Medical Measures

21 posts

High Vaccine Effectiveness

Ulrike Baum, Eero Poukka, Tuija Leino, Hanna Nohynek, Arto A. Palmu: High vaccine effectiveness against severe Covid-19 in the elderly in Finland before and after the emergence of Omicron [preprint], in: medRxiv (March 13, 2022), online in: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.03.11.22272140. Abstract Background The elderly are highly vulnerable to severe Covid-19. Waning immunity and emergence of Omicron have caused concerns about reduced effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines. The objective was to estimate vaccine effectiveness (VE) against severe Covid-19 among the elderly. Methods This nationwide, register-based cohort study included all residents aged 70 years and over in Finland. The follow-up started on December 27, 2020, […]

WHO recommendation

rme/aerzteblatt.de: WHO empfiehlt IL-6-Antagonisten bei COVID-19 [WHO recommends IL-6 antagonists for COVID-19], in: Aerzteblatt.de (July 7, 2021). This article, published July 7, 2021, in the Deutsches Ärzteblatt [German Medical Journal], discusses the WHO recommendation to use interleukin-6 (IL-6) antagonists to treat patients with covid-19. The use of IL-6 antagonists reduces the risk of death if glucocorticoids are given at the same time. The prices of certain preparations are criticized, which, according to Ärzte ohen Grenzen [Doctors Without Borders], are six to sixty times higher than the manufacturing costs.

Vaccine mandate in Austria

Christiane Druml, Herwig Czech: Comment. A Pandemic is no private matter: the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in Austria, in: The Lancet Respiratory Medicine online (February 17, 2022), online in: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(22)00063-7. On February 5, 2022, the first mandatory Covid 19 vaccination law in Europe came into force in Austria. In their commentary, the authors trace the history and path of the law, which represented a sudden about-face by the Austrian government.

Study on casirivimab and imdevimab

RECOVERY Collaborative Group (ed.): Casirivimab and imdevimab in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 (RECOVERY): a randomised, controlled,open-label, platform trial, in: The Lancet 339, Issue 10325 (February 12, 2022), S. 665-676, online in: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00163-5. Summary of the study “Background Casirivimab and imdevimab are non-competing monoclonal antibodies that bind to two different sites on the receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, blocking viral entry into host cells. The authors aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of casirivimab and imdevimab administered in combination in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Methods RECOVERY is a randomised, controlled, open-label platform trial […]

Outcomes of Imatinib Treatment

Erik Duijvelaar u.a.: Long-term clinical outcomes of COVID-19 patients treated with imatinib, in: The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, online in: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(22)00052-2 (February 17, 2022). In this article the authors report the 90-day outcomes of the CounterCOVID study and investigate the mechanisms underlying the clinical benefit of imatinib. “Hypoxaemia in COVID-19 is primarily caused by disruption of the alveolocapillary barrier on inflammation and dysfunction of the endothelium. To date, antiviral or immune-modulatory treatment options have been thoroughly studied, yet there is no approved therapy targeting endothelial dysfunction. Imatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that attenuates vascular leakage under inflammatory conditions. In the […]

Safety Report of the Paul Ehrlich Institute (February 2022)

Paul-Ehrlich-Institut: Sicherheitsbericht. Verdachtsfälle von Nebenwirkungen und Impfkomplikationen nach Impfung zum Schutz vor COVID-19 seit Beginn derImpfkampagne am 27.12.2020 bis zum 31.12.2021, Langen, February 7, 2022. The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), as the Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedical Products, reports on suspected cases of adverse reactions or vaccine complications reported from Germany in temporal association with vaccination with the mRNA vaccines Comirnaty (BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH) and Spikevax (MODERNA BIOTECH SPAIN, S.L.) and the vector vaccines Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca AB) and COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen for protection against COVID-19 from the start of the vaccination campaign on Dec. 27, 2020, to Dec. 31, […]

Paul Ehrlich Institute Safety Report (December 2021)

