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posted by martyb on Wednesday December 01 2021, @02:47AM   Printer-friendly
from the We're-all-gonna-die,-eventually,-but-let's-not-speed-things-up! dept.

[Ed note: This story combines reports from two separate articles. In the first report are results comparing the likelihood of being infected (and surviving) after having one of the three vaccines that are commonly available in the US. The second report compares the risk of death that results from being infected subsequent to being vaccinated (from the same set of three commonly-available vaccines). No vaccine is perfect; get your booster when it is available; wear a mask in public indoor spaces; and get tested regularly. The life you save may be that of a family member, loved-one, or co-worker! Emphasis retained from originals.--martyb]

Breakthrough Infection Study Compares Decline in COVID Vaccine Effectiveness: Pfizer vs Moderna vs J&J:

Study in Science of more than 780,000 Veterans is the first to compare waning protection rates across all three vaccine types available to most Americans and to directly report death rates after breakthrough infection.

A new study in the leading journal Science reviewed COVID-19 breakthrough infections among 780,225 Veterans, finding that vaccine protection declined from 87.9% to 48.1% during the 2021 Delta surge in the U.S. The researchers from PHI, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Texas Health Science Center found a dramatic decline in effectiveness for the Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccine, from 86.4% in March to 13%.1 in September. They also found that vaccination of any type was protective against death among infected individuals.

As COVID-19 breakthrough infections continue to emerge in some vaccine recipients and health authorities are developing policies around booster vaccinations, national data on COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infections is inadequate but urgently needed. Now a study from the Public Health Institute, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Texas Health Science Center published today in the journal Science analyzed COVID infection by vaccination status among 780,225 Veterans.

Researchers found that protection against any COVID-19 infection declined for all vaccine types, with overall vaccine protection declining from 87.9% in February to 48.1% by October 2021.

  • The decline was greatest for the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine, with protection against infection declining from 86.4% in March to 13%.1 in September
  • Declines for PfizerBioNTech were from 86.9% to 43.3%
  • Declines for Moderna were 89.2% to 58%.

While most previous studies have focused on the PfizerBioNTech or Moderna vaccines, the Science study is the first to compare protection declines across the three main vaccine types, and the first to show the comparably dramatic decline in effectiveness for the Janssen vaccine. Declines were assessed over the period February 1, 2021 to October 1, 2021, reflecting the emergence and dominance of the Delta variant in the U.S. Patterns of breakthrough infection over time were consistent by age, despite rolling vaccine eligibility, implicating the Delta variant as the primary determinant of infection.

Importantly, vaccination of any type was protective against death among individuals who did become infected. The relative benefit of vaccination for protection against death was greater for persons under 65 but was also very strong for persons over 65.

Study compares decline in effectiveness for Moderna, Pfizer, Janssen vaccines; and mortality consequences:

For those under 65 years old, vaccines overall were 81.7% effective against death.

  • Protection against death was greatest for the Pfizer vaccine, at 84.3%.
  • Moderna was the next most effective, at 81.5%.
  • Janssen was 73% effective.

For those 65 and over, overall vaccine effectiveness against death was 71.6%.

  • Moderna was 75.5% effective.
  • Pfizer was 70.1% effective.
  • Janssen was 52.2% effective.

"Our study gives researchers, policy makers and others a strong basis for comparing the long-term effectiveness of COVID vaccines, and a lens for making informed decisions around primary vaccination, booster shots, and other multiple layers of protection, including masking mandates, social distancing, testing and other public health interventions to reduce chance of spread," said Dr. Barbara Cohn of PHI, the lead author of the study. "For example, the CDC recommendation for boosters for all Janssen recipients over 18 is supported by our results. And, given the declines in vaccine protection and the dominance of the more infective Delta variant, we urge swift action to promote primary vaccination, boosters and to also encourage masking, social distancing and other layers of protection against infection. This is supported by our finding that breakthrough infections are not benign, but also by the strong evidence that vaccination still protects against death even for persons with breakthrough infections, compared to persons who become infected and are not vaccinated."

The FDA authorized Pfizer boosters for some groups in September and Moderna and Janssen boosters in October, and the CDC has made similar recommendations, including supporting a "mix and match" approach that allows people to choose any of the three vaccine boosters regardless of which they were given initially.

Journal Reference:
Barbara A. Cohn, Piera M. Cirillo, Caitlin C. Murphy, et al. SARS-CoV-2 vaccine protection and deaths among US veterans during 2021, Science [open] (DOI: 10.1126/science.abm0620)


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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01 2021, @02:55AM (16 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01 2021, @02:55AM (#1201066)

    This really is like the flu vaccine. Every year, for Covid season, get your shot!

    If covid season doesn't end, shots twice yearly. Make that three times yearly, because 50% isn't Safe!

