The J&J vaccine was easy to stop. It will be difficult to win

The world of public health was ready for something like this. They did not know exactly what would happen. “When these vaccines kicked billions of people around the world, we knew there would be unexpected side effects,” said Eric Tople, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. “These are so rare – Johnson and Johnson are one in a million, AstraZeneca is one in a million, a ballpark. Pretty good. It doesn’t give one a break, but it should bring a lot of comfort to many.”

Still, getting the message across won’t be easy, especially when the numbers still don’t tell the whole story. Regulators and vaccine researchers are still waiting for the most basic information about the mechanism behind clots, the population that may be most at risk, and the actual frequency of these dangerous clots.

Both the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines encode the “spike protein” on the surface of the virus that causes Covid-19. These vaccines supply bits of biochemical code to a person’s immune system through a separate virus, specifically converting adenoviruses into “vectors” that carry viral cargo. That UnionAmong the blood clots and covid vaccines that use adenovirus vectors – it seems quite clear.

So far, the J&K vaccine has made up only 5 percent of all vaccines given in the United States, and that number is growing. These clots are so weird that more have been noticed or more are yet to come which means epidemiologists don’t know the exact number (number, as it were) or the exact number of people with the problem. And these types of clots – usually one already without low platelet counts Rare but known complications Even the Covid-19, so getting a background rate isn’t easy.

Working from just six events, no one can say whether all the people affected were women under the age of 50 or not. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, a statistical noise. Or maybe young women are more at risk. If this is true, then their risk is not one in a million – because they are a small subgroup of people who are vaccinated as a whole, it is an order of magnitude larger. Or there may be other risk factors, but unknown.

Now, perhaps that risk is still worth more than getting the Covid-19. These are the European regulators In conclusion About the risks and benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine, at least for certain people. “I think the uniqueness of the constellation of symptoms and the fact that it has been prioritized in a group that is at risk of serious disease is something that continues to be considered,” said Natalie Dean, a biologist at the University of Florida. “It all goes back to the risk-benefit calculations and they happen at the sub-population level, not the whole population level.”

So why didn’t these epidemiologists of those regulators do that math in the background, silently, without competing for such a break? The real question that the FDA and its advisers need to answer is like any medical intervention: How can risks be outweighed by benefits? In the case of the J&J vaccine, the benefits are obvious but the risks are more or less the same. And for people of all ages, the risks and benefits vary from place to place in a wide range of Covid-19s. Earlier this month, researchers at the Winkon Center for Risk and Evidence Communication tried Run this number For the AstraZeneca vaccine. Among young people at risk of contracting the virus, the vaccine can cause 1.1 blood clots in every 100,000 people and prevent only 0.8 covid-related emergency room visits. However, among high-risk 60- to 69-year-olds, the vaccine may lag behind only 0.2 clots per 100,000 and prevents admission to about 128 emergency rooms. Sounds like a good deal.

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