Johnson and Johnson

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID Vaccine Receives Full FDA Approval

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. “The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.”

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Immune Response and Disease Flares Low in SLE Patients Following COVID Vaccination

Recently, the results of a study focusing on patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 was published, making it the first study of its kind. The 90 SLE patients participating in the study were recruited from the NYU Lupus Cohort and were compared against a group of 20 healthy controls with no known rheumatological diseases. Controls had only received the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, whereas SLE patients received all three vaccines in the U.S., which includes the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Overall, nearly 30% of SLE patients had a lower immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine than the control group. The low levels of response to the vaccine were likely associated with taking non-antimalarial immunosuppressant medications.

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Antibody Development Following COVID Vaccine in Autoimmune Disease Patients

A study coming from the Netherlands looks at the immune response following COVID-19 vaccination in patients with autoimmune disease, focusing specifically on the effects of different immunosuppressive drugs on antibody development. Researchers used serum samples from 289 patients without autoimmune disease, who served as the control group, and 632 patients with autoimmune disease (including rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematous and multiple sclerosis). The mean age of participants was 63 years and 57% of participants were female.

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