3 research outputs found

    Neutralising capacity against Delta and other variants of concern following Comirnaty vaccination in health care workers, Israel

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    Since its emergence, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been responsible for more than 170 million cases and 3.5 million deaths. During December 2020 the Comirnaty (BNT162b2 mRNA, BioNTech-Pfizer, Mainz, Germany/New York, United States (US)) vaccine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and shown to be 95% efficacious in preventing symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Clinical and real-world data demonstrated 95% effectiveness of the mRNA- based vaccine against the original SARS-CoV-2 and the Alpha variant. Since December 2020, several SARS-CoV-2 variants have emerged and were classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as variants of concern (VOC): Alpha (Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak (Pango) lineage designation B.1.1.7), first detected in the United Kingdom (UK), Beta (B.1.351) first documented in South Africa [5] and Gamma (P.1) initially detected in Brazil. Most recently, in April 2021, the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant was identified in India and classified on May 11 as VOC due to its fast spread and potential immune escape. Here, we describe the neutralising response of sera from healthcare workers without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection following a second vaccine dose against viral isolates of the Delta VOC, and compared it to the response against isolates of the original, the Alpha, Beta and Gamma VOCs

    The Israeli Experience with the “Green Pass” Policy Highlights Issues to Be Considered by Policymakers in Other Countries

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    In the first half of 2021, Israel had been ahead of other countries concerning the speed of its rollout and coverage of COVID-19 vaccinations. During that time, Israel had implemented a vaccine certificate policy, the “Green Pass Policy” (GPP), to reduce virus spread and to allow the safe relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in a time of great uncertainty. Based on an analysis of GPP regulations and public statements compiled from the Israeli Ministry of Health website, we describe the design and implementation of the GPP. We also look back and discuss lessons learned for countries that are considering a GPP policy, given the current upsurge of the Delta variant as of summer 2021. To reduce equity concerns when introducing a GPP, all population groups should be eligible for the vaccine (contingent on approval from the manufacturer) and have access to it. Alternatively, health authorities can grant temporary certificates based on a negative test. We also highlight the fact that in practice, there will be gaps between the GPP regulations and implementation. While some places might require a GPP without legal need, others will not implement it despite a legal obligation. The GPP regulations should have standardised epidemiological criteria, be implemented gradually, remain flexible, and change according to the epidemiological risks.DFG, 414044773, Open Access Publizieren 2021 - 2022 / Technische Universität Berli