Moderna’s mRNA Covid-19 vaccine shows robust antibody levels at six months, according to a research letter published Tuesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Protection from the vaccine is expected to last longer than six months, but we’ll only know how long it works when there is more data from late-stage clinical trials. The company is continuing to study this.
With this research, using three distinct tests that look for antibodies, the scientists found that protective antibody activity remained high in all age groups of the 33 adults involved in this early-stage study.
Younger adults seemed to have higher antibody levels compared to the older groups. Antibody levels are expected to decline over time, but it’s unclear what level of protection this will provide in the real-world. To understand that, there will need to be further studies.
Scientists will continue to monitor these adults to see how long the protection lasts. They will also determine if a booster dose will extend the duration against emerging viral variants.
“Our data show antibody persistence and thus support the use of this vaccine in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic,” the research letter said.
Last week, a separate study showed that the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is 91.3% effective six months after the second dose, and 100% effective against severe disease. Moderna’s previous interim results showed it was 94.1% effective, though with less follow-up time.
The Biden administration will provide guidance in the form of answers to frequently asked questions on vaccine credentials that are focused on concerns about privacy, security and discrimination soon, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
“We will be providing some guidance, which will look like an FAQ — Frequently Asked Question, I hate acronyms — but that provides important answers to questions that Americans have, in particular around concerns about privacy, security or discrimination soon,” Psaki said at a White House briefing.
Psaki said she did not have an exact date on when the guidance would come out.
“As these tools are being considered by the private and nonprofit sectors, our interest is very simple from the federal government, which is Americans’ privacy and rights should be protected and so the, so that these systems are not used against people unfairly,” Psaki said.
She continued: “There is a movement, as you know, in the private sector to identify ways that they can return to events where there are large swaths of people safely in soccer stadiums or theaters, and that’s something that, that’s where the idea originated and we expect that’s where it will be concluded.”
The White House has said there will be no federal database on which Americans have been vaccinated and Americans will not be mandated to carry a single vaccination credential.
The UK plans to reopen its economy next week and the CEO of Heathrow Airport said there was “no reason to delay” the return of international air travel for millions of Britons beyond May 17.
CNN’s Salma Abdelaziz reported live from London and answered viewers’ questions about the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
The Covid-19 variant B.1.351, which originated in South Africa, shows increased resistance to both post-infection antibodies and two available vaccines, according to research published in a correspondence letter in the New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday.
Variant B.1.351 showed resistance to “convalescent serum,” generated with samples taken from people previously infected with Covid-19, and to “vaccine serum,” testing both the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines, which use inactivated forms of the virus.
B.1.351 showed increased resistance to the convalescent serum by a factor of two, and resistance to the vaccine serum by a factor of 2.5 to 3.3 when compared to an engineered version of the “wild type” of the virus, or the Wuhan-1 reference strain.
Nearly a third of the convalescent serum samples showed a total loss of neutralization against B.1.351. Two-thirds of the samples of the Sinopharm vaccines had either a partial or complete loss of neutralization against the variant. Most of the CoronaVac samples showed some amount of lost neutralization against B.1.351.
The variant B.1.1.7, which originated in the United Kingdom, showed little resistance to either the vaccine serum or convalescent serum. Both the Sinopharm and CoronaVac vaccines showed a lowered antibody response when compared to convalescent serum.
New York City has administered more vaccinations than there are people in the entire state of Kentucky, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday, announcing a total of 4,601,756 Covid-19 vaccine doses given to date.
The mayor also announced the city is now offering walk-up vaccination opportunities at 25 vaccine sites throughout New York City to anyone over the age of 75, no prior appointments needed.
CNN has previously reported that New York City opened up its vaccine eligibility to anyone over the age of 16 on Tuesday. De Blasio reiterated his goal to have at least five million New York City residents fully-vaccinated by June.
New York City’s vaccination efforts will also now include the use of a mobile vaccination bus that will have the capacity to give up to 200 vaccines per day. It will launch on Wednesday in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and will focus on vaccinating restaurant and delivery workers. Staff on the bus will be able to speak English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese, de Blasio said.
The city’s current Covid-19 positivity rate is 6.63% with 3,193 new cases – only a slight rise from Monday’s positivity rate of 6.55%, according to city statistics.