    Starting Score:    0  points
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  • (Score: 3, Touché) by khallow on Wednesday December 01 2021, @03:04AM (13 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 01 2021, @03:04AM (#1201069) Journal

    If covid season doesn't end, shots twice yearly. Make that three times yearly, because 50% isn't Safe!

    'I suppose you could get covid annually instead. But then I get annual flu shots already so I guess I just don't have the right outlook on this.

    • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01 2021, @04:46AM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01 2021, @04:46AM (#1201090)

      Have you been getting your common-cold shot, too?

      No? What an asshole. Think of all the old people you're causing pneumonia in!

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday December 01 2021, @02:56PM (3 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 01 2021, @02:56PM (#1201144) Journal

        Have you been getting your common-cold shot, too?

        Only because nobody offers one with a good cost/benefit to it. Given how successful we've been with a vaccine for covid, maybe we'll see a common cold shot in the not-so-distant future.

        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday December 01 2021, @04:40PM (1 child)

          by Freeman (732) on Wednesday December 01 2021, @04:40PM (#1201173) Journal

          COVID-19 is one strain of virus. Common Cold Viruses [xkcd.com]

          Common cold [wikipedia.org] (Empahsis mine)

          The common cold, also known simply as a cold, is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract that primarily affects the respiratory mucosa of the nose, throat, sinuses, and larynx.[6][8]
          [...]
          Well over 200 virus strains are implicated in causing the common cold, with rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, adenoviruses and enteroviruses being the most common.[13] They spread through the air during close contact with infected people or indirectly through contact with objects in the environment, followed by transfer to the mouth or nose.[3] Risk factors include going to child care facilities, not sleeping well, and psychological stress.[6]

          --
          Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
        • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02 2021, @02:46AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02 2021, @02:46AM (#1201344)

          Omicron is the scariest virus yet. I'm not yet eligible for a booster but since Thanksgiving I've been dreaming about that feeling of the needle under my skin and knowing I am a bit safer.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday December 01 2021, @05:53PM (2 children)

        by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday December 01 2021, @05:53PM (#1201195)

        If there were such a thing as a common-cold shot, you bet I'd take it, assuming the side-effects were reasonable. 1 day of feeling a bit under the weather, versus 2 weeks of unpleasantness every time some snotty kid sneezed in the room I happened to be in? That's an easy choice.

        I'll also note that there are lots of countries where wearing a face mask if you feel sick (but not so sick you can't function) is standard courtesy, and those countries have a lot fewer colds than places that don't do that. Oh, and the masking and social distancing we did for Covid also reduced flu infections and mortality a lot.

        TL;DR: Medical science - it works, bitches.

        --
        Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02 2021, @01:14AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02 2021, @01:14AM (#1201329)

          There are a few papers that indicates some Influenza strains were actually driven to extinction thanks to the masking and social distancing.

        • (Score: 2) by legont on Thursday December 02 2021, @07:00PM

          by legont (4179) on Thursday December 02 2021, @07:00PM (#1201588)

          Perhaps isolating kids - bags of deceases killing grandmas - is the most effective strategy.

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01 2021, @05:19AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01 2021, @05:19AM (#1201096)

      I suppose you could get covid annually instead.

      Scientists suppose we could not. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.24.21262415v1 [medrxiv.org]
      "Results: SARS-CoV-2-naïve vaccinees had a 13.06-fold (95% CI, 8.08 to 21.11) increased risk for breakthrough infection with the Delta variant compared to those previously infected,"

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01 2021, @07:19AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01 2021, @07:19AM (#1201112)

        The rest of that sentence is important: "when the first event (infection or vaccination) occurred during January and February of 2021." Confounding variable much?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01 2021, @06:11PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01 2021, @06:11PM (#1201206)

      "But then I get annual flu shots already"

      what a ridiculous coward.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday December 01 2021, @08:01PM (1 child)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 01 2021, @08:01PM (#1201244) Journal
        Because I'm afeared of the scary flu? Or maybe I just don't want to feel like shit for a week or two?
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday December 01 2021, @08:02PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 01 2021, @08:02PM (#1201245) Journal
          Or spread that to everyone in my office/home/etc.
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01 2021, @06:50PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01 2021, @06:50PM (#1201218)

    I want them to address the issues regarding the spike protein, generated from the vaccines, inhibiting DNA repair enzymes from working correctly. Create a vaccine variant that codes for relevant proteins the body can recognize that don't do that.

    Also, don't say Adeno virus vaccines are OK because Adeno viruses are associated with cancer probably for similar reasons.

    I want these issues addressed. So far they have been mostly ignored.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01 2021, @09:32PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01 2021, @09:32PM (#1201269)

      Wait til you find out the EPE peptide inserted into omicron. It is a phosphomimetic for ERK's SPS motif. When the serines are phosphorylated, ERK is translocated into the nucleus by importin-7. EPE looks like phosphorylated SPS.

      So we can expect the vaccine spikes to be actively transported into the nucleus, and possibly interfere with ERK signalling too.