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The Latest: Vaccines vs. the variants

Dear Reader,

A quick Q&A: Can immunocompromised people get a vaccine?

Yes, but vaccination isn’t as straightforward for people with immune issues, writes Yasmin Tayag. An immunocompromised person is someone who has a weakened immune system due to serious health conditions and/or medications (like someone undergoing chemotherapy), which makes them more vulnerable to illness and infection. There’s little data from the vaccine trials on the impact for immunocompromised people, but guidance says they can get vaccinated. The best course of action is to make a vaccination decision with a person’s health care professional so they can take their history and medications into account.

What we’re talking about on the Blog

Novavax releases promising data on its vaccine: On Thursday, Novavax said that an early analysis of its 15,000-person trial in Britain showed an efficacy of nearly 90%. However, as Yasmin reports, a study of about 4,000 people in South Africa suggested that its efficacy rate there is under 50%. The company is working on a version of its vaccine, possibly administered as a booster shot, that can address new variants.

A few more smart reads

Antibody Drugs Could Act as a Temporary Covid-19 Vaccine

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that