Vaccine Management Analytics: Will It Be The Next 2021 Data Story?

As the world enters the second year of the coronavirus pandemic, actionable insights are more critical than ever. They’re even being prioritized in the new National Strategy for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness alongside executive orders to evaluate progress, monitor outcomes, and support transparency and equity with Americans.

As the world rolls out COVID-19 vaccines, the need for accurate and timely vaccination distribution and uptake data is top-of-mind for government leaders, public health organizations, and healthcare providers everywhere. These metrics are foundational for managing vaccination programs, measuring their effectiveness, and determining our collective progress toward “a blanket of herd immunity,” as described by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor for the Biden Administration.

This is a “wartime effort,” as we’ve heard national leaders state recently, to protect population health—particularly the most vulnerable—as well as to contain the virus as we lower case counts toward zero and to restore Americans’ trust with different discourse. By creating public performance dashboards for more transparency and accountability, and prioritizing a data-driven approach in the efforts and decisions of federal, state and local governments, vaccine management analytics is already the data story of 2021.

Vaccine Management Analytics In The Spotlight

Effective management of any vaccine distribution program requires a holistic picture of the vaccine supply chain, the populations being prioritized, the success rate in reaching those populations, and the strengths and weaknesses of the metrics used to measure progress and performance.

On the path to recovery, government leaders, the public and private sector, and healthcare providers have realized that vaccine administration and management is a complex, evolving process. Expecting we could implement it overnight with a one-size-fits-all approach was unrealistic—some may say foolish—and we must ask some of these important questions as we press forward:

  • Where is the greatest vaccine reluctance based on rate of spread and case count?
  • How do we prioritize population groups for immunization and maintain equity?
  • What level of awareness and understanding exists around vaccine safety and efficacy?
  • How does vaccine supply match demand?
  • In which direction are immunizations tracking and impacting COVID spread?
  • Are vaccine sites known and sufficiently equipped and staffed?

As we create the path to normalcy, with increased access, use and communication with data and analytics, we can elevate our national and local pandemic response and make better vaccine management decisions that have a national and global impact.

For several months, I’ve conversed with government leaders and health officials, considering their concerns and questions and discussing how data analytics can assuage them. With those engagements top-of-mind, I’d like to highlight:

  • Some effective vaccine management dashboard examples that states are leveraging for their needs and situations
  • How some states are using data and analytics to achieve positive outcomes

Using Data To Guide COVID-19 Vaccine Management

Furthermore, with increased plans to expand vaccine manufacturing and purchases, and improve national allocation, distribution, administration and tracking, there will be more data for government leaders to capture, monitor and share for a clearer sense of how localized efforts impact national goals, benchmarks and reporting.

The national vaccine effort is one of the greatest operational challenges America has faced. As we prioritize data and visual analytics in our response and resolution, our learnings can help frame how we approach future events and crises. The dashboard examples that I’ll share, containing sample data, demonstrate how data informs vaccine management, but the same analytics principles and approach could be applied to management of other national challenges.

Tracking Performance Against Vaccine Goals

Do you need to pivot local attention to track down more vaccines or other treatment supplies? Are mortality rates on the rise, unexpectedly? Is there a certain community that needs increased attention? Do we need additional marketing and public outreach to overcome vaccine reluctance and hesitancy? These questions and more are weighing on the minds and hearts of our leaders and public health officials and can be explored through solutions like a performance management dashboard, shown below.

By tracking performance in this way, it’s easier to take a snapshot of local progress to see if a state will meet, exceed or fall short of vaccine goals. It is also an effective communication tool for governors, mayors or county executives to be transparent with constituents and the public in their briefings and updates…….Read more

By:  Srinivas Kosaraju, Senior Director, Public Sector, Solution Engineers, Tableau Software

Source: Vaccine Management Analytics: Will It Be The Next 2021 Data Story?

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The mRNA Vaccines Are Looking Better and Better

 

A year ago, when the United States decided to go big on vaccines, it bet on nearly every horse, investing in a spectrum of technologies. The safest bets, in a way, repurposed the technology behind existing vaccines, such as protein-based ones for tetanus or hepatitis B. The medium bets were on vaccines made by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, which use adenovirus vectors, a technology that had been tested before but not deployed on a large scale. The long shots were based on the use of mRNA, the newest and most unproven technology.

