Panel Pans Boosters

A US CDC panel tapped the brakes yesterday on a mass COVID-19 vaccine booster rollout, saying the evidence of waning vaccine effectiveness isn’t sufficiently robust,The Hill reports.
The panel will likely consider targeting boosters to high-risk people, including long-term care facility residents and health workers rather than unleashing a third wave of vaccinations across the general public.
Murky evidence: Concerns about waning immunity surfaced in late July after Israeli data revealed those among first to get vaccinated were becoming infected, according to The New York Times.

  • Timing is crucial: It’s not clear whether a booster needed every 6 months or 5 years, said Johns Hopkins epidemiologist David Dowdy, who added that he’s not seeing evidence pointing to an immediate need for boosters.

New studies: While the media have focused on declining antibodies as indicators of waning effectiveness, they’re ignoring both how the quality of antibodies improves over time and the body’s ability to produce powerful new antibodies, University of Arizona bioimmunologist Deepta Bhattacharya told NPR Goats and Soda.
Confidence booster: New data released yesterday to a CDC committee showed that the 3 COVID-19 vaccines used in the US “were at least 94 percent effective at preventing hospitalizations” for adults under age 75, The New York Times also reports.

COVID-19 live updates: Vaccine protection against hospitalization is dropping slightly, CDC says – ABC
COVID-19 vaccine elicits antibodies in 90% taking immunosuppressants –Washington 
University School of Medicine in St. Louis (news release)
Effect of Immunosuppression on the Immunogenicity of mRNA Vaccines to SARS-CoV-2 –  Annals of Internal Medicine

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