Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) reasons that delta-specific vaccines probably won’t be that much better than the original vaccines because delta’s spike protein is pretty similar to the ancestral coronavirus’s in terms of its look and shape.
The mask mandate in Massachusetts public schools, previously scheduled to expire Friday, October 1, has been extended to November 1. Preeti Mehrotra, MD (Infection Control, BIDMC) said masks have been an effective mitigation method throughout the pandemic and that the mask mandate extension in schools could be part of the state’s efforts to keep mitigation methods in place as vaccination rates continue to increase.
According to data released by the company, people who receive a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine booster shot are better protected against the coronavirus for a longer period of time. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC), who helped develop the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine but was not involved in this study, said these new data show that a second shot of the vaccine results in substantially increased protective efficacy both in the United States and globally.
A key FDA panel is set to meet today to debate and vote on Pfizer and BioNTech’s application to offer booster shots to the general public. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) said there is currently not a consensus in the biomedical community on boosters for the general public and there are senior experts different sides of the debate.
Researchers are pointing to preliminary data suggesting that mixing different vaccines could offer an even stronger immune boost than booster shots.Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) said our immune system is built to have repeated exposures to the same antigen, which will substantially enhance immune protection.
The FDA staff declined to take a stance on whether to back booster shots of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, saying U.S. regulators haven’t verified all the available data. Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) said there is currently not a consensus in the biomedical community on boosters for the general public and with experts on both sides of the debate, it’ll be interesting to see where the debate goes.
The European Union is recommending new travel restrictions for American tourists as COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continue to surge. Preeti Mehrotra, MD (Infection Control, BIDMC) discussed the proposed travel restrictions and said international travel plays a role in global transmission.
Russell Phillips, MD (Internal Medicine, BIDMC) comments on how some primary care doctors are using a state-driven system to order vaccination doses for their patients.
Dan Barouch, MD, PhD (Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, BIDMC) said vaccine manufacturers have created shots updated for the Delta variant but that the reason why the Delta variant is able to cause so many breakthrough infections has more to do with its hyper infectiousness rather than its intrinsic ability to evade antibodies.