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Getting the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine after AstraZeneca may result in better immune protection (preprint)

A preprint study, which is not yet peer-reviewed, suggests that people whose second shot is the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine after a first shot of the AstraZeneca jab may develop better immune protection than those who receive two AstraZeneca doses. Overnight, Canada has also changed its recommendations on mixing vaccines, and is now recommending that people who got the AstraZeneca vaccine as their first dose should get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for their second shot.

Can mRNA from COVID-19 vaccines be integrated into the human DNA?

Posts on social media have claimed that the mRNA COVID vaccines such as the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccine could alter a persons DNA. Below Australian experts address this concern

How does a virus become a variant? Is it a bad thing?

Several variants have emerged since the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease, Professor Walter Jaoko explains more on how this happens.

「醫護人員接種單劑莫德納疫苗(mRNA-1273)後感染新冠的發生率」之專家意見

今(2021)年6月16日台北時間23:00,國際期刊《美國醫學會期刊》網路開放版(JAMA Network Open)刊登了一篇研究報告,分析美國VA波士頓醫療照護系統(VA Boston Healthcare System,VABHS)下的4,028位醫護人員,比較接種疫苗與未接種疫苗中 RT-PCR 陽性醫護人員的比例與臨床表現等差異,分析結果顯示「接種一劑mRNA-1273 疫苗」與「減少接種8天後的感染」有關聯性,這些在真實世界(real-world)的結果與BNT162b2疫苗(另一種mRNA疫苗)結果一致,皆反應出接種單劑的mRNA疫苗在降低感染風險的有效性。

How is the Novavax vaccine technology different from that of vaccines previously authorized in the US?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

How does the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine fit into the US and the global strategy to combat disease?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

Are there any particular benefits or drawbacks of the Novavax vaccine compared to other COVID vaccines?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

Vaccine Safety Net

The Vaccine Safety Net is a global network of websites, established by the World Health Organization, that provides reliable information on vaccine safety.

Does flying increase the risk of blood clots in people who have been vaccinated?

Flying does not increase the risk of blood clots in people who have been vaccinated. Though the risk of blood clots increases in people who are flying, this is not related to COVID-19 vaccines and these types of blood clots are different than the blood clots that have occurred in very few cases of people who have received the AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

「新冠病毒感染13-24天後BNT162b2疫苗第一劑效力研究」之專家意見

今(2021)年6月7日台北時間23:00,國際期刊《美國醫學會雜誌期刊》(The Journal of the American Medical Association,JAMA)最新刊登了BNT疫苗的相對有效性(comparative effectiveness)研究報告。該研究測試在真實世界中的人,施打第一劑BNT疫苗的有效性。該研究使用351,897人施打完第一劑BNT疫苗後的追蹤資料來評估,發現施打後第13-24天相對於施打後第1-12天的確診率,有效地降低。該結果也與BNT疫苗第三期隨機臨床試驗結果相符。新興科技媒體中心特邀專家回應。

Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a condition that affects the blood

Expert reaction to study looking at the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a condition that affects the blood, as published in Nature Medicine*

國產疫苗科學資訊

台灣國產疫苗相關科學資訊說明

How is Midazolam being used for COVID-19? Is it dangerous?

Midazolam is a sedative primarily given to patients before a surgery or medical procedure, to help with seizures, and to critically ill patients in hospital settings. The medication has not been linked to premature deaths in patients that were purposely mislabeled as deaths caused by COVID-19.

Vaccine Insights: Gain mastery over misinformation

A flexible online learning course, designed and run by First Draft, will help you stay one step ahead of those spreading conspiracies and false claims about vaccines. The online workshops are available in eight languages, as well as English, on a special YouTube channel. | عربي | Português | 漢語 | Français | Deutsch | हिन्दी | Italiano | Español |

How are COVID-19 vaccines developed?

There are various potential approaches to developing a Covid-19 vaccine, as Professor Walter Jaoko explains.

