Pfizer to seek OK for third Covid vaccine dose; shots still protect – News Vibe24

    Pfizer to seek OK for third Covid vaccine dose; shots still protect - Times of India
    Pfizer is seeking US approval for a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, saying on Thursday that another shot within 12 months could dramatically boost immunity and possibly help prevent the last worrying coronavirus.
    Research from many countries shows that the Pfizer vaccine and other widely used Covid-19 vaccines offer strong protection against the highly contagious delta variant, which is spreading rapidly around the world and is now responsible for most new US infections.
    Two doses of most vaccines are critical to developing high levels of antiviral antibodies against all versions of the coronavirus, not just the delta variant – and most of the world is still desperate to get these initial protective doses as well. the pandemic continues to rage.
    However, antibodies naturally decline over time, so studies are also being conducted to see if and when enhancers may be needed.
    On Thursday, Dr. Pfizer’s Mikael Dolsten told the Associated Press that early data from the company’s memo study showed that human antibody levels increased five to 10 times after a third dose, compared with the second dose months earlier.
    In August, Pfizer plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration for emergency third-rate approval, he said.
    Why is this important in combating the delta variant? Dolsten cited data from Britain and Israel showing that the Pfizer vaccine “neutralizes the delta variant very well.” The hypothesis, he said, is that when the antibodies fall low enough, the delta virus could eventually cause a mild infection before the immune system kicks back.
    But FDA approval would be just a first step – it would not automatically mean that Americans would be offered boosters, warned Dr. William Schaffner, a vaccine specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Public health authorities will have to decide if they really need it, especially because millions of people do not have protection.
    “The vaccines were designed to keep us out of the hospital,” he said, and continues to do so despite the delta’s most contagious variant. Giving another dose would be “a huge effort, and we are currently trying to get people the first dose.”
    Currently, only about 48% of the US population is fully vaccinated – and some parts of the country have much lower immunization rates, places where the delta variant is increasing. On Thursday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said this leads to “two truths” – America’s highly immunized areas are returning to normal, while hospitalizations are rising elsewhere.
    “This rapid rise is worrying,” he said. “A few weeks ago, the delta variant accounted for more than a quarter of new cases in the US, but now accounts for just over 50% _ and in some places, such as parts of the Midwest.” , up to 80%.
    Also Thursday, researchers from the Pasteur Institute in France reported new evidence that full vaccination is crucial.
    In laboratory tests, blood from several dozen people received the first dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine “as soon as they stopped” the delta variant, the team told Nature magazine. But weeks after taking their second dose, almost everyone had what researchers thought boosted the immune system to counteract the delta variant – even if it was a little less potent than previous versions of the virus.
    The French researchers also looked at unvaccinated people who had survived a period of coronavirus and found that their antibodies were four times less potent than the new mutant. However, one dose of the vaccine dramatically increased the levels of their antibodies, causing cross-protection against the delta variant and two other mutants, according to the study. This supports the public health recommendations that Covid-19 survivors are vaccinated instead of relying on natural immunity.
    Laboratory experiments add to real-world data that delta mutations do not avoid vaccines that are more widely used in Western countries, but emphasize that it is important to be vaccinated more by the world before the virus can be further developed.
    Researchers in the UK have found that two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, for example, are 96% safe against delta variant treatment and 88% effective against symptomatic infection. This finding was echoed last weekend by Canadian researchers, with a report from Israel showing that protection against mild delta infection may have been reduced to 64%.
    Whether a fully vaccinated person should wear masks in places where delta variation is increasing is a growing issue. In the US, the CDC argues that people who have been fully vaccinated are not needed. Even before the delta variant appeared, the vaccines were not perfect, but the best evidence is that if vaccinated people do suffer from coronavirus, they will have very mild cases.
    “Let me emphasize that if you are vaccinated, you have a very high degree of protection,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s leading infectious disease expert, on Thursday.
    In the US, case rates have been rising for weeks and hospitalization rates have begun to rise, up 7% from the previous seven-day average, Walensky told reporters on Thursday. However, deaths remain average, which some experts believe is due, at least in part, to high vaccination rates in people aged 65 and over – one of the most susceptible to serious illness.

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