5 New Things We Learned About COVID-19 In March 2021

5 New Issues We Discovered About COVID-19 In March 2021

The quantity of knowledge on the market in regards to the coronavirus is dizzying. It’s onerous to maintain observe of what’s identified, what’s a fable and what steerage we should always observe. That’s why we’ve rounded up 5 of crucial new issues we discovered about COVID-19 in March:

1. The Pfizer vaccine protects youngsters as younger as 12.

In late March, Pfizer introduced outcomes from a research of roughly 2,000 youngsters between the ages of 12 and 15 who acquired each doses of its vaccine. The findings confirmed that the vaccine was 100% efficient at stopping COVID-19 amongst individuals, and any uncomfortable side effects youngsters skilled after vaccination had been according to what’s anticipated in adults.

The research, which has not but been revealed, gave numerous hope to pediatricians, public well being officers and plenty of mother and father who’re keen for kids to get vaccinated.

Nevertheless it’s only one step. Pfizer has stated it plans to submit an emergency use authorization request for youths ages 12 and up “within the coming weeks,” and its CEO stated the corporate hopes to begin vaccinating youngsters in that age group earlier than the autumn. Different vaccine producers are additionally forging forward. Moderna is finding out its vaccine in youngsters between the ages of 12 and 17, and Johnson & Johnson intends to start finding out its shot in youngsters quickly as effectively. Up to now, younger youngsters have been ignored of trials.

Questions on youngsters’s vaccination matter not only for particular person youngsters and their households, however for the general course of the pandemic. As a Scientific American article put it earlier this week, “Given that almost all youngsters are at low danger for issues from COVID, the necessity for a pediatric vaccine for the illness could not appear urgent. However scientists say the pandemic could by no means be totally managed till youngsters are inoculated.”

2. The vaccine *may* assist COVID-19 long-haulers.

Quite a lot of thriller nonetheless stays round lengthy COVID-19, or ongoing signs of the illness that linger even after the preliminary acute an infection.

It’s unclear why some individuals develop what may be debilitating signs that final for months whereas others bounce again from COVID-19 pretty shortly. It’s additionally unclear simply how prevalent lengthy COVID-19 is, with estimates suggesting it impacts 10% to twenty% of those that catch the virus — though once more, these are simply finest guesses.


However March introduced a glimmer of hope to long-haulers wading by way of all that murkiness, as latest surveys counsel that getting a vaccine could assist relieve signs. A casual ballot from the Fb group Survivor Corps discovered that 36% of individuals with lengthy COVID-19 signs stated they’d observed enhancements in how they had been feeling post-vaccination. In the meantime, a small, non-peer-reviewed research revealed final month discovered that a couple of quarter of COVID-19 long-haulers who had been vaccinated noticed an “enhance in symptom decision.”

Once more, these surveys and research are small and much from being scientifically conclusive, however researchers are hopeful that the vaccines may really assist some long-haulers really feel higher.

“We’ve got anecdotes, we’d adore it to be true, let’s await some actual knowledge,” one immunologist instructed NPR.

3. COVID-19 reinfection is uncommon.

The primary large-scale research on COVID-19 reinfection was revealed in March, and it usually provided some fairly excellent news: The overwhelming majority of people that have had COVID-19 are shielded from catching it once more for not less than six months.

However individuals ages 65 and older are more likely than youthful people to expertise repeat an infection, in accordance with the research.

Certainly, for youthful adults, getting the coronavirus as soon as supplied roughly 80% safety in opposition to reinfection. However for these 65 and up, it supplied solely about 47% safety in opposition to getting COVID-19 once more. All of this makes it very clear that older adults should proceed to be prioritized in international vaccination efforts, the research’s authors argued.

4. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines maintain up rather well in “real-world” situations.

A research by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention launched in late March acquired numerous consideration for its promising conclusion that the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 90% efficient at stopping COVID-19 infections in real-world settings.


The research additionally discovered that simply the primary dose of both vaccine was roughly 80% efficient at stopping an infection about two weeks after receiving it.

These new findings had been essential for a number of causes: First, they helped affirm that the excessive efficacy charges demonstrated in earlier medical trials held up in actual life, as CDC researchers tracked almost 4,000 well being care staff, first responders and important staff.

The findings additionally empowered CDC officers to state fairly confidently that immunized people can not carry or transmit the virus to others. In order that they don’t pose a danger to those that haven’t been totally vaccinated.

On the heels of that research, Pfizer launched new knowledge suggesting that its vaccine was 91% efficient at stopping COVID-19 an infection for six months after a person receives the second dose — and 100% efficient at stopping extreme illness. Nobody is aware of definitively how lengthy vaccine immunity may final past that, however what we’re seeing on this timeframe is not less than constructive information.

5. AstraZeneca revised its knowledge — once more.

March was a fairly messy PR month for AstraZeneca. The corporate needed to revise its efficacy numbers greater than as soon as after moving into scorching water with well being officers for utilizing outdated knowledge in its earlier analyses. AstraZeneca now says its vaccine is 76% efficient at stopping COVID-19 an infection and 100% efficient at stopping extreme illness. These revised numbers aren’t truly all that totally different from what the corporate initially launched, however the altering estimates have created a little bit of confusion.

Additionally in March, a number of European international locations momentarily paused their rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine after some individuals who had been inoculated stated they’d developed blood clots. The European Medicines Company additionally carried out an preliminary investigation of attainable uncomfortable side effects, concluding that the vaccine is “protected and efficient.” These international locations have since resumed utilizing the AstraZeneca vaccine. Nevertheless, Canada introduced earlier this week that it had stopped giving the vaccine to these ages 55 and youthful.

In the end, the efficacy charge for the AstraZeneca vaccine is excellent, and consultants say the blood clot points are almost definitely indirectly associated, though the likelihood can’t be dominated out altogether. Additionally, Europe’s vaccine rollout has been gradual and instances there are rising, so there’s a urgent have to get tens of millions extra vaccines into individuals’s arms — and quick. That could be even more durable to do, nonetheless, as AstraZeneca’s powerful month has harm public belief within the vaccine.

“We nonetheless can’t be certain whether or not this blood dysfunction is triggered by vaccination, and we don’t know but whether or not the chance — if it’s actual — applies equally to all recipients, or solely to a subset that is perhaps predisposed,” scientist Hilda Bastian wrote in The Atlantic. “In mild of those uncertainties, the stability right here between vaccination’s prices and advantages is apparent. Given the current context of COVID-19 transmission all through Europe, and even assuming the very worst in regards to the danger that the AstraZeneca vaccine may pose, the shot will save many extra lives per million doses than it may ever presumably finish.”

Consultants are nonetheless studying about COVID-19. The knowledge on this story is what was identified or accessible as of publication, however steerage can change as scientists uncover extra in regards to the virus. Please verify the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention for essentially the most up to date suggestions.

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