What is known about the safety and efficacy of using different technologies for the first and second doses of COVID vaccines?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

What is known about the safety and efficacy of using different technologies for initial vaccination and subsequent booster shots?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

Efficacy of Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 variants including Delta

A lab study from the UK has looked at blood neutralising antibody levels from people vaccinated with one or two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, against different variants of SARS-CoV-2 including the B.1.617.2 delta (Indian) variant, as published in the Lancet*

What do we know about the toxicity of spike proteins made from COVID-19 vaccines?

The spike proteins from mRNA vaccines are not known to harm our bodies. Vaccines go through very rigorous standards set by the U.S. FDA to meet safety and efficacy criteria. Thousands of people underwent clinical trials over several months to understand if there were any side effects or risks associated with the vaccines. The vaccines are still being monitored for any safety concerns or patterns that could risk human well-being.  So far, there is no scientific evidence available that suggests that spike proteins created in our bodies from the COVID-19 vaccines are toxic or damaging organs of our body, as is being claimed on some social platforms.

Antibodies found that enhance SARS-CoV-2 infection - what does this mean for vaccines?

Research from Japan has found that infection with SARS-CoV-2 can generate both neutralizing antibodies that protect against infection and infection-enhancing antibodies. The research analysed antibodies derived from COVID-19 patients.

Reporting the Science of Covid-19: Free Online Course

A free self-paced online course introducing journalists to credible COVID-19 news sources and empowering them to spot the news and report to their audiences. The course is intended for journalists who report on the coronavirus but have little or no experience in science journalism.

Do COVID-19 vaccines cause antibody-dependent enhancement?

Do COVID vaccines cause antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)? ADE occurs when a virus or vaccine causes the production of antibodies that can make a viral infection worse.

What’s the future of vaccines linked to rare clotting disorders?

The AstraZeneca vaccine—or Covishield as it is also known—is the cornerstone of the global scheme aimed at vaccinating billions in the developing world. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to provide hundreds of millions of doses to this effort as well. But both have been tarred with reports of serious but very rare cases of blood clots. So what are the implications for vaccine efforts in the developing world?

AZ疫苗與血栓事件專家意見

自2021年3月,歐洲地區出現接種AZ的ChAdOx1-S疫苗後發生血栓的事件,數個歐洲國家暫停接種AZ疫苗。根據歐洲藥品管理局(European Medicines Agency, EMA)的聲明,截至3月10日,接種的500萬人通報有30例血栓事件。 研究人員收集丹麥和挪威所有自2021年2月9日至2021年3月11日首次接受ChAdOx1-S疫苗接種的18-65歲人群,並以丹麥(2016-18)和挪威(2018-19)的總人口數做比較。結果顯示,接種ChAdOx1-S疫苗者的靜脈血栓事件(包括腦靜脈血栓形成)發生率增加,而血小板減少/凝血功能障礙和出血的發生率略有增加。

物體表面傳播與環境消毒研究專家意見

今年(2021)1月29日,澳洲醫藥記者Dyani Lewis撰寫一篇刊載在《自然》(Nature)期刊的新聞〈COVID-19 rarely spreads through surfaces. So why are we still deep cleaning?〉,提到新冠病毒雖然在不同材質的物體表面有不同的停留時間,但藉由被污染的物體表面傳播(fomite transmission)的風險都很低[1],報導中引述一篇由美國羅格斯大學微生物學戈德曼(Emanuel Goldman)教授發表在《刺胳針傳染病》(Lancet Infectious Diseases)的評論文章指出,幾乎沒有證據支持SARS-CoV-2會透過一個受污染的表面從一個人傳染到另一個人,認為觸碰物質表面的傳播形式(Surface transmission)風險相對較低[2],報導中也討論到現行各地區環境消毒是否有效阻隔病毒傳播。 另外,美國疾病控制與預防中心(CDC)也在今年(2021)4月5日更新了SARS-CoV-2傳播形式與暴露風險的科學摘要[3],說明主要感染的方式為「暴露在帶有新冠病毒的飛沫(respiratory droplets)」,但指引中仍特別強調現行所有的建議措施都能有效預防新冠肺炎的傳播,包括:標準的洗手流程、環境清潔與消毒[4][5]。

How are vaccines and masks different when it comes to protecting against COVID-19?

Masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, gowns, and face shields provide protection by preventing the coronavirus from coming in physical contact with us and entering our bodies.  Vaccines, on the other hand, build our immune system to fight the virus should it somehow enter our bodies. With external and internal protections, we can improve our chances of being safe from the impact of coronavirus.

What do the efficacy rates of COVID-19 vaccines mean, and do the efficacy rates impact a population’s herd immunity?

Vaccine efficacy rates tell us how well the new COVID-19 vaccines prevent people from COVID-19 infection in clinical trials. They do not tell us the exact vaccine effectiveness rates that can be expected once the vaccines are used for the public.

Data on blood clots associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine

The Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge in the UK has published updated graphics on the risks and benefits of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and specific blood clots, in different age groups, and with different virus exposure levels, and also by gender.

How do antibodies work against diseases?

Most COVID-19 vaccines, just like natural infections, produce substantial antibodies in people who have received them. Antibodies help the immune system fight infections by latching onto antigens and marking them for destruction.

One-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine being approved by the MHRA

It has been announced that the one-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine has today been given regulatory approval by the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Safety, immunogenicity and efficacy results from the trial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) looks at safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy results from the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine trial in children aged 12 to 15.

What are first, second and third waves of infections?

Waves of an illness occur when daily rates of infections increase over time, reach a peak, then decrease more over time. Many different characteristics determine what makes a wave occur in each region but certain aspects remain the same.

Do the Seychelles have the highest global vaccination rate and the biggest COVID-19 surge?

Seychelles has the highest percentage of vaccinated people in the country per capita. Though the nation is dealing with a current surge in cases, it does not have the world's biggest surge in terms of total cases or as a percentage of its population.

NZ scientists to lead largest-ever vaccine monitoring study

A global collaboration helmed in New Zealand will help assess the safety of COVID-19 vaccines on a massive scale. The Global Vaccine Data Network (GVDN) at the University of Auckland, with its 21 partners in 17 countries, has been awarded funds by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor 300 million people for vaccine side-effects.

Australian state of Victoria announces 7-day circuit breaker lockdown to combat highly infectious variant of concern

It has just been reported that the state of Victoria, Australia will enter a seven-day circuit breaker lockdown from 11:59pm tonight in a bid to curb the state’s growing coronavirus outbreak caused by a highly infectious variant of concern. In a press conference, Acting Premier James Merlino said there are now 34 active cases of coronavirus in Victoria, with 12 linked new cases in the past day. Mr Merlino said the primary concern is how quickly this strain is moving. The State Government is urging everyone to get vaccinated and has said getting vaccinated will be one of five reasons people are allowed to leave home.

German preprint giving theory about why blood clots might rarely occur after vector-based COVID-19 vaccines

A preprint, an unpublished non-peer reviewed study, from researchers in Germany presents a theory for why vector-based COVID-19 vaccines, such as Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, may cause rare blood clots.

Eigenschaften und Verbreitung der SARS-CoV-2-Variante B.1.617.2

Die ursprünglich aus Indien stammende Variante B.1.617.2 des SARS-CoV-2-Virus breitet sich trotz niedriger Inzidenzen weiter in Großbritannien aus. Britische Forschende schätzen, dass sie sich 50 Prozent schneller verbreiten kann als die vorherrschende Variante B.1.1.7. Im Mai wurde sie daher auch von der Weltgesundheitsorganisation als „Variant of Concern“ (VOC) eingestuft, wie zuvor auch schon B.1.1.7. Aufgrund der raschen Verbreitung von B.1.617.2 in Großbritannien beobachten britische Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler die Entwicklung ganz genau, charakterisieren die Variante im Labor und modellieren ihre weitere Verbreitung. Das SMC hat zwei von ihnen gebeten, ihre neuen Erkenntnisse in einem virtuellen Press Briefing zu berichten und Ihre Fragen zu beantworten. Außerdem möchten wir gerne einen Blick in die Zukunft werfen und besprechen, welche potenziellen Varianten anhand des derzeitigen Wissenstandes noch zu erwarten sind und wie diese mit dem Impffortschritt wechselwirken.

Are COVID-19 vaccines causing antibody-dependent enhancement?

As of May 2021, there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines are leading to antibody-dependent enhancement.

