Covid Mexico: HALF of breast cancer patients hesitant to get vaccine say they fear side effects - Godz
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Covid Mexico: HALF of breast cancer patients hesitant to get vaccine say they fear side effects

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One-third of breast cancer patients may be hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, a new study suggests.

Of 619 women who responded to a survey on breast cancer-related social media pages, 183, or 34 percent, said they were tentative to get immunized against the virus.

More than 50 percent of the women said they feared adverse reactions and about one-fifth distrust the health care system. 

The women also reported that they were most likely to be motivated to take the vaccine if it was recommended to them by their oncologist.

For the study, published in JAMA Oncology, the team surveyed 540 women resisting in Mexico who visited social media channels dedicated to improving breast cancer care.

Of the group, 357 said they were willing to be vaccinated immediately against COVID-19 and 183 were hesitant to be vaccinated right away.

Among the hesitant group, 54.6 percent – 100 women -feared side effects or adverse reactions and 20.2 percent – 37 women – said they distrusted the health care system. 

Other primary reasons women cited for not wanting the vaccine was that some believed that the vaccine is not for women with breast cancer, 12.6 percent, or their physician has not recommended it to them, 9.8 percent.

Some also believe that the vaccine is either not effective (17, 9.3 percent), or can cause Covid-19 (14, 7.7 percent). 

The survey also asked what it would take for the women to get the vaccine.

Other potentially effective measure to getting hesitant people vaccinated include providing patients with more information on the vaccines effectiveness (85, 46.4 percent) and safety (78, 42.6 percent). 

The patients also trust their loved one and other personal figures in their life, as 61 (33.3 percent) answered that they would receive the vaccine if someone close to them did so and did not experience a negative reaction, and 32 (17.5 percent) said they would receive the vaccine if their primary care physician recommended them to do so.

The least effective measure was the vaccine being endorsed by national health officials, with only three hesitant respondents saying that would convince them to receive the vaccine.

Researchers also found that those hesitant to receive the vaccine were most likely to be younger than 60, have no education past a high school degree, and were unlikely to have received a flu shot in the past year. 

The results seem to match strategies outlined by American public health officials in getting hesitant people vaccinated.

While a majority of national figures have endorsed the vaccine and its effectiveness, many of those hesitant about receiving the vaccine are unlikely to be swayed by them.

Instead, many officials have focused on getting primary care physicians and community leaders – people who a hesitant person has a personal, trustworthy, relationship with – to endorse the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. 

The researchers point out oncologists in particular as being key to getting more breast cancer patients vaccinated, since patients are most likely to trust putting their health into them.

Researchers also note that their survey may have some limitations, since they were relying on self reported data from social media, and the sample size of 619 is relatively small.

Cancer patients are at an increased risk of dying of Covid-19, and the best way to protect themselves, according to health experts, is by getting vaccinated. 

A recent study found that patients with an active cancer diagnoses are up to 70 percent more likely to die from Covid-19 than the average person. 

Cancer patients may be more vulnerable than others even after receiving the vaccine, though, as another recent study found cancer patients were developing lower antibody levels after being vaccinated.  

This post first appeared on Daily mail

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Just 18% of people who have had kidney transplants develop antibody responses to COVID-19 vaccines

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Kidney patients on dialysis had better antibody responses to COVID-19 vaccines than transplant patients, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that patients whose kidneys were failing were nearly five times more likely to develop antibodies than those who just received a new organ.

What’s more, half as many organ recipients generated T-cells, which are a type of white blood cell that binds to and kills viruses, compared to those on dialysis.

The team, from Rouen University Hospital, in France says the findings suggest that more research needs to be done on different vaccination strategies for transplant patients so that they receive the most protection possible against COVID-19. 

A new study from France found that after two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine 88.9% of dialysis patients developed antibodies against the virus compared to 17.8% of kidney transplant recipients. Pictured: Janice Brown hooked up to a dialysis machine in COVID-19 unit isolation room at Desert Valley Medical Group in Victorville, California, April 2020

Recent studies have suggested that people who have received organ transplants have less protection than the general population.

A Johns Hopkins study from March 2021 found that just 17 percent of transplant recipients produced acceptable antibody levels after just one dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

A follow-up in May found that, after the second shot, this number increased to only 54 percent.

The reason for this low level of protection is because people who receive transplants are on life-long immunosuppressants to prevent their body from rejecting the donor organ.

These drugs likely interfere with the body’s ability to generate immune system cells that protect against COVID-19. 

For the new study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the team looked at 55 patients in total: 45 kidney transplant recipients and 10 patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis.

All of the patients received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which are given 21 days apart. 

After the second dose, 88.9 percent of patients on dialysis developed neutralizing antibodies against the virus – in line with figures seen in the general population.

Comparatively, responses were seen in 17.8 percent of transplant recipients, representing 4.9-fold decrease.

Additionally, when researchers looked at T-cell response, they found that it was evident in 100 percent of patients on dialysis but only 57.8 percent of transplant patients. 

The team says the findings may be used to develop specific vaccination strategies for kidney transplant recipients.

‘The vaccine seems efficient in individuals undergoing dialysis, indicating that vaccination should be highly recommended in these patients,’ said study author Dr Dominique Bertrand in a statement.

‘By contrast, the low antibody response observed in kidney transplant recipients is worrying.

‘However, antibodies are not the full spectrum of protection induced by the vaccine. T cell immunity is probably also very important.’ 

This post first appeared on Daily mail

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Oklahoma may be forced to throw out up to 80,000 J&J Covid shots set to expire at end of month

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About 80,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in Oklahoma are set to expire at the end of the month.  

