TGA approves Pfizer for 5-11-year olds

4 minute read

And covid vaccines less effective in people with haematological malignancies or those undergoing more recent cancer therapy.

Welcome to The Medical Republic’s Covid Catch-Up.

It’s the latest covid-19 news in one convenient post. Email with tips, comments or suggestions.

6 December

Covid vaccinations for 5-11-year-olds are a step closer after the Therapeutic Goods Administration provisionally approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in this age group.
Children will be given two doses of vaccine, with the dosage being one-third that used in adults. The vials will be marked with an orange cap to distinguish them from the adult vaccine dose.
The TGA said that clinical trial data from overseas suggested the vaccine was just as effective in younger as older age groups, and with a similar side-effect profile.
The wait is now on for the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation to issue its own recommendations on how the vaccination program will be rolled out for this group, but the federal health department said it is expecting the program to begin on 10 January 2022.

Covid vaccines reduce the risk of infection in patients with cancer, but their effectiveness is reduced in people who have undergone cancer treatment more recently and in those with haematologic malignancies.
A study published in JAMA Oncology reported infection rates among just over 18,300 doubly-vaccinated cancer patients compared to unvaccinated matched controls.
From two weeks after the second dose, the overall effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing confirmed infection was 58%. However the vaccines were 19% effective among patients with haematologic cancers but 66% effective in those with solid tumours.
Among patients who had received cancer therapy in the previous three months, the vaccine efficacy was 54%, among those whose last dose of cancer therapy was 3-6 months prior, it was 63%, and among those whose cancer therapy finished at least six months before being vaccinated, the vaccine efficacy was 85%.
“Data from other immunosuppressed populations suggest that a third vaccine dose may improve effectiveness,” the authors wrote.

People who have recovered from severe covid have a 2.5-times higher risk of dying in the subsequent year, a study has found.
Writing in Frontiers In Medicine, researchers presented analysis of electronic health record data from more than 13,600 patients, 178 of whom had severe covid, 246 of whom had mild/moderate covid, and the remainder were covid-negative.
Overall, those with severe covid had a 2.5-fold greater risk of all-cause mortality compared to covid-negative patients, and an 87% higher mortality than those with mild covid. Among those aged over 65, the all-cause mortality risk associated with prior severe covid was even higher.
Four out of five of the deaths associated with a previous experience of severe covid were from causes other than respiratory or cardiovascular conditions.
“Since these deaths were not for a direct COVID-19 cause of death among these patients who have recovered from the initial episode of COVID-19, this data suggests that the biological insult from COVID-19 and physiological stress from COVID-19 is significant,” the authors wrote.

Of the 148 legal actions taken by states in the US around covid vaccine mandates since the pandemic began, nearly 90% have been trying to prevent vaccine mandates rather than enable them, a study has found.
A paper published in JAMA looked at all state-based legal interventions related to vaccine mandates in the US since January 2020, and found 88.5% attempted to block vaccine mandates and measures designed to increase vaccine uptake, such as vaccine mandates for employment and school entry, and vaccine passports.
However the study also found that interventions supporting vaccine mandates were more than twice as likely to succeed as those opposing them.

Here are the latest covid infection numbers from around Australia to 9pm Sunday:
National – 217,839 with 2050 deaths
ACT – 2156 (3)
NSW – 83,118 (281)
NT – 294 (0)
QLD – 2152 (7)
SA – 968 (6)
TAS – 240 (0)
VIC – 127,789 (966)
WA – 1122 (0)

End of content

No more pages to load

Log In Register ×