Letter presenting three cases of ischaemic stroke following the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

A letter published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry discusses three cases of ischaemic stroke, blood clots in arteries causing lack of blood supply to part of the brain, reported in young adults after receiving the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine.

Moderna press release announcing that its TeenCOVE study of its COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents met its primary endpoint

A press release from Moderna announces the TeenCOVE study of its COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents meets primary endpoint and plans to submit data to regulators in early June.

「輝瑞疫苗疫苗保護力29.5%?」專家意見

一則臉書貼文指出:英國醫學雜誌報導台灣要買的輝瑞疫苗只有29.5%有效率。這個訊息已引起社會關注,對此,我們邀請國家衛生研究院感染症與疫苗研究所副研究員級主治醫師齊嘉鈺,針對以下幾則訊息進行解析: 1.流傳內容稱「根據英國醫學雜誌報導,輝瑞疫苗疫苗保護力為29.5%」。該篇貼文的說法是否正確? 2.輝瑞疫苗的保護效力為何?

PHE on vaccine effectiveness against the B.1.617.2 ‘Indian’ variant

A preprint from Public Health England (PHE) looks at the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against the B.1.617.2 variant first identified in India.

Are vaccine injections emitting electric and magnetic fields?

None of the COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use contain any metals or use any radiation technology that would emit high levels of electric and magnetic fields (EMF).

變種病毒疫情與疫苗研究之專家意見

近期台灣疫情升溫,引發大眾擔憂若印度變種病毒進入台灣,是否可能引發更嚴重的傳播疫情,以及懷疑疫苗是否也會因此失去保護力。在5月10日,世界衛生組織(WHO)宣布,在印度被發現的新冠變種病毒「B.1.617」(印度變種),由VOI(值得關注的變異,Variant of Interest),升級為VOC(需留意的變異,Variant of Concern)。世界衛生組織新冠疫情技術總監范科霍芙(Maria van Kerkhove)在記者會中指出:「已經有研究指出B.1.617能夠更輕易人傳人,傳播力更強」。研究顯示「B.1.617」除了傳播力更強,還具有更強的致病能力。

Can people get the COVID-19 vaccine alongside other immunizations?

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently stated that they believe it is safe to administer COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as other vaccines. However, vaccines given on the same day should be injected in different areas, there is uncertainty about whether or not giving two or more different vaccines at once may cause worse side effects, or if vaccines containing weakened live viruses might require different guidance. At this time, the World Health Organization has not issued new recommendations for administering different vaccines at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine, though it has listed the AstraZeneca vaccines for emergency use. This vaccine contains a weakened live pathogen so health regulators may decide if it is safe to administer this vaccine at the same time as others.

Can people receive three jabs of Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine?

We do not yet know if Sinovac's COVID-19 third dose is safe or effective. A third injection is being tested in a Chinese clinical trial now. It is not recommended to have a third vaccine dose until more data has been studied and it has been deemed safe by health organizations.

What happens if you get an expired vaccine?

Getting any expired vaccine can mean that you are not protected as well or at all from a disease. It’s also possible that certain inactive vaccines could cause harmful reactions, but there are not many documented cases of this happening, and no documented cases of this happening with COVID-19 vaccines. Because COVID-19 manufacturers were very cautious in setting expiration dates, it’s possible that COVID-19 vaccines are effective for a short period of time even after the set expiration date.

Are there microchip technologies that are small enough to pass through a syringe needle and allow people to be tracked?

Are there microchip technologies that are small enough to pass through a syringe needle and allow people to be tracked?

Expert reaction to preprint looking at the immune response in older people after vaccination the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine with either a 3-week or a 12-week dosing schedule, as posted on MedRxiv

An expert reaction to a preprint looking at the immune response in older people after vaccination the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine with either a 3-week or a 12-week dosing schedule, as posted on MedRxiv

Verbreitung der SARS-CoV-2-Variante B.1.617 in Europa und Implikationen

Die prekäre COVID-19-Situation in Indien sorgt weiterhin für Schlagzeilen. Dafür verantwortlich gemacht wird die Variante B.1.617 des SARS-CoV-2-Virus, mit der sich dort viele Menschen anstecken. Kürzlich wurde die Untergruppe (Unterklade) der Variante mit der Bezeichnung B.1.617.2 von einer „Variant of Interest“ (VOI) zu einer „Variant of Concern“ (VOC) hochgestuft. Was bedeutet eine zunehmende Verbreitung der neuen Variante?

