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What COVID-19 vaccines are available for children and teens?

Summary: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved vaccines for children as young as 6 months old, which are recommended by health bodies such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The two COVID-19 vaccines approved for children and teens are 1) the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (3 doses) and 2) the Moderna vaccine (2 doses).

Do COVID-19 vaccines cause Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome (RHS) is a rare complication of a very common virus known as the Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) – the virus that is responsible for Chickenpox and Shingles. There have been a number of case reports of Shingles and RHS following COVID-19 vaccination. However, these are just reports. Research has not shown whether this reactivation is actually caused by the COVID-19 vaccines or just a coincidence. More research is needed. Current data show us that any unestablished potential risks of COVID-19 vaccines reactivating Shingles or RHS is outweighed by the established known benefits of COVID-19 vaccines.

Does COVID-19 shrink the brain?

COVID-19 is associated with changes in the brain structure, including shrinking, a decrease in gray matter, and a reduction in executive functioning – the part of the brain that helps you learn, work, and manage everyday life. It’s possible that these changes in the brain connected to COVID-19 are linked to symptoms of ‘brain fog.’

What is Paxlovid and can it cause a viral rebound?

Paxlovid is an antiviral medication used to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 infections in non-hospitalized, high risk adults.

Do vaccines contribute to monkey pox infections?

Summary: There is currently no demonstrated link between monkeypox and the polio vaccine, or monkeypox and the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

What do we know about Evusheld?

Evusheld is a pre-exposure prophylaxis (preventative) combination of drugs manufactured by AstraZeneca, designed to prevent COVID-19 infection in vulnerable and immunocompromised people. It is the first pre-exposure prophylaxis approved for COVID-19 – meaning that it is taken before a COVID-19 exposure to prevent infection. Evusheld has been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) in a number of countries, including Canada, the U.S., and 6 countries in Europe. It is specifically available for immunocompromised people over 12 years old and 40 kilograms (88 pounds). Evusheld is not an appropriate substitute for COVID-19 vaccination in those for whom vaccination is recommended. 

「living with COVID-19,與病毒一起生活?」專家意見

議題背景:2022年1月至今4月,常看到網路文章和新聞使用「與病毒共存」的說法,但這個詞的原文「living with COVID-19」其實在世界各國,有不同的應對策略,並不代表完全回到和新冠病毒大流行之前一樣的生活。是否選擇放寬檢疫措施,也各有利弊。如果臺灣要和新冠病毒一起生活,目前的條件是什麼?有哪些面向要納入考量?台灣科技媒體中心特邀專家發表看法。

「研究:打疫苗可降低Omicron的傳播風險」解析

在感染Omicron的研究中,並非發現「接種3劑比接種2劑的活病毒載量會大幅減少達5倍之多」,而是「接種三劑疫苗」比「未接種疫苗」的「活病毒載量」(有傳染性的病毒量)減少了5倍之多。研究沒有提到傳播風險會降低多少,所以無法解釋成「傳播風險降低了五倍」。

How do symptoms vary by COVID-19 variants?

COVID-19 variants have mutated in ways that make them different from the original strain of the virus, and from each other. These changes can cause some variants to spread more or less easily and can cause more or less severe symptoms that present differently. How contagious a variant is isn’t necessarily connected to the types or severity of symptoms. Overall, there is significant overlap in symptoms across variants, and vaccinated people are less likely to experience severe symptoms than unvaccinated people. Research is ongoing to understand the differences in symptoms by variant and why symptoms differ.

6-11歲兒童接種新冠疫苗 新聞稿

臺灣於4月17日決議,核准莫德納疫苗可提供6至11歲兒童接種,衛生福利部的傳染病防治諮詢會預防接種組(ACIP) 將於今天(4月20日)討論接種的對象、開打時程,引起眾多家長與媒體關注。台灣科技媒體中心整理現有的研究和試驗,透過分析目前各國兒童疫苗施打的研究與狀況,說明目前兒童接種新冠疫苗的科學證據,讓大家更清楚基於科學的實證研究,應如何看待臺灣兒童疫苗接種。

「刺胳針研究:英國Omicron和Delta的住院、死亡風險比較」解析

研究是在比較「施打mRNA疫苗」與「未施打疫苗」發生住院與死亡風險,使用的是風險比(Hazard Ratio, HR),是指在相同時間裡兩個風險率的比值。我們無法透過上述的風險比較,回推「未施打疫苗」發生重症或死亡的比例。

What do we know about using throat swabs to detect COVID-19?

Throat swabs are not as commonly used for COVID-19 testing because 1) current data shows they have lower sensitivity than nasopharyngeal swabs, nasal swabs, and saliva tests, and 2) because throat swabs shouldn’t be done and at home which makes it less convenient and less scalable than anterior nasal swabs.

Reacción al anuncio de la EMA y el ECDC sobre la conveniencia de esperar con las cuartas dosis

La Agencia Europea de Medicamentos (EMA) y el Centro Europeo para la Prevención y Control de Enfermedades (ECDC) consideran que es demasiado pronto para que la población general reciba una cuarta dosis de las vacunas de ARNm contra la covid-19. Ambas agencias sí están de acuerdo en que los mayores de 80 años sí pueden recibirla debido a su mayor riesgo de contraer cuadros graves de la enfermedad.

Reaction to the EMA and ECDC announcement on the desirability of waiting with fourth doses

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) consider it too early for the general population to receive a fourth dose of covid-19 mRNA vaccines. Both agencies do agree that people over 80 years of age should receive it because of their increased risk of severe disease.

What do we know about second COVID-19 booster shots?