The protein-based vaccines have moved too slowly to matter so far. J&J’s and AstraZeneca’s vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19—but a small number of recipients have developed a rare type of blood clot that appears to be linked to the adenovirus technology and may ultimately limit those shots’ use.

Meanwhile, with more than 180 million doses administered in the U.S, the mRNA vaccines have proved astonishingly effective and extremely safe. The unusual blood clots have not appeared with Pfizer’s or Moderna’s mRNA technology. A year later, the risky bet definitely looks like a good one.

The U.S. has ordered enough mRNA vaccines to inoculate its entire population. In that context, the CDC and FDA’s call to pause the J&J rollout this week is a blow to the American inoculation campaign, but hardly a devastating one. (J&J’s vaccine accounts for less than 5 percent of doses administered so far, and AstraZeneca’s has not yet been authorized in the U.S.) But the rest of the world has been banking on the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines, which are both cheaper and easier to distribute because they don’t require the same cold storage as mRNA vaccines.

If the blood-clot risk is real, the divide between the mRNA-vaccine haves and have-nots will only grow. The U.S. will be fine; the rest of the world will face difficult questions about balancing the risks and benefits of an affordable, good-but-not-best vaccine against a disease that has killed nearly 3 million people.

The blood-clot events with the AstraZeneca and J&J vaccines are so rare—appearing in one in 100,000 to one in 1 million vaccine recipients—that they would not have shown up in clinical trials, even ones conducted within more leisurely, non-pandemic timelines. (The COVID-19 vaccine trials, which generally included tens of thousands of participants each, were actually unusually large because researchers wanted data as quickly as possible.)

“It’s true with all new medications of any sort. You only find rare events when things are rolled out to very vast numbers of people,” says John Grabenstein, the associate director of scientific communication for the Immunization Action Coalition, who used to work on vaccines for the pharmaceutical giant Merck. “One-in-a-million events are just barely measurable.” That faint signal is especially difficult to see against a noisy background: Some people get blood clots for reasons unrelated to the vaccine, too.

In Europe, the strange nature of these blood clots tipped doctors off to a possible link to AstraZeneca’s vaccine. The patients with clots also had low numbers of platelets, which are tiny blood cells that help with clotting. Normally, someone with a low platelet count cannot form clots and bleeds as a result. But in these people, who had all recently gotten an AstraZeneca shot, an immune reaction may have set off uncontrolled clotting that bound up all their platelets.

Some scientists now hypothesize that the immune reaction is triggered by some part of the adenovirus-vector technology. If that’s true, these blood clots might show up as a rare side effect with other adenovirus-vector vaccines. But they clearly are very infrequent. The AstraZeneca and J&J coronavirus vaccines are the first adenovirus-vector shots to even be deployed widely enough in the U.S. and Europe for such rare events to emerge, but vaccines including Russia’s Sputnik V,  China’s CanSino, and J&J’s Ebola vaccine also use the technology.

mRNA vaccines are similarly new, but they have so far racked up a good safety record. So many doses have been administered that these unusual blood clots—or any serious one-in-a-million event—would very likely have shown up by now. Back in December, experts quickly noticed and warned the public about a handful of severe allergic reactions to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which is why vaccination sites now monitor recipients for 15 to 30 minutes after the jab.

In addition, doctors have picked up on a possible one-in-a-million risk of a bleeding disorder called immune thrombocytopenia, which happens when the immune system attacks platelets after vaccination. (It’s a rare but documented side effect of some other vaccines, such as the one against measles.) These patients do have low platelet counts, but they do not have the accompanying blood clots that seem unique to adenovirus-vector vaccines.

Immune thrombocytopenia is easily diagnosed and treated, James Bussel, a pediatrics professor at Weill Cornell Medicine who studies the condition, told me in an email. But the unusual combination of blood clots and low platelets is trickier. For example, one standard treatment for clots is a blood thinner called heparin, but the drug can, in very rare cases, cause the exact combination of low platelets and blood clots that doctors are concerned about. Experts now fear that heparin might make the potential vaccine reaction even worse. This combined condition also seems to be more dangerous than immune thrombocytopenia, but the prognosis may improve as more doctors learn how to treat it.

