Want to learn about the new vaccine in the news. Watch the video from Dr Professor Roger Seheult from Webcram below. The information starts at 2min and is 20minutes long. The first is the Pfizer (/BioNtech) vaccine. They are doing 3 more and I will post them as they arrive.
The Medcram team have done an amazing job of educating me during the COVID-19 pandemic and were acknowledged in our recent COVID19 paper
No sooner had the TV news of a successful vaccine finished when we got our first Anti- VAXers warning about the dangers of COVID-19 related vaccination. spouting “Learn from your history.”……The last time I used those words was when I wrote a song in 2011. However, my song about terrible events that year and went “Learn from your history or tomorrow more innocents will die”….
This may be an apt starting place to respond. Indeed I am sure we know about the loss of life with the black death in 1346-1353, the great plague in London in 1665-1666 and the Spanish Flu in 1918, which killed my great gran (in her youth) and left my nan orphaned after great grandad was killed (20:09:2014 one of the unlucky 71) in France 1914.
Now in the time of COVID-19 it is the nan’s and grandad who are getting it again, this time in their old age.
Age is the major risk factor for a bad prognosis with COVID19 and disability is the major risk factor for people with MS.
The best way to protect such people is for them not to get the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Failing that you want an immune response that can deal with it.
This is the basis of vaccination in that you use a non-infective piece of the offending virus and give it to people so they make an immune response against it..so much so that if you get infected you eliminate the virus before you have a chance to infect someone else….it may not be your nan, but it could be someone elses nan.
In March there was no vaccine and we have now accumulated over 1 million deaths as a consequence of COVID-19 and financial ruin for many more. Vaccines have the potential to stop you from getting symptomatic infection and may help save you from a fatal infection. Some people think they are invinsible and will not risk a vaccine. This may help keep the virus circulating with more consquences for the economy and peoples future.
What are you going to decide?
Will you have the COVID vaccine or not?
For MS there is another level of complexity about when you will be offered a vaccine and what type of vaccine will you be offered.
What is clear is the suggestion, from an anti-VAXers, that the Government will enforce vaccination is unlikely…after all there are 60-70,000,000 people in the UK and they are only going to get 10,000,000 doses this year and another 30,000,000 next and as it is two doses of vaccine 3 weeks apart that is only 5,000,000 people. If health care professionals get it first then that leaves 3,000,000 so let’s face it that is not enough to go round.
You may say that you want to wait until more people have had it. Normally about 800-1000 people will be in pivotal MS trials. In a vaccine trial maybe 3,000 people are recruited and then you see rare side effects when the drug is approved. To date there have been over 44,000 people involved in the Pfizer vaccine study (www.raps.org). Therefore the wait for more people is a non argument. The vaccine often refered to as the Oxford Vaccine has over 40,000 participants (www.raps.org) and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has a planned 60,000 participants (www.raps.org). So the side-effect profile is going to be known for each of the agents.
These are generally injection site reactions and fatigue, which is probably a response to cytokine (immune response) production as a result of your immune system being activated. It is a standard sickness behaviour. Also these could be worse because remember 50-80% are asymptomatic and have no clear evidence of infection but they will probably be immune and cause injection site reactions. For those used to beta interferon, I suspect you will say”So what, No Big deal”. It takes about 3-4 days to make a T cell response and 6 days to make a B cell response so a week after injection you will get rid of the stuff in the vaccine…Result sore arm.
There are curently three main types of vaccine
(a) RNA vaccines. This is a new approach. RNA makes protein and this protein generates an immune response. There is no biological reason why it should be an issue for people with MS. RNA is easily destroyed and so it has to be stored really cold. This creates logistical issues and so there will be some countries that will be low on the availability list I suspect. Once the RNA has made the protein it is gone forever. We have heard the preliminary results form one variant. I understand a second variant is close to completion too.
When you hear anti VAXers spout forth challenge to name their source, it should be a valid on and because it says it on an anti vaxer website is not a reliable source
(b) Adenoviral vaccine. This is a new approach. It involves a live adenovirus that has a cornonavirus protein. You will destroy this adenovirus and make an immune response to coronavirus in the process. This is replication defective so it cannot make an infection. Also they do not go into the DNA so once the immune response trashes it, its gone. I suspect that this may not be used in people taking immunomodulatory drugs until the MS-drug manufacturers show that it is safe. In immunosuppressed people this may not get removed as quick. Is this a good thing. On saturday I contacted ProfG to say that he should get onto the manufactures to suggest that the UK is the best place to do these studies. We can measure the antibody response. Hope he wasn’t thinking about this when he had his accident. This is UK vaccine.
(C) Protein and adjuvant. This is just like standard vaccines that we know and love. These are starting their final tests now. The manufacturing processes for these types of agent are worked out. One manufacturer makes some MS drugs so they can easily test effect on their drugs. This may be ready by spring 2021.
I saw a corporate presentation the other week and the claims were this may make higher antibody levels. I’ll look into this There should be not reason why it should not be used in MS.
The main concern will be whether MS drugs inhibit the formation of the protective immune response. This is going to be a T and a B cell response. Will certain MS drugs influence this. I am sure some will and this is why the manufacturers need to check this and check it quickly
How much antibody do you need to get rid of the virus? This can be answered in studies with protective monoclonal antibodies. One was approved in the US this week, another is surely very close to approval too.
I am going to post some videos of the major vaccines. Just as you come here to hear an MS expert…no not me, ProfG. So if you want to hear about COVID-19 I go to a respiratory doctor.
So I post an educational video about the new pfizer/BioNT vaccine. Watch this video about the vaccine, it explains how it works, and its side effects
Watch and learn about the new Pfizer vaccine. Search Medcram 116 for the YouTube video