Several countries have recently rolled out programs to offer a second COVID-19 booster shot to their most vulnerable populations: older people and those with compromised immune systems. However, many scientists are conflicted about this guidance as recent findings about the effectiveness of a second booster shot are mixed, and there are concerns of second shots worsening vaccine inequity and furthering spread of the virus globally.

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 1 April

This week, more evidence on the short-term effectiveness of four Pfizer/BioNTech doses in older people, the effectiveness of three doses against Omicron, and the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in the under 12s. Plus, potential differences in neutralisation of Omicron and its subvariants, and differences between hybrid and vaccine-induced immune responses. In non-vaccine papers, a potential new treatment that targets a human protein rather than the virus, failure of ivermectin to help control infection, possibilities of co-infections, and dogs sniffing out people with long Covid. The Research Tracker is prepared by Dr Robert Hickson for the Science Media Centre.

Reacción a los dos estudios que muestran que las vacunas de la covid-19 ofrecen protección extra a quienes ya se infectaron

Dos estudios publicados en The Lancet Infectious Diseases confirman que las vacunas de la covid-19 ofrecen protección adicional a quienes ya se infectaron con el SARS-CoV-2, sobre todo frente a cuadros graves.

Reaction to two studies showing that covid-19 vaccines offer extra protection to those already infected

Two studies published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases confirm that covid-19 vaccines offer additional protection for those already infected with SARS-CoV-2, especially against severe disease.

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 18 March

This week, a study comparing some non-mRNA vaccines, effectiveness of two, three or four vaccine doses in older people, two dose effectiveness in the under 12’s, and why hybrid immunity can be stronger. In non-vaccine papers, more accurate estimates of Covid-related deaths, studies looking at viral recombinations and mutations, estimating prevalence of long Covid in young people, and longer lasting consequences of mild infections. The Research Tracker is prepared by Dr Robert Hickson for the NZ Science Media Centre.

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 11 March

This week, a series of reviews on the pandemic, and more evidence of effectiveness of three doses against Omicron, and of mRNA vaccine safety. In non-vaccine papers, a large study of the effects of Covid on the brain, incidence of long Covid, and genetic indicators of increased risk of developing more severe symptoms. The Research Tracker is prepared by Dr Robert Hickson for the Science Media Centre.

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 25 February

This week, more data on the benefit of a third vaccine dose, evidence for and against the benefit of a longer interval between first and second doses, and the need to better understand genetic and environmental effects on immune responses. Also, the rarity of multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children after vaccination, and the positive effects vaccination may have on Long Covid symptoms. Research indicates BA.2 may be no more virulent than BA.1, vitamin supplements don’t appear to reduce Covid-19 mortality, wastewater testing can sometimes detect new variants earlier than clinical testing, and children tend to produce fewer aerosol particles than adults. The Research Tracker is prepared by Dr Robert Hickson for the NZ Science Media Centre.

「社交距離+疫苗可防變種病毒再出現」專家意見

議題背景:在2022年2月25日,《自然人類行為》(Nature Human Behaviour)期刊發表一篇最新COVID-19預測模型的研究:「Evolution of resistance to COVID-19 vaccination with dynamic social distancing」,研究表明,在完成大規模疫苗施打之前,持續維持社交距離措施,可阻止帶有疫苗抗性的新冠變種病毒(vaccine-resistant variants of SARS-CoV-2)再次出現。 台灣科技媒體中心特邀流行病學、感染管制、感染醫學與病毒學領域的專家,對此篇研究解析與評論。

Qué sabemos sobre la nueva vacuna de Novavax contra la covid-19

Se espera que más de dos millones de dosis de la vacuna de la compañía estadounidense Novavax lleguen en breve a España. Nuvaxovid, o NVX-CoV2373, se convirtió el pasado 20 de diciembre en la quinta vacuna aprobada en Europa contra la covid-19. Contamos en qué se diferencia de las ya disponibles, además de cómo se produce o por qué es especialmente importante para los países con menos recursos.

解析「網傳謠言:打疫苗前後人體內發炎反應圖解讀?」

謠言所指的這篇研究無法得出「打疫苗次數越多,人體發炎反應範圍和強度越大」的結論,因為這篇研究並沒有進行比較或實驗「疫苗次數」與「發炎」的關係;再加上,該研究屬於單一患者的臨床病例報告(Case Report)有許多推論限制,主要原因是:不能直接將「個案」擴大解釋成所有人都會發生這樣的狀況。針對研究與謠言內容的落差,詳情請見完整解析。

Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration provisionally approves Moderna for kids aged 6-11

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provisionally approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, SPIKEVAX, for use in individuals aged 6 years and older. As for other age groups, the use of this vaccine in children aged 6-11 years should be administered as 2 doses at least 28 days apart, though a lower dose will be given. Below, Aussie researchers comment on the announcement.

Can COVID-19 vaccines and boosters cause vaccine-acquired immunodeficiency?

Vaccine-acquired immunodeficiency or VAIDS is not a known medical condition and there is no evidence to prove that COVID-19 vaccines or their booster shots cause immunodeficiency disorders.

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 11 February

This week, the lack of stronger protection from an Omicron-specific vaccine, several papers looking at Omicron infections in vaccinated and unvaccinated people, benefits of three vaccine doses, further good clinical trial results for Novavax, and significant reduction in viral load after receiving the Moderna vaccine. In other research, long Covid in young people, and cardiac and other health risks from Covid-19, mask effectiveness indoors, DIY mask hacks, and benefits of random surveillance testing. The Research Tracker is prepared by Dr Robert Hickson for the NZ Science Media Centre.

