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Which COVID-19 vaccine has the lowest rate of breakthrough infections? – Livescience.com

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Unvaccinated people currently account for most new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., but a small proportion of cases are in vaccinated people; these cases are known as breakthrough infections. But is there a difference in how often people get breakthrough infections depending on which vaccine they got?

The short answer is, we don’t know exactly, but there are some hints in the data. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does seem to have higher rates of breakthrough infection than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but that was expected based on the results of clinical trials. Some very early hints show a slightly lower rate of breakthrough infections with the Moderna vaccine than with the Pfizer vaccine, but that early finding is based on data on a few million people from only two locations and thus may not represent the overall picture in the country.  

Related: 5 dangerous myths about vaccines

Because no vaccine is 100% effective, breakthrough infections have been expected from the start of the vaccine rollout. In the context of clinical trials, about 0.04% of people given the Pfizer vaccine got infected with SARS-CoV-2, versus about 0.07% with Moderna and 0.59% with Johnson & Johnson. 

Now that the vaccines are authorized, scientists have the chance to track how many breakthrough infections occur in the real-world, beyond clinical trials. When breakthroughs do occur, most people experience mild symptoms, if they fall ill at all, and a small percentage develop severe disease, require hospitalization or die, current data suggests. 

The recent rise of the highly-transmissible delta variant might raise the risk of breakthrough infections, though. For example, a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, published Aug. 6 as a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) report, found that the delta variant surged in Mesa County, Colorado between May and June; at the same time, the county accrued a “significantly higher” proportion of breakthrough cases compared with other Colorado counties, where delta was less prevalent. 

Reporting of breakthrough infections now falls largely on the states, and of the 25 or so states that report breakthrough infections, most don’t yet provide data on the number of cases linked to each vaccine brand, Live Science found in a search of state health department websites.

However, Oklahoma and Washington, D.C., do make this information public. These data could provide “early signals” regarding how well the vaccines are working, particularly as new variants emerge, the DC Health website states. That said, there are many limitations: The data sets are small, each vaccine was given to different numbers of people and the timing of the doses makes it hard to interpret the data.  

Related: Coronavirus variants: Here’s how the SARS-CoV-2 mutants stack up

Still, as of Aug. 1, more than 299,000 D.C. residents had been fully vaccinated, according to data from DC Health. Of these people, nearly 151,000 received the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, about 124,700 got the two-dose Moderna vaccine and about 24,000 received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In this population, the highest rate of breakthroughs was seen in those who got the Johnson & Johnson shot: 77 people, or 0.32% of the roughly 24,000 recipients. The second highest rate was seen among Pfizer recipients, of whom 308 people, or 0.2%, tested positive for the virus. Finally, 161, or 0.13%, of the Moderna recipients caught a breakthrough infection.

These numbers include asymptomatic, mild, moderate and severe breakthrough cases. Some people with asymptomatic or mild infections may not get tested, so their cases would be missed, meaning this is probably an undercount of breakthroughs.

Related: 20 of the worst epidemics and pandemics in history

Oklahoma has reported similar results. 

As of Aug. 2, more than 1.5 million Oklahomans had been fully vaccinated, according to a report from the Oklahoma State Department of Health. About 817,000 had received Pfizer shots, 674,000 received Moderna and 102,000 got Johnson & Johnson. Again, the Johnson & Johnson recipients showed the highest rate of breakthrough cases, with 215, or 0.21%, testing positive for the virus; 1,468 Pfizer recipients, or 0.17% of the total, caught a breakthrough infection; and 831 Moderna recipients, or 0.12%, tested positive for the virus.

These snapshots from Oklahoma and D.C. likely offer an incomplete picture of breakthrough cases in each region, however, and for now, it’s unclear if the observed patterns are representative of the country as a whole. To accurately compare the vaccine brands, particularly with the delta variant still running rampant, we simply need more data, Robert Darnell, a physician scientist at The Rockefeller University in New York, told National Geographic

That said, other preliminary research also suggests Moderna’s vaccine offers more protection against the delta variant than Pfizer’s, which could help explain the differences in breakthrough rates, Reuters reported. One study, posted Aug. 8 on the preprint database bioRxiv, included more than 50,000 patients in the Mayo Clinic Health System and found that the Moderna vaccine’s real-world effectiveness fell from 86% to 76% between January and July, when delta gained prominence. In the same time window, Pfizer’s effectiveness fell from 76% to 42%. 

However, that study has not been peer-reviewed yet, so the results still need to be confirmed.

Originally published on Live Science. 

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Pfizer sends kids’ COVID-19 vaccine trial data to U.S. FDA – Global News

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Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE on Tuesday submitted initial trial data for their COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 5 to 11 and said they would make a formal request with U.S. regulators for emergency use in the coming weeks.

Coronavirus infections have soared in children, hitting their highest point in early September, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The vaccine, which is already authorized in teens aged 12 to 15 and fully approved for ages 16 and up, induced a strong immune response in the target age group in a 2,268-participant clinical trial, the companies said on Sept. 20.


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U.S. to donate half a billion additional Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines


U.S. to donate half a billion additional Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was authorized in kids aged 12-15 roughly a month after the companies filed for authorization. If the same timeline is followed for this application, younger children could start receiving their shots as soon as late October.