If they are not used then they will have to be thrown away, representing a large waste of the once highly sought after shots. 

Health experts fear the vaccine will be wasted as Oklahoma’s demand for vaccines has plummeted by more than 80 percent from mid-April to early June from 33,000 doses distributed a day to around 5,000.

The excess supply of vaccines is a problem health departments are facing nationwide as they try to convince millions of unvaccinated Americans to get the shots.

About 80,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine may go unused and expire at the end of the month in Oklahoma as vaccine demand falls across the state, and across the country

‘We have pulled expired vaccine from active inventory and are in the process of following CDC guidance on proper disposal,’ Keith Reed, deputy commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, told ABC News.

‘We are seeing kind of a steady decline, and it’s a bit concerning.

‘We are not reaching the goals we would like to be reaching to ensure that we are positioned well to go on into the summer and into the fall.’ 

Johnson and Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said Wednesday during a Wall Street Journal Tech Health event that his company is working on giving the vaccines a longer shelf life.

“We’re working very hard, both at the federal level and at the local level, to do everything we can to make sure that these vaccines can be used and deployed in the very best possible way,” he said. 

According tp data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 42 percent of adults in the state have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

One-third of Oklahomans over age 18 are fully vaccinated.

The state is pacing behind the rest of the country, where 63.8 percent of American adults have received at least one shot, and more than 53 percent are fully vaccinated, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show.

Oklahoma ranks 40th in the nation in percentage of population fully vaccinated. 

The Sooner State has faced many challenges in its vaccine rollout. 

The U.S Department of Health and Human Services estimates that it is among the most vaccine hesitant states in the nation, with some counties having a vaccine hesitant population of more than 30 percent. 

Getting the vaccine to the states rural population is a challenge as well, and the state even rolled out a ‘vaccine vans’ program, bringing mobile vaccine clinics to the more remote areas of the state. 

Oklahoma’s challenges with vaccine hesitancy and failure to deliver the jab to certain populations are a microcosm of a nationwide trend. 

Vaccine demand across the country has plummeted in recent weeks after reaching highs in late April.

Oklahoma is among the most vaccine hesitant states in America, with more than 30 percent of people in some counties not wanting the Covid-19 vaccine

The weekly distribution of the vaccines peaked on April 1, where over 21 million doses were distributed over seven days.

Around 5.5 million vaccine doses have been distributed over the past week, a fall of almost 75 percent.    

There are also still four percent of Americans who want the vaccine but are yet to receive it yet due to some sort of barrier, whether actual or perceived, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Barriers include lack of time, lack of ability to travel to a vaccine site, belief the vaccine costs money (it is free) or just not knowing where to even get the vaccine. 

Experts estimate the nation will need 80 percent of the population to get fully vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity.

President Joe Biden has set a target of getting at least 70 percent of Americans their first shot of the vaccine by July 4.

Neither goal seems to be in reach at the moment, with vaccine demand hitting lows and doses expiring unused. 

‘I have to be honest with you that, at this point, I do not see us getting close to that by July 4,’ Reed said. 

‘Not to say we’re not going to continue to work hard and diligently to increase our numbers.’ 

This post first appeared on Daily mail

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J&J CEO says Americans will need to receive COVID-19 vaccine boosters for ‘several years’

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Johnson & Johnson‘s CEO said on Wednesday that he believes people will likely need boosters for the COVID-19 vaccine for years to come.

During The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Health conference, Alex Gorsky said that not enough people have gotten vaccinated around the world to prevent the spread of highly infectious variants.

Until that happens, he says Americans may need to get an annual shot, just like they do with the influenza vaccine.

‘We could be looking at this tagging along with the flu shot, likely over the next several years,’ Gorsky said. 

On Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky says Americans will likely need COVID vaccine boosters for ‘several years. Pictured: Gorsky in the South Court Auditorium, next to the White House, March 2021

He said the boosters are to protect against variants and may be given alongside annual flu shots (file image of J&J COVID-19 vaccines)

Public health experts have previously stated that they believe COVID-19 is going to become an endemic disease.

This means it will always present in the population but circulating at low rates.

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have each launched clinical trials examining the efficacy of coronavirus booster shots.

In Pfizer’s clinical trial, the potential booster shot will be given to participants six to 12 months after they were fully vaccinated.

Researchers will examine volunteers upon injection of the third dose one week later and one month later to see if they developed neutralizing antibodies. 

Meanwhile, Moderna’s clinical trial will be testing three different types of booster shots.

Two-thirds of the volunteers will be given two different doses of the booster and the other group will receive a shot that combines Moderna’s original vaccine and the booster shot in one dose.

This is not the first time Gorsky has made such comments.   

In an interview on CNBC in February, Gorsky discussed how the COVID-19 vaccine may become a seasonal shot because the virus has kept mutating.

‘Unfortunately, as [the virus] spreads it can also mutate,’ Gorsky told host Meg Tirrell during a Healthy Returns Spotlight event.

‘Every time it mutates, it’s almost like another click of the dial so to speak where we can see another variant, another mutation that can have an impact on its ability to fend off antibodies or to have a different kind of response not only to a therapeutic but also to a vaccine.’

During the Tech Health Event, Gorsky also defended the company’s vaccine and said he believes J&J’s one dose vaccine will play a large role in helping contain the pandemic despite some setbacks. 

The firm experienced supply issues after a manufacturing plant in Baltimore accidentally ruined 15 million doses.

What’s more, the shot was paused in April for 11 days after reports of rare blood clots, mostly in women. 

‘We still believe that this is going to be a very important tool in the overall armamentarium to help overall contain Covid and make a big difference for the world, Gorsky said.

This post first appeared on Daily mail

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