Today’s TIP News: More confusion as CDC panel recommends Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines because of J&J side effects; new study finds Omicron variant markedly resistant to vaccines; vaccinations needed to attend anti-vaxxer Kennedy house party; and this year’s flu virus not matched to vaccine.
Hello, and welcome to TIP News for Dec. 17, 2021. TIP News is a podcast production of The Immunization Partnership. My name is John David Powell.
In today’s TIP News: There’s more confusion as CDC panel recommends Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines because of J&J side effects; a new study finds the Omicron variant markedly resistant to vaccines; guests told vaccinations needed to attend anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. house party; and this year’s flu virus does not match x the vaccine.
Let’s end the week with what could be more confusion for folks still not certain whether to get a COVID vaccination and which one to get. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted unanimously Thursday to recommend Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over Johnson & Johnson’s. That’s because of new evidence about the risk of a rare blood-clotting side effect.
The advisors said the J&J shots should go to folks who cannot or do not want the other two vaccines.
Health officials have confirmed 57 cases tied to the rare clotting side effect. They told ACIP the rates of the side effect remained rare, at a rate of 3.8 per million doses given. The highest risk appears to be in adult women under 50.
CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says the updated J&J recommendation emphasizes the CDC commitment to provide real-time scientific information, and she encourages everyone to get vaccinated and boosted if they can.
There’s a new study from researchers at Columbia University and the University of Hong Kong that says the Omicron variant is “markedly resistant” to vaccines and that boosters might not help much.
Their study published this week says Omicron’s extensive mutations can greatly compromise the vaccine, and even neutralize it. They say boosters prevent some of the neutralization, but Omicron may still pose a risk for folks with their third shot.
Don’t do as I do, do as I say, may be an unspoken mantra for hardline anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Politico reports that invitations to a recent Kennedy holiday soiree urged guests to get COVID tests or vaccinations before setting foot inside the house. Kennedy fingered his wife, Curb Your Enthusiasm star Cheryl Hines, saying he guesses he’s not always the boss in his own home. But hey, if it makes anyone feel better, Kennedy says he didn’t check health or vaccination status at the door. No word yet if this will affect donations to his Children’s Health Defense organization that took in $6.8 million last year, more than twice the haul from 2019. That, according to an Associated Press investigation.
Every year, scientists guess what versions of flu viruses will dominate the flu season. But this year seems to be one of those “oops” years as lab-based studies show we have a major mismatch. That’s what lead researcher Scott Hensley told CNN. He’s a professor of microbiology at the University of Pittsburg. Even so, health experts say to go ahead and get your flu shots because they still are likely to prevent severe illness.
Finally, today, a reminder that The Immunization Partnership is the only organization in Texas dedicated solely to improving the health of ALL Texans through immunizations. We work to provide healthcare professionals, the public, the media, and policymakers with current evidence-based immunization information, news, and materials. We are proud to be your trusted resource.
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And this program note. Our writing and producing staff will be taking the next two weeks to spend time with family and friends. We’ll call them back into service if needed. But until then, we send you our very best wishes for a safe, happy, and fully vaccinated holiday.
Until next year at this same vaxx time and same vaxx channel, that’s our TIP News for today, Dec. 17, 2021.
TIP News is a podcast production of The Immunization Partnership. We invite you to subscribe to our podcasts, Vaxx Voice, which deals with vaccines in general, and Vaxx to the Future, where we feature information specifically related to COVID-19 and its vaccines. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also find more information on our webpage, immunizeusa.org. For all of us at The Immunization Partnership, I’m John David Powell. Thanks for listening.