Connect with us

Health

Some omicron sub-variants escaping antibodies from Sinopharm shot: Chinese study

A small Chinese study detailed in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal showed neutralizing antibodies against some omicron sub-variants were largely undetectable after two doses of a Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, with a booster shot only partly restoring them.

The study comes as China, which has approved only locally developed COVID shots including the Sinopharm vaccine, strives to improve vaccination rates, maintaining a “dynamic zero COVID” policy aimed at eradicating all outbreaks while many countries have adopted an approach of learning to live with the virus.

For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.

The vaccine, BBIBP-CorV, is one of the two Sinopharm COVID shots approved for use in China, and is also the main shot that the state-owned firm has exported.

Among 25 individuals who received two doses of BBIBP-CorV vaccine, the neutralizing activity against sub-variants such as BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 “was not or only minimally detectable”, researchers said in correspondence published on Monday.

Neutralizing activity against those sub-variants was observed in just 24-48 percent of subjects who received a BBIBP-CorV booster shot after the two-dose product, researchers said, citing results from a group of 25 participants.

The rate improved slightly, to 30-53 percent, for those who received a third shot made by a unit of Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products, another vaccine approved for use in China, according to data from another group of 30 subjects.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The study did not discuss the boosters' efficacy, a rate that reflects how well they could lower the risk of COVID disease or death, which is usually observed in large clinical trials.

Read more:

Saudi Arabia lifts COVID-19 travel curbs, permitting travel to India, Turkey, others

China’s Shenzhen goes into limited lockdown amid COVID-19 flareup

Singapore urges thousands of elderly to take boosters as new COVID-19 wave looms

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Health

UAE reports 1,796 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths

The UAE announced 1,796 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the official Emirates News Agency reported.

This brings the current total active cases in the UAE to 17,551 and the total number of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic to 949,384, according to data from the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA).

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The cases were determined out of 232,943 tests in the last 24 hours.

No deaths from the virus were recorded on Saturday, maintaining the total deaths caused by COVID-19 to 2,317 in the UAE.

At least 1,727 patients recovered in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total COVID-19 recoveries to 929,516.

On June 13, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) announced it would strictly enforce its mask rules – with penalties for those flouting the protocol – and announced it would tighten its rules on the Al Hosn green pass system amid rising coronavirus cases across the country.

NCEMA said that it has recently “monitored some behaviors that have become a danger to society and public health,” referring to people not adhering to COVID-19 precautionary and preventative measures and how it has “negatively” impacted recovery efforts.

“Negligence and recklessness in following precautionary measures, and failure in the societal role in maintaining public health and acquired immunity, has resulted in a rise in the number of infections and new waves of the virus,” the authority spokesman said in the briefing.

The authority reaffirmed the need to wear masks in closed public spaces, reiterating that it was mandatory and that not adhering to this rule would result in a fine of up to $816 (AED 3,000).

According to the World Health Organization, more than 4.1 million cases were reported globally in the last week.

It added, however, that the worldwide number of deaths remained relatively similar to the week before, at about 8,500, noting that COVID-related deaths increased in three regions: the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Americas.

Read more:

Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccines could increase protection as boosters: EMA

World Bank creates fund to better prevent, respond to pandemics

WHO: Over 4.1 million new COVID-19 cases reported globally, 18 pct increase

Continue Reading

Health

Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccines could increase protection as boosters: EMA

Coronavirus vaccines tweaked to include the omicron variant strain can improve protection when used as a booster, the European Medicines Agency and other global health regulators said on Friday.
Following a meeting on Thursday, the EMA said global regulators had agreed on key principles for updating COVID-19 shots to respond to emerging variants.
While the existing coronavirus vaccines continue to provide good protection against hospitalization and death, the group said, vaccine effectiveness has taken a hit as the virus has evolved.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
As such, an omicron-specific or bivalent booster – meaning a vaccine that includes both the new strain and the original coronavirus strain – could “increase and extend” protection, a statement from the EMA said.
The statement refers specifically to the mRNA vaccines. Both Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc have been testing retooled versions of their vaccines to include the omicron variant.
Vaccines which include other variants, for example the beta variant, might also be considered for use as boosters if clinical trial data demonstrate an adequate level of neutralization against omicron and other variants of concern, the statement said.
It follows guidance from the World Health Organization that omicron-specific boosters could restore protection against emerging strains of the coronavirus.
But it stops short of the position of the regulator in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which said on Thursday that it would seek the inclusion specifically of the newer BA.4 and BA.5 strains of omicron, currently driving a surge in new infections globally, in any new shots for use domestically.
On Tuesday, the head of a WHO advisory committee that has considered the modified shots said the group preferred BA.1-based boosters, arguing that the variant is more distinct and could generate a broader response than the more recently circulating subvariants.
Top US FDA official Peter Marks said in an interview that regulators from other countries were seriously considering using new boosters based on the BA.1 omicron variant that caused the massive surge in cases last winter, because those shots can be available sooner than the BA.4/5 based booster the United States plans to use.
The EMA said it would provide more details in coming days.
Read more:

Russia scraps remaining COVID-19 restrictions

WHO: Over 4.1 million new COVID-19 cases reported globally, 18 pct increase

US secures 105 million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for fall

Continue Reading

Health

Russia scraps remaining COVID-19 restrictions

Russia said on Friday it was ending all restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19, including the requirement to wear masks, citing a steady decline in deaths from the virus.
However, it did not rule out re-introducing restrictive measures if the situation deteriorates.
Consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said it was “suspending previously introduced restrictions, including the mask regime, a ban on public catering at night, and a number of other measures.”
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
It said the dynamics of the virus were consistent with global trends and 93 percent of confirmed cases were mild or asymptomatic.
Since the start of the pandemic in Russia in April 2020, over 800,000 people have died from coronavirus or causes related to COVID-19, Reuters calculations show, with the country recording over 18 million infections.
Russia was quick to develop and launch its Sputnik V vaccine when the pandemic struck but take-up was slow, with many Russians citing distrust of the authorities and fear of new medical products. About 52 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
Read more:

North Korea blames ‘alien things’ near border with South Korea for COVID-19 outbreak

US FDA advisers meet to discuss design of future COVID-19 vaccines

BioNTech, Pfizer to start testing universal vaccine for COVID-19

Continue Reading

Trending