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Let's talk about Vaccine Booster Shots

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So now that we have reached a significant percentage milestone of vaccination, is it all green light now?

Well, now comes the booster shot 🙂

Where to register:

https://www.vaccine.gov.sg/

 

Why booster?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2021/09/13/covid-19-vaccine-booster-shots-who-can-get-them-when-still-uncertain/5773405001/

https://www.gov.sg/article/expanding-testing-and-surveillance-and-introducing-a-national-vaccine-booster-programme

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02158-6

Quote

Do boosters actually work?

Vaccination produces an initial surge in the number of immune cells churning out antibodies and other molecules, which then slowly drops. This leaves behind a small pool of long-lasting ‘memory’ B and T cells that patrol the body for future infections by that pathogen.

A health worker administers vaccines door-to-door in a rural area of Jerusalen, Colombia.Credit: Guillermo Legaria/Getty

A booster does several things to these cells, says Ali Ellebedy, a B-cell immunologist at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. It causes antibody-making B cells to multiply, elevating the levels of antibodies against the pathogen once more. In time, their numbers will dwindle again, but the pool of memory B cells left behind will be larger than before, leading to a faster, stronger response to subsequent exposures. Boosters also promote a process called affinity maturation, in which ‘engaged’ B cells — those that have been triggered by the vaccine — travel to the lymph nodes. Here, they gain mutations, making the antibodies they produce bind to pathogens more strongly, potentially enhancing their potency.

Numbers of memory B cells and antibody levels will eventually plateau with repeated boosting (or reinfection), but it is unlikely that such levels have been reached in people who have had the recommended regimen of COVID-19 vaccine or a previous infection, says Ellebedy. A booster shot should elicit stronger immune responses, says Rafi Ahmed, an immunologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. “It will boost.”

Can COVID vaccines stop transmission? Scientists race to find answers

The few trials to have tested extra doses support this. Third doses of vaccines developed by Moderna, Pfizer–BioNTech, Oxford–AstraZeneca and Sinovac prompted a spike in levels of infection-blocking ‘neutralizing’ antibodies, when administered several months after the second dose. An ongoing UK trial will test various combinations of boosters, including using a different vaccine from the original inoculations. Preliminary studies of these ‘mix and match’ strategies suggest that they could lead to more robust immune responses, characterized by high levels of both antibodies and T cells, which kill infected cells and support other antiviral responses1,2,3.

These trials also suggest that common vaccine-related side effects, such as headache and fever, aren’t very different from those seen with earlier immunizations. “I would take a third dose at some point,” Ahmed says. “I don’t see a downside.”

Is immunity from vaccines waning?

Scientists typically look at antibody levels, or titres, as a proxy for how well a vaccine has worked. These usually spike along with the surge in short-lived B cells and then fall as the cells dwindle. Memory B cells and bone-marrow plasma cells continue to churn out antibodies, but at reduced levels, for decades. That’s expected. “There isn’t a vaccine where you don’t see a drop over time in antibody titres and T-cell titres,” says Ahmed. “There is always a drop.”

Early indications suggest that antibody levels triggered by most COVID-19 vaccines are falling, too4. What scientists don’t know is whether these drops reflect a decline in protection against the virus. Teams around the world are racing to determine what level of neutralizing antibodies or another immune marker is most closely associated with a vaccine’s effectiveness. They’re seeking what’s known as a correlate of protection.

“What that magic number is, is something that we have a hint of — but not a firm handle on,” says Kanta Subbarao, a virologist at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, Australia. Knowing this threshold would allow researchers to determine more precisely whether and when a booster becomes necessary — such as in response to waning immunity or to the emergence of new variants that evade antibody recognition. “Without having that properly defined correlate, it’s hard to say if we really need a booster,” says Ellebedy.

 

Booster vaccination strategy

 

MOH, with advice from the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination (EC19V), has reviewed the vaccination strategy in light of the more transmissible variants that have emerged globally. Although evidence globally and locally continues to show that vaccines are very effective in reducing severe illness and death, there is emerging data on the waning of vaccine efficacy against infection with time.

 

MOH and EC19V will commence a booster programme for two groups of individuals:

 

(A) Persons who are moderately to severely immunocompromised

 

They are recommended to receive a third dose of the same Pandemic Special Access Route (PSAR) mRNA vaccine two months after their second dose as part of their primary course of vaccination regimen. They should be referred to do so by their doctors who have the best understanding of their medical condition.

 

These include persons with the following conditions:

Transplant patients on medications that suppress the immune system, including solid organ and allogenic stem cell transplants

Cancer patients on active treatment with chemotherapy or on other therapies that suppress the immune system

Haematological cancers

Treatments for non-cancer conditions that suppress the immune system

End-stage kidney disease on dialysis

Advanced or untreated HIV

(B) Persons aged 60 years and above and residents of aged care facilities

They are recommended to receive a booster dose of PSAR mRNA vaccine six to nine months after having completed their primary course of vaccination regimen.

 

The first batch of seniors aged 60 years and above completed their second doses around March 2021 and therefore will be eligible for the third dose within the month of September. More details on the implementation of the booster shot will be announced later.

 

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Not this type of booster ya

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https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Coronavirus/COVID-vaccines/Singapore-starts-booster-shots-as-COVID-cases-hit-1-year-high

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Edited by therock
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Supersonic

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01505-x

Six months of COVID vaccines: what 1.7 billion doses have taught scientists

 

How well do the vaccines work in the real world?

Danish epidemiologist Ida Moustsen-Helms was excited in February when she first saw how well the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine was working in health-care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, who were the first to receive it in Denmark. A clinical trial1 in more than 40,000 people had already found the vaccine to be 95% effective in protecting recipients from symptomatic COVID-19. But Moustsen-Helms, who works at the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, and her colleagues were among the first to test its effectiveness outside clinical trials, which can exclude some unhealthy individuals or those taking medicines that suppress immune responses.

The results2 showed it was 64% effective in long-term-care residents with a median age of 84, and 90% effective in health-care workers — which struck Moustsen-Helms as good news, given that immune responses in older people can be muted. But some Danish politicians were upset by the relatively low effectiveness in older recipients. “People were saying ‘how can this be true?’” she says. “Sometimes they forget that when you look at a trial result, those individuals included in trials are very different from people in the real world.”

Five reasons why COVID herd immunity is probably impossible

Since then, real-world data have come in from several countries (see 'Vaccination variation'), and much of the news has continued to be positive about how well vaccines perform in the general population. A nationwide vaccination campaign in Israel found the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine, co-developed by Pfizer in New York City and BioNTech in Mainz, Germany, to be 95% effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection seven days or more after the second dose3. The Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow and the Russian Direct Investment Fund announced that their Sputnik V vaccine has been 97% effective in almost 4 million people in Russia. And last month, London-based Public Health England reported4 that the Pfizer–BioNTech and Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccines are both 85–90% effective in preventing symptomatic disease after two doses. It cautioned, however, that it had low statistical confidence in the result for the Oxford–AstraZeneca jab, developed by the University of Oxford, UK, and AstraZeneca in Cambridge, UK.

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How long does protection against disease last?

Six months is not much time to collect data on how durable vaccine responses will be, but data could soon emerge from clinical-trial participants who had their first doses last July.

In the meantime, some researchers are looking to natural immunity as a guide. A study in more than 25,000 health-care workers in the United Kingdom found that a SARS-CoV-2 infection reduced the risk of catching the virus again by 84% for at least 7 months13. And Abu-Raddad says an unpublished study in Qatar is finding about 90% protection against reinfection as much as a year after a bout of SARS-CoV-2. “It seems to suggest that immunity is really strong against this virus,” he says. “I’m optimistic that vaccine immunity is going to last more than a few months and longer than a year, hopefully.”

What scientists know about new, fast-spreading coronavirus variants

But Mehul Suthar, a viral immunologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, is concerned that vaccine-induced immunity will not be as durable as immunity from natural infection. Suthar says that he and his collaborators have found that antibody levels declined faster in those who were vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine than in those who had been infected by SARS-CoV-2. Antibodies are not the only determinant of immunity, he says, but the results worry him. “I’m a little concerned that the vaccines weren’t as robust in generating more durable antibody responses,” Suthar says. “When you factor in variants, to me it’s clear that we’re going to need a booster.”

How soon that booster is needed could depend in part on the rate at which antibody levels decline — they could drop precipitously or plateau at a low level. One modelling study14 estimates that low levels of antibodies will be enough to offer significant protection against severe disease. But Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla has said that he expects a booster to be needed in about 8–12 months after the second dose of the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine.

On 19 May, the UK government announced that it had funded a study of 7 different COVID-19 vaccines given as boosters at least 10–12 weeks after the second dose of an initial vaccine. Early findings are expected in September — in time to inform a booster programme aimed at protecting the most vulnerable groups over the UK winter. The US National Institutes of Health is also studying boosters in some study participants who received their first vaccine dose in an early clinical trial that began in March 2020.

Vaccine developers are now testing variant-specific boosters, too. Moderna has released preliminary results showing that a booster vaccine using a spike-protein sequence from the B.1.351 variant increased the concentration of antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2, and particularly the B.1.351 variant15.

Even if immunity does fade earlier than he hopes, Abu-Raddad is optimistic that it won’t disappear entirely. “If I would make a bet right now, I would say that even when people start losing their immunity against infection, they will not lose immunity against severe infections,” he says.

How much do vaccines block transmission?

Key clinical trials for currently authorized vaccines determined whether the inoculations could safely avert symptomatic disease in individuals. But blocking transmission of the virus is also crucial for ending a pandemic, and most of those clinical trials did not track asymptomatic infections that could fuel the virus’s spread.

Researchers have been trying to fill this gap, and, so far, the data look promising. Results announced by Johnson & Johnson from clinical trials suggest that its vaccine is 74% effective against asymptomatic infections. Researchers studying deployment of the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine in Israel have also reported that vaccination reduces the amount of virus found in infected individuals by up to 4.5-fold, suggesting that they could be less likely to shed that virus into the environment, where it might infect someone else16.

And a study17 by Public Health England has found that even a single dose of either the Pfizer–BioNTech or Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine reduced the spread of disease from infected individuals to household members by up to 50%. “It’s likely that all the vaccines have some similar effect,” says Michael Weekes, a viral immunologist at the University of Cambridge, UK. “Overall, it’s quite an optimistic picture.”

But, faced with incomplete data, these studies must often rely on inference to draw conclusions — assuming, for example, that lower viral load translates to reduced transmission, says Susan Little, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of California, San Diego. Little is an investigator on an ambitious trial spread across more than 30 higher-education institutions in the United States to determine how often vaccinated people infect others. The trial will randomize students so they either receive the Moderna vaccine or delay vaccination by four months. Researchers will test participants daily for infection; their close contacts will take coronavirus tests twice a week.

How to redesign COVID vaccines so they protect against variants

Little and her colleagues are looking for high-quality data to back up important decisions to come. “As people are starting to go back to work, at a policy level, should vaccination be required for schools, places of employment, public transport?” she asks. “Do vaccinated individuals need to wear masks or social distance?” On 13 May, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidelines on masking, saying that fully vaccinated people could go without masks in some public settings.

But Little says widespread vaccine availability in the United States has left the study struggling to enrol participants. And the spread of viral variants could complicate the picture still more, says Kim. If vaccines are less able to decrease the viral load in individuals infected with a variant, they might also be less able to block transmission, he cautions. “Transmission is a really hard one,” he says. “And an unknown variable here is how the variants will affect this.”

What have scientists learnt about safety?

The speed at which countries have rolled out COVID-19 vaccines is unparalleled — and the same can be said of the surveillance systems put in place to monitor vaccine safety.