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provisionally approves AstraZeneca boosters for ages 18+

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia has provisionally approved the AstraZeneca COVID-19 booster vaccine for Australians aged 18 years and older. What do we know about AstraZeneca's effectiveness as a booster, and in what circumstances will this booster be most useful? Australian experts comment below.

Historia de BA.2, la mal llamada ‘variante sigilosa’ de ómicron

La OMS recomienda vigilar la variante BA.2 de ómicron porque se está extendiendo, pero no parece causar enfermedad más grave ni escapar a las vacunas. Que no nos engañe su evocador apodo: es perfectamente detectable. La idea errónea de que los test no la identifican se propagó por un titular que fue corregido.

If children aren't vaccinated are they likely to get a serious case of Omicron if infected?

If an unvaccinated child is infected with COVID-19, including the Omicron variant, they are not very likely to get a serious case of COVID-19. However, they are more likely to get a serious case of COVID-19 than an unvaccinated child. Data is still emerging on if Omicron puts a child at higher risk of a severe case, but early research shows it may be more mild among kids than Delta.

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 4 February

This week, the effectiveness of four or three vaccine doses, better antibody responses from longer intervals between first and second Pfizer doses, and the types of text messages that encourage vaccination. In non-vaccine research, the results of a trial on voluntary Covid infection, the importance of an early interferon responses, and the risks and origins of Omicron. The Research Tracker is prepared by Dr Robert Hickson for the NZ Science Media Centre.

What's the difference between getting COVID-19 with and without a vaccine?

Covid-19 cases currently include infections of unvaccinated individuals, as well as vaccinated individuals (known as breakthrough infection or breakthrough disease). Breakthrough infections are not a surprise, since no vaccine is 100% protective against Covid-19, however vaccinated people are much less likely to get infected, spread disease, and have severe outcomes compared to unvaccinated individuals. 

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 28 January

This week, the effectiveness of three vaccine doses, the risk of myocarditis in young males after mRNA vaccines, indicators of risk for developing long Covid, the reduced risk of long Covid after vaccination, and how Omicron remains “fit” despite all its mutations. Also, a useful table comparing face mask effectiveness.

La vacunación anticovid no afecta al éxito de la reproducción asistida ni a la capacidad de concebir naturalmente: reacción de expertas

Varios resultados confirman que la vacunación frente a la covid-19 no afecta a la fertilidad. Uno de ellos, realizado con unas 2.000 parejas y publicado en 'American Journal of Epidemiology', se compara la capacidad de concebir naturalmente de parejas vacunadas con no vacunadas. El otro, en 'Obstetrics & Gynecology', estudia unas 1.300 mujeres vacunadas y no vacunadas que han empleado distintas técnicas de reproducción asistida. Ninguno de los dos trabajos halla relación entre la vacuna y la obtención de un embarazo.

Covid vaccination does not affect the success of assisted reproduction or the ability to conceive naturally: experts reaction

Several studies confirm that covid-19 vaccination does not affect fertility. One of them, carried out on some 2,000 couples and published in the 'American Journal of Epidemiology', compares the ability to conceive naturally in vaccinated and unvaccinated couples. The other, in 'Obstetrics & Gynecology', studies some 1,300 vaccinated and unvaccinated women who have used different assisted reproduction techniques. Neither study found a link between vaccination and pregnancy.

「多發性硬化症患者接種第三劑新冠疫苗的安全性研究」專家意見

議題背景:今(2021)年1月25日,國際期刊《美國醫學會期刊》網路開放版(JAMA Network Open)發表一篇研究。研究指出,已接種過兩劑BNT或莫德納疫苗的130位多發性硬化症患者,再接種第三劑mRNA疫苗後,有病毒棘蛋白專一性的抗體效價增加,且沒有患者產生嚴重的不良反應,最多是注射處疼痛和感到疲累。研究結論建議可考慮讓多發性硬化症患者接種第三劑新冠疫苗。

「評估5-11歲兒童接種新冠疫苗安全性與效果」專家意見

議題背景:由於Omicron變種病毒感染的年齡層包含5至11歲的孩童,引起媒體和社群討論5至11歲是否應該接種疫苗的議題。根據《新英格蘭醫學雜誌》(NEJM)於今年(2022)1月6日發表的研究,以及針對這篇研究的討論,台灣科技媒體中心特邀專家發表意見。 這篇研究探討讓6個月至11歲兒童間隔 21 天施打兩劑BNT疫苗的安全性、免疫原性和有效性。研究結論支持讓5至11歲兒童接種兩劑(劑量10μg)的BNT疫苗。 針對研究討論的文章中,福建醫科大學附屬協和醫院的研究團隊指出,接種第一劑或第二劑疫苗後產生不良事件的風險,的確比沒有接種疫苗者高。然而,施打疫苗的組別產生任何不良反應導致受試者沒有接種第二劑的風險,以及產生嚴重不良事件的風險,與施打安慰劑的組別相同。以色列巴伊蘭大學的研究人員則提出疑問,認為此研究中缺乏先前試驗中16至25歲受試者的疫苗有效數據,無從比較5至11歲兒童和16至25歲人因BNT疫苗引發的中和抗體效價。

Preguntas y respuestas sobre la dosis de refuerzo de la vacuna anticovid

En España. desde el 13 de enero el recuerdo contra la covid se recomienda a la población general adulta. El 78,8 % de los mayores de 50 y el 88,9 % de los mayores de 60 ya se lo han puesto, dijo ayer la ministra de Sanidad. Si los que faltan tienen dudas, aquí tratamos de resolverlas.