What is the scientific or public health basis for the new CDC recommendations that fully vaccinated people can go unmasked?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

Is dropping mask requirements for the fully vaccinated an effective way to encourage vaccination?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

What do we know so far about the Sinopharm vaccine?

Sinopharm's two-dose COVID-19 vaccine was shown to have an efficacy rate of roughly 79% to protect against symptomatic and hospitalized infections. Controversy over the lack of published data about the vaccine has continued despite Sinopharm receiving emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization.

Moderna to supply Australia with 25m doses of COVID-19 vaccine

The Australian Government has confirmed it has secured 25 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, following an announcement from the company overnight. This is the second messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine to be purchased by the Government, providing access to the current Moderna vaccine or variant-specific versions of the vaccine developed by Moderna, to address emerging viral variants.

Public health impact of delaying the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines

A study published in The BMJ looks at the public health impact of delaying the second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

What do we know about the Sputnik V vaccine?

While early trial data is promising and Sputnik V appears to be safe and effective, some scientists are skeptical about the clinical trial data from Sputnik V's two-dose vaccine. The vaccine has been approved for full or emergency use in over 60 countries. Sputnik Light is a one-dose version of the vaccine and has only been approved in Russia.

Why do scientists feel we may not reach herd immunity?

Global leaders often speak of herd immunity as an end goal for stopping the pandemic, but actually achieving this status is much more complicated and difficult than many believe. It will be difficult for the world to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 in the short-term, but preventing severe infections, hospitalizations, and excess deaths may be possible through widespread vaccination.

What do we know about the Pfizer vaccine and magnets?

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine’s list of ingredients, listed on the FDA’s website that allowed for its emergency use authorization include mRNA, lipids, potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose. The vaccine is not known to contain any metals or cause any response to magnetic fields. In fact, the small quantity of iron found in the oxygenated blood of the human body is known to repel magnets, which is why we are able to get MRI scans done at hospitals.

U.S. FDA authorising Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in adolescents

It has been announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents from 12 to 15 years old.

Kommentierte Publikationsliste: Wissenschaftliche Publikationen zu SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19

In unserer kommentierten Publikationsliste fassen wir wissenschaftliche Publikationen zu SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 zusammen und kommentieren die für die öffentlichen Diskussionen relevanten Paper. Dies soll als Anregung für eine mögliche Berichterstattung in der Flut der täglich erscheinenden Publikationen dienen. Offenkundig fehlerhafte oder bereits von seriösen Fachleuten widerlegte Publikationen werden wir nur dann in diese Sammlung aufnehmen, wenn irreführende Aussagen darüber breit zirkulieren in den journalistischen Medien. Diese Liste wird regelmäßig in einem Google Doc fortgeführt und aktualisiert und kann unter diesem Link abgerufen werden.

Why are adolescents (12-17) and children (<12) grouped into their own clinical trials, separate from adults?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

Now that the Pfizer vaccine is approved for adolescents, what do we know about vaccine availability for this age group?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

How important will it be to vaccinate adolescents and children in the efforts to reduce transmission of COVID-19?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

How do adolescents and children factor into efforts to achieve herd immunity?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

Are adolescents and children expected to experience side effects from the vaccine similar to those seen in adults?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

How do we know that COVID-19 vaccines are not being used to inject tracking chips?

No, COVID-19 vaccines are not being used to inject tracking chips. Health organizations, national health and drug regulatory agencies, and disease control centers would not approve vaccines that secretly track patients without their consent. For COVID-19 vaccines, rigorous clinical trials with tens of thousands of patients have occurred and full ingredient lists have been analyzed by health bodies before they approve or deny the use of a vaccine. Of the COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use, none of them have any tracking chips in their ingredients, immunization syringes, or any other place. COVID-19 vaccine vial labels may contain RFID chips for supply chain and inventory tracking purposes. Technology experts say that injecting microchips into a body would not be a practical way to track people due to current technical constraints as well as cost, particularly given existing alternatives for location tracking. The videos with false claims about COVID-19 vaccines containing microchips were determined to have manipulated footage. 

