Covid: Will vaccine recalls prevent the next wave?

from Silvia Turin

The fourth dose (or booster) strengthens the defenses. less effective in blocking contagion but protects against illness or death and important for the elderly and frail. The important thing is to do it: the differences between vaccines are minimal

THE call back of the covid vaccines can they prevent an increase in cases? Not entirely, but they protect those at risk (and others too) from contracting severe disease and the LongCovid.

The contagion

As is confirmed by all the studies that have followed one another over time, each new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus undermines the previous one, especially in terms of transmission capacity (contagion). It’s called immune-evasion ability: every time the variants do a little better and overcome some barriers built by vaccines and previous infections. Not entirely, it is written: the spread is not blocked, but in any case it is limited by being vaccinated. And above all, they are limited serious risks.

The new variants

In the current week, in the United States, the sub-variant BQ.1 (nicknamed Cerberus) and its sub-lineage BQ.1.1, were responsible for 49.7% of Covid-19 cases. They mostly outperformed the BA.5 variant.
It also happens in Europe, where the BQ types are now prevalent in France and Great Britain.
In Italy
the latest flash survey on the variants carried out by the Istituto Superiore di Sanit (ISS) on 8 November, still shows the predominance of BA.5 (equal to 91.5%), but the sequences BQ.1 and BQ. 1.1 are in significant increasewith a prevalence equal to 30.7%.
As the New York Times writesDan Barouch, head of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconessfound that the new variant BQ.1.1 approx seven times stronger
to the immune defenses of BA.5 and 175 times more than the original coronavirus (Wuhan).

Vaccine efficacy in Italy

This is why the vaccine effectiveness, even of updated vaccines (therefore boosters, or boosters) drops. Contagions are possible and reinfections as well, but the vaccine barrier (or created by previous infections) still resists. The data on reinfections in the last week monitored in Italy equal to 7.2% (according to the ISS extended report of November 11). The vaccine remains highly protective in preventing hospitalizations and death: even modest improvements in vaccine response to booster shots can have important positive consequences on public health.

In the period of Omicron prevalence (starting from 3 January 2022) the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing cases of severe disease in Italy was equal to 69% in the vaccinated with incomplete or complete and even cycle 82% in vaccinated with additional dose or booster.
In the groups most at risk (the over 80s) the rate of hospitalization in intensive care for the unvaccinated currently 4 times higher than that of vaccinated with booster e 7 times higher compared to those who did the fourth dose.

Any recall is fine for the defenses

The vaccines are updated and the variants follow one another, it seems like a race against time, but not lost: any recall strengthens the defences. For this reason, the Ministry of Health in Italy has not indicated one type of vaccine rather than another for the recall. Vaccines have been updated on Omicron variants and have become bivalent
. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna reported that their boosters produced levels of four to six times higher antibodies compared to those produced by the original vaccine (on BA.4 and BA.5 and not on BQ.1 and BQ.1.1). A number of other (preliminary) research suggests, however, that the recalls are up to date I am alone marginally better of the original vaccines.

What to do? The elderly, immunocompromised people and pregnant women should make a reminder why 4-6 months after any last dose, vaccine efficacy drops and this especially affects the fragile. In Italy for the campaign for the fourth dose did not have the desired effects, he complied 8.2% of the population.

Long Covid and epilepsy

The vaccine also protects against LongCovid: in addition to all the known unpleasant consequences (including brain fog, tiredness, breathlessness) if a little known one is being monitored, Covid patients are 55% more likely to develop epilepsy or seizures in the six months following infection and this increased risk was pi evident in children compared to adults. This was discovered by a study by the University of Oxford, in the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile Pfizer and BioNTech have announced the start of Phase 1 clinical trials on a new generation mRna anti-Covid vaccine candidate, potentially effective against several variants of the pandemic coronavirus. The wildcard product is called BNT162b4 and was designed to amplify the response of immune memory T cells and lengthen the duration of protection against Covid-19.

November 18, 2022 (change November 18, 2022 | 21:12)

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Covid: Will vaccine recalls prevent the next wave?

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