U.S. to start vast distribution of third vaccine doses subsequent month

The United States will begin distributing Covid-19 booster vaccinations on a large scale next month as new data shows vaccine protection wears off over time, US health officials said on Wednesday.

It is now “very clear” that immunity declines after the first two doses, and with the dominance of the delta variant, “we see evidence of decreased protection against mild and moderate disease,” according to the CDC. signed declaration Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock, the White House Senior Medical Advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and other US health leaders.

“Based on our latest assessment, current protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death could decline in the coming months, especially for those at higher risk or who were vaccinated during the earlier stages of vaccination.”

As a result, U.S. authorities are preparing to offer booster shots to all eligible Americans starting the week of September 20, eight months after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, officials said. As they said recipient of Johnson & Johnson‘s single vaccination will likely need a booster vaccination, they are waiting for more dates in the next few weeks before making a formal recommendation.

“With this data, we will also keep the public informed with a timely schedule for J&J booster shots,” officials said.

In a statement late Wednesday, J&J said, “We are working with the US FDA, CDC and other health authorities and will soon be releasing new data on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine refresher.”

The statement added: “In July, Johnson & Johnson shared data showing that our unique COVID-19 vaccine produced strong, sustained immune activity against the rapidly spreading Delta variant and other widely distributed SARS-CoV-2 virus variants. Intermediate results from a Phase 1 / 2a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine also showed that the duration of the immune response was strong and persistent for at least eight months, as long as previously assessed. “

Ensuring long-term and permanent protection against hospitalizations and deaths is critical to containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan is subject to formal recommendation by a CDC Vaccine Advisory Committee and FDA approval, also a formality.

The announcement came ahead of a Covid press conference at the White House on Wednesday, where federal health officials further outlined their plan for boosters.

The booster “will boost your immune response,” President Joe Biden said in a speech at the White House on Wednesday. “It will increase your protection against Covid-19.”

Biden also responded to criticism from some health advocates who say the US should focus on sending vaccine doses to countries with shortages rather than prioritizing booster vaccinations for Americans.

“I disagree,” said Biden. “We can take care of America and help the world at the same time.”

The decision to recommend booster vaccinations comes as the public becomes increasingly concerned about the Delta variant and an increase in breakthrough cases – infections in fully vaccinated individuals. It marks a departure from previous comments by U.S. health officials who said in recent months that fully vaccinated Americans did not need a booster at this point.

U.S. officials changed their embassy to boosters in the past few days as cases continued to rise. Fauci said Thursday that everyone is “likely” to need a booster vaccination Sometime. On Friday, federal officials approved the administration of booster shots to Americans with compromised immune systems, which include cancer and HIV patients, as well as people who have had organ transplants.

The director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, who also signed the statement, said Tuesday that new Covid data, including from Israeli health officials, caused US health leaders to rethink their position on vaccination boosters. Israel on Monday released new data showing a reduction in the effectiveness of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine against serious illness in people 65 and over who were fully vaccinated in January or February.

There are similar trends in vaccine effectiveness in the United States, Collins said. He said the surge in breakthrough cases could be due to a combination of the rapidly spreading Delta variant and the deterioration in Covid vaccine protection over time.

The effectiveness of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine is steadily decreasing over time. drops to about 84% for vaccinated people about four to six months after the second dose, according to CEO Albert Bourla. Moderna said his vaccine remained 93% effective in the first six months after the second dose, however, expect protection to wear off and need boosters.

During a news conference on Wednesday, Walensky said officials based their decision on studies showing immunity to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines decreased over several months. A study in New York from May 3 to July 25 showed that the vaccine’s effectiveness in protecting against infection decreased from around 92% to 80%. Another study by the Mayo Clinic showed that the effectiveness of Pfizer’s vaccine decreased from around 76% to 42%, while that of Moderna’s decreased from 86% to 76%.

“Right now, it’s still like our vaccine protection is working really well,” said Collins. “But we don’t want to wait until it’s oh, too late.”

The move to recommend boosters is likely to trigger criticism, especially since a large part of the world population has not even received a dose of a Covid vaccine.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization urged rich nations to stop distributing booster vaccinations until at least the end of September to allow poorer countries to vaccinate their populations with the first rounds of vaccination. The application is part of WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ plan to vaccinate 40% of the world’s population by December.

The US released the statement minutes after the WHO condemned wealthy nations who support boosters for the general public.

“We clearly believe that the data so far does not suggest the need for boosters,” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO senior scientist, during a press conference. “And we need to know which groups and at what point in time after the vaccination and which specific vaccinations the people received in their basic course.”

Lawrence Gostin, director of the WHO Collaborating Center for National and Global Health Law, called the US booster shot plan “a slap in the face” of the international health agency.

“There is a better way to create a win-win situation,” he said in a telephone interview. “We should only empower our health workers and vulnerable people. At the same time, Biden should undertake a bold campaign to vaccinate the world, including significantly increased donations and an increase in vaccine production. “

“In this way we are doing good to America and good to the world. It is in our national interest to stop the development of even more dangerous varieties,” he added.

