-19 before their vaccinations.Patients on active cancer treatment had significantly lower antibody levels after two vaccine doses than multiple myeloma patients who were not on treatment at the time of vaccination, the researchers said.The team analysed the antibody levels of 320 multiple myeloma patients, 260 of whom received two doses of Covid-19 vaccinations, and found that 15.8 per cent had undetectable antibodies.The multiple myeloma patients who had had Covid-19 before vaccination showed immune responses that were 10 times higher than those who had not.--IANSrvt/kr
New York, June 29 (IANS) Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the first two jabs authorised for emergency use against Covid-19 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), produce immune responses that are both strong and potentially long-lasting, finds a study.While both vaccines performed well in clinical trials, and have been widely credited with reducing disease, concerns remained over how long immunity induced by the mRNA-based shots will last.The study, led by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis showed that nearly four months after the first dose people who received the Pfizer vaccine still had so-called germinal centers in their lymph nodes churning out immune cells directed against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.The team found that even three weeks after the first dose, all 14 participants had formed germinal centers with B cells producing antibodies that target a key SARS-CoV-2 protein. The response expanded greatly after the booster shot and then stayed high. Even 15 weeks after the first dose, eight of 10 people still had detectable germinal centers containing B cells targeting the virus."Germinal centers are the key to a persistent, protective immune response," said Ali Ellebedy, Associate Professor of pathology and immunology, of medicine and of molecular microbiology."Germinal centers are where our immune memories are formed. And the longer we have a germinal center, the stronger and more durable our immunity will be because there's a fierce selection process happening there, and only the best immune cells survive," Ellebedy added.Moreover, vaccination led to high levels of neutralising antibodies effective against three variants of the virus, including the Beta variant from South Africa that has shown some resistance to vaccines.Vaccination also induced stronger antibody responses in people who had recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to those who had never been infected. Among people without prior exposure to the virus, antibody levels rose slowly after the first dose and peaked one week after the second.Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were created with mRNA technology. Unlike most vaccines, which provide bits of viral or bacterial proteins to trigger an immune response, mRNA-based vaccines provide instructions for the body to build and release foreign proteins, such as the spike protein in the case of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.--IANSrvt/ksk/
Jakarta, June 26 (IANS) Indonesia is currently examining the use of the Sinovac and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines for people under 18 years of age after detecting many cases of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus among children and youths."We are currently reviewing which vaccines already have an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) for young people. What we have observed is that there are two on our list; Sinovac for those aged three to 17 years old and Pfizer for those aged 12-17 years old," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said at a virtual press conference on Friday.China has approved the emergency use of its Sinovac vaccine for children as young as three-year-old, while the US has green-lighted the Pfizer jab for those as young as 12, reports Xinhua news agency.Sadikin said the Health ministry has been conducting a study on vaccinating children, which will be released soon, and at the same time it has also continued to observe the developments and data related to effectiveness and side effects of vaccines administered to children in a number of countries."We can issue a comprehensive decision based on the data we have, policy data in other countries and health scientific data on the EUA that have been given to vaccine companies," said Sadikin.Under its plan, the Southeast Asian country is currently working to inoculate the targeted 181.5 million people aged over 18, about 70 per cent of its total population, by March 2022.According to the World Health Organization, Indonesia has so far administered 36,581,555 of the Covid-19 vaccines doses.--IANSksk/
London, June 24 (IANS) A single dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine offers around 60 per cent protection against infection from SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, in adults aged 65 years and above, according to a new study published in the The Lancet Infectious.The study, led by researchers from the University College London, in the UK showed that the protective effect of a single dose of vaccination is evident from four weeks to at least seven weeks after vaccination, which provides some evidence to support extension of the interval between doses beyond three weeks, in line with UK policy."However, even beyond four weeks, a single vaccine dose does not eliminate infection risk, highlighting the continued importance of non-pharmaceutical measures to control transmission within long-term care facilities," said Madhumita Shrotri and Laura Shallcross, from the UCL Institute of Health Informatics.The study will be critical to inform policy decisions regarding revaccination schedules in this vulnerable population and the disease control measures needed in the short, medium, and long term to protect long-term care facilities from future waves of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the team said.The team analysed 10,412 care home residents aged 65 years and older from 310 facilities, with a median age of 86 years. Of these 1,155 residents had evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.A total of 9,160 (88 per cent) residents received at least one vaccine dose during the study period, of whom 6,138 (67 per cent) received AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1) and 3,022 (33 per cent) received Pfizer (BNT162b2).Between December 8, 2020 and March 15, 2021, there were 36,352 PCR tests carried out, with 1,335 PCR-positive infections detected (713 in unvaccinated residents and 612 in vaccinated residents).The risk of infection was 56 per cent lower in vaccinated residents after 28 to 34 days, days, and 62 per cent lower at 35-48 days. Similar effect sizes at 35-48 days were seen for the AstraZeneca vaccine (68 per cent reduced risk of infection) and the Pfizer vaccine (65 per cent reduced risk).The study will be presented at the 2021 European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) to be held from July 9-12.--IANSrvt/in
Hong Kong, June 20 (IANS) People who got Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine showed "substantially higher" levels of antibodies compared to those who received China's Sinovac shots, according to a new study.
The study, led by University of Hong Kong (HKU), aims to estimate the incidence of natural infections over time and level of population immunity due to infections and vaccinations, the South China Morning Post reported on Saturday.
The presence of antibodies is a sign that the vaccine is working to protect an individual, although the quantity of the proteins generated by the body's immune system to identify and neutralise the coronavirus does not directly correlate to the level of immunity, the report said.
Some who received the Sinovac vaccine might need a third booster shot as well, lead researcher Professor Benjamin Cowling, an epidemiologist with HKU was quoted as saying by the TRTWorld.
The study involved tracking the antibody responses of 1,000 people who received either vaccine.
On June 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) authorised the Sinovac-CoronaVac Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use.
The two-dose Sinovac-CoronaVac product is an inactivated vaccine. Its easy storage requirements make it very manageable and particularly suitable for low-resource settings.
Based on available evidence, the WHO recommended the vaccine for use in adults 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of two to four weeks.
Vaccine efficacy results showed that the vaccine prevented symptomatic disease in 51 per cent of those vaccinated and prevented severe Covid-19 and hospitalisation in 100 per cent of the studied population.
On the other hand, the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine is based on mRNA technology and has been authorised for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Studies have shown that the two-dose shot is effective against Covid-19, as well as its variants - Delta, Gamma and Beta.
Ramallah, June 19 (IANS) Palestinian authorities have announced announced the cancellation of an agreement with Israel and the Pfizer company on exchanging Covid-19 vaccines with the Jewish state as it did not match the specifications.Spokesman of the Palestinian government Ibrahim Milhem said in a statement on friday that Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye instructed Health Minister Mai al-Kaila to inform both Israel and Pfizer that the agreement has been cancelled, reports Xinhua news agency.The vaccines Palestine received earlier in the day from the Israeli side will also be sent back, the spokesman added.Al-Kaila explained that the Health Ministry's specialists had found out that the vaccines received earlier from Israel didn't match the specifications."So we decided to send back all the vaccines we received earlier today from the Israeli side," she said.On Friday, the Palestinian Health ministry said it recorded three fatalities and 165 new Covid-19 cases in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, adding that it recorded 453 recoveries.Since the outbreak of coronavirus in Palestine, 3,813 people have died from the virus, while 341,175 cases had been recorded.The Ministry said that 436,275 Palestinians had already been vaccinated in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.--IANSksk/
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