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COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine shingles

Large study finds no link between COVID vaccine and shingles

I didn’t know it was a thing, but I guess some people claimed that there was a link between a COVID-19 vaccine and shingles. But in the name of science, researchers published a study that refuted the link between the COVID-19 vaccine and shingles.

I’m glad it’s not linked, even though I never thought it was. So, as I always do, let’s review the study and see what it says.

Read More »Large study finds no link between COVID vaccine and shingles
flu COVID-19 mRNA vaccine

Combination flu and COVID mRNA vaccine starting clinical trials

Pfizer and BioNTech have announced the start of a phase 1 clinical trial for a new mRNA vaccine that prevents both the flu and COVID-19. The new vaccine targets these two severe respiratory diseases with one jab.

Although during the past three years we have focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, the seasonal flu is also a dangerous disease. During the 2019-2020 flu season, the last one before COVID-19 mitigation efforts reduced the risk of flu, 390,000 Americans were hospitalized from the flu. And over 25,000 died.

So, a new mRNA vaccine (with all of its advantages to tailor the vaccine to the key antigens on the virus) that combines both flu and COVID-19 can be an effective weapon against these two diseases. In a couple of years, if all goes well, we will be able to get a season flu-COVID-19 mRNA vaccine that has been manufactured for the season’s prevalent variants of both diseases.

Let’s take a look at what we know about this new vaccine and the phase 1 clinical trial.

Read More »Combination flu and COVID mRNA vaccine starting clinical trials
COVID-19 vaccine liability

Vaccine court myths – instead, here are facts about the NVICP

The anti-vaccine world loves its myths, because, lacking any real scientific evidence supporting their outlandish claims, fairy tales are all they have. Not that I like picking and choosing the worst of the anti-vaccine urban legends, but the vaccine court myths are among the most egregious and ridiculous.

Although there are a lot of vaccine court myths, I wanted this article will focus on just three critical points:

  1. The vaccine court vs. civil courts for plaintiffs.
  2. Vaccine manufacturers are immune to lawsuits.
  3. Billions of dollars have been paid out to “victims.”
  4. The vaccine court said that vaccines cause autism.

Let’s get to the article.

Read More »Vaccine court myths – instead, here are facts about the NVICP
tucker carlson vaccine

Tucker Carlson conflates ACIP COVID vaccine schedules with mandates

This article about Tucker Carlson recently trying to claim that the ACIP vaccine schedules are vaccine mandates was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about vaccination’s social and legal policies. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable diseases. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

Contrary to claims circulating online in anti-vaccine circles and broadcast by Tucker Carlson, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)’s discussion of immunization schedules is not about mandating COVID-19 vaccines for school (that is not something ACIP can do). It is also not about removing liability for COVID-19 vaccines —manufacturers and providers of COVID-19 vaccines are already immune from liability under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP). 

The COVID-19 discussion is part of the CDC’s annual revision of its vaccine schedules to reflect what it already recommended during the year. It may be a step towards adding the vaccines to the more generous Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (and reducing the liability protections for manufacturers and providers), though even there, I’m not sure whether adding to the schedules changes the situation – the vaccines are already recommended. The discussion has nothing to do with school mandates.

Read More »Tucker Carlson conflates ACIP COVID vaccine schedules with mandates
XBB variant

New XBB variant of COVID-19 — bivalent booster vaccine works

Here we go with a new, kind of scary version of COVID-19 — the XBB variant, which is just one of several variants that are spreading across the world. I think we’ve heard and read about so many variants over the past two and a half years that it might appear to be background noise.

But the new XBB variant probably shouldn’t be ignored — it spreads faster and seems to evade the immune system. These two issues alone can become problematic as we enter the winter months.

This article will look at this variant (though I’m just picking on one out of dozens that appear to be circulating) because XBB seems to be a bit more virulent than others. But there’s good news too — the new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine boosters from Pfizer and Moderna appear to protect against the new variant.

Read More »New XBB variant of COVID-19 — bivalent booster vaccine works