A new study in two states that compares coronavirus protection from prior infection and vaccination concludes getting the shots is still the safest way to prevent COVID-19.
The study examined infections in New York and California last summer and fall and found people who were both vaccinated and had survived a prior bout of COVID-19 had the most protection.
But unvaccinated people with a past infection were a close second. By fall, when the more contagious delta variant had taken over but boosters weren’t yet widespread, that group had a lower case rate than vaccinated people who had no past infection.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released the study Wednesday, noted several caveats to the research. And some outside experts were cautious of the findings and wary of how they might be interpreted.
“The bottom line message is that from symptomatic COVID infection you do generate some immunity,” said immunologist E. John Wherry of the University of Pennsylvania. “But it’s still much safer to get your immunity from vaccination than from infection.”
Vaccination has long been urged even after a prior case of COVID-19 because both kinds of protection eventually wane — and there are too many unknowns to rely only on a past infection, especially a long-ago one, added immunologist Ali Ellebedy at Washington University in St. Louis.
“There are so many variables you cannot control that you just cannot use it as a way to say, `Oh, I’m infected then I am protected,”’ Ellebedy said.
Quebec’s COVID-19 death toll highest in the country
The research does fall in line with a small cluster of studies that found unvaccinated people with a previous infection had lower risks of COVID-19 diagnosis or illness than vaccinated people who were never before infected.
The new study’s findings do make sense, said Christine Petersen, a University of Iowa epidemiologist. She said a vaccine developed against an earlier form of the coronavirus is likely to become less and less effective against newer, mutated versions.
However, experts said, there are a number of possible other factors at play, including whether the vaccine’s effectiveness simply faded over time in many people and to what extent mask wearing and other behaviors played a part in what happened.
Another thing to consider: The “staunchly unvaccinated” aren’t likely to get tested and the study only included lab-confirmed cases, Wherry said.
“It may be that we’re not picking up as many reinfections in the unvaccinated group,” he said.
CDC officials noted other limitations. The study was done before the omicron variant took over and before many Americans received booster doses, which have been shown to dramatically amplify protection by raising levels of virus-fighting antibodies. The analysis also did not include information on the severity of past infections, or address the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.
The study authors concluded vaccination “remains the safest strategy” to prevent infections and “all eligible persons should be up to date with COVID-19 vaccination.”
The researchers looked at infections in California and New York, which together account for about 18 per cent of the U.S. population. They also looked at COVID-19 hospitalizations in California.
Overall, about 70 per cent of the adults in each state were vaccinated; another five per cent were vaccinated and had a previous infection. A little under 20 per cent weren’t vaccinated; and roughly five per cent were unvaccinated but had a past infection.
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The researchers looked at COVID-19 cases from the end of last May until mid-November, and calculated how often new infections happened in each group. As time went on, vaccine-only protection looked less and less impressive.
By early October, compared with unvaccinated people who didn’t have a prior infection, case rates were:
— Six-fold lower in California and 4.5-fold lower in New York in those who were vaccinated but not previously infected.
— 29-fold lower in California and 15-fold lower in New York in those who had been infected but never vaccinated.
— 32.5-fold lower in California and 20-fold lower in New York in those who had been infected and vaccinated.
But the difference in the rates between those last two groups was not statistically significant, the researchers found.
Hospitalization data, only from California, followed a similar pattern.
© 2022 The Canadian Press
Quebec health officials confirm 25 monkeypox cases now in province – Global News
Quebec public health officials are reporting a total of 25 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the province as of Thursday.
Dr. Luc Boileau, interim public health director in the province, described it as a “serious outbreak” of the virus. Officials are investigating several more suspected cases.
“We had about 20 to 30 suspected cases under investigation so far,” Boileau said.
The province will also begin administering the Imvamune vaccine to close contacts of confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox as soon as Friday. A single dose will be provided within four days of exposure to the virus.
Quebec’s Health Ministry said in a statement that a second dose of the vaccine could be administered, but only if the risk of exposure is “still present 28 days later” and “only following a decision by public health authorities.”