U.S. officials expect the J&J pause to last no more than a few days, as experts review the safety data and potentially revise recommendations. After a similar pause and review of the AstraZeneca data in Europe, several countries restricted that vaccine to older residents. (Most of the 86 blood-clot cases observed with the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe were in women under 60, as were all six cases observed with the J&J vaccine in the U.S.) The U.K. now recommends that people younger than 30 be offered a different vaccine if possible.

The recommendations take into account individual risk: For older people at high risk of severe COVID-19 complications, the benefits of the vaccine clearly outweigh the risks of a blood clot. But for young people at lower risk from the coronavirus, the benefits are not so clear. For regulators, that balance also depends on whether a country has any other vaccines available and the severity of its local COVID-19 outbreak. The European Union and the U.K. do not have as many mRNA vaccines as the U.S., and less wealthy nations have even less supply. Ultimately, every country will have to do its own benefit-risk calculation.

The U.S.’s recommendations may end up diverging from other countries’, but they may also influence them. Sean O’Leary, a pediatrician at the University of Colorado and a liaison to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, notes two historical examples. Although the United States has discontinued use of the oral polio vaccine—which is more effective and easier to administer than the shot, but also carries a one in 2.5 million risk of paralysis after infection with the live virus in the oral vaccine—the World Health Organization continues to recommend it in countries where polio is endemic.

But when the U.S. in 1999 stopped using a vaccine against rotavirus because of rare reports of intestinal blockage, the rest of the world fell in line, despite the fact that the virus was killing about half a million kids worldwide each year. “The decision was made, essentially, if it’s not good enough for you, it’s not good enough for us,” O’Leary says. Eventually, two newer rotavirus vaccines with a lower risk of complications were developed. They are now used in the U.S. and around the world.

With rotavirus, the vaccine conundrum became moot as new alternatives became available. With COVID-19, those alternatives already exist in the form of mRNA vaccines. There was no guarantee that the mRNA shots would be ready so quickly, or turn out to be so good and so safe. That they did is a great stroke of luck. But in the near future, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines’ limited supply, high price, and distribution challenges will make them functionally unavailable to much of the world. The U.S. can afford, literally, to vaccinate most of its population with Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines. Most other countries cannot.

 

By: Sarah Zhang

Source: Johnson & Johnson Blood Clots Make mRNA Vaccines Look Great – The Atlantic

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Can the Covid Vaccine Protect Me Against Virus Variants?

Vaccines do a good job of protecting us from coronavirus, but fear and confusion about the rise of variants have muddled the message. Here are answers to common questions.

The news about coronavirus variants can sound like a horror movie, with references to a “double-mutant” virus, “vaccine-evading” variants and even an “Eek” mutation. One headline warned ominously: “The devil is already here.”

While it’s true that the virus variants are a significant public health concern, the unrelenting focus on each new variant has created undue alarm and a false impression that vaccines don’t protect us against the various variants that continue to emerge.

“I use the term ‘scariants,’” said Dr. Eric Topol, professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research in La Jolla, Calif., referring to much of the media coverage of the variants. “Even my wife was saying, ‘What about this double mutant?’ It drives me nuts. People are scared unnecessarily. If you’re fully vaccinated, two weeks post dose, you shouldn’t have to worry about variants at all.”

Viruses are constantly changing, and new variants have been emerging and circulating around the world throughout the pandemic. Some mutations don’t matter, but others can make things much worse by creating a variant that spreads faster or makes people sicker. While the rise of more infectious variants has caused cases of Covid-19 to surge around the world, the risk is primarily to the unvaccinated, for whom there is great concern. While vaccination efforts are well underway in the United States and many other developed countries, huge swaths of the world’s population remain vulnerable, with some countries yet to report having administered a single dose.

But for the vaccinated, the outlook is much more hopeful. While it’s true that the vaccines have different success rates against different variants, the perception that they don’t work against variants at all is incorrect. In fact, the available vaccines have worked remarkably well so far, not just at preventing infection but, most important, at preventing serious illness and hospitalization, even as new variants circulate around the globe.

The variants are “all the more reason to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist. “The bottom line is the vaccines we are using very well protect against the most dominant variant we have right now, and to varying degrees protect against serious disease among several of the other variants.”

Part of the confusion stems from what vaccine efficacy really means and the use of terms like “vaccine evasion,” which sounds a lot scarier than it is. In addition, the fact that two vaccines have achieved about 95 percent efficacy has created unrealistic expectations about what it takes for a vaccine to perform well.

