Show an ad over header. AMP

New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy

New research is bolstering the case for delaying second doses of coronavirus vaccines.

Why it matters: Most vulnerable Americans remain unvaccinated heading into March, when experts predict the more infectious virus variant first found in the U.K. could become dominant in the U.S.


By the numbers: Around 41% of adults 65 and older have been vaccinated, per KFF. Millions more Americans with underlying health conditions also remain vulnerable to severe disease.

Driving the news: An analysis of the real-world outcomes of the Pfizer vaccine in Israel, released earlier this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the vaccine was 60% effective at preventing documented coronavirus infection 21 to 27 days after the first dose, and 92% effective 7 or more days after the second dose.

  • But one shot was much more effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalization during the same time period, with respective efficacies of 80% and 78%. Two doses were 92% effective at preventing severe disease and 87% effective at preventing hospitalization.
  • An analysis published in The Lancet of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which isn't yet authorized for use in the U.S., found that a longer interval between doses actually gives more protection than a shorter interval.
  • And a growing body of research suggests that people who have previously been infected with COVID are sufficiently protected by only one dose, per the NYT.

The Food and Drug Administration this week released its findings on the efficacy of the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which increased over time.

  • After 28 days, the shot was 85.9% effective at preventing severe disease in the U.S.

What they're saying: There's now enough data to support delaying second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, in order to give more people more protection faster.

  • And the variant makes doing so urgent, a group of public health experts argue in a white paper, released this week, calling for the FDA and the CDC to review the data.
  • "There is a narrow and rapidly closing window of opportunity to more effectively use vaccines and potentially prevent thousands of severe cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the next weeks and months," the paper, published by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, argues.
  • The writers suggest giving people 65 and older vaccine priority, deferring second doses until after the predicted virus surge, deferring second doses for people with confirmed previous COVID infections and authorizing the use of half-doses of the Moderna vaccine.

The other side: Scottish researchers released a preprint of a study that suggests protection from a single dose may decline after five weeks, Insider reports.

  • "I think delaying the second dose for a considerable period of time is a mistake," Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, told Insider.

Big European soccer teams announce breakaway league

12 of world soccer's biggest and richest clubs announced Sunday they've formed a breakaway European "Super League" — with clubs Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona Real Madrid, Juventus and A.C. Milan among those to sign up.

Details: So far the breakaway league that's due to start in August consists of six clubs from England, three from Spain and three from Italy.

Keep reading... Show less

Senate Democrats settling on 25% corporate tax rate

The universe of Democratic senators concerned about raising the corporate tax rate to 28% is broader than Sen. Joe Manchin, and the rate will likely land at 25%, parties close to the discussion tell Axios.

Why it matters: While increasing the rate from 21% to 25% would raise about $600 billion over 15 years, it would leave President Biden well short of paying for his proposed $2.25 trillion, eight-year infrastructure package.

Keep reading... Show less

Republican leaders raked in sizable donations from grassroots supporters

Republican leaders turned to grassroots supporters and raked in sizable donations after corporations cut them off post-Jan. 6.

Why it matters: If those companies hoped to push the GOP toward the center, they may have done just the opposite by turning Republican lawmakers toward their most committed — and ideologically driven — supporters.

Keep reading... Show less

CDC: Half of US adults have received one COVID-19 vaccine dose

Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Half of US adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and about a third are fully vaccinated, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still on the rise, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said during Friday's White House COVID-19 briefing. With cases in many states being driven by variants, public health officials have emphasized the need to ramp up vaccinations.

Keep reading... Show less

Israeli intel agencies believe Vienna talks will lead to U.S. return to Iran nuclear deal

Israeli military intelligence and senior officials in the Mossad briefed a meeting of the nation's security cabinet that talks in Vienna between Iran and other world powers will lead to the U.S. returning to the 2015 nuclear deal, two officials who attended the meeting told me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government is very concerned about a U.S. return to the nuclear deal and is trying to convince the Biden administration not to take the pressure off the Iranian regime.

Keep reading... Show less

"It hurts": Latino community of 13-year-old killed by police in Chicago reels after shooting

Residents of Little Village, a well-known and predominantly Latino neighborhood in Chicago, are grieving the death of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Mexican American boy from the neighborhood who was shot and killed by a police officer on March 29, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: Adam Toledo's killing shines a spotlight on police shootings of Latinos, who are killed by law enforcement at the second-highest rate after Black Americans, according to data from the Washington Post.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden adviser warns "there will be consequences" for Russia if Navalny dies

The Biden administration warned the Russian government "that there will be consequences" if jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday.

The big picture: Sullivan also defended President Biden for not mentionining Navalny in a Thursday speech about Russia or in a Tuesday call with Russian President Vladimir Putin,saying the White House aims to deal with the issue "privately and through diplomatic channels."

Keep reading... Show less

Prosecutor on leave for failing to "fully present the facts" after shooting of 13-year-old boy

Cook County prosecutor James Murphy was placed on administrative leave Friday after he implied in court that 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who was shot and killed by a police officer in March, was armed when he was shot, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times report.

Why it matters: Videos of the shooting show that Toledo dropped what appears to be a weapon and put his hands in the air a moment before before he was fatally shot. A lawyer for the Toledo family said Thursday that if the teen "had a gun, he tossed it."

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories