The ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices) is set to meet this Thursday 22 July 2021 to address and resolve 2 critical pending issues: to address and take a decision on new safety issues in the form of a serious side effect of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and to examine preliminary data and decide whether a booster dose vaccine is needed for additional protection against new variants of the Sars-COV-2 virus.
Crucial ACIP Meeting To Address COVID-19 Vaccination Issues
The ACIP is a reliable advisory body consisting of a panel of professionals from the diverse fields of immunology, internal medicine, pediatrics, virology, public health, infectious diseases, and Virology. The ACIP is one of the advisory bodies to the American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and accepts its recommendations after a majority vote is obtained on the decision taken.
The CDC had, in the past, implemented the recent past decisions of the ACIP to allow immunization with the Pfizer vaccine for children within the age of 12-15 years. It may be recalled that the Pfizer vaccine has not been granted a valid license and is being used in the United States for emergency use only. The recommendation of the ACIP that was accepted by the CDC was to allow the use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine that had been held up after complaints of side effects of blood clotting were reported among some females in the United States.
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is again under the scanner. The first was a test conducted by a lab in New York University that found that the Johnson and Johnson single-dose vaccine was found with limited resistance to the new Beta, Delta, and Lambda variants of the Covid Sars 2 virus as compared to double dose vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna. The second complaint is even more serious. This is of a rare neurological disease named the Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS) which was observed in 100 preliminary cases out of the 13 million Americans vaccinated so far with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. This neurological disorder actually weakens the body’s immune system by damaging nerve cells. The nerve cells thus damaged are being observed to cause muscle weaknesses and even temporary paralysis in rare cases.
While the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices) is expected to announce its verdict on the efficacy of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine after its vote following the meeting on Thursday, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken immediate action by mentioning GBS (Guillain Barré Syndrome) on the label of Johnson and Johnson vaccines as a rare risk. ACIP member Dr. William Schaffner, who is a professor of infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt university medical center, informed CNN that there would no formal vote on this issue and there would be an almost unanimous decision that the risks of the covid-19 variants still outweigh the minor side effects reported from the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The CDC will also expectedly go by the recommendation of ACIP to continue the Johnson and Johnson virus even with the risk of GBS.
The other issue to be discussed in the Thursday meeting is whether booster doses will be needed at all. Dr. Schaffner revealed that even the introduction of booster vaccine doses is not likely to be given a nod. The CDC, meanwhile, issued a directive that both doses of the vaccine may not be effective enough for people with weakened immune systems and such people were advised to continue following the regular Coiv-19 precautions of wearing masks and avoiding crowded places.
Pfizer has reportedly sought permission to introduce a third booster vaccine on the basis of a report from Israel that the virus is continuing to spread and that even the 2 doses have limited efficacy against the Delta variant.
Also Read: BioFit Reviews
- Pediatricians’ Tips On A Safe and Kid-friendly Halloween - October 27, 2021
- Pfizer’s Covid Shots 91% Effective Against Symptomatic Infections In Kids - October 27, 2021
- Scientists Identify A New Virus In The Gut - October 27, 2021