Boileau said the majority of confirmed cases in the province are tied mostly to men who have had sexual relations with other men. There has been one case in a person under 18.
Last week, Quebec recorded the first cases of the virus in the country. The first suspected cases were reported on May 12 in Montreal.
Monkeypox is a rare disease that comes from the same family of viruses that causes smallpox, which the World Health Organization declared eradicated around the globe in 1980.
The virus spreads through prolonged closed contact. It can cause fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes and lesions.
— with files from Global News’ Dan Spector and the Canadian Press
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Quebec to start monkeypox vaccination of contacts as officials confirm 25 cases
MONTREAL — Quebec’s interim public health director says the province could start vaccinating people against monkeypox as soon as Friday.
Dr. Luc Boileau says there are now 25 confirmed cases of the disease in the province and about 30 suspected cases are under investigation.
He says the province has received supplies of smallpox vaccine from the federal government, and it will be administered to people who have been in close contact with confirmed cases of the disease.
Dr. Caroline Quach, the chair of Quebec’s immunization committee, says the vaccine has been shown to prevent monkeypox in animal studies if it is administered within four days of an exposure and can reduce severity if it is administered up to 14 days after an exposure.
She says the disease is transmitted only through prolonged close contact.
Boileau says the majority of cases are in adult men who have been in sexual contact with people who have the disease, and there has been one case in a person under 18.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2022.
The Canadian Press
Monkeypox Warnings Ignored; Dominant COVID Strain Emerges; Better Paxlovid Access – Medpage Today
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Warning signs of the current monkeypox outbreak may have been ignored. (STAT)
The CDC issued a monkeypox travel alert encouraging “enhanced precautions” after cases were reported in North America, Europe, and Australia.
Roche announced it has developed three PCR test kits to detect the monkeypox virus.
The U.S. has a new dominant COVID-19 strain — BA.2.12.1 — a highly contagious sublineage of the BA.2 omicron subvariant that now accounts for 57.9% of all cases, according to CDC estimates.
As of Thursday at 8:00 a.m. EDT, the unofficial U.S. COVID toll was 83,697,199 cases and 1,004,558 deaths, increases of 218,146 and 913, respectively, compared with this time Wednesday morning.
The Biden Administration, projecting COVID infections will continue to spread during the summer travel season announced additional steps to make nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid) more accessible. (ABC News)
The White House also reported the launch of the first federally-supported test-to-treat COVID site.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other senior leaders of the government are to blame for booze-filled parties that violated the country’s COVID-19 lockdown rules, according to an investigative report. (NPR)
A mouse study suggested that maraviroc (Selzentry), a FDA-approved drug used to treat HIV, may be able to reverse middle-aged memory loss. (Nature)
The University of California system will be paying nearly $700 million to women who said they were sexually abused by a UCLA gynecologist over the course of several decades. (AP)
The parents of a 4-year-old girl spoke out about her mysterious case of pediatric hepatitis that required a liver transplant, one of 180 similar cases under investigation in the U.S. (Today)
Teva Pharmaceuticals has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of one lot of anagrelide capsules, which are used to treat thrombocythemia secondary to myeloproliferative neoplasms, due to dissolution test failure during routine stability testing.
Servier announced the FDA approved ivosidenib (Tibsovo) in combination with azacitidine for certain patients with newly diagnosed IDH1-mutated acute myeloid leukemia.
A report from the American Medical Association shows that payers are not following the prior authorization reforms agreed to in 2018. (Fierce Healthcare)
The mass shooting in Buffalo earlier this month is a reminder that millions of Americans don’t have easy access to grocery stores. (NPR)
COVID-era misinformation is leading a wave of parents to reject ordinary childhood immunizations. (New York Times)
The FDA issued guidance spelling out rules for states that want to import certain prescription drugs from Canada.
Canada’s transport minister detects ‘shift’ in U.S. outlook after meetings in D.C.
With debates over, Conservative leadership candidate turns to final membership push
‘Extremely serious’: Calgary man involved in terrorism activity sentenced to 12 years
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Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
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