To Inoculate or Not? Learn More About SARS-CoV-2 type Covid19 Vaccines

To Inoculate or Not? Learn More About SARS-CoV-2 type Covid19 Vaccines

At the end of 2020 and now going into 2021, there have been ongoing discussions on the topic of Covid-19 and how we all can successfully overcome this plight which have befallen all of us since early last year.

Hot off the press are vaccines that many pharmaceutical companies have seemingly scrambled to produce with hopes that this level of protection will enable life to resume back to its ‘normal’ stance once the masses have been inoculated.

This pressure to be vaccinated however presents a dilemma for patients that suffer from rare often untreatable diseases. For amyloidosis patients, the fear of subjecting the already compromised body to a substance yet proven to work can become an issue for many when the time comes to vaccinate as New Zealand start rolling out sometime this year.

To assist, we have consolidated information that are available on the vaccines which NZ will be using in order for you to gain knowledge and understanding, be provided insights and read the take from clinical experts involved in treatment and care of Amyloid patients so you are able to make informed decisions when the time comes to be vaccinated.

*Bear in mind that the information is presently the most up-to-date at print for the SARS-CoV-2 type and does not take into account the latest mutation strain from UK or South Africa.

WHAT VACCINES WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE IN NEW ZEALAND?

The four pre-purchase agreements secured to date are:

  • 750,000 courses from Pfizer/BioNTech
  • 5 million courses from Janssen
  • 3.8 million courses from the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • 5.36 million courses from Novavax

(source: Beehive)

WHAT ARE THESE VACCINES?

Pfizer/BioNTech

Name: BNT162b2, Comirnaty (brand name), Tozinameran (generic name)

Manufacturer: Pfizer Inc.

Efficacy: 95%

Type: MRNA. Uses messenger RNA, genetic material that our cells read to make proteins which are enclosed in oily bubbles made of lipid nanoparticles to protect the fragile molecule within.

FDA Approval: No

FDA Emergency Approval: Yes

Stage: Phase 3

Administration: 2-dose series, 3 weeks apart into the muscle

Side Effects: The most commonly reported side effects, which typically lasted several days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. Of note, more people experienced these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose, so it is important for vaccination providers and recipients to expect that there may be some side effects after either dose, but even more so after the second dose.

What you need to inform your doctor before receiving vaccine:

  • have any allergies
  • have a fever
  • have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
  • are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding
  • have received another COVID-19 vaccine

For more details, click here.

Janssen Pharmaceutica (Belgium based division of Johnson & Johnson)

Name: JNJ-78436735 or Ad26.COV2.S Vaccine

Manufacturer: Janssen

Efficacy: Unknown

Type: AD26.COV2.S Adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) are vector-based vaccines which deliver the genetic instructions for SARS-CoV-2 antigens directly into patients’ cells, provoking immune response

FDA Approval: No

FDA Emergency Approval: No

Stage: Clinical trial Phase 3 

Administration: 1 dose, possibly 2 doses (trailed in Phase 3), muscle injection

Side Effects: Unknown at this stage

Oxford-Astra Zeneca Vaccine

Name: AZD1222 / Covishield in India

Manufacturer: Oxford-Astra Zeneca

Efficacy: 62% to 90%, depending on dosage

Type: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is a chimpanzee (Ch) adenovirus-vectored vaccine (Ad), whose development was led by the University of Oxford (Ox). It has been shown to stimulate an immune response to nCoV-19, the novel coronavirus first identified in 2019

FDA Approval: No

FDA Emergency Approval: No

Stage: Clinical trial Phase 3 in USA but released for usage in UK & Argentina under emergency authorization

Administration: 2 doses, 4 weeks apart, muscle injection

Side Effects: Unknown at this stage

Novavax Vaccine

Name: NVX-CoV2373

Manufacturer: Novavax

Efficacy: Unknown

Type: Protein based vaccine and works by teaching the immune system to make antibodies

FDA Approval: No

FDA Emergency Approval: No

Stage: Phase 2 in South Africa, Phase 3 in UK & USA

Administration: 2 doses, 3 weeks apart, muscle injection

Side Effects: Unknown

For more information, click here.

WHAT OTHER VACCINES ARE CURRENTLY IN CLINICAL TRIALS?

Developer How It Works Phase Status
Moderna mRNA 3 Approved in Canada.
Emergency use in U.S., E.U., Israel.
Galeya Ad26, Ad5 3 Early use in Russia.
Emergency use in Belarus, other countries.
CanSino Ad5 3 Limited use in China.
Vector Institute Protein 3 Early use in Russia.
Sinopharm Inactivated 3 Approved in China, U.A.E., Bahrain.
Emergency use in Egypt.
Sinovac Inactivated 3 Limited use in China.
Sinopharm-Wuhan Inactivated 3 Limited use in China, U.A.E.
Bharat Biotech Inactivated 3 Emergency use in India.

HOW WILL THE VACCINE IMPACT MY CARDIOMYOPATHY CAUSED BY AMYLOID?

According to British Society for Heart Failure, they have released the following statement:

“Vaccines allow an individual to develop immunity to a virus or bacteria and they reduce the risk of infection. If you are unfortunate enough to catch the infection despite vaccination, then vaccines may reduce the severity of the illness. At a population level, vaccines also make it difficult for infection to spread from person to person, because they reduce the number of vulnerable individuals in the population. Unlike most medicines, which treat or cure diseases, vaccines prevent and may eradicate infectious diseases.COVID-19 can affect anyone. If you are an older adult and have a long-term health condition like heart failure, COVID-19 can be very serious and, in some cases, fatal. The vaccines are an important breakthrough in the fight against coronavirus. This document has been produced to reassure health care professionals and patients of the safety and benefits of the new vaccines. Heart failure specialists can reassure their patients that thousands of people have received a COVID-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare. The only groups currently advised not to take the vaccine are people with a history of life threatening allergic reactions (called anaphylaxis) and pregnant women…”

WHAT ARE THE STATEMENTS FROM AMYLOIDOSIS EXPERTS TO PATIENTS?

The chances of having a significant side-effect from the vaccine is far lower than the risk of life-time complications or death from contracting COVID.” Dr Simon Gibbs, Director Victorian and Tasmanian Amyloidosis Service.

“Patients with medical conditions, including Amyloidosis, are clearly at much greater risk of harm from COVID infection.  The information available to date is that vaccination is safe in this condition and is therefore recommended when available.” – Dr Hugh Goodman, Haematologist & Clinical Director at Waikato District Health Board.

“Patients with established heart disease are at higher risk of more serious illness and death if they develop COVID 19 infection. At a national level there are measures to try and keep us safe with border control, the COVID app and when needed contact tracing. At a personal level any measures to reduce the risk of infection are worthwhile and encouraged: these include hand hygiene, following social distancing guidelines, wearing a face covering when appropriate  and when available, vaccination. The risk of vaccination from data available to date is low and will be much lower than the risk of infection if it becomes endemic in the community.”- Dr Tim Sutton, Consultant Cardiologist at Middlemore Hospital.

“Patients with FAP (hATTR) Amyloidosis should be included in the priority comorbidity populations (to receive vaccination)” – Professor Ed Gane, Chief Hepatologist & Transplant Physician, Auckland City Hospital.

 ANY PREFERRED VACCINE?

 “Any approved vaccine – there is no real preference and they are all suitable.” Professor Julian Gillmore, National Amyloidosis Centre Royal Free Hospital London.

ANY EXTRA INFORMATION ON VACCINE AND WHY HESITANCY OCCURS?

The news about COVID-19 vaccines being approved, distributed and administered so quickly is causing concern for some people. Watch and listen to what Dr. Robert Jacobson, a Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious diseases expert and director of Mayo Clinic’s Primary Care Immunization program has to say.

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