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COVID-19 vaccine news : Jwatch

COVID-19 Vaccine: Post-Vax Antibodies After COVID-19 / Infections After Vaccination / Who's Been Vaccinated?

Post-vaccination antibodies in people who've had COVID-19: People who've had COVID-19 and then receive the vaccine mount higher antibody responses after one dose than COVID-19-naive people mount after two doses, suggests a study posted on the preprint server medRxiv. Researchers studied 109 vaccine recipients, 38% of whom were seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 at the time of vaccination. They found that median antibody titers among seropositive vaccinees after their first dose were over ten times higher than titers among seronegative vaccinees after their second dose. Seropositive vaccinees also had more systemic side effects, like fatigue and headache. The researchers note that long-term follow-up is needed to see whether the observed immune responses last. One of the researchers told the New York Times, "I think one vaccination should be sufficient [in those who've had COVID-19]. ... This would also spare individuals from unnecessary pain when getting the second dose and it would free up additional vaccine doses."

Infections after vaccination: Of some 4100 healthcare workers at an Israeli hospital who received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, 0.54% were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection 1-10 days after vaccination, researchers report in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Roughly two thirds had COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, chills, cough, headache, myalgia, and sore throat. Half the cases noted community-related exposures, including four with exposures before or on the day of vaccination. The researchers advise, "Clinicians should not dismiss postvaccination symptoms as vaccine-related and should promptly test for COVID-19."

Who's been vaccinated? Nearly 13 million people in the United States received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine between Dec. 14, 2020, and Jan. 14, 2021, according to CDC data published in MMWR. Some 63% of recipients were women. Among those with data on age, 55% were aged 50 or older, 17% were 40 to 49, and 28% were 18 to 39. Information on race was available for about half of vaccinees. Among these, 60% were white; 14%, "multiple or other race/ethnicity"; 12%, Latinx; 6%, Asian; 5%, Black; 2%, American Indian/Alaska Native; and <1%, native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. The researchers call for "more complete reporting of race and ethnicity data ... to ensure rapid detection of and response to potential disparities in COVID-19 vaccine administration."

In a separate MMWR article, researchers report on vaccination rates across 11,500 U.S. skilled nursing facilities between mid-December and mid-January. The estimated median vaccination rate among eligible residents was 78%. Among staff, it was much lower, at 38%. The authors conclude that "focused communication and outreach strategies are needed to improve vaccination coverage among staff members."

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