Clinical trials of some vaccines involved more than 40,000 participants, and yielded few signs of side effects beyond those often seen after vaccination, including injection-site soreness, fever and nausea. “We generally say that no vaccine is 100% safe,” says Meissner. “But the safety of these vaccines is remarkable.”

Shortly after inoculations with the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine began, a few regions reported cases of a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. But further study showed that the risk of this condition — which can be treated at the vaccination centre — is not much higher for the Moderna and Pfizer–BioNTech jabs than for other vaccines, says Meissner. For Pfizer–BioNTech, the risk is about 4.7 cases per 1 million doses18; the risk of anaphylaxis from any vaccination is estimated at 1.3 in a million.

More concerning has been the very rare occurrence of a blood-clotting syndrome in recipients of the Oxford–AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. First reported in Europe and linked to vaccination with the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine, hallmarks of the syndrome include blood clots in unusual places — particularly in the brain and abdomen — coupled with depletion of clot-promoting cell fragments called platelets. The condition can be fatal, but regulators have repeatedly determined that the risk posed by COVID-19 is greater for many people than is the risk of developing the clotting syndrome. The European Medicines Agency has concluded that it occurs in about one in 100,000 vaccine recipients.

Researchers are still racing to determine how the vaccine could cause the syndrome. But the subsequent US discovery of similar cases among recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — although at a frequency of only about 3.5 per million people — has led to speculation that the condition might be linked to the disabled adenoviruses used in the vaccines to shuttle the coronavirus spike gene into cells.

Mix-and-match COVID vaccines trigger potent immune response

Since the syndrome was discovered, the United Kingdom has advised that people under the age of 40 receive a different vaccine, given their very low risk of complications from SARS-CoV-2 infection. The United States has resumed vaccinations with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after pausing it in response to the reports. But in Denmark, the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine was discontinued in April, and those who have already received one dose have been advised to have an mRNA vaccine from Pfizer–BioNTech or Moderna as their second dose.

Meanwhile, surveys have suggested that the debate over the safety of these vaccines was enough to damage public confidence in them. “What defines a safe vaccine?” says Meissner. “One out of a hundred thousand may seem very safe for one person; another person says ‘One in a million? What if that’s me?’”

Israel’s Ministry of Health is now evaluating a possible link between the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine and reports of heart inflammation, a condition called myocarditis. So far, most cases have been mild and have occurred in men aged between 16 and 19.

What impact have the vaccines had on the course of the pandemic?

Several countries with high vaccination rates — including Israel and the United Kingdom — have seen precipitous declines in deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19. Public Health England has calculated that the vaccines have saved 13,000 lives among those aged 60 and over4. The United Kingdom has fully vaccinated more than one-third of its population.

But these countries have conducted their vaccination campaigns while under strict social-distancing measures. Chile, by contrast, rolled back its distancing requirements early this year as it embarked on an aggressive vaccination campaign. By April, its intensive-care wards were overflowing with COVID-19 patients, despite the country having one of the world’s highest vaccination rates.

Once vaccines have reached a wide swathe of the population, however, it might be possible to ease lockdowns and social-distancing restrictions. Israel’s rates of infection, for example, have remained low after it gradually relaxed most restrictions once about half of its adult population had been vaccinated. Infections are also falling in the United States as the proportion of fully vaccinated adults there surpasses 40% (see ‘Unequal protection’).

Source: Our World in Data

But the Seychelles, the most vaccinated country in the world (with a population of less than 100,000), experienced a surge in infections — although relatively few deaths — as it reached a level of more than 60% adult vaccination in early May.

For now, it’s unclear what has driven that outbreak and whether coronavirus variants could be to blame, says Kim. But it pays to ease restrictions slowly, he says, even once a country has achieved a high level of vaccination. “It’s probably wise to remember that every time we saw the numbers going down and we were relieved and relaxed, they came back again,” says Kim. “That’s the cautionary tale in all of this.”

