After using four Govt-19 shots for more than two years, the country is absorbing a troubling feeling: it is unable to sustain a momentum.
Last week, experts began listing the path to the future, which is less accurate – but more practical.
This means developing a vaccine that targets more than one strain of the virus. This will reduce the risk of serious illness and death, but will not prevent every infection. If the design is changed, all vaccines will be updated. Rather than a combination of different products for different individuals on different schedules, manufacturers will offer the same vaccine formulation to everyone.
The goal is to prepare for it next fall when the risk of disease rises. That is a very tight deadline.
Faced with three threats, such as immunosuppression, growing virus and holiday rallies, “we must be prepared from the standpoint of national security and ensure that our people can be protected by the hand vaccine,” Dr. Peter Marks said. An expert consultation with the FDA panel on Wednesday.
What does it look like?
“If we settle for one shot a year combining COVID and the flu, I think it will be sustainable,” said Dr. Peter Sin-Hong, an epidemiologist at UC San Francisco.
“No one wants to be vaccinated once every six months,” he said. “So we need to change strategy.”
The development and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine will go down in history as one of the greatest achievements in medicine. One year after the cases were first documented, a shot was received. Fifteen months later, Many received a total of four doses: a two-dose primary series and two boosters.
But, with each announced dose, interest fades. Although 77% of the eligible American population gets one shot, that rate drops to 65% of those who get two shots and 50% of those who get three shots. The fourth dose is just beginning to come out.
Vaccine protection is also fading. After each shot, our immune system follows the same disappointing downward path. Vaccines, which are 91% effective in preventing hospitalization in the first two months, drop to 78% after four months – and, over time, continue to decline.
That means those who withdraw a shot in early 2021 are increasingly vulnerable.
Funds will also fade. Today’s free strategy for all federal funding will not continue indefinitely, experts predict. Expenses will be transferred to private insurance companies. It puts pressure on performance and effectiveness.
Yet the virus is here to stay. And it keeps changing. The virus changes two to 10 times faster than the flu, depending on the strain, said Trevor Bedford, a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He said it would continue to change a little or a lot – one thing is possible.
Initially, experts believed that the three-dose regimen would provide long-term protection. That strategy works for measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, HPV and other viruses.
But Kovit is different because it changes more, said Xin-Hong. This poses special challenges to vaccine planning.
This means things have to move faster. The FDA hopes to decide on a combination of future vaccines in May or June. While some clinical trials of possible products are already underway, it will take several months for vaccine manufacturers to produce adequate doses of the reconstituted vaccine, says Robert Johnson, director of the Infectious Diseases Division of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Committee agreed on the following points:
Promise of new “bivalent” or “multivalent” vaccine.
There is a declining return on repeated administration of the same “monovalent” vaccine, which targets the original strain, especially when new strains are exposed. An Omigron-specific booster is unlikely to be the best idea. The virus changes frequently and it will soon expire.
A better approach might be to design one that targets two or more strains of the virus known as the “bivalent” or “multivalent” vaccine. Such vaccines are already in the works in Moderna and Novovax.
Dr. Mark Sawyer, professor of medical pediatrics at UC San Diego, says: “The multivalent vaccine will be important in extending the care period.
Therapies should play a growing role.
Instead of continuing to add vaccines, we should seek the help of antiviral drugs, monoclonal antibodies and other future therapies.
“I think we need to accept that level of protection and use other alternatives to protect individuals with treatment and other measures,” said Amanda Cohn of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. And prevention.
Take a more integrated approach to production.
Vaccine makers should use the same dosage and target the same strains, team members said. Monitoring multiple vaccines with different compounds would prove impossible.
Dr Paul Afid, a professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, said the CDC should be at the forefront in determining if vaccines are no longer effective against serious illnesses. “At some level, companies dictate the dialogue here,” he said.
If a new vaccine is needed to respond to a terrible variant, it will not be a stimulant. The full two-dose “primary series” will be replaced.
Requires better data and newer designs.
Because we are in a hurry, we rely on what the data say about the immune system in the blood. But we need to better understand what these laboratory studies mean for safety in the real world, said Dr. Haley Keynes, professor of pediatrics at Stanford University Medical Center. Antibody count is important, he said. But other parts of the immune system and clinical effects.
Finally, even if not FDA approved, we need to know what research products of the future await us.
“Current MRNA vaccines are the best. They can be reversed quickly, ”said Dr. Offer Levy, an epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. “But there may be other sites that offer broader protection. So as we move forward, we do not want to shoot at a system that excludes other types of vaccines.