Two top FDA docs step down over booster shots

Dr Marion Gruber and Dr Phillip Krause were not just at the FDA, they had been there for 30 years and were heading up the teams that decided last week to approve Pfizer for 16 year olds last week.

Two Top FDA Vaccine Regulators Are Set to Depart During a Crucial Period

Noah Weiland and Sharon LaFraniere, New York Times

Gruber and Krause were upset about the Biden administration’s recent announcement that adults should get a coronavirus booster vaccination eight months after they received their second shot, according to people familiar with their thinking.

Neither believed there was enough data to justify offering booster shots yet, the people said, and both viewed the announcement, amplified by President Joe Biden, as pressure on the FDA to quickly authorize them.

They are worried about that Israeli data showing people vaccinated in January only had 16% protection left in July.

White House officials have stressed that the plan for Americans to start receiving boosters next month was uniformly endorsed by the most senior federal health officials, including Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner. They have described the need to develop a booster plan as […]

Israel data: Vaccines only 16% effective after 6 months but still prevent 86% hospitalization

Good and bad news about long term vaccine effectiveness is coming out of Israel. Protection from catching Covid plummets after a few months. Only 1 in 6 people who were vaccinated against Covid in January still have enough protection left to stop themselves catching and spreading Covid. The good news is that five out of six still have good protection against hospitalization and severe disease.

Thanks to David Archibald who says “The coronavirus vaccines are an immunological Potemkin village”

The Israeli data above is what sent the markets sliding on Monday. Ouch!

Vaccine efficacy in Israel from people vaccinated in January, Febuary, March and April this year.

Forget herd immunity and Vax-passports

The new results mean taking a vaccine is more a personal decision about risk benefits, less “one for the team”, though it may reduce the risk of transmission. Toss out the idea that a vaccination passport offers meaningful protection and get used to the idea that people can and will catch Covid from the double vacced. There is little medical justification for giving extra rights or free access to vaccinated people.

Israel used the Pfizer vax mostly.

Efficacy against infection, asymptomatic and symptomatic, falls […]

Vaccines, not the magic bullet the advertisers claim

Israel is one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, but having dropped restrictions, they are picking them up again only one month later as the Delta variant spreads.

In Tel Aviv, 75 students got infected at one party from a vaccinated person who had caught the virus from another vaccinated person. And though the UK data is better than the Israeli data, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, has had both of her vaccine doses but still has to self isolate for two weeks due to a “near exposure”. How confident are the UK health experts? Not very. With the UK only weeks away from the so-called Freedom day, will double vaxed people have to self isolate for two weeks each time they are exposed?

This belies the key point about “getting vaxed for the nation”. If being vaccinated is about keeping you out of hospital, not so much about infecting your friends, then getting vaxed is more for self protection. The cost-benefit equation might look good for high risk people, but changes dramatically for healthy young people. We need to know how much vaccination slows transmission yet it’s barely a part of the national conversation.

A month […]