Virus mutation not unexpected, Swamy said. The hope is it is not as bad as the original disease. Right now it appears new strain is more infectious. Pfizer hit two new strains with the vaccine in lab setting, and the vaccine appeared to work.
There could be combos that would render the vaccine ineffective, Swamy said, but nobody has seen that happen yet. Manufacturers can quickly alter the mRNA vaccine if necessary to combat any new mutations.
Other vaccines on their way, Spearman said. The AstraZeneca ramping up in US. Originated at Oxford from chimpanzee virus that is defective, can't grow in humans at all. Same sort of insert in mRNA in context of these adnoviruses. It's licensed in several countries.
Concern about Miami Dr. who died after getting vaccinated. How to measure risk not easy, Swamy said. Side FX are rare, there were a few deaths reported in both studies, which is public information. Those were older individuals with underlying conditions, she said.
Individuals 65 and up and with underlying medical conditions who are at higher risk were included in COVID vaccine studies, Swamy said. That's not usual, because most trials seek healthy individuals. But we didn't have the luxury of time, she said.
People worked hours on the side, and put aside their personal work to get these vaccines tested, Swamy said. I feel confident that everything that happened can be reviewed and audited. "That's the best way to go about the integrity."
Uncertainty about what to do if you had COVID or have it now, Swamy said. Having COVID affection itself is not protective against getting it again. People in study did get reinfected, she said. Emphasized need for two doses to get prolonged immunity.
Swamy said we expect side fx from vaccines, up to 40k got vaccine during trials, and now close to 10 million have gotten vaccine, many with no side fx. It's more about sustained symptoms. If patients do have symptoms, they tend to be mild, data shows.
Even then, when we see symptoms, they occur within first 48 hours. At Duke, if any symptoms persist after 48 hours to contact vaccine provider or primary care provider. headaches, fatigue, feverishness, body aches, joint pains are common. Most common is soreness at site of shot.
Questions about other medications interacting with vaccine. No real evidence. People with immunosuppressants might want to delay taking vaccine, Spearman said.
Spearman said CDC has answers to many questions. You don't want to mix Pfizer and Moderna doses between first and second shot. Probably OK, but not studied in trials. If you start with Pfizer, follow up with Pfizer.
What conditions could cause someone to not be vaccinated, like allergies? Spearman said if you already had a terrible reaction to a covid vaccine, don't get another one. Or if you have severe reaction to any of the components of the vaccine.