Saturday, July 24, 2021

Covid Vaccines Do Not Provide Total Immunity

Whether Malaysians are genuinely getting the vaccinations or if it's just "cucuk angin", they should still know that Covid jabs do not provide total immunity. 

In fact, I had posted this on this blog on April 15, 2021 and I think it’s pertinent to re-post it: 

Anyway, I'm making this point because of a July 15 news report in Singapore's The Straits Times about World Dream, a Dream Cruises liner that was forced to turn back to the island republic after a Covid-19 case was found on board.

The 40-year-old passenger had tested negative during the mandatory pre-departure ART (antigen rapid test) on Sunday, the day of departure. And according to a notice from Dream Cruises to passengers seen by the Singapore daily, the infected individual was reported to have already received both Covid-19 vaccination doses. 

Indeed, you can never be too careful!

And for your info, three quarters of Singapore’s Covid-19 infections in the last four weeks were among vaccinated individuals, government data shows, as a rapid ramp-up in the city-state’s inoculation leaves fewer people unvaccinated.  

As I was collecting details and getting confirmation for the above, I came across a related news report published on Monday from Canada’s CTV News that carried this intriguing headline “Some cruise lines not accepting passengers with mixed Covid-19 vaccinations”! 

Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization had in June 2021 allowed for mix-and-match vaccines, recommending that a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine can be safely combined with a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna shots. 

They also said that while Canadians should be offered the same mRNA vaccine for their second dose as they received for their first if it's available, a second shot of either Pfizer or Moderna is still acceptable. 

But some cruise lines say they will not recognize international passengers who've mixed and matched vaccinations. 

A notice on the company's website, Norwegian Cruise Line said they will not accept mixed vaccination protocols on cruises that embark or disembark from US ports. 

The statement added that all other vessels departing from non-US ports will accept any US FDA, WHO or EMA authorized vaccines, as well as a mixed vaccine series "of only AstraZeneca-SK Bio, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna combinations". 

For Princess Cruise Lines, guests who have received a vector vaccine, including AstraZeneca, as their first dose, followed by an mRNA vaccine "will not be considered fully vaccinated". 

However, the company will allow for passengers who received mixed mRNA vaccine doses, such as Pfizer and Moderna. 

Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line also currently have similar policies in place. 

Royal Caribbean reportedly removed their mixed vaccine policy from their website over the weekend, saying that Covid-19 vaccines fully approved or authorized for emergency use by a national regulatory authority or global health organization are accepted. However, the company noted this may change depending on the port of the cruise. 

While the mix-and-match approach has become common in countries such as Canada and the UK, the US FDA do not recognize Covid-19 vaccine mixing. Besides, they only approve American-made vaccines, i.e. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. 

The WHO's chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan (left) on July 12 noted that there is limited data on mixing and matching vaccines and that it could be a "chaotic" situation if "citizens start deciding" when they should be taking "a second or a third or a fourth dose" and from which vaccine manufacturer.

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