Note: These numbers were released by the city’s public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Oregon residents over the age of 16 will be eligible to sign up for a Covid-19 vaccine starting on April 19, Gov. Kate Brown announced in a news release on Tuesday.
“However, whether before April 19 or after, it’s critical that we continue to focus on equity in our vaccine distribution efforts,” Brown said in the release. “Oregon’s Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and communities of color have been disproportionately hard-hit by this disease.”
“Over the next two weeks, we will dedicate all available resources to ensure Oregon’s frontline workers and people with underlying conditions have access to vaccines––two groups in which Oregonians from communities of color are predominantly represented,” Brown added.
Oregon will administer the two-millionth dose of Covid-19 today, Brown added.
55% of Americans – a pandemic-era high – reported seeing family or friends in the last week, according to a new poll by Axios-Ipsos, released Tuesday.
45% of respondents reported going out to eat in the last week and 37% visited a park, beach or outdoor space, according to the poll, which was conducted April 2 through April 5, and made up of a nationally representative sample of 979 Americans age 18 and older.
64% of respondents reported social distancing in the last week.
The perceived risk of regular activities continued to decline, with 55% of respondents saying that returning to pre-coronavirus life is a moderate or large risk – the lowest level since April. The percentage of respondents who consider attending a sporting event as risky has gone down to 69% from 79% in September.
More than two-thirds – 71% – view traveling by plane or mass transit as risky, down from 80% in February. Thirty-seven percent thought that this was a large risk, which is down from 73% in April.
When it comes to work, 28% of respondents reported working remotely rather than at their workplace, with 37% of respondents saying that they felt returning to their workplace would be a large or moderate risk, which is the lowest level since May.
For the first time, more Americans are reporting that their ability to do their job improved than got worse: 11% vs. 8%.
The ability to afford household goods and pay their rent or mortgage were reported to be net even or positive.
Stimulus money from the government was received by 63% of respondents, who said it primarily went to savings, paying off debts, or basic needs – 40%, 30% and 27% respectively.
Just over half of parents – 52% – said they are likely to get their children vaccinated against Covid-19 when a vaccine becomes available for their age group, according to results of a new Axios-Ipsos poll, released Tuesday.
Republicans are most resistant to having their child be vaccinated, according to the poll, which was conducted April 2 through April 5, and was made up of a nationally representative sample of 979 general population Americans age 18 and older.
This comes as nearly half – 47% – of respondents reported having gotten at least one vaccine dose, with 64% of respondents saying they were fully vaccinated and 36% saying they were partially vaccinated.
Nine in ten respondents reported knowing someone who had gotten the vaccine, and 47% knew someone who had trouble getting an appointment – a number that is essentially unchanged since March.
Twenty-four percent of respondents said they were somewhat or very likely to get the vaccine when it becomes available to them.
The number of Americans saying that they are not at all likely to get the vaccine – 19% – has barely moved since the beginning of 2021.
The groups that are most resistant to the vaccine are Republicans (31%) and those with a high school education or less (28%).
The European Union’s data protection bodies strongly advised against extending the use of vaccine passports beyond the current pandemic, warning they could pose “risks to the fundamental rights of EU citizens.”
The agencies also raised concerns over the prospect of a “de facto requirement” for people to present a vaccine passport to enter shops, restaurants, clubs, places of worship and gyms, as “has already been suggested.”
The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) published their joint opinion Tuesday to the European Commission – the executive arm of the EU– in relation to the proposed “Digital Green Certificate,” designed to unlock free movement between member states.
The certificate “should only be limited to Covid-19, including its variants,” the bodies said.
“Should Member States still seek to implement the Digital Green Certificate on the basis of Member State law for any possible further use than the intended purpose of facilitating free movement between EU Member States, this may lead to unintended consequences and risks to the fundamental rights of EU citizens,” the opinion cautioned.
“Any such further use of the Digital Green Certificate and its associated framework under a national legal basis should not legally or factually lead to discrimination based on having been (or not) vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19,” it said.
Some background: The European Commission unveiled its proposed “Digital Green Certificate” in March. No exact end date was given for the certificates, with the Commission saying they will be suspended once the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the end of the international public health emergency caused by Covid-19.
The proposed certificate will confirm that a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19, has received a negative test result or has recovered from Covid-19. The plan is that the certificate can be used across all EU Member States.
But the scheme “must not lead to the creation of any sort of personal data central database at EU level,” the EDPB and EDPS said.