Webinar: How To Improve Covid-19 Coverage

Variants, vaccines and medications: What journalists need to know to improve COVID-19 coverage. This event, held in English, will be also be available via simultaneous translation to Arabic, French, Portuguese and Spanish on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. U.S. Central Time (GMT -6)

Omicron is soaring, but what about the next variant?

Omicron has had a huge impact on the world in a matter of weeks – but while we are still grappling with this variant – should we be planning for the next variant (or the one after that)? Below Australian experts comment on the potential for new variants of concern and how the world should prepare.

Novavax becomes fourth COVID-19 vaccine provisionally approved for use in Australia

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provisionally approved Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine NUVAXOID. Subject to approval from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), the vaccine will be used as a primary vaccine for those 18 and older, but not yet as a booster or a vaccine for children

Can baking soda be used to prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19?

Baking Soda is not proven to be effective at preventing or curing COVID-19. Authorized vaccines against COVID-19 that have undergone clinical trials are the only preventative option, in addition to some recently authorized treatment pills, that are known so far to reduce the severity of illness and deaths due to COVID-19.

¿Cuándo puedo recibir la tercera dosis si me he infectado recientemente?

España recomienda que aquellas personas que hayan sido infectadas por el coronavirus reciban la tercera dosis cuatro semanas después. Los expertos valoran la decisión desde el punto de vista inmunológico.

T細胞免疫對抗Omicron變種病毒 新聞稿

Omicron變種病毒自去(2021)年底爆發全球疫情至今,已因傳播快速引發全球擔憂新冠疫苗的保護力,是否會因為Omicron病毒而失效。台灣科技媒體中心綜整相關尚未同儕審核的預印本研究,指出不同研究多認為,人體由疫苗或感染病毒獲得的T細胞免疫反應,並沒有因為Omicron變種病毒而受到太大的影響,表示人體曾打疫苗或受新冠病毒感染後,仍帶有一定程度的保護力。

Endemic and seasonal, the future of coronavirus?

The terms "endemism" and "seasonality" are increasingly used to refer to the covid-19 pandemic. They are sometimes incorrectly associated with the severity of the disease or with the premature end of the pandemic. What do they mean? Does SARS-CoV-2 fit these definitions? Will it ever do so thanks to vaccines?

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 14 January

This week, vaccine effectiveness and/or safety in the elderly, pregnant women, and young children, and reduction in infectivity risk after vaccination. Non-vaccine papers on the short life of the virus in aerosols, hospitalisations of children with Covid-19, lags in development of children born during the pandemic, and models to predict or identify viral mutations of concern. The Research Tracker is prepared by Dr Robert Hickson for the NZ Science Media Centre.

Reacciones de inmunólogos españoles a estrategia de vacunación basada en sucesivos refuerzos a población general

El director de la Estrategia de Vacunas de la Agencia Europea del Medicamento (EMA), Marco Cavaleri, dijo el 11 de enero en rueda de prensa que “no es sostenible a largo plazo seguir dando dosis de recuerdo cada tres o cuatro meses [a la población general]”. Inmunólogos españoles coinciden en que no es lo adecuado. En estas reacciones explican por qué.

Endemia y estacionalidad, ¿el futuro del coronavirus?

Los términos “endemismo” y “estacionalidad” son cada vez más utilizados para hacer referencia a la pandemia de covid-19. A veces se asocian incorrectamente con la gravedad de la enfermedad o con el fin prematuro de la pandemia. ¿Qué significan? ¿Encaja el SARS-CoV-2 en estas definiciones? ¿Lo hará algún día gracias a las vacunas?

研究「T細胞免疫反應抵抗Omicron變種病毒」專家意見

議題背景: Omicron變種病毒從去年底爆發全球疫情至今,大家最關注的就是新冠疫苗的保護力是否會因為Omicron病毒而失效。科學家在2021年底初步用施打疫苗的血清做測試,發現這些血清對Omicron病毒的抗體反應有下降,但台灣科技媒體中心綜整至今(2022)年陸續發布尚未同儕審核的預印本研究,發現人體由疫苗或感染病毒獲得的T細胞免疫反應,並沒有因為Omicron變種病毒而受到太大的影響,表示人體過去打疫苗或受新冠病毒感染後,仍帶有一定程度的保護力。台灣科技媒體中心特邀專家對此給予意見。

What do we know about sildenafil and COVID-19?

There is currently no cure for COVID-19. Researchers are currently studying what impacts, if any, Viagra and nitric oxide have against the virus.

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 7 January

This week, data on Omicron keeps on coming and is consistent. One paper points to a weakness in nasal rapid antigen tests for Omicron. Vaccine safety data looks very good for children under 12. A new oral vaccine is under development. US modelling estimates how many lives were saved by their vaccination programme. There can be gender differences in the production of autoantibodies after infections. And, a case study of airborne transmission between MIQ rooms in NZ. The Research Tracker is prepared by Dr Robert Hickson for the NZ Science Media Centre.

解析「網傳謠言:只有完全接種疫苗的人才會得到Omicron」

謠言引用英國衛生安全局 (UKHSA) 疫苗監測報告,完全不能被解釋成「只有完整接種疫苗的人,才會害怕新的Omicron變種病毒」。反而,在該報告的第5頁清楚說明,現有的AZ、BNT和莫德納三支疫苗,在預防COVID-19重症和死亡方面仍是安全有效的。針對報告與謠言內容的落差,詳情請見完整解析。

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 31 December

This week, papers on the reduced incubation period of Omicron, its lower severity, and benefits of three vaccine doses. However, there are indications of third dose effectiveness declining over a few months. Other papers look at the widespread distribution of SARS-CoV-2 throughout the body, cell fusion as a means of spread, and broad spectrum inhibitors that can be inhaled. The Research Tracker is prepared by Dr Robert Hickson for the NZ Science Media Centre.