And for much of the world — particularly low- and middle-income countries — limited supplies mean that vaccines will probably have little impact on the course of the pandemic this year. Madhi says that he does not expect the current roll-out in South Africa to do much to protect it from the impending third surge there: by the time all people over the age of 60 have been offered their first dose at the end of June, he expects social distancing and other measures to have already brought the country’s burgeoning infection numbers down. And in India, a combination of low vaccination rates, aggressive variants and widespread social interaction are thought to have led to its tragic and overwhelming COVID-19 outbreak.

Whereas some wealthy countries were able to pre-order large amounts of vaccine, many low- and middle-income countries have had to make do with less. The World Health Organization’s target is to vaccinate 20% of the population in those countries by the end of this year. “This is not going to be the main exit strategy for them this year,” says Mark Jit, an infectious-disease modeller at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. “Maybe in 2022, when the supply is less constrained.” Instead, such countries might need to rely heavily on social distancing, mask wearing and test-and-trace programmes.

And even in countries with higher vaccination rates, the once-glittering hope of achieving herd immunity — when enough immunity exists in the population to prevent disease spread — has faded, says Kim. “Now with widespread generation of these variants and continued uncontrolled outbreaks, that’s looking less likely,” he says. “And the impact of the pandemic will continue to be felt until vaccination can be accomplished not only in high-income but low- and middle-income countries.”

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https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/covid19-vaccines-booster-third-shot-what-you-need-know-2136941

Are vaccine booster shots necessary? What we know about a possible 3rd COVID-19 jab

Quote

WHICH COUNTRIES ARE HAVING BOOSTER SHOTS?

Israel was the first country to roll out booster shots for its population of 9 million.

After one of the fastest vaccine roll-outs in the world, Israel removed COVID-19 restrictions. But after the Delta variant hit the country in June, it went from single-digit daily infections to a record 12,113 cases on Tuesday (Aug 24), according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

It has reimposed indoor mask-wearing, limitations on gatherings and ramped up rapid testing, Reuters reported. The country is hoping that it will not have to impose another lockdown.

On Jul 30, it began administering a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine to people over 60, the first country to do so. It has gradually lowered the age threshold and on Tuesday, it expanded eligibility to those above 30.

Related:

Israel finds COVID-19 vaccine booster significantly lowers infection risk

Israel to begin COVID-19 booster jabs for over 30s; third shots show signs of taming Delta

Reuters reported that the pandemic is abating among the first age group, according to Israeli health ministry data and scientists. Scientists said booster shots are having an impact on infections, but other factors like more cautious behaviour are likely contributing to the decline as well.

Hungary has already started distributing booster shots, with anyone eligible four months after they received their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine, said Reuters.

The United States has announced plans to offer booster doses in September to all Americans. Pfizer and BioNTech have already started the application process for the approval of its booster shot in people 16 and older, saying it spurs a more than three-fold increase in antibodies against the coronavirus.

Related:

Pfizer seeks US approval for COVID-19 booster vaccine; WHO says first shot is priority

The United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany and Austria have also planned booster campaigns. A number of other countries have said they will give third shots to vulnerable and immuno-suppressed patients. 

In Asia, Indonesia started giving booster shots produced by Moderna to medical workers in July and is considering extra doses for wider use. Thailand is offering Pfizer-BioNTech jabs as a booster to medical workers who previously received two shots of Sinovac. Cambodia started offering AstraZeneca booster shots on Aug 12 to those who have received Sinopharm and Sinovac. South Korea said in June it plans to secure more mRNA vaccines to use as boosters next year.

COVID-19 booster shots should become available in China after the country vaccinates more people, a senior executive at a Sinopharm unit responsible for developing COVID-19 vaccines has told state media.

WHEN SHOULD ONE GET A BOOSTER SHOT?

Countries also have very different timelines for administering or for planned booster shots – from four months to eight or nine months. So, what is the recommended time to get one?

Assoc Prof Hsu said that at this point, there is not enough data to answer this question definitively.

The experiences from Israel and UK suggest that protection from infection – including mild symptomatic disease – wanes within six months post-vaccination, particularly with the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine. 

However, protection against severe disease remains excellent at more than 85 per cent effective when compared with unvaccinated people, even for the elderly. 

Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine labels are seen in this illustration picture taken on Mar 19, 2021. (File photo: Reuters/Dado Ruvic)

“Will protection against severe disease wane over time? We do not know for sure at this point if and when this will happen, but it will certainly take a far longer period of time compared to protection against infection,” he said, adding that this will also differ for different vaccines.

NUH's Prof Dale Fisher said that the key measurable is an increasing number of severe cases in fully vaccinated people. 

“We shouldn’t get confused by increasing numbers of total cases or severe disease in the unvaccinated. These numbers do not reflect waning vaccine effect.  At the moment, severe disease is still very uncommon in the fully vaccinated. We need to watch the data in Singapore and overseas.”

THE SAME OR DIFFERENT?

There’s no definitive answer to whether one should get the same vaccine or a different one. 

Professor Ooi Eng Eong, from Duke-NUS Medical School's Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases, said that preliminary data does suggest that the use of a different vaccine could be useful to expand the breadth of immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants.

But clinical trials have been limited to evaluating the use of chimpanzee adenovirus vector vaccine (such as AstraZeneca) as the first dose followed by an mRNA vaccine as the second dose, said Professor Ooi. 

"Since most Singaporeans have received two doses of mRNA vaccines, there is as yet no evidence that booster vaccination with a non-mRNA vaccine would produce superior immune response to getting a third dose of mRNA vaccine," he said.

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Hypersonic

Can take non-mRNA vaccine for booster shot?

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Just now, RH1667 said:

Can take non-mRNA vaccine for booster shot?

There is very little published science on the matter now. Generally boosters are helpful, but when, and in what combo is harder to answer.

But those who took sinovac have been actively looking for a mRNA one since it is known that the antibody reaction is much less with Sinovac..

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https://www.channelnewsasia.com/world/covid-19-vaccine-booster-shot-moderna-research-data-2180961

 

CHICAGO: New data from Moderna's large COVID-19 vaccine trial shows that the protection it offers wanes over time, supporting the case for booster doses, the company said in a news release on Wednesday (Sep 15).

"This is only one estimate, but we do believe this means as you look toward the fall and winter, at minimum we expect the estimated impact of waning immunity would be 600,000 additional cases of COVID-19," Moderna President Stephen Hoge said on a conference call with investors.

Hoge did not project how many of the cases would be severe, but said some would require hospitalisation.

The data stands in stark contrast with data from several recent studies that suggested Moderna's vaccine protection lasts longer than a similar shot from Pfizer and German partner BioNTech. Experts said the difference is likely due to Moderna's higher dose of messenger RNA (mRNA) and the slightly longer interval between the first and second shots.

Both vaccines proved to be exceedingly effective at preventing illness in their large Phase III studies.

Wednesday's analysis, however, showed higher rates of infection among people vaccinated roughly 13 months ago compared with those vaccinated roughly eight months ago.

The study period was from July to August, when Delta was the predominant strain. It has yet to undergo peer review.

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6th Gear (edited)

Maybe Asians don't need it.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/protein-deficiency-not-age-or-weather-reason-for-spread-of-covid-in-europe-us-101612928342246.html

Protein deficiency, not age or weather, reason for spread of Covid in Europe, US
It was not the age profile or weather conditions, but the deficiency of a particular protein that led to the rapid spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) among Europeans and North Americans, according to a study by researchers from National Institute of Biomedical Genomics-Kalyani.

The study was recently published in the journal Infections, Genetics and Evolution.

The entry of the Sars-CoV-2 virus in the human body is a two-step procedure. First, the spike protein of the virus attaches to the ACE 2 (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2) protein found on the surface of certain human cells in the lungs, intestine, and other tissues and organs. Second, another human protein TMPRSS2 (type II transmembrane serine protease) breaks the S1-S2 junction in the spike protein to allow the genetic material of the virus to enter the human cell.

However, the variant of the virus that spread rapidly across the world had acquired a mutation since it left Wuhan that allowed it to use another human protein called neutrophil elastase to also cleave the S1-S2 junction.