Here are answers to common questions about the variants and the vaccines being used to stop Covid-19.

The variant called B.1.1.7, which was first identified in Britain, is now the most common source of new infections in the United States. This highly contagious variant is also fueling the spread of the virus in Europe and has been found in 114 countries. A mutation allows this version of the virus to more effectively attach to cells. Carriers may also shed much higher levels of virus and stay infectious longer.

The main concern about B.1.1.7 is that it is highly infectious and spreads quickly among the unvaccinated, potentially overwhelming hospitals in areas where cases are surging.

All of the major vaccines in use — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sputnik and Novavax — have been shown to be effective against B.1.1.7. We know this from a variety of studies and indicators. First, scientists have used the blood of vaccinated patients to study how well vaccine antibodies bind to a variant in a test tube. The vaccines have all performed relatively well against B.1.1.7.

There’s also clinical trial data, particularly from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca (which is the most widely used vaccine around the world), that shows they are highly effective against both preventing infection and serious illness in areas where B.1.1.7 is circulating. And in Israel, for instance, where 80 percent of the eligible population is vaccinated (all with the Pfizer shot), case counts are plummeting, even as schools, restaurants and workplaces open up, suggesting that vaccines are tamping down new infections, including those caused by variants.

No vaccine is foolproof, and even though the Covid vaccines are highly protective, sometimes vaccinated people still get infected. But breakthrough cases of vaccinated people are very rare, even as variants are fueling a surge in case counts. And the vaccines prevent severe illness and hospitalization in the vast majority of the vaccinated patients who do get infected.

So what’s the risk of getting infected after vaccination? Nobody knows for sure, but we have some clues. During the Moderna trial, for instance, only 11 patients out of 15,210 who were vaccinated got infected. Both Pfizer and Moderna now are doing more detailed studies of breakthrough cases among vaccinated trial participants, and should be releasing that data soon.

Two real-world studies of vaccinated health care workers, who have a much higher risk of virus exposure than the rest of us, offer hopeful signs. One study found that just four out of 8,121 fully vaccinated employees at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas became infected. The other found that only seven out of 14,990 workers at UC San Diego Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, tested positive two or more weeks after receiving a second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

Both reports were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and are a sign that even as cases were surging in the United States, breakthrough cases were uncommon, even among individuals who were often exposed to sick patients. Most important, patients who were infected after vaccination had mild symptoms. Some people had no symptoms at all, and were discovered only through testing in studies or as part of their unrelated medical care.

A recent C.D.C. report found that after 75 million people had been fully vaccinated, there were 5,814 documented cases of breakthrough infections, including 74 deaths. More details about those patients weren’t available, although at least nine of them died of causes other than Covid-19.

Researchers are still studying whether the variants eventually might increase the number of breakthrough cases or if vaccine antibodies begin to wane over time. So far, data from Moderna show the vaccine still remains 90 percent effective after at least six months. Pfizer has reported similar results.

For now, the variants don’t appear to be increasing the rate of infection in vaccinated people, but that could change as more data are collected. Read more about breakthrough cases here.

The C.D.C. is tracking more than a dozen variants, but only a few qualify as “variants of concern,” which is a public health designation to identify variants that could be more transmissible or have other qualities that make them more of a risk. The main additional variants everyone is talking about right now are the B.1.351, which was first detected in South Africa, and the P.1, which was first identified in Brazil.

While there are other variants (including two “California” variants, B.1.427 and B.1.429, and a New York variant, B.1.526), for now, it seems that the South Africa and Brazil variants (which as of late March together accounted for about 2 percent of cases in the United States) are causing the most concern. While a new variant can emerge at any time, existing variants also compete with each other for dominance. One interesting new development: In countries like the United States where B.1.1.7 is dominant, some of the other variants seem to be getting crowded out, making them less of a worry.

There is a concern that the B.1.351 and the P.1 are better at dodging vaccine antibodies than other variants. But that doesn’t mean the vaccines don’t work at all. It just means the level of protection you get from the vaccines against these variants could be lower than when the shots were studied against early forms of the virus. Among the variants, the B.1.351 may pose the biggest challenge so far. It has a key mutation — called E484K, and often shortened to “Eek” — that can help the virus evade some, but probably not all, antibodies.

