Tag Archives: Covid-19 Vaccines

COVID-19: WHY ‘JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE’ WAS ‘PAUSED’ IN U.S. & EUROPE

The rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been paused in the US, Europe and South Africa after reports of rare blood clotting in a very small number of people. Health authorities said they were halting the use of the shot while they investigate the cases — and that they were doing this out of “an abundance of caution.” The Astra Zeneca jab was also recently temporarily suspended in some countries after being linked to rare blood clots. Authorities are calling it a short “pause.” The US’s Johnson and Johnson vaccine has hit the same stumbling block as the UK’s AstraZeneca jab did last month: a likely link to a rare and deadly blood clot. Use of Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen vaccine has now been halted across the US, Europe and South Africa, with health authorities investigating six incidents of clotting in younger women, one of them fatal. The US-developed vaccine uses an adenovirus to trigger immunity – the same mechanism as the UK’s AstraZeneca vaccine. It accounts for roughly 5 percent of vaccines delivered so far in the US. This is a setback to Europe, too. Johnson and Johnson announced it will delay it’s rollout on the continent. The company had already started processing an order from the EU of 200 million doses. The Janssen jab has been partially rolled out in Africa, where a majority of countries don’t have enough vaccines even for their healthcare workers. The African Union signed a deal for 220 million doses this year. But US authorities remain hopeful. They’re saying it could only be a matter of days before the rollout resumes.

INFOGRAPHIC: ‘VACCINES WITHOUT NEEDLES’ (WSJ)

Technologies in development for delivering vaccines include Enesi’s dissolving implants, microneedle patches, electrical-pulse systems, nasal sprays and even pills. 

Some firms are developing their own vaccines against Covid-19, while others are aiming to reformulate some of the dozens already in development or being rolled out world-wide. Some are sitting this pandemic out in the hope of being ready for the next one.

All are in the early to mid-stages of development and clinical testing, suggesting it might be months if not years before they come to market. Big pharmaceutical companies have so far shown limited interest.

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COVID-19: ‘WHAT ARE THE VACCINE’S INGREDIENTS?’

There are all sorts of different vaccines but many of them share specific types of ingredients. Josh Toussaint-Strauss talks to Professor Adam Finn to find out what is in most conventional vaccines, as well as what they do to our bodies when we take them – and why the mRNA Covid jabs from Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna work differently.

COVID-19: ‘INTRANASAL VACCINES’ MIGHT BE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN NEEDLES

From Scientific American (March 1, 2021):

Enter the intranasal vaccine, which abandons the needle and syringe for a spray container that looks more like a nasal decongestant. With a quick spritz up the nose, intranasal vaccines are designed to bolster immune defenses in the mucosa, triggering production of an antibody known as immunoglobulin A, which can block infection. This overwhelming response, called sterilizing immunity, reduces the chance that people will pass on the virus.

The development of highly effective COVID vaccines in less than a year is an extraordinary triumph of science. But several coronavirus variants have emerged that could at least partly evade the immune response induced by the vaccines. These variants should serve as a warning against complacency—and encourage us to explore a different type of vaccination, delivered as a spray in the nose. Intranasal vaccines could provide an additional degree of protection, and help reduce the spread of the virus.

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COVID-19: ‘WHY VARIANTS ARE SPREADING FASTER’

As highly transmissible coronavirus variants sweep across the world, scientists are racing to understand why these new versions of the virus are spreading faster, and what this could mean for vaccine efforts. New research says the key may be the spike protein, which gives the coronavirus its unmistakable shape. Illustration: Nick Collingwood/WSJ