Reacción al anuncio de que España reducirá cuarentenas y aislamientos a siete días

En los últimos días varios países han modificado los tiempos de las cuarentenas de contactos estrechos y los aislamientos de infectados, mientras que otros ya lo estudian. España ha anunciado que reducirá a 7 día estos periodos, tanto para personas que hayan dado positivo en un test como para contactos estrechos que requieran cuarentena (en el caso de nuestro país, personas sin vacunar).

Qué sabemos sobre ómicron al cierre de 2021

Los primeros trabajos sólidos sobre la capacidad de las vacunas para frenar la infección por la variante ómicron, que acaban de publicarse, refuerzan la necesidad de una tercera dosis. Los expertos recuerdan, no obstante, que el objetivo de las vacunas nunca fue frenar la infección, sino evitar la enfermedad grave. Resumimos lo que se sabe por ahora sobre ella.

What we know about omicron at year-end 2021

The first solid work on the ability of vaccines to stop infection with the omicron variant, which has just been published, reinforces the need for a third dose. Experts recall, however, that the aim of vaccines was never to stop infection, but to prevent severe disease. We summarize what is known so far about it.

Cómo los periodistas pueden evitar 'el hype' al cubrir los desarrollos de COVID-19 en América Latina

This briefing is available in Spanish. “How journalists can avoid ‘hype’ when covering COVID-19 developments in Latin America,” by Federico Kukso, an independent science journalist from Argentina who is a member of the board of directors of the World Federation of Science Journalists.

「疫苗種類與不良反應的相關因素」研究摘要

在2021年12月22日,國際期刊《美國醫學會期刊》網路開放版(JAMA Network Open)刊登一篇研究「Analysis of COVID-19 Vaccine Type and Adverse Effects Following Vaccination」。研究指出,在這個真實世界的追蹤研究,雖然COVID-19疫苗會出現許多不良反應,包括:發燒、倦怠等,但嚴重的不良反應仍很少見。這些結果有助民眾更好理解COVID-19疫苗接種後,發生不良反應的真實狀況。

Five studies of the effectiveness of vaccines and antibody treatments against Omicron

Five studies published in Nature look at the effectiveness of vaccines and antibody treatments against the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 23 December

This week, a variety of studies on severity of Omicron, though the data is still limited. Plus, the genetic trade-offs and possible origins of the variant. More papers on waning vaccine effectiveness, as well as the greater infection risk to the unvaccinated. In non-vaccine papers, assessing variant fitness, why Covid-19 is often less severe in children, and why Covid-19 is not just a respiratory disease.

What do we know about COVID-19 reinfection and reactivation?

Reinfection with COVID-19 is possible and is much more likely to occur among unvaccinated people. Reactivation is different from reinfection. Reactivation occurs when a person who appears to have recovered from a virus still has small amounts of dormant virus in their body that becomes active again and can reactivate symptoms. Viral shedding is also separate from the two. Viral shedding is when the cells in your body that host the infection release virus particles that are then “shed” into the environment. These can be infectious or not infectious, but both can result in a positive COVID-19 test.

What do we know about eye problems related to COVID-19 vaccines?

Currently, there is no established causal link that connects mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to blindness or other eye problems. However, there are a number of case reports of blindness and other ocular side effects (eye problems) that have raised concerns among side effects and that are being researched to better understand if there is a causal link or not; it’s possible that there is but there have not been enough reports in reporting systems or studies to determine whether these side effects are due to the vaccines or due to coincidence.

Luchar contra la desinformación es fundamental para atender las dudas de las personas no vacunadas

Una encuesta realizada por el equipo COSMO-Spain para conocer los motivos por los que algunas personas todavía no se han vacunado mostró que la mayoría de ellas temen que las vacunas no sean seguras y sus efectos secundarios. Estos resultados resaltan la importancia de llevar a cabo una comunicación rigurosa de unos fármacos que todos los estudios y organismos consideran seguros y eficaces.

Reacción a la recomendación por parte de la EMA del uso de la vacuna de Novavax

La EMA ha recomendado hoy la autorización de la quinta vacuna frente a la covid-19 para mayores de 18 años: la estadounidense Novavax, la primera basada en una plataforma de proteínas recombinantes.

Reaction to the EMA recommendation of Novavax vaccine use

The EMA today recommended the licensure of the fifth covid-19 vaccine for persons over 18 years of age: the U.S.-based Novavax, the first based on a recombinant protein platform.

Study looking at how and when protection wanes after two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

A study published in the Lancet looks at protection of two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 hospital admissions and deaths over time.

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 17 December

This week, lots of small studies on reduced neutralisation of Omicron and the benefits of an extra vaccine dose, non-Omicron comparisons of vaccine effectives, and new data on Novavax effectiveness. Non-vaccine papers on the Merck and Pfizer Covid pills, the high proportion of asymptomatic cases, how different variants and other coronaviruses affect subsequent immune responses, and behavioural science lessons for improving pandemic responses. Plus, Nature articles on the pandemic year in review.

What do we know about booster shot efficacy against omicron?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use the video clips, audio, and comments below in news stories, with attribution to the scientist who made them.

How will scientists know if new vaccine formulations are necessary for omicron boosters? Is this likely, given currently available data?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use the video clips, audio, and comments below in news stories, with attribution to the scientist who made them.

Modelling of booster effectiveness against omicron by Imperial College London

Modelling by Imperial College London looks at booster vaccine effectiveness against the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.

Explainer on why the new variant is called Omicron

Prof. Walter Jaoko’s responses to media queries on the new Omicron virus during an AfriSMC press briefing on What Scientists know about the new Covid-19 variant. Prof Jaoko is the Director KAVI-Institute of Clinical Research, University of Nairobi

Australian data on Omicron shows why boosters are key

In an ultrasecure lab at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales, a team of researchers has been working to understand the Omicron variant and have released their first data on how effective vaccines are likely to be against the Omicron variant. In the lab, the researchers used three different methods to test how the variant stacks up against immunity from vaccination and natural infection, to give them the greatest confidence yet in the data. Come to this online briefing to hear from the Australian experts working on the front line with Omicron samples of the virus. Here experts comment on the new data.

La vacunación covid infantil con todo detalle: 17 preguntas y respuestas útiles

La recomendación es vacunar a niños y niñas de 5 a 11 años con la vacuna aprobada en Europa para este tramo, Comirnaty (Pfizer) con un tercio de la dosis usada en mayores de doce años. Pero padres y madres siguen teniendo dudas. Aquí respondemos a las clásicas (seguridad, riesgo/beneficio) y a otras más específicas: alergias, síndromes genéticos, personas de alto riesgo…

Children's covid vaccination in detail: 17 useful questions and answers

The recommendation is to vaccinate children from 5 to 11 years old with the vaccine approved in Europe for this age group, Comirnaty (Pfizer) with one third of the dose used in children over 12 years old. But parents still have doubts. Here we answer the classic ones (safety, risk/benefit) and other more specific ones: allergies, genetic syndromes, high-risk individuals...

Omicron變種病毒記者會 會後新聞稿

台灣科技媒體中心今日召開記者會,邀請專家解析Omicron變種病毒。出席記者會的兩名專家為中興大學獸醫病理生物學研究所所長吳弘毅、長庚大學新興病毒感染研究中心主任施信如。施信如與吳弘毅皆表示,從現在Omicron有限的資料來看,Omicron是否會對台灣造成嚴重影響仍未知,必須考量台灣的疫苗覆蓋率、防疫策略以及醫療量能。同時,台灣也須嚴密監測各國Omicron的疫情狀況和最新研究,以協助政府進行政策判斷。

Die Omikron-Variante – Status quo und Ausblick

Die im November identifizierte SARS-CoV-2-Variante Omikron breitet sich in Europa und im Süden Afrikas rasch aus. Die Weltgesundheitsorganisation WHO, die auf Basis erster Erkenntnisse Omikron am 26.11.2021 als besorgniserregende Variante eingestuft hat, rät ihren Mitgliedstaaten umgehend Maßnahmen einzuleiten, um die Verbreitung der Variante frühzeitig einzudämmen [I]. Im Vereinigten Königreich verdoppeln sich die Infektionszahlen mit Omikron aktuell alle zwei bis drei Tage, der R-Wert liegt bei 3,7 [II]. Omikron besitzt eine Vielzahl von Mutationen, die es der Variante ermöglichen, sich noch schneller zu verbreiten als Delta und einer bestehenden Immunität zumindest teilweise zu entkommen. Vergangene Woche publizierten mehrere Forschungsgruppen erste Erkenntnisse zur Immunflucht der Variante und zeigten im Laborversuch eine etwa 40-fach reduzierte neutralisierende Wirkung der Antikörper gegen Omikron im Vergleich zur Delta-Variante. Eine Auswertung aus dem Vereinigten Königreich weist darauf hin, dass der Schutz vor einer symptomatischen Infektion bei zweifach geimpften Personen stark reduziert ist. Eine dritte, sogenannte Booster-Impfung erhöht die Impfstoffwirksamkeit allerdings wieder auf 70 bis 75 Prozent [III]. Dass eine Booster-Impfung den Schutz durch neutralisierende Antikörper wieder erhöhen kann, zeigten auch Labordaten von Pfizer und Biontech. Weitgehend unklar ist bis jetzt, inwiefern sich Omikron auf den Krankheitsverlauf vor allem bei Personen ohne Immunschutz auswirkt. Darüber hinaus bleibt zu klären, inwiefern eine bereits überstandene Infektion oder eine zweifache Impfung weiterhin vor schweren Krankheitsverläufen schützt, selbst wenn es durch Omikron erneut zu einer Infektion kommt. Wie stark hat sich die Virusvariante in Europa bereits verbreitet? Und können Booster-Impfungen sowie die angedachten Maßnahmen der WHO eine weitere Infektionswelle noch verhindern? Diese Fragen – und Ihre – erläuterten Fachleute in einem 50-minütigen Press Briefing. Video-Mitschnitt & Transkript: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiI4-bra3P0&t=14s

Omicron變種病毒 台灣科技媒體中心新聞稿

國內境外移入已出現變種病毒Omicron案例,引發國人擔憂。「台灣科技媒體中心」今(14)日說明,目前僅略知Omicron會造成曾染疫者再次染疫的風險增加。不過,初次感染比率卻下降。雖然南非的Omicron感染案例增加迅速,英國最主要的變種病毒還是Delta,Omicron病毒的傳播力尚待研究證實。

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 10 December - Omicron edition

Early data on reduced neutralisation of Omicron after prior infections or vaccinations.

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 10 December - Non-vaccine edition

Non-vaccine papers this week include the risk to the baby when the mother has Covid-19 while pregnant, viral loads as an indicator of infectiousness, the effectiveness of masks, and the evolution of the virus.

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 10 December - Vaccine edition

This week, comparing the effectiveness of different vaccines and different “booster” shots, long term effectiveness of Moderna’s vaccine, reduced risk of long Covid after vaccination, and vaccinated people who die may have much higher viral loads than unvaccinated fatal cases.

Reacción a los primeros datos de laboratorio sobre cómo responden los anticuerpos ante la variante ómicron

En los últimos días han empezado a llegar datos, prepublicaciones, notas de prensa e incluso gráficas a través de redes sociales que muestran cómo se comportan los anticuerpos neutralizantes frente a la variante ómicron. Estos estudios son preliminares y habrá que esperar antes de saber cómo se traducen estos datos de laboratorio en el mundo real.

Expert Reaction to early laboratory data on how antibodies respond to the omicron variant

In the last few days, data, pre-publications, press releases and even graphs have started to arrive through social networks showing how neutralizing antibodies behave against the Omicron variant. These studies are preliminary and we will have to wait before we know how these laboratory data translate into the real world, experts say.

How do the vaccines hold up against Omicron? Preliminary data suggests reduced antibody neutralisation

Pfizer has reported that results from preliminary studies suggest two doses of the Pfizer vaccine have a significantly reduced ability to neutralise the Omicron variant, and that three doses may be needed. A small study from South Africa, which is not yet peer reviewed, has also suggested that antibody neutralisation is reduced by around 40-fold against Omicron compared to the original Wuhan virus. A third early study, which is also yet to be peer reviewed, has also shown a significant drop in the ability of vaccine generated antibodies to neutralise the virus.

Reacción rápida sobre vacunación covid pediátrica en España

La Comisión de Salud Pública (CSP) del Sistema Nacional de Salud español aprobó el pasado 7 de diciembre la vacunación de los niños de 5-11 años frente a la covid-19. Adjuntamos declaraciones al respecto del coordinador de la Comisión de Vacunas de la Asociación Española de Pediatría, Francisco Álvarez García, así como otros recursos periodísticos sobre este tema.

There is no evidence that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are associated with miscarriages

There is no evidence that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines cause or are associated with increased risks for miscarriages.

Expert reaction on pediatric covid vaccination in Spain

The Public Health Commission (CSP) of the Spanish National Health System approved last December 7 the vaccination of children aged 5-11 against covid-19. Attached are statements by the coordinator of the Vaccine Commission of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, Francisco Álvarez García, as well as other journalistic resources on this subject.

Vaccinating the World Against COVID-19: Insights into Lesser Known Vaccines and the Effectiveness of Established Vaccines Around the World

By the end of November, a staggering eight billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered worldwide, with around 31 million being administered daily. Yet only six percent of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose of vaccine, and many countries in Africa and Asia are lagging behind. While many wealthy countries are already receiving a third booster dose of COVID-19, in many low-income countries health workers and even the most at risk are still waiting for the first vaccination with any of the COVID-19 vaccines available. What vaccines are used in low-income countries to fight COVID-19? What do we know about their effectiveness and safety? Most experts agree that the most effective vaccination strategy would be an equitable global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to protect the most vulnerable first - no matter where they live. If the world does not succeed in distributing the available vaccines fairly by 2022, new SARS-CoV-2 immune escape variants could emerge in less protected population groups, which would pose a future risk for all citizens.

Erste Daten zum Immunschutz gegen Omikron-Variante

Gleich mehrere Analysen des Immunschutzes gegen die neue SARS-CoV-2-Variante Omikron sind in den vergangenen Stunden veröffentlicht worden. Sie alle zeigen nach verschiedenen Kombinationen von Impfungen und natürlicher Infektion eine stark, circa 40-fach reduzierte neutralisierende Wirkung von Antikörpern, das Virus zu binden und den Eintritt in die menschliche Zelle – also eine Infektion – zu verhindern. Omikron hat damit das Potenzial, der Immunantwort des Körpers zum Teil zu entgehen. Ergebnisse zur Schutzwirkung der zellulären Bestandteile des Immunsystems, wie B- und vor allem T-Zellen, vor einer schweren COVID-19-Erkrankung fehlen weiterhin. Aus Deutschland stammen erste Daten von dem Team aus Forschenden rund um Sandra Ciesek vom Universitätsklinikum Frankfurt. Sie isolierten das Virus aus Proben eines sehr früh am Frankfurter Flughafen entdeckten Person mit Omikron-Infektion und züchteten es im Labor an. Ihre Ergebnisse sind mittlerweile als vorläufige Publikation auf der Preprint-Plattform „medrxiv“ verfügbar [I]. Die Ergebnisse zeigen eine bis zu 37-fach reduzierte neutralisierende Wirkung der Antikörper im Vergleich zur Delta-Variante. Die Daten deuten allerdings ebenfalls daraufhin, dass Auffrischungsimpfungen oder eine zweifache Impfung plus Durchbruchsinfektion noch eine stärkere Wirkung gegen die Variante entfalten können als die Immunantwort zweifach geimpfter Menschen (zuvor stand hier fälschlicherweise, dass es sich um der Impfung vorausgegangene Infektionen handelt; Anm. d. Red.). Auf einen vorteilhafteren Schutz nach durchgemachter Infektion plus einer zweifachen Impfung mit dem Impfstoff von Pfizer/Biontech deuten auch weitere Ergebnisse aus einem Labor in Durban in Südafrika hin. Die Forschenden teilten ebenfalls erste Ergebnisse aus Neutralisationsversuchen in Lebendkulturen des Virus in einem vorläufigen Manuskript. Zwar fanden auch sie eine deutliche Reduktion der neutralisierenden Wirkung der Antikörper um das circa 41-Fache nach einer doppelten Impfung, allerdings zeigte sich ein deutlich positiveres Bild bei der Immunantwort von zuvor infizierten Personen mit doppelter Impfung. Ein drittes Ergebnis, das eine weniger stark abnehmende neutralisierende Wirkung andeutet, stammt von Forschenden aus Südafrika und Schweden. Sie machten allerdings Versuche mit einer künstlich hergestellten Form des Virus (Pseudovirus) und unterschieden ihre Daten nicht nach dem Impfstatus der Probanden. Die Unternehmen Pfizer und Biontech veröffentlichten ebenfalls heute erste Ergebnisse ihrer Untersuchungen zu Omikron. Demnach sind nach einer dritten Dosis des firmeneigenen Impfstoffs Comirnaty die neutralisierenden Antikörpertiter im Vergleich zu zwei Dosen gegen die Omikron-Variante um das 25-Fache erhöht. Die Neutralisationswirkung nach der Auffrischungsdosis sei vergleichbar mit jener nach zwei Dosen gegen das Wildtyp-Virus. Eine dritte Dosis erhöht den Daten zufolge auch stark die Spiegel der sogenannten CD8+ T-Zellen gegen mehrere Strukturen des Spike-Proteins, was für einen Schutz vor schwerer Krankheit sprechen würde. Auch Pfizer/Biontech führten ihre Tests mit einem Pseudovirus durch. Wie die Ergebnisse in der Zusammenschau einzuordnen sind und was sie für die aktuelle Situation bedeuten, beantworten Fachleute. Weitere Statements sind angefragt.

