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With millions of people getting Covid shots, there’s still something we don’t know about vaccines.




Syracuse, NY – Nearly 35 million Americans have already taken Covid-19 shots, but many unanswered questions remain about vaccines.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines currently in use in the United States are being developed and tested at record speeds, and most new vaccines bypass the long full approval process covered by the Food and Drug Administration.Instead, a vaccine designed to fight New coronavirus The FDA said it was deployed under an emergency use authorization, a pre-approval that “recognizes the seriousness of current health emergencies.”

Doctors and researchers say clinical trials of 90,000 volunteers have shown that the vaccine is extremely effective and safe. Experts also say that the risk of Covid-19 killing nearly 500,000 Americans far outweighs the potential side effects of the vaccine. Still, many Americans are hesitant to take the first shot given in December.

There are still some unclear or unclear points about the vaccine.

How effective they are.. We know that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines achieved 95% efficacy in clinical trials enrolled by more than 90,000 people. This means that 95% of all people infected with Covid-19 during the study received placebo (basically salt water in a syringe).

However, clinical trials are not in the real world. Clinical trial volunteers tend to be healthier than the American public, and when hundreds of millions of people are vaccinated, they can have rare side effects that were not seen in tens of thousands of people in clinical trials.

Brian Raydett, a professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases at the SUNY College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry, said the news was good so far.

“All vaccines seem to work well for people who suffer from serious complications and go to the hospital and die. This is really good news,” said Raydett. “If you need to get Covid, you need a mild illness that will get you sick for three days and then be ready to go soon.”

Older people, who are most vulnerable to the serious complications of Covid-19, may also have less protection from the vaccine than younger people. This is typical of vaccines because shots trigger the body’s immune system to produce protective antibodies, the strength of which system decreases with age.That’s why More powerful vaccine Those over 65 years old.

“The (Covid-19) vaccine may not work well for older people,” said Dr. Helen Jacoby, an infectious disease specialist at St. Joseph Health. “They work, but may not be 95% effective.”

Still, according to Jacoby, vaccines can protect older people and immunize as many people as possible to protect everyone, including older people.

“If you vaccinate healthy people and they have an immune response, we certainly want them not to get sick and spread it,” she says. I did.

How well they work for new variants. When the trial was conducted in the United States last year, there were no variants of the United Kingdom, South Africa or Brazil, so it has not been proven that the current vaccine is effective against these more contagious strains. A Report This week, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the vaccine has its own vaccine Current variant It provides the same level of immunity. Second study The vaccine was found to be very effective against the British variants found in Onondaga County, but not so effective against the South African variants.

Vaccine makers say they are ready to fine-tune their vaccines and provide booster shots to stay ahead of mutations.

Whether you need a booster shot.. Since this is the first season of the Covid-19 vaccine, we don’t know if it will last a lifetime, like measles vaccination. For years, like a tetanus vaccination; or just a year, like a flu vaccine. Coronaviruses mutate less frequently than influenza viruses and have self-correcting mechanisms that limit mutations, but mutations are an essential feature of the virus.

The Covid-19 vaccine is probably not needed every year because the coronavirus does not mutate as quickly as the flu virus, Jacoby said.

“I don’t expect shots every year, but do I need a booster every few years?” She asked. “That’s something I don’t know at this point.”

Pfizer has been doing two years of research on how well vaccines work, so you’ll know more at the end of that review.

Whether they infect you and prevent the virus from infecting you.. The vaccine was designed and tested for one purpose. This is to prevent serious illness caused by Covid-19. We hope that vaccines will keep people alive and healthy and reduce the effects of the disease on our healthcare system. According to data submitted by the manufacturer and reviewed by the FDA, the vaccine appeared to work very well in the trial.

What we don’t know is whether the vaccine provides so-called “bactericidal immunity”. That is, does the vaccine actually prevent the virus from replicating in someone’s body, or someone who is fully vaccinated is an asymptomatic carrier of the virus and can unknowingly spread it. Is it?

Clinical trials didn’t find it, because it would mean volunteering on a regular basis when the tests were in short supply, Raydet said.

“It was logistically challenging and testing was in high demand,” he said. “All we know for sure is that the vaccine group is unlikely to have symptoms consistent with Covid.”

However, new evidence suggests that the vaccine significantly reduces the likelihood that someone will carry enough coronavirus to pass it on to someone else. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now states that fully vaccinated people do not need to be quarantined if exposed to the virus.

Dr. Stephen Thomas, Head of Infectious Diseases at Upstate Medical College, hopes that the vaccine will prevent the progression of people’s illness, but it has not yet been studied.

Thomas, who oversaw Pfizer’s upstate clinical trials, said, “It’s very likely that effective vaccines will affect the ability of effective vaccines to infect others in the way these vaccines should work. I will. “

Whether there is a serious and long-term aspect effect.. The vaccine is new and tested in less than 100,000 people, so the long-term effects are in the dark. When 300 million people fire, there can be rare side effects that can remain hidden in 90,000 trials. That’s what happened in 1976. In 1976, the swine flu vaccination program was discontinued after approximately 40 million vaccinations. Related to a slight rise With a rare neuropathy.

Because Covid-19 shots are associated with a severe but short-term allergic reaction, vaccinated individuals are required to wait 15 minutes before leaving the vaccination site. With the first 17 million vaccines given in the United States, 71 people showed Severe allergic reaction, according to the CDC. This is 1 in 250,000.

Approximately 40 rare blood disorders have been reported in freshly vaccinated individuals, but federal researchers Said The New York Times show that the number of new cases does not appear to be higher than normal.

Those cases may just be a coincidence. People develop serious health problems every day, and as we administer millions of vaccines, it is inevitable that some of these health problems will develop immediately after vaccination.

Pharmaceutical companies monitor side effects, and the FDA collects and monitors what is known as “adverse events.” So far, experts say, there is no reason to be wary.

Whether they work as children.. Clinical trials were limited to adults who were far more likely to have serious complications from Covid-19 than children. The clinical trial modelna had a cut-off age of 18 and Pfizer had a cut-off age of 16.

Pfizer is currently enrolling children aged 12 to 15 years to test the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. Moderna said last month that she started clinical trials between the ages of 12 and 17. I’m having a hard time finding volunteers..

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