What do we know about fainting after the COVID-19 vaccine?

While there is no evidence that fainting is an immediate side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine for adults, adolescents, or kids, it can happen after any vaccination, especially among adolescents. Experts are not entirely sure why fainting occurs after vaccination, but believe that it is most likely related to the process of getting a vaccine itself--specifically pain and anxiety--which adolescents may be more prone to.

Real-world data on the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in protecting against death and hospitalisation from COVID-19

Two preprints, unpublished non-peer reviewed studies, by Public Health England (PHE), look at the effectiveness of the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines in protecting against death and hospitalisation from COVID-19.

How long does protection last after a COVID-19 vaccine?

Current research shows that immunity lasts at least about 6 months for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine). Some researchers estimate that immunity against COVID-19 following vaccination will last longer, but because the virus is so new, experts are not sure if protection might wane. More research is needed to better understand how long people will likely be protected after vaccination and how it might vary across different individuals and across different vaccines.

UK JCVI advice of a preference for adults aged 30 to 39 to receive an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and MHRA response

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has issued advice to the UK government on the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people under the age of 40.

What do we know about the Moderna vaccine so far?

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine with an efficacy rate of 94.1% in clinical trials. After completing several clinical trials, this vaccine has been approved for emergency use authorization in dozens of countries around the world.

Denmark and Norway study looking at rare blood clots after the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

A study published in the BMJ looks at arterial events, venous thromboembolism, thrombocytopenia, and bleeding after vaccination with the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Denmark and Norway.

Biden administration support for waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines

The U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai released a statement today announcing the Biden-Harris Administration’s support for waiving intellectual property (IP) protections for COVID-19 vaccines.

What are double and triple mutant variants? Why are they more dangerous?

Double and triple "mutant" variants have two or three significant mutations among the many other mutations within their genetic codes. As of now, we do not know if these variants are more transmissible or dangerous but early data suggests they may spread more easily from person to person.

Israel nation-wide study looking at Pfizer vaccine effectiveness

A observational study published in the Lancet looks at impact and effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine against infections, cases, hospitalisations, and deaths following a nationwide vaccination campaign in Israel.

Novavax COVID-19 vaccine phase 2a-b trial in South Africa against the B.1.351 ‘South African’ variant

A paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) looks at results from the phase 2a-b trial of Novavax COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa.

Der Nutzen von Impfungen gegen SARS-CoV-2 bei Kindern

Sollten Kinder und Jugendliche auch gegen COVID-19 geimpft werden? Diese Frage stellt sich immer häufiger, da zwei Argumente weiter an Stärke gewinnen, die für das Impfen von Kindern sprechen: zum einen der Bevölkerungsschutz über die Herdenimmunität, zum anderen der Individualschutz von Kindern vor einer schweren Erkrankung.

Document produced for the UK SAGE looking at hospitalised vaccinated patients during the second COVID-19 wave in the UK

One of the documents informing the advice from the UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergancies, looks at hospitalised vaccinated patients during the second wave in the UK.

Was gibt es zu den Daten zur SARS-CoV-2-Variante B.1.617 in Indien zu berichten?

Die SARS-CoV-2-Variante B.1.617, die sich derzeit stark in Indien verbreitet, kann durch Blutseren von genesenen COVID-19-Patienten und Blutseren von Geimpften neutralisiert werden. Diese Analyse haben indische Forschende in einer noch nicht begutachteten Vorabpublikation auf dem Preprint-Server bioRxiv veröffentlicht (siehe Primärquelle). Wir haben Wissenschaftler und Wissenschlaftlerinnen gefragt, inwiefern diese Studie zur Bewertung der Virusvariante beiträgt und inwiefern sie Rückschlüsse auf das Infektionsgeschen in Indien erlaubt. (siehe Primärquelle)

How likely is it that fully vaccinated people could be infected/reinfected with COVID-19?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

How likely is it that fully vaccinated people could transmit COVID-19 to unvaccinated people and what can they do to reduce the risk?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

What precautions should vaccinated travelers take to limit the risk of transmission to those still unvaccinated?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

What factors should people use to determine when it is safe for them to attend large community events like concerts or sports games?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

COVID-19 vaccination and household transmission

A preprint, an unpublished non-peer reviewed study, by Public Health England (PHE) suggests one dose of either the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine may reduce household transmission by up to half.

