This is an overview of several recent COVID-19 research. They include research which requires more investigation to confirm the findings and which must be validated by peer review.
The levels of antibodies following modern vaccination are higher.
The mRNA vaccine from Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) induces higher levels of antibodies against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 than the similar vaccine from Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and partner BioNTech SE , Belgian researchers have found, although what this means for their efficacy is not clear. Soon after receiving their second shot, the 688 healthcare workers who got Moderna’s vaccine had antibody levels roughly twice as high as the 959 who received the Pfizer/BioNTech product, regardless of their ages, doctors at a Belgian medical center reported.
This held true even after accounting for individual risk factors, and regardless of whether participants had previously been infected with the virus, the researchers reported on Monday in JAMA. Antibodies are just one component of the immune system’s defenses, however. The study cannot determine whether one vaccine is more effective at preventing infection or illness, or whether the antibodies induced stay longer in the blood before disappearing. Those questions, and others, require further investigation, the researchers said.
Arthritis drug adds to benefit of steroids in severe illness.
Vaccine poses low risk for adults with high-risk allergies.
Highly allergic adults can safely receive the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech, a new study suggests. Among the 8,102 patients with allergies in the Israeli study, 95% received the shots in routine settings because their risk of a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine was low, and no such reactions were reported. The remaining 429 patients, who were considered to be highly allergic, received the vaccines under careful supervision and were observed for two hours afterward. Nine had allergic reactions, including three who showed signs of potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis.
All responded to treatment with epinephrine and no one had to be hospitalized, according to a report published on Tuesday in JAMA Network Open. An editorial published with the study said lessons from this study of allergic reactions to the Pfizer vaccine are likely “generalizable to the Moderna” shot as well.