A recent study of 149 people in Israel who became infected after vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine suggested that B.1.351 (the variant first identified in South Africa) was more likely to cause breakthrough infections. However, those eight infections occurred between days seven and 13 following the second dose.

“We didn’t see any South Africa variant 14 days after the second dose,” said Adi Stern, the study’s senior author, a professor at the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research, Tel Aviv University. “It was a small sample size, but it’s very possible that two weeks after the second dose, maybe the protection level goes up and that blocks the South Africa variant completely. It gives us more room for optimism.”

Remember that there’s a lot of “cushion” provided by this current crop of vaccines, so even if a vaccine is less effective against a variant, it appears that it’s still going to do a good job of protecting you from serious illness.

We don’t yet have precise estimates of vaccine effectiveness against B.1.351, which may be the most challenging variant so far. But studies show that the various vaccines still lower overall risk for infection and help prevent severe disease. A large study of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine in South Africa found it was about 85 percent effective at preventing severe disease, and lowered risk for mild to moderate disease by 64 percent.

(Distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been paused as health officials investigate safety concerns.) The AstraZeneca vaccine did not do much to protect against mild illness caused by B.1.351, but scientists said they believed the vaccine might protect against more severe cases, based on the immune responses detected in blood samples from people who were given it.

There’s less definitive research for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against the variant, but it’s believed that these two-dose vaccines could reduce risk of infection against the variant by about 60 percent to 70 percent and still are highly effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalization.“From everything we know today, there is still protection from the vaccines against the South Africa variant,” said Dr. Stern.

Part of the problem is that we misinterpret what efficacy really means. When someone hears the term “70 percent efficacy,” for instance, they might wrongly conclude that it means 30 percent of vaccinated people would get sick. That’s not the case. Even if a vaccine loses some ground to a variant, a large portion of people are still protected, and only a fraction of vaccinated people will get infected. Here’s why.

To understand efficacy, consider the data from the Pfizer clinical trials. In the unvaccinated group of 21,728, a total of 162 people got infected. But in the vaccinated group of 21,720, only eight people became infected. That’s what is referred to as 95 percent efficacy. It doesn’t mean that 5 percent of the participants (or 1,086 of them) got sick. It means 95 percent fewer vaccinated people had confirmed infections compared to the unvaccinated group.

Now imagine a hypothetical scenario with a vaccine that is 70 percent effective against a more challenging variant. Under the same conditions of the clinical trial, vaccination would still protect 21,672 people in the group, and just 48 vaccinated people — less than one percent — would become infected, compared to 162 in the unvaccinated group. Even though overall efficacy was lower, only a fraction of vaccinated people in this scenario would get sick, most likely with only mild illness.

While far more research is needed to fully understand how variants might dodge some (but not all) vaccine antibodies, public health experts note that an estimate of 50 percent to 70 percent efficacy against a challenging variant would still be considered an adequate level of protection.

“Seventy percent is extremely high,” said Dr. Stern. “Basically what this means is that it’s even more important to get vaccinated. If you have 95 percent efficacy, you can create some form of herd immunity with less people. With 70 percent efficacy, it’s even more important to get vaccinated to protect others.”

Vaccine makers already are working on developing booster shots that will target the variants, but it’s not clear how soon they might be needed. “In time, you’re going to see a recommendation for a booster,” said Dr. Peter J. Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “That booster will elevate everybody’s antibodies and increase durability. The booster will probably be configured to target the South African and Brazil variants.”

Even amid the rise of variants, vaccines will significantly lower your risk for infection and will protect you from serious illness and hospitalization. People who are vaccinated can socialize, unmasked, with other vaccinated people. While vaccinated people still need to follow local health guidelines about wearing a mask and gathering in groups to protect the unvaccinated, vaccinated people can travel, get their hair and nails done, or go to work without worrying. And vaccinated grandparents can hug their unvaccinated grandchildren. Because there are still some outstanding questions about the risk of vaccinated people carrying the virus, a vaccinated person is still advised to wear a mask in public to protect the unvaccinated — although those guidelines may be updated soon.

“The vaccines protect you, so go get vaccinated — that’s the message,” said Dr. Fauci. “If you’re around other vaccinated people, you shouldn’t worry about it at all. Zero.”

Tara Parker-Pope

 

By: Tara Parker-Pope

 

Source: Can the Covid Vaccine Protect Me Against Virus Variants?