What are the ingredients in the AstraZeneca vaccine?

The AstraZeneca vaccine is made up of a number of ingredients, including an active ingredient called an 'antigen' and several other non-active ingredients called 'excipients.' These ingredients range from forms of salt that help preserve the vaccine to water that dilutes it into the right concentration.

Do COVID-19 vaccines cause shingles?

There is no evidence that any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines cause herpes zoster, also known as shingles. While there have been cases of shingles occurring following COVID-19 vaccines, there is no evidence that these cases are directly caused by the vaccines. It likely would have occurred regardless. If anyone thinks they might have shingles, they should contact their doctor as soon as possible for treatment.

What do we know so far about COVID-19 vaccines and their impact on menstruation?

While several women are reporting temporary irregularities in their menstrual cycle, there is no scientific evidence available yet on the causal link between the COVID-19 vaccine and its effect on menstruation. Furthermore, there is no evidence that any of the COVID-19 vaccines could impact fertility or lead to a loss of fertility.   Getting vaccinated during one’s menstrual cycle does not pose any risks and the menstrual cycle has not been reported to have any effect on the vaccine efficacy. Vaccines should be taken as early as possible regardless of the timing of one’s menstrual cycle.

What are the best metrics to use for calculating vaccines per country?

Two of the most common ways to measure vaccines in a country are the number of vaccines administered per 100 people in a specified area, or the percentage of a population that has been vaccinated with one or two doses. There are many metrics which can be used, depending on the need.

Antibody response to COVID-19 vaccine in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease who take the medicine infliximab

A study published in Gut looks at antibody response to vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients treated with infliximab, an anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) biologic drug.

Media reports suggesting Israel’s Health Ministry is examining a small number of cases of myocarditis in people who had received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

There have been reports that Israel’s Health Ministry said on Sunday it is examining a small number of cases of myocarditis (heart inflammation) after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Are COVID-19 vaccines causing new COVID-19 variants?

There is no evidence that vaccines are a source of new COVID-19 variants, or that vaccinated people are more likely to infect others with COVID-19 variants.

How does the vaccine work against a mutating virus?

Vaccines are broad in targeting the COVID-19 virus' early genetic codes. Current vaccines offer some protection against variants, but they will likely need to be adjusted to work against some newer variants.

How do COVID-19 vaccine antibodies differ from ones produced from a natural infection?

The COVID-19 antibodies that your body develops from getting vaccinated are mostly the same kind of antibodies you develop from an infection.

Are vaccinated individuals more likely to be infected with and transmit virus variants?

There is currently no research to suggest that vaccinated people would be more likely than their unvaccinated counterparts to transmit variants of SARS-CoV-2. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that "a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and potentially less likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others." The U.S. CDC also says there is evidence that the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines provide at least some level of protection against variants of concern, including B.1.1.7 originally identified in the U.K. and B.1.351 originally identified in South Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends widespread vaccinations to potentially help reduce the transmission of current variants, as well as prevent the emergence of new variants. More research is being conducted to learn more.

UK Yellow Card reporting on COVID-19 vaccines published by the MHRA, including updated numbers of CVST and other thrombosis events with low platelets

The latest weekly summary of Yellow Card reporting has been published by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and includes updated numbers of Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST) and other thrombosis events with low blood platelets (thrombocytopenia).

What do we know about Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine?

CoronaVac is Sinovac Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine and uses a "killed" version of the COVID-19 virus. It cannot cause disease but can still trigger an immune response in its recipients. While the efficacy rates of the vaccine are mixed, CoronaVac appears to meet the World Health Organization's requirements for 50% minimal protection against severe symptomatic infections of the virus.

Is there any evidence that a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can directly lead to adverse effects or death?

