The Booster Bulletin: Your Weekly Dose of Immunization News
We’re committed to sharing news and information from local and national media about COVID-19, available vaccines, and immunization-related topics. Each week we’ll continue to review clips from across the U.S., from various news outlets and platforms, and bring you ten timely and relevant links.
“The World Surpasses 10 Billion Vaccine Doses Administered, but Gaps Persist in Who Gets the Shots” New York Times (January 28, 2022) – "In the wealthiest countries, 77 percent of people have received at least one dose, whereas in low-income countries the figure is less than 10 percent. As North America and Europe race to overcome Omicron surges by offering boosters, with some nations even contemplating a fourth shot, more than one-third of the world’s people, many of them in Africa and poor pockets of Asia, are still waiting for a first dose.”
“Iran is undergoing a mass vaccination campaign as omicron looms” NPR (January 27, 2022) – “TEHRAN, Iran — As much of the world sees vaccination slowing and infections soaring with the spread of omicron, Iran has found a rare, if fleeting, respite from the anxiety and trauma of the pandemic.”
“The Simple Numbers Every Government Should Use to Fight Anti-vaccine Misinformation” The Guardian (January 27, 2022) – “When the number of vaccinated and unvaccinated people who have died, or ended up in ICU, is shown as a proportion of the total number of people in the state we can clearly see the protective effect of vaccines. Here’s a visual explanation of these ‘per population rates’ using data from the New South Wales government, which publishes figures for deaths and ICU by vaccination status weekly…”
“Everything You Need to Know About Meningitis Vaccines” Healthline (January 26, 2022) – “Different vaccines work against specific bacteria causing meningitis. They’re separated into categories and by their various rationale="Governmental authority" source="Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)" . The most common strains of bacterial meningitis are identified as A, B, C, W, and Y. As explained in the table below, the core bacterial meningitis vaccines MenB and MenACWY protect against these strains. There are also other types of bacteria known to cause meningitis. For example, Streptococcus pneumoniae is known to cause pneumonia and ear infections but can also cause meningitis. Vaccines for these bacteria, such as Prevnar13, can help prevent the many types of associated illnesses.”
“Long-COVID Symptoms Less Likely in Vaccinated People, Israeli Data Say” Nature (January 25, 2022) – “Data from people infected with SARS-CoV-2 early in the pandemic add to growing evidence suggesting that vaccination can help to reduce the risk of long COVID. Researchers in Israel report that people who have had both SARS-CoV-2 infection and doses of Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine were much less likely to report any of a range of common long-COVID symptoms than were people who were unvaccinated when infected. In fact, vaccinated people were no more likely to report symptoms than people who’d never caught SARS-CoV-2. The study has not yet been peer reviewed. ‘Here is another reason to get vaccinated, if you needed one,’ says co-author Michael Edelstein, an epidemiologist at Bar-Ilan University in Safed, Israel.”
“How mRNA and DNA Vaccines Could Soon Treat Cancers, HIV, Autoimmune Disorders and Genetic Diseases” The Conversation (January (January 24, 2022) – “This type of vaccine has been in the works for about 30 years. Nucleic acid vaccines are based on the idea that DNA makes RNA and then RNA makes proteins. For any given protein, once we know the genetic sequence or code, we can design an mRNA or DNA molecule that prompts a person’s cells to start making it…about seven or eight years ago, mRNA vaccines started to take the lead. Researchers solved a lot of the problems––notably the instability––and discovered new technologies to deliver mRNA into cells and ways of modifying the coding sequence to make the vaccines a lot more safe to use in humans.”
“New Research Shows COVID-19 Vaccines Do Not Cause Infertility” SciTechDaily (January 24, 2022) – “COVID-19 vaccination in either partner does not appear to affect fertility, according to new research led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) investigators. Published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the prospective study of couples trying to conceive found no association between COVID-19 vaccination and fecundability—the probability of conception per menstrual cycle—in female or male partners who received the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. In contrast, the findings indicate that COVID-19 infection among males may temporarily reduce fertility—an outcome that could be avoidable through vaccination.”
“How to Talk to Vaccine Doubters: 5 Tips for Parent ‘Ambassadors’” NPR (January 23, 2022) – “This past summer, Rupali Limaye says she ‘sort of became the vaccine lady at the pool.’ She's a behavioral and social scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, so it made sense that other parents were coming to her for information. Limaye has also spent the past decade studying vaccine hesitancy. In that work, she has come to understand deeply that when someone has doubts, hearing the facts from someone the person knows well can be a powerful force in overcoming those doubts.”
“Why Doesn’t ‘Fully Vaccinated’ for COVID-19 Mean Booster Shots?” Cnet (January 23, 2022) – “Despite new data showing the effectiveness of boosters and the skyrocketing number of COVID-19 cases due to the more infectious omicron variant, the CDC has no plans to change its definition of ‘fully vaccinated.’ The term still means two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccines or one shot of Johnson & Johnson. Instead, the agency is pivoting to the more general descriptor of ‘up to date’ to describe effective vaccine protection.”
“Routine Vaccination Rates in Teens and Adults Continue to Lag behind Pre-pandemic Levels, Follow-up Analysis Shows”Bio Space (January 21, 2022) – “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-recommended vaccinations for teens and adults continued to lag in 2020 and into the summer of 2021, according to a follow-up claims analysis commissioned by GSK and conducted by Avalere Health, an Inovalon company. This assessment follows two previous reports tracking the pandemic’s significant effect on routine vaccination.”
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