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COVID-19 Vaccination Passports Worry Public Health Experts

More and more people are getting vaccinated, and some are even traveling. Which has led to a debate over whether countries should require COVID-19 vaccination passports or IDs. The European Union is proposing a so-called Digital Green Pass so vaccinated people can move more freely.

Family vacation in Italy? Business trip to China? No problem. Just show me your COVID-19 vaccine certificate. This might be the future. “I think it would certainly speed up the recovery of those sectors that have been slowed down or shut down because of risk of exposure to COVID,” said Glenn Melnick, a health economist at the University of Southern California.

Many worry about creating an underclass of unvaccinated people who also can’t travel. Dr. Wafaa el-Sadr at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health said the U.S. still has a lot of work to do.

“I’m hopeful that if there’s a true commitment in this country to equity that we would be able to reach a point where we have been able to overcome the very real barriers that people are facing now in accessing vaccination,” she said.

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NBC News medical contributor Dr. Vin Gupta and CNBC’s senior health and science reporter Meg Tirrell join TODAY to discuss the latest news surrounding coronavirus vaccine candidates. They discuss the possibility of a vaccine passport required by businesses and events to ensure the safety of customers and employees. » Subscribe to TODAY: http://on.today.com/SubscribeToTODAY » Watch the latest from TODAY: http://bit.ly/LatestTODAY
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And if it’s going to happen, Jennifer Nuzzo at Johns Hopkins University said, universal verification systems will be needed. “You are requiring countries to show proof of having provided something that is very hard to get, that can create incentives for perhaps not being completely transparent about what’s actually going on,” she said.

As other countries start to experiment with vaccine credentials, Americans who want to travel may have to participate.

Source: COVID-19 “vaccine passports” worry public health experts – Marketplace

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Why Doctors Feel Happy To Get Symptoms From The Covid-19 Vaccine

Doctors have been worried about this for a long time, and now it’s starting to happen. As the Covid-19 vaccine has started to become available beyond health care workers, people are starting to refuse to take their shot. If people won’t take the vaccine that could end the coronavirus pandemic, what comes next?

One of the most common reasons people develop fears of vaccines has to do with a common misunderstanding about side effects. But what most of the public doesn’t know is that doctors who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 were delighted when the vaccine gave them symptoms.

When doctors got sore arms, fatigue, muscle aches or fevers after their Covid-19 vaccine, they celebrated. That’s because those symptoms are not dangerous ‘reactions,’ but positive signs that the immune system is responding to the vaccine. Feeling lucky after the Covid-19 vaccine means it’s working.

As a pediatrician, educating parents about normal responses to vaccines is one of the first things I do. And that’s because there’s so much misinformation about vaccines. Take the dreaded fever for instance: the belief that fever is dangerous has been passed down from generation to generation. It’s not. We were told we need to bring our fevers down or something bad will happen. We don’t, and it won’t.

It’s not the fever that is dangerous, it’s that certain diseases that cause fever are (and most of those disease are now vaccine preventable). Or as Bruce Y Lee writes, “There’s a difference between feeling sick and being sick.”

The thing about fever is that it’s not actually caused by the viruses or infections that invade your body. Fever is something your body does for itself. Fevers are part of a beneficial response our immune system creates to boost our metabolism’s and the effectiveness of our white blood cells and fight off infections.

So when we get a fever after a vaccine, it means our immune system is doing exactly what we want it to do. We want the immune system to take notice and mount a response. For some that might mean a fever, but for almost everyone it means a sore arm or swelling around the site of the vaccination. And that’s all the immune system noticing the vaccine and mounting a response. Without the immune doing this work, we won’t get our memory B cells to store a pattern for defense against Covid-19.

When I got my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19, I experienced a sore swollen arm, on and off muscle aches, nausea and fatigue. These symptoms lasted about three days. But they weren’t nearly as bad as the various illnesses I’ve gotten from my adorable little pediatric patients over the years. I took naps during those days after the vaccine, but I was also well enough to take my rambunctious puppy to the dog park in the snow.

Most of my colleagues had sore arms for about a day after their vaccines. A couple of them had symptoms similar to mine and one of them even had a fever. But not one of these doctors was alarmed, instead we texted each other our happiness that we were getting to experience evidence that our vaccines were working.