“Now the neutrophil elastase is used by the human body usually to kill the organism attacking the lungs. However, it also damages the lung tissue in the process. Hence, a protein called Alpha-anti-trypsin (AAT) is needed to balance its action. Our research shows that the deficiency of this AAT protein among the people in Europe and North America led to the rapid spread of the infection in these populations,” said Nidhan Biswas, the co-author of the article.

The paper shows a co-relation between the level of AAT in populations and the spread of the infection, he said.

“So far, we had seen that these regions were reporting higher number of cases but we did not know why. Some thought it was because of the elderly population or the cold weather. But, if you look at Japan it has a considerable old population but the disease was not as widespread. Conversely, the population of Brazil is younger and yet the disease was widespread. Now, we have shown that the reason for higher spread is the deficiency of AAT protein,” said Biswas.

He said, “Even among the European population, the AAT deficiency is highest among those in Spain and Italy. And, Italy saw one of the biggest outbreaks initially.”

The study has found a co-relation between the levels of AAT and the disease spread. However, the researchers have not found any link between the level of the protein and the severity of the disease.

“This is the first time a co-relation has been established between this protein and the spread of Covid-19. However, this will have to be validated in appropriate cell lines and animal models. However, this gives us important information about the mechanism used by the virus to enter the human cells and the knowledge may be used to develop molecules in the future that can prevent the entry of the virus into the human body,” said Dr Soumitra Das, director, NIBMG.

> > > > > > > > > >

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20435667/

Ethnic differences in alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency in the United States of America
Conclusions: This analysis has demonstrated that the highest risk for AAT deficiency is found in Whites, followed by Hispanics and Blacks with the lowest prevalence among Mexican Americans and no risk among Asians.

Edited by Kklim
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Contributing moi protein to save lives nao!!!!! 😁

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Watch that page... because Asians in Phil, Indo are still dying and the science or how this disease plays out is still out there.. 

But anti-vaxxers will hang onto any news to give them reason not to vaccinate... 

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27 minutes ago, Kklim said:

Maybe Asians don't need it.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/protein-deficiency-not-age-or-weather-reason-for-spread-of-covid-in-europe-us-101612928342246.html

Protein deficiency, not age or weather, reason for spread of Covid in Europe, US
It was not the age profile or weather conditions, but the deficiency of a particular protein that led to the rapid spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) among Europeans and North Americans, according to a study by researchers from National Institute of Biomedical Genomics-Kalyani.

The study was recently published in the journal Infections, Genetics and Evolution.

The entry of the Sars-CoV-2 virus in the human body is a two-step procedure. First, the spike protein of the virus attaches to the ACE 2 (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2) protein found on the surface of certain human cells in the lungs, intestine, and other tissues and organs. Second, another human protein TMPRSS2 (type II transmembrane serine protease) breaks the S1-S2 junction in the spike protein to allow the genetic material of the virus to enter the human cell.

However, the variant of the virus that spread rapidly across the world had acquired a mutation since it left Wuhan that allowed it to use another human protein called neutrophil elastase to also cleave the S1-S2 junction.

“Now the neutrophil elastase is used by the human body usually to kill the organism attacking the lungs. However, it also damages the lung tissue in the process. Hence, a protein called Alpha-anti-trypsin (AAT) is needed to balance its action. Our research shows that the deficiency of this AAT protein among the people in Europe and North America led to the rapid spread of the infection in these populations,” said Nidhan Biswas, the co-author of the article.

The paper shows a co-relation between the level of AAT in populations and the spread of the infection, he said.

“So far, we had seen that these regions were reporting higher number of cases but we did not know why. Some thought it was because of the elderly population or the cold weather. But, if you look at Japan it has a considerable old population but the disease was not as widespread. Conversely, the population of Brazil is younger and yet the disease was widespread. Now, we have shown that the reason for higher spread is the deficiency of AAT protein,” said Biswas.

He said, “Even among the European population, the AAT deficiency is highest among those in Spain and Italy. And, Italy saw one of the biggest outbreaks initially.”

The study has found a co-relation between the levels of AAT and the disease spread. However, the researchers have not found any link between the level of the protein and the severity of the disease.

“This is the first time a co-relation has been established between this protein and the spread of Covid-19. However, this will have to be validated in appropriate cell lines and animal models. However, this gives us important information about the mechanism used by the virus to enter the human cells and the knowledge may be used to develop molecules in the future that can prevent the entry of the virus into the human body,” said Dr Soumitra Das, director, NIBMG.

> > > > > > > > > >

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20435667/

Ethnic differences in alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency in the United States of America
Conclusions: This analysis has demonstrated that the highest risk for AAT deficiency is found in Whites, followed by Hispanics and Blacks with the lowest prevalence among Mexican Americans and no risk among Asians.

I thought Delta came from India and a lot of people were infected and died?

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Supersonic
45 minutes ago, therock said:

There is very little published science on the matter now. Generally boosters are helpful, but when, and in what combo is harder to answer.

But those who took sinovac have been actively looking for a mRNA one since it is known that the antibody reaction is much less with Sinovac..

If can mixed with non mRNA, then better take Novavax than Sinovac. Anyway, i lazy to read up all the text, so this 3rd shot is only require to take 1 dose or 2 dose ah?

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Twincharged

All these pharma companies selling koyok for third shot? Do we need it given we are likely to be given a "natural" third shot, hopefully without severe symptoms given we are mostly vaccinated, in the next 6 - 12 months? 

Singapore should start to produce its own mRNA vaccines, just licensed it and we don't have to buy from Pfizer and Moderna.  Hopefully more effective and lasting vaccines will be developed soon. 

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Supersonic

TL;DR (in case you dunno. It means Too Long; Didnt Read)

Overload on information. LoL...

Ideally we should do a blood test to test for antibodies before deciding on what to do next. Now of course dont have the time and manpower to do that. So luan luan lai. Jit tao all to get booster shots.

The vaccines that we took as a child dont need what booster shots. I thought vaccines are taken one time that will last us a lifetime?

Is this a push for pharma companies to make more money? Or are we simply just kiasu & kiasee?

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Supersonic
3 minutes ago, Voodooman said:

All these pharma companies selling koyok for third shot? Do we need it given we are likely to be given a "natural" third shot, hopefully without severe symptoms given we are mostly vaccinated, in the next 6 - 12 months? 

Singapore should start to produce its own mRNA vaccines, just licensed it and we don't have to buy from Pfizer and Moderna.  Hopefully more effective and lasting vaccines will be developed soon. 

Regarding this 'natural' third shot. Will the vax develop natural immunity if they recover? I am thinking, coz since the antibodies from the mRNA are fighting and 'won' the battle, will our body be developing natural immunity?.

I can't find any studies on this. I.e. Vaxxed -> breakthrough infection-> any hybrid immunity? But there are studies for those unvax who recovered, develop natural immunity and then go for booster shots will have this powerful hybrid immunity.

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My question is simple. If after the 3rd shot, do we need the 4th, 5th?

Are  these vaccines turning into some sort of drug that the more we take, the more we have to take? What are the long term effects?

All I know is that it is never good to let the body to be dependent on any sort of drugs or substance.

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Supersonic
Just now, Starry said:

My question is simple. If after the 3rd shot, do we need the 4th, 5th?

Are  these vaccines turning into some sort of drug that the more we take, the more we have to take? What are the long term effects?

All I know is that it is never good to let the body to be dependent on any sort of drugs or substance.

For the two mRNA, confirm wane until almost kosong after six months. So you are as good as unvaxed. 

Ownself do risk assessment whether are you above 60, or above 40 with underlying conditions.  It's like the same risk assessment from flu shot, elderly are adviced to take the shot yearly, coz they are at high risk to develop sever pneumonia from common influenza.

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Supersonic

If flu vaccine is required every year in temperate countries, COVID19 vaccine is no different from that.

The ONLY problem is WE DON'T TAKE FLU VACCINE YEARLY.

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