Lab study from South Africa looking at omicron and extent of Pfizer vaccine immune escape

A preprint, an unpublished non-peer reviewed study, suggests that the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has extensive but incomplete escape of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine elicited neutralization and requires ACE2 for infection.

Press release from Pfizer-BioNTech about omicron and neutralising antibody titres after two and three vaccine doses

The press release from Pfizer and BioNTech provides an update on the omicron variant from preliminary laboratory studies.

What do we know about the Omicron variant?

The Omicron variant is a new, likely highly transmissible COVID-19 variant with many mutations. It was first detected in South Africa in November 2021 and later that month was deemed a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization.

Com-COV2 study looking at different combinations of first and second vaccine doses

A study published in The Lancet looks at immunogenicity, safety, and reactogenicity of heterologous COVID-19 primary vaccination incorporating mRNA, viral-vector, and protein-adjuvant vaccines in the UK (Com-COV2).

Por qué la vacunación no está llegando a África y qué se puede hacer para cambiarlo

“La equidad en la distribución de las vacunas no es cuestión de caridad; beneficia a todos los países”, dijo Tedros Adhanom, director de la OMS. Sin embargo sus datos hablan de un reparto muy desigual: más del 80 % delas vacunas han ido a países del G20, mientras que los países pobres, africanos en su mayoría, han recibido solo el 0,6 %. Tres expertos españoles analizan qué ha fallado.

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 3 December - Vaccine edition

This week, how vaccination can affect transmission and viral dynamics, immune responses to longer intervals between doses, three doses better than two, why Adenovirus-based vaccines may lead to increased blood clotting, and modelling vaccination impacts in NZ.

Coronavirus Research Tracking - 3 December - Non-vaccine edition

This week, patience needed for understanding Omicron impacts, but data is being quickly gathered. Plus, more data on the effectiveness of Covid pills, dysregulated immune responses with severe Covid, severe Covid and subsequent mortality risks, and long Covid and chronic fatigue syndrome. Also, a further call to establish a global health threats council, and using smart watches as early warnings of infections. Two New Zealand papers - the lockdown impacts GPs, and assessing the utility of rapid antigen tests here.

Why vaccination isn't reaching Africa and what can be done to change it

"Equity in the distribution of vaccines is not a matter of charity; it benefits all countries," said Tedros Adhanom, director of the WHO. However, his data speak of a very unequal distribution: more than 80 % of the vaccines have gone to G20 countries, while poor countries, mostly African, have received only 0.6 %. Three Spanish experts analyze what went wrong.

Qué sabemos de la efectividad de las vacunas frente a ómicron

La nueva variante B.1.1.529, apodada ómicron, se ha extendido por el planeta y nuevos países anuncian su detección cada día que pasa. Mientras se investigan cuestiones como si es más transmisible, la mayor pregunta es la que rodea su relación con las vacunas. ¿Dejarán de ser efectivas? ¿Será esta la variante que escape de nuestro sistema inmunitario? Varios expertos responden.

Study looking at a possible mechanism for the VITT associated with the adenovirus COVID-19 vaccines

A study published in Science Advances looks at a possible mechanism for vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) associated with adenoviral vector COVID-19 vaccines.

COV-BOOST study investigating safety and immunogenicity of seven COVID-19 vaccines as a third dose following two doses of either Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer

A study published in the Lancet looks at the safety and immunogenicity of seven COVID-19 vaccines as a third (booster) dose following two doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the UK.

Do COVID-19 vaccines reduce death?

Recent research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and conducted in Scotland examined the protective effect of vaccination against COVID-19 found that vaccination was 90% effective in preventing death. This study is the first of its kind to be conducted across the entire country to examine how effective the vaccines are in preventing death from COVID-19. The majority of cases studied were infected with the Delta variant. Researchers reported that vaccination with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 91%, and 90% effective in preventing deaths, respectively, among people who have received two doses of each vaccine. 

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