Another example of how doctors think about side effects after the Covid-19 vaccine goes like this. The way Covid-19 is killing people has to do with an extreme immune system response. That heightened response or cytokine storm only happens to some people. While there is certainly no research evidence for this, doctors figure that those of us who had more symptoms after the vaccine might’ve just dodged a bullet. Maybe we were in the group that would’ve gotten sicker than others if we’ve gotten real Covid-19.

So the key thing we want the public to know is that doctors are not worried about the vaccine for Covid-19. We are worried that you won’t take it and that the pandemic will drag on. Doctors didn’t throw away our shot. We hope you won’t throw away yours.

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

How can we be successful without breaking ourselves? We can take effective action under pressure.

I teach people how to use their own biology to do their best work. After years of study, I created a 3-step method rooted in neuroscience and psychology, and I spoke about it at TEDx. Then I went wider, and explored what happens when we break down silos between scientific disciplines. It’s amazing what you learn when you get sociology talking to neuroscience, or child development talking to business research.

I am a board-certified pediatrician and an Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at Rush University. I have an AB in History from Princeton University, i.e. Ideological and Cultural History. My M.D. came from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers University. My pediatrics residencies were at Duke University and the University of Chicago. I am a former Clinical Instructor in Pediatrics at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.

I live in Illinois with my husband, two rambunctious sons, and a variety of hamsters.

Source: Why Doctors Feel Happy To Get Symptoms From The Covid-19 Vaccine

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Pfizer COVID-19 shot 95% effective, seeking clearance soon

Pfizer says that more interim results from its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study suggest the shots are 95% effective and that the vaccine protects older people most at risk of dying from COVID-19.

The announcement, just a week after Pfizer first revealed promising preliminary results, comes as the company is preparing within days to formally ask U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of the vaccine.

Pfizer initially had estimated its vaccine, developed with German partner BioNTech, was more than 90% effective after 94 infections had been counted. With Wednesday’s announcement, the company now has accumulated 170 infections in the study — and said only eight of them occurred in volunteers who got the actual vaccine rather than a dummy shot. One of those eight developed severe disease, the company said.

The company has not yet released detailed data on its study, and results have not been analyzed by independent experts.

Pfizer said its vaccine was more than 94% effective in adults over age 65, though it is not clear how the company determined effectiveness in older adults, with only eight infections in the vaccinated group to analyze and no breakdown provided of those people’s ages.

Earlier this week Moderna, Inc. announced that its experimental vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective after an interim analysis of its late-stage study.

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Pfizer says it now has the data on the vaccine’s safety needed to seek emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

The company didn’t disclose safety details but said no serious vaccine side effects have been reported, with the most common problem being fatigue after the second vaccine dose, affecting about 4% of participants.

The study has enrolled nearly 44,000 people in the U.S. and five other countries. The trial will continue to collect safety and efficacy data on volunteers for two more years.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.

U.S. officials have said they hope to have about 20 million vaccine doses each from Moderna and Pfizer available for distribution in late December. The first shots will be offered to vulnerable groups like medical and nursing home workers, and people with serious health conditions.

LINDA A. JOHNSON

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Pfizer says that more interim results from its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study suggest the shots are 95 per cent effective. The company is preparing within days to formally ask U.S. regulators to allow emergency use.   »»» Subscribe to CBC News to watch more videos: http://bit.ly/1RreYWS Connect with CBC News Online: For breaking news, video, audio and in-depth coverage: http://bit.ly/1Z0m6iX Find CBC News on Facebook: http://bit.ly/1WjG36m Follow CBC News on Twitter: http://bit.ly/1sA5P9H For breaking news on Twitter: http://bit.ly/1WjDyks Follow CBC News on Instagram: http://bit.ly/1Z0iE7O Subscribe to CBC News on Snapchat: https://bit.ly/3leaWsr Download the CBC News app for iOS: http://apple.co/25mpsUz Download the CBC News app for Android: http://bit.ly/1XxuozZ »»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»» For more than 75 years, CBC News has been the source Canadians turn to, to keep them informed about their communities, their country and their world. Through regional and national programming on multiple platforms, including CBC Television, CBC News Network, CBC Radio, CBCNews.ca, mobile and on-demand, CBC News and its internationally recognized team of award-winning journalists deliver the breaking stories, the issues, the analyses and the personalities that matter to Canadians.

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