Most vaccines and medications cause side effects, but there is no evidence to support the claim that a second COVID-19 vaccine injection can lead to death. Some severe side effects like blood clots are possibly linked to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines in very rare cases, but there is not enough evidence to determine whether or not the vaccines are associated with this adverse effect. Not all vaccines have two doses. Of the vaccines that do, some are just now beginning to roll out, including those with little data. Though people have died after receiving vaccines, there have been no direct reports that have noted vaccines were the reason those people died.

What are blood clotting reactions VIPIT and CSVT and do vaccines cause them?

VIPIT and CSVT are acronyms for rare blood clotting reactions that have occurred in people who have received AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccines. It is uncertain whether or not the vaccines caused these clotting issues, but researchers are currently working to determine whether or not there is a link.

EMA finding a possible link between the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and very rare cases of unusual blood clots with low blood platelets

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has published a press release stating it finds a possible link between the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and very rare cases of unusual blood clots with low blood platelets, but confirms that overall benefit-risk remains positive.

Brain blood clots may be more likely after COVID-19 infection than following vaccines (preprint)

The risk of rare blood clotting known as cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) following COVID-19 infection is around 100 times greater than normal, and several times higher than it is post-vaccination or following influenza, according to research from the UK. The research has not been published in a journal and is yet to be peer-reviewed. The authors report that CVT is more common after COVID-19 than after the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, or following influenza. The authors then also refer to the risk of CVT following the AstraZeneca vaccine using data from the European Medicines Agency and say the risk of CVT from COVID-19 infection is also higher than the rate reported for this vaccine.

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About the Hub

The COVID-19 Vaccine Media Hub is a dedicated resource for journalists and fact checkers wanting access to evidence-based information on COVID-19 vaccines. The Hub brings together multiple sources of evidence-based information on vaccines, including explainers, expert commentary, the latest research and online press briefings, with material soon to be available in multiple languages.

If you’re a fact checker or a journalist, we’re here to help you find the information and experts you need for your story.

If you’re a member of the public and would like help finding information on COVID-19 vaccines, feel free to browse the site. You might also like to explore other evidence- based vaccine information sites such as the WHO's COVID-19 vaccine page.

This project is a global effort with contributions from Science Media Centres in Australia, the UK, Germany and New Zealand plus technology not-for-profit, Meedan. Other contributors are based in North America, Africa, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Media Hub is supported by the Google News Initiative.

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Australian Science Media Centre

The Australian Science Media Centre works to enhance the media’s coverage of science, for the benefit of the public. We provide the evidence and experts when science hits the headlines.

Health Desk

Information equity is a public health issue. Health Desk provides rapid responses to health questions from fact-checkers and journalists. We host content about COVID-19 vaccine created by Science Media Centres around the world.

Science Media Center Germany

A non-profit and editorially independent institution that supports journalists in reporting on science-related topics.

UK Science Media Centre

The SMC’s mission is to improve the public understanding of science by ensuring that the news media has easy access to the very best experts and evidence when science hits the headlines.

Science Media Centre NZ

When science meets the headlines, the SMCNZ is there to promote accurate, evidence-based reporting on science, health and technology by helping the media work more closely with the scientific community.

SciLine

SciLine is a philanthropically funded, editorially independent, free service, whose primary mission is to connect U.S. journalists to knowledgeable, articulate scientific experts and science-based resources.

Science Media Centre of Canada

The Science Media Centre of Canada is an independent non-profit that helps journalists and science writers cover science, medical and technology stories that impact the lives of Canadians.

Africa Science Media Centre

AfriSMC was established by ScienceAfrica and Partners in September 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya, to improve the credibility of media reporting of emerging scientific issues, such as the Coronavirus pandemic.

Science Media Center Taiwan

SMC Taiwan was established in 2017, as one of the international SMCs. SMC Taiwan is the only SMC in Asia connecting journalists and scientists to provide evidence-based information through the media. Please contact us if you require any assistance with reporting COVID-19. 關於疫情若需要任何進一步的專家意見,以協助民眾判讀各式科學資訊,都歡迎隨時聯繫我們。 SMC Taiwan是國際科學媒體中心的一員,唯一的亞洲科學家媒體媒合平台,會持續提供專家意見與相關研究討論,給各位媒體朋友們參考。