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Coronavirus update: Pfizer and Moderna vaccines should provide lasting immunity, FDA plans warning for vaccine fact sheets

U.S. health officials are closely watching rising U.K cases

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Photo (c) David Espejo - Getty Images
Coronavirus‌ ‌(COVID-19)‌ ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌ 

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 33,627,131 (33,622,105)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 603,979 (603,891)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ ‌181,198,800 (180,846,945)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 3,925,198 (3,918,516)‌

Study finds lasting immunity from Pfizer and Moderna vaccines

Some health experts have suggested that people who are vaccinated against the coronavirus may need booster shots to maintain immunity. A new study, published in the journal Nature, suggests otherwise.

Both drugs are mRNA vaccines, which apparently is the key to their lasting power to prevent the virus. Dr. Ali Ellebedy, an immunologist at Washington University in St. Louis who led the study, told the New York Times that the findings underscore how powerful the vaccines are.

The study did not include the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, but Ellebedy said it’s believed that the vaccines that do not use mRNA technology won’t provide immunity that is as long-lasting.

FDA to add warning to Pfizer and Moderna vaccine fact sheets

While there’s good news about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines’ immunity properties, there’s still a concerning issue about potential heart inflammation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it plans to quickly add a warning to the fact sheets for both vaccines.

"Based on the available data, a warning statement in the fact sheets for both health care providers and vaccine recipients and caregivers would be warranted in this situation," said Doran Fink, deputy director of FDA's vaccines division. 

A safety panel advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there’s a “likely association” between a rare heart inflammatory condition in adolescents and young adults following COVID-19 vaccination. The condition is said to mostly affect young men.

U.S. closely watching how the U.K. deals with the Delta variant

U.S. health officials are keeping a wary eye on the U.K., where COVID-19 cases involving the Delta variant have surged in recent weeks. The concern is that the British experience could be repeated in the U.S. in areas where vaccination efforts have lagged.

“It just exploded in the U.K.,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical advisor, told NBC News. “It went from a minor variant to now more than 90% of the isolates in the U.K.” 

Fauci said it is alarming how quickly the Delta variant spreads. He said it became the dominant strain in the U.K. in about two weeks. 

Around the nation

  • Mississippi: State health officials are voicing concerns about the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the growing presence of the Delta variant in the state. Mississippi’s vaccination rate is the lowest in the nation at around 30%.

  • New Jersey: At one point in the pandemic, New Jersey was one of the hardest-hit states. Today, cases continue to decline. On Sunday, state health officials reported 191 new cases of the virus and three deaths.

  • Ohio: Gov. Mike Dewine has signaled an end to his regular coronavirus briefings now that the virus appears to be in retreat. “I think in the future, I’m still going to certainly be available,” DeWine said. “As we move away from the virus, it’ll be more centered on what we’re doing here in Ohio.”

  • Vermont: Even though it has the highest vaccination rate in the nation and case numbers continue to fall, many state and local offices remain closed to the public. State employees are allowed to come back to the offices, and everyone will be required to come back in the fall, officials say.

  • Nevada: Nevada is among the states that have offered rewards for getting a COVID-19 vaccination, but officials say it hasn’t paid off so far. State health officials say vaccination numbers continued to decline after Gov. Steve Sisolak’s offer of a chance to win a million-dollar prize. 

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