COVID Vaccine Updates: Booster Shots May Be Needed Until Infections Clear, Study Suggests


NEW YORK (WABC) – Like flu vaccines, which are adjusted each year to fight viruses as they change and mutate, COVID-19 vaccines may need similar alterations until infection rates decline, suggests a recent study.

A team of researchers from a German research hospital discovered that four common cold coronaviruses that infect humans by the same spike protein mechanism that SARS-CoV-2 uses evade the immune system just like the influenza virus. .

But the researchers say a good sign of COVID-19 is that coronaviruses evolved roughly four times slower than flu viruses.

Still, SARS-CoV-2 is mutating at a faster rate than the coronaviruses in the study and will likely not decline until the rate of infections worldwide drops dramatically.

So vaccine producers like Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are already working on boosters to make their vaccines more effective against the variants.

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Here are more headlines from today:

NY, CT among 22 states with more than 10% increase in new cases
New York and Connecticut are among the 22 states that have seen a more than 10% increase in the number of new cases week over week, new data from the Department of Health and Human Services shows. Meanwhile, New York and Connecticut join New Jersey in the list of states with the highest case rates nationwide (7-day daily average: 310, 225, and 321 per 100,000 residents, respectively). Among these states, New Jersey had the highest RT-PCR test positivity in the past seven days (8.8%).

Increase in Connecticut Cases
The Connecticut State Department of Public Health is reminding residents to stay tuned for COVID-19, as case rates have risen in the past two weeks.

DPH has moved several Connecticut cities that had been seeing stable or declining COVID-19 case rates to Red Alert status, as the average daily COVID-19 case rate has risen statewide to 25 cases. / 100,000 residents per day.

More than 90% of Connecticut’s population lives in a city with an average daily case rate of more than 15 cases per 100,000 residents. It is estimated that 40% of these new cases are variant B.1.1.7.

Fauci presents a scenario for when experts could loosen facial mask recommendations
If a new study shows that vaccines prevent transmission of COVID-19, inoculated Americans could be “much more liberal” in deciding whether or not to wear a mask, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US’s leading infectious disease expert. USA

But he also said that he cannot begin recommending removal of face masks until daily COVID infections are drastically reduced.

NJ Transit vaccinating bus drivers, transit workers
New Jersey Transit bus drivers and transit workers will receive COVID-19 vaccinations on Saturday. All public transportation workers in the state became eligible for the first time on March 15. At least 21 NJ Transit employees have died from complications from the coronavirus, including 11 bus drivers and a train operator.

The first priest in the United States to die of COVID is remembered
Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, a Mexican-born Brooklyn pastor, became the first priest in the United States to die as a result of COVID-19.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will lead the memorial Mass in Bushwick, Brooklyn, at St. Brigid’s Church on Saturday.

5,000 attend a rock concert in Barcelona after the COVID-19 screen
Five thousand music lovers will attend a rock concert in Barcelona after passing a screening of COVID-19, to test its effectiveness in preventing outbreaks at large cultural events.

Saturday’s show has the permission of the Spanish health authorities. Concert goers will undergo an antigen test hours before the concert.

Those who test negative will be able to attend the indoor concert and mix freely, although masks will be mandatory. The concert is an expanded version of a December case study based on a concert for 500 people that, according to the organizers, showed no signs of contagion.

NYC COVID Tracking Initiative

NYC is dedicating $ 600 million to its COVID tracking initiative. More tracers were hired during the first two weeks of March as cases increased in the post-holiday period.

Thanks to the renewed effort, the city was able to reach its goal of reaching at least 90% of people who tested positive, a goal it had not achieved since around Thanksgiving.

NY Introduces ‘Excelsior’ Digital Pass to Help Businesses and Venues Reopen
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday the launch of Excelsior Pass, a free and voluntary platform developed in partnership with IBM that uses secure technology to confirm the recent negative result of a PCR or antigen test or vaccination test of An individual. The goal is to help expedite the reopening of businesses and event venues in accordance with state Department of Health guidelines.
Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, people will be able to print their card or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app. Each pass will have a secure QR code, which participating companies and venues can scan using a companion app to verify proof of negative COVID-19 test results or proof of vaccination.

Spain, driven by the blockade, gives a chance to the 4-day week
Experimenting with cutting one working day a week is about to spread nationwide in Spain. A three-year pilot project will use 50 million euros ($ 59 million) from the European Union’s massive coronavirus recovery fund to compensate companies as they resize their workforce or reorganize production workflows to accommodate. a 32-hour workweek.

While several companies have already embraced the trend, the pandemic has accelerated it. Supporters say shorter hours could benefit work-life balance and three-day weekends could boost consumption. But critics argue that an economy shaken by a pandemic is no cause for experimentation.

Israelis gather for Easter, celebrating virus absence
Israelis will once again hold large family gatherings this weekend to celebrate Passover, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the biblical flight of the Israelites from Egypt.

That’s thanks to a highly successful coronavirus vaccination campaign that has inoculated 80% of the country’s adult population. Authorities have reopened restaurants, hotels, museums and theaters, and allow indoor gatherings of up to 20 people. It’s a sea change from last year, when Israel was in its first of three blockades, with people largely confined to their homes.

China describes findings of COVID origin, ahead of WHO report
Chinese officials briefed diplomats on Friday about the ongoing investigation into the origin of COVID-19, ahead of the expected release of a long-awaited report from the World Health Organization.

The briefing appeared to be an attempt by China to express its opinion on the report, which has become embroiled in a diplomatic dispute. The United States and others have raised questions about Chinese influence and the independence of the findings, and China has accused critics of politicizing a scientific study.

When did you realize that the COVID pandemic changed everything?
Many of us had a moment, which occurs most often in March 2020, when we realized that COVID-19 had completely changed our lives forever. Although we have managed to move forward and adapt to a new normal, that memory still remains with us. Tell us: What was that moment like for you?

Answers to the top 7 questions about the COVID vaccine
I had questions about COVID-19 vaccines and 7 On Your Side is getting answers from doctors on the front lines of the pandemic.

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