Latest Covid vaccine shields against current dominant strain


By Robin Foster HealthDay Reporter

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FRIDAY, Feb. 2, 2024 (HealthDay News) — There's some good news for those who rolled up their sleeves for the latest COVID vaccine last fall, new government research suggests the updated shots may reduce symptomatic The chances of getting infection are halved.

"Everything from this study reassures that the vaccines are providing the protection we expected," the study author said. Ruth Link-GilesThe head of the vaccine effectiveness program for COVID and RSV at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained cnn, "While we don't have any idea of ​​the effectiveness of specific vaccines for immunocompromised people, the fact that the vaccine is working in the general population, I think, provides reassurance for the entire population."

Last summer, vaccine makers updated their shots to target the Omicron variant XBB.1.5, which dominated for much of 2023. Fortunately, new CDC data shows that these vaccines also work against JN.1, the variant that is causing the most COVID. Infections in the United States since late December.

For the CDC analysis, researchers analyzed trends among more than 9,000 adults who were tested for COVID at Walgreens and CVS pharmacies between mid-September and mid-January. For some people with positive results, researchers were able to test for "quirks" in the virus that let them distinguish between variants.

Overall, the updated vaccines provided 54% protection against symptomatic infection in healthy adults who were recently vaccinated, compared with those who did not receive the latest vaccine, according to the report published Thursday in a CDC publication. . Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,

The main goal of U.S. vaccination programs is to prevent severe disease, but measuring how well a shot protects against symptomatic infection provides an early indication of how well the vaccines are working.

“That's a really nice feature of this analysis, that it checks that box: Yes, the vaccine is working, it's providing protection, it's providing protection for JN.1, which is currently The most common version,” Link-Gels said.

The latest Covid shots have only been available since September, so this analysis can only track effectiveness about four months after vaccination.

It is expected that protection from the latest vaccines will wane over time. Link-Gels admitted that a very slight "signal" of this was seen in the new study.

While the United States no longer tracks COVID cases, wastewater data shows the virus is spreading at high levels and is still causing large numbers of COVID hospitalizations and deaths each week. Deaths are happening.

During the week ending Jan. 20, there were 26,607 COVID hospitalizations and 936 deaths, CDC data Shows. Still, only about 22% of adults and 11% of children have received the latest COVID vaccine, CDC Estimate,

In contrast, about half of adults and children have got it. flu vaccines In this weather. And a flu season where the vaccine matches the circulating strain with 50% effectiveness would be considered a good match, Link-Gales noted.

“There is never a bad time to get the COVID vaccine,” he said. "Even with hospitalization levels relatively low right now... the additional protections will help a lot."

For more information visit the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention covid,

Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly ReportFebruary 2, 2024; cnn

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