During a briefing at the White House Tuesday, press secretary Jen Psaki said the government believes it can empower the American people while ensuring that the rest of the world is vaccinated.

“We believe this is a wrong decision. We can do both,” said Psaki. “The United States is by far the largest contributor to the global fight against Covid. We will continue to be the vaccine arsenal around the world. We also have enough supplies and had planned long enough should a refresher be required for those eligible. “Population.”

Giving third shots appears safe. Early dates from small studies of the effects of booster doses in immunocompromised patients showed no serious side effects from a third shot of an mRNA vaccine, nor did recipients develop side effects beyond those seen after the initial two-dose treatment.

Once the booster is approved, nursing home residents, health care providers and the elderly – the first groups to be vaccinated in December and January – will likely be given priority for additional vaccinations, Collins said Tuesday. He said “ideally” people should stick with the same manufacturer that they got their first two doses from.

“But if for some reason you don’t have access to it, get the other one,” he said. “Again, as a scientist, I would be more comfortable fixing our plans on real dates, and that means sticking to the same type of vaccine that you had to start with.”

– CNBC’s Rich Mendez and Robert Towey contributed to this report.

ECB to maintain cash faucets broad open at the same time as restoration takes maintain

The European Central Bank is almost certain that it will maintain a generous stream of incentives at the policymakers’ meeting on Thursday as it fears that higher borrowing costs could stifle a nascent recovery.

Just emerging from a double-dip pandemic recession, the eurozone economies in 19 countries have relied on unprecedented ECB incentives to stay afloat. And even if growth accelerates with the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, policymakers seem interested in remaining on the side of caution.

Recent comments from ECB President Christine Lagarde and Board Member Fabio Panetta suggest that the June discussion effectively ended well before Thursday’s meeting and a cut in bond purchases is unlikely, even if policymakers see an improvement in growth prospects and do so quickly Recognize the speed of vaccinations.

Panetta flatly opposed a reduction in emergency bond purchases, while Lagarde said it was “far too early” to discuss a curtailment of the bank’s € 1.85 trillion Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP). Continue reading

Even if politics could take another route, they usually stand behind their presidents and rarely make changes to the proposals of the six-member Executive Board.

Weak medium-term inflation outlook is the main reason for maintaining strong support, but policy makers also fear that borrowing costs will rise, so an ECB withdrawal could trigger potentially dangerous market volatility.

“The longer the ECB waits before admitting that the reasons for keeping its emergency pandemic purchase program in full swing are no longer as strong as in March, the less smooth the transition to fewer bond purchases could be in the future,” said Berenberg That said the economist Holger Schmieding.

“If so, bond yields could pick up more after a while.”

Eurozone government bond yields traded near their lowest level since April on Thursday.

SEPTEMBER

To make matters worse, the ECB could likely push most, if not all, of its growth and inflation forecasts upwards and even raise its growth forecast by declaring risks “balanced” to replace a long-running line on downside risks.

The rate of inflation is also rising and last month exceeded the ECB’s target of just under 2%, a mark that it has largely fallen below in the past ten years. Continue reading

But the economy will take another year just to grow back to pre-pandemic levels, and the jump in inflation is mainly a reversal of last year’s energy price slump, not the start of a new era of price pressures, policymakers said.

Underlying price pressures, a key focus of the ECB, remain anemic and wage growth is weak, suggesting inflation will be under-inflated for years.

Europe is also well behind the United States in its recovery, so any withdrawal of support from the Federal Reserve would be viewed as a dangerous signal.

US inflation data, due to be released at 1230 GMT, is expected to show prices up 4.7% last month from 4.2% in April, with a stronger reading likely to rekindle speculation about fewer Fed bond purchases.

In both Japan and China, wholesale prices rose at the fastest rate they had for over a decade due to rising raw material prices. Continue reading

“Given the nervousness of the markets over the throttling talks and the ECB’s determination to distance itself from preparations for the US throttling in the summer, the ECB is likely to signal unchanged purchases through September,” said Anatoly Annenkov, economist at the Societe Generale.

But the end of the emergency buying is coming and policymakers are unlikely to expand the program or extend it beyond its scheduled end in March 2022 amid the solid recovery in the economy, economists polled by Reuters said.

This will put pressure on policymakers to move beyond the emergency buying of bonds. Some signals for this could come as early as September, say economists.

As the medium-term inflation outlook remains subdued, declining PEPP purchases are likely to go hand in hand with an expansion of the ECB’s less flexible but open-ended asset purchase program, signaling that the ECB’s support, albeit less generous, will continue well into the Future.

The ECB will announce its monetary policy decision at 1145 GMT, followed by Lagarde’s press conference at 1230 GMT. With Thursday’s decision, the bank’s deposit rate, its benchmark, will stay at minus 0.5%.

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