The government of Canada has opted to prolong the second COVID-19 vaccination to 16 weeks after the first dose due to a limited vaccine supply. The decision was based on a recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI; www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/recommendations-use-covid-19-vaccines.html#b1). The rationale is that administering one dose to a wider population will have a greater impact on severe COVID outcomes than giving the required two doses to fewer people. This raises the question: what are the benefits and risks of this partial-immunity approach? Read More
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The trend to the early use of higher-efficacy disease-modifying therapies (DMT) in the management of MS was put on pause during the pandemic due to concerns about the effects of these agents on the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and, latterly, to COVID-19 vaccination. However, as the pandemic dragged on, it became impractical to interrupt or delay treatment, and current DMT recommendations now emphasize that the risks of undertreated MS outweigh the possible risks of COVID, especially in a younger population. Read More
The time course of antibody production following SARS-CoV-2 infection was analysed using blood samples obtained from antibody screening of patients with known/suspected COVID-19 at Mount Sinai, New York (Wajnberg et al. Science 2020;370:1227-1230). The assay was the Mount Sinai ELISA that characterizes the antibody response to the Spike protein and has high sensitivity and specificity (92.5%, 100%).
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has recommended that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine should not be used in adults under age 55 years due to concerns about a rare clotting complication (www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/rapid-response-recommended-use-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-younger-adults.html). Individuals aged >55 years can still receive the vaccine. NACI previously recommended that the vaccine not be used in individuals aged >65 years due to a lack of evidence. Read More