Paul-Ehrlich-Institut: Sicherheitsbericht. Verdachtsfälle von Nebenwirkungen und Impfkomplikationen nach Impfung zum Schutz vor COVID-19 seit Beginn derImpfkampagne am 27.12.2020 bis zum 30.11.2021, Langen, December 23, 2021. The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), as the Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines, reports on suspected cases of adverse reactions or vaccine complications reported from Germany in temporal relation to vaccination with the mRNA vaccines Comirnaty (BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH) and Spikevax (MODERNA BIOTECH SPAIN, S.L.) and the vector vaccines Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca AB) and COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen for protection against COVID-19 from the start of the vaccination campaign on Dec. 27, 2020, to Nov. 30, 2021. […]

Omicron neutralization

Annika Rössler, Lydia Riepler, David Bante, Dorothee von Laer, Janine Kimpel: SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 variant (Omicron) evades neutralization by sera from vaccinated and convalescent individuals (December 11, 2021) [Preprint]. Recently, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant B.1.1.529 (Omicron) has been described. In this study, the authors analyzed titers of neutralizing antibodies of sera from convalescent or vaccinated individuals against the new B.1.1.529 variant and compared them with titers against other Variants of Concern (B.1.1.7, B.1.351, B.1617.2) using replication competent SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Booster & Covid Mortality

Ronen Arbel, Ariel Hammerman, Ruslan Sergienko, Michael Friger, Alon Peretz, Doron Netzer, Shlomit Yaron: BNT162b2 Vaccine Booster and Mortality Due to Covid-19, in: The New England Journal of Medicine 385 (December 23, 2021) 26, p. 2413-2420. Abstract Background The emergence of the B.1.617.2 (delta) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and the reduced effectiveness over time of the BNT162b2 vaccine (Pfizer–BioNTech) led to a resurgence of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in populations that had been vaccinated early. On July 30, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Health approved the use of a third dose of BNT162b2 (booster) to […]

Omicron, Comirnaty and ACE2

Sandile Cele u. a.: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron has extensive but incomplete escape of Pfizer BNT162b2 elicited neutralization and requires ACE2 for infection, Dezember 17, 2021, online in: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.12.08.21267417. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron, first identified in Botswana and South Africa, may compromise vaccine effectiveness and the ability of antibodies triggered by previous infection to protect against re-infection. Here the authors investigated whether Omicron escapes antibody neutralization in South Africans, either previously SARS-CoV-2 infected or uninfected, who were vaccinated with Pfizer BNT162b2. They also investigated if Omicron requires the ACE2 receptor to infect cells.

Antibody Potency & Omicron

Daniel J. Sheward, Changil Kim, Roy A. Ehling, Alec Pankow, View ORCID ProfileXaquin Castro Dopico, Darren Martin, Sai Reddy, Joakim Dillner, Gunilla B. Karlsson Hedestam, Jan Albert, Ben Murrell: New Results. Variable loss of antibody potency against SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) [Preprint], December 20, 2021. The recently-emerged SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 variant (Omicron) is spreading rapidly in many countries, with a spike that is highly diverged from the pandemic founder, raising fears that it may evade neutralizing antibody responses. The authors cloned the Omicron spike from a diagnostic sample which allowed us to rapidly establish an Omicron pseudotyped virus neutralization assay, sharing initial […]

Laboratory study on Comirnaty

Businesswire.com: Pfizer and BioNTech Provide Update on Omicron, December 8, 2021. On December 8, 2021, Pfizer Inc. and BiontTEch SE announced the results of a laboratory study on their vaccines.

Whistleblower at Pfizer

Paul D. Thacker: Covid-19: Researcher blows the whistle on data integrity issues in Pfizer’s vaccine trial, in: BMJ 375 (November 2, 2021) n2635, online in: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2635. In the fall of 2020, chairmann and chief executive Albert Bourla stated in an open letter that accurately predicting an approval date for a Pfizer vaccine in the U.S. would be difficult. He reminded the audience that they were “operating at the speed of science”. Researchers who participated in Pfizer’s vaccine trials complained that the picked up speed might be detrimental to data integrity and patient safety.

Unvaccinated people cause current corona crisis in Germany

Benjamin F. Maier, Marc Wiedermann, Angelique Burdinski, Pascal Klamser, Mirjam A. Jenny, Cornelia Betsch,Dirk Brockmann: Germany’s current COVID-19 crisis is mainly driven by the unvaccinated, in: medRxiv (26.11.2021), online in: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.11.24.21266831. Vaccines are the most powerful pharmaceutical tool to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. While the majority (about 65%) of the German population were fully vaccinated, incidence started growing exponentially in October 2021 with about 41% of recorded new cases aged twelve or above being symptomatic breakthrough infections, presumably also contributing to the dynamics.

Efficacy of Cuban vaccines

Sara Reardon: Kubas Impfstoffe halten offenbar, was sie versprechen (Cuba’s vaccines apparently deliver what they promise), in: Spektrum.de (25.11.2021). In her article, the author describes the efficacy of Cuban vaccines: Soberana has a high efficacy of 92.4 percent in clinical trials. She also says the Abdala vaccine is similarly good.

mRNA vaccines in comparison

Arjun Puranik, Patrick J. Lenehan, Eli Silvert, Michiel J.M. Niesen, Juan Corchado-Garcia, John C. O’Horo, Abinash Virk, Melanie D. Swift, John Halamka, Andrew D. Badley, A.J. Venkatakrishnan, Venky Soundararajan: Comparison of two highly-effective mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 during periods of Alpha and Delta variant prevalence, in: medRxiv (August 21, 2021), https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.08.06.21261707. Although clinical trials and real-world studies have affirmed the effectiveness and safety of the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines, reports of breakthrough infections and persistent emergence of new variants highlight the need to vigilantly monitor the effectiveness of these vaccines.

Impact of Delta

Koen B. Pouwels, Emma Pritchard, Philippa C. Matthews, Nicole Stoesser, David W. Eyre, Karina-Doris Vihta, Thomas House, Jodie Hay, John I. Bell, John N. Newton, Jeremy Farrar, Derrick Crook, Duncan Cook, Emma Rourke, Ruth Studley, Tim Peto, Ian Diamond, A. Sarah Walker and the COVID-19 Infection Survey Team: Impact of Delta on viral burden and vaccine effectiveness against new SARS-CoV-2 infections in the UK , in: medRxiv (August 24, 2021), https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.08.18.21262237. The effectiveness of BNT162b2, ChAdOx1, and mRNA-1273 vaccines against new SARS-CoV-2 infections requires continuous re-evaluation, given the increasingly dominant Delta variant. The authors investigated the effectiveness of the vaccines in […]

Moderna vaccine

Arznei-Telegramm: Neu auf dem Markt. Covid-19-Impfstoff von Moderna, in: arznei-telegramm, No. 52 (January 22, 2021), pp. 1-4. In this issue of arznei-telegramm, the authors deal with the Covid-19 vaccine from the company Moderna.

Vaccines – hope or risk?

Arznei-Telegramm: Im Blickpunkt. Impfstoffe gegen Covid-19. Anlass zur Hoffnung oder unkalkulierbares Risiko?, in: arznei-telegramm Nr. 51 (18. Dezember 2020), pp. 89-92. (In Focus. Vaccines against Covid-19: Cause for hope or incalculable risk?). In the December issue of arznei-telegramm, the authors of this article discussed the hopes for an effective vaccine that could help contain the pandemic, and the risks that these fast-track vaccines could pose.

Vaccines – state of knowledge unsatisfactory

BUKO Pharma-Kampagne (ed.): Nutzen von Covid-19 Impfungen. Wissensstand noch unbefriedigend, in: Pharma-Brief 10, December 2020. (Benefits of Covid-19 vaccinations. State of knowledge still unsatisfactory.) In its article, BUKO Pharma-Kampagne addresses the issue of vaccines against the coronavirus. “Several vaccines against covid-19 are close to approval or have already received emergency approval. But what do we even know about benefits and risks? The media reports high vaccine efficacy of 90% or more. The reports suggest that this means preventing severe disease and interrupting transmission of Covid-19. This is a misunderstanding, probably triggered by the fact that the figures circulating were based […]