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Links for 2022-05-26

  • Vaccines provide poor protection against Long Covid

    