A rapid authorization could help mitigate a potential surge of cases this fall, with schools already open nationwide.

While kids are less susceptible to severe COVID-19, they can spread the virus to others, including vulnerable populations that are more at risk of severe illness.

The companies said they plan to submit the data to the European Medicines Agency and other regulatory authorities.

Read more:
Pfizer launches large study of oral COVID-19 prevention drug

Data from the companies’ trial showed the two-shot vaccine generated an immune response in children that matched what was previously observed in 16-to-25 year olds. The safety profile was also comparable to the older age group, Pfizer said.

The drugmakers are also testing the vaccine in children aged 2-to-5 and those aged 6 months-to-2 years, with data expected in the fourth quarter.

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is not yet authorized for use in adolescents in the United States, while it has gained authorization for that age group in Europe.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

© 2021 Reuters

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Trapped miners expected to emerge this morning as rescue operation continues: Vale – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Liam Casey, The Canadian Press


Published Tuesday, September 28, 2021 7:54AM EDT


Last Updated Tuesday, September 28, 2021 11:14AM EDT

Thirty-three of 39 miners who were trapped underground in northern Ontario since Sunday have returned safely to the surface, the workers’ union said Tuesday as a rescue operation continued.

United Steelworkers, which represents workers trapped in Totten Mine near Sudbury, Ont., said they are pleased with the rescue operation thus far.

“A team of doctors is on site, checking workers as they emerge,” said the union, which represents 30 of the 39 staff members trapped in the mine. “No one has been physically injured in the incident or in the evacuation.”

Vale, the company that owns the mine, said it expects everyone to emerge Tuesday.

The employees were trapped in the mine on Sunday when a scoop bucket being sent underground detached and blocked the mine shaft, Vale said.

As a result, it said the “conveyance system” for taking workers to and from the surface became unavailable.

Vale said the trapped miners have been staying in underground “refuge stations,” some 900 to 1,200 metres underground, as part of the company’s standard procedures.

The workers began making their way out Monday night through a “a secondary egress ladder system,” the company said.

“We thank the impacted employees for their patience and perseverance and the mine rescue teams for their tireless dedication and support,” said Gord Gilpin, head of mining for Vale’s Ontario operations. “This has been an incredible team effort.”

A rescue team met the miners Monday and prepared them for the long journey to the surface.

The union said the miners had to scale a system of ladders, with each ladder being about six metres long and with a staging area at every break.

“When an incident like this unfortunately happens, everyone comes together,” said Nick Larochelle, president of USW Local 6500

“The miners support each other, the highly trained mine rescue teams come together and the whole community waits patiently praying for the safe return of every one of the 39 miners to surface.”

The company said the trapped miners had access to food, water and medicine. The union added that miners had been able to make phone calls to both communicate with rescuers and to call loved ones.

Totten Mine opened in 2014, in Worthington, Ont., and produces copper, nickel and precious metals. It employs about 200 people.

The province’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, said an inspection team will investigate the incident once the rescue operation is finished.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2021.

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33 trapped miners safe after rescue, 6 more on long trek out of mine near Sudbury – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Liam Casey, The Canadian Press


Published Tuesday, September 28, 2021 7:54AM EDT


Last Updated Tuesday, September 28, 2021 11:14AM EDT

Thirty-three of 39 miners who were trapped underground in northern Ontario since Sunday have returned safely to the surface, the workers’ union said Tuesday as a rescue operation continued.

United Steelworkers, which represents workers trapped in Totten Mine near Sudbury, Ont., said they are pleased with the rescue operation thus far.

“A team of doctors is on site, checking workers as they emerge,” said the union, which represents 30 of the 39 staff members trapped in the mine. “No one has been physically injured in the incident or in the evacuation.”

Vale, the company that owns the mine, said it expects everyone to emerge Tuesday.

The employees were trapped in the mine on Sunday when a scoop bucket being sent underground detached and blocked the mine shaft, Vale said.

As a result, it said the “conveyance system” for taking workers to and from the surface became unavailable.

Vale said the trapped miners have been staying in underground “refuge stations,” some 900 to 1,200 metres underground, as part of the company’s standard procedures.

The workers began making their way out Monday night through a “a secondary egress ladder system,” the company said.

“We thank the impacted employees for their patience and perseverance and the mine rescue teams for their tireless dedication and support,” said Gord Gilpin, head of mining for Vale’s Ontario operations. “This has been an incredible team effort.”

A rescue team met the miners Monday and prepared them for the long journey to the surface.

The union said the miners had to scale a system of ladders, with each ladder being about six metres long and with a staging area at every break.

“When an incident like this unfortunately happens, everyone comes together,” said Nick Larochelle, president of USW Local 6500

“The miners support each other, the highly trained mine rescue teams come together and the whole community waits patiently praying for the safe return of every one of the 39 miners to surface.”

The company said the trapped miners had access to food, water and medicine. The union added that miners had been able to make phone calls to both communicate with rescuers and to call loved ones.

Totten Mine opened in 2014, in Worthington, Ont., and produces copper, nickel and precious metals. It employs about 200 people.

The province’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, said an inspection team will investigate the incident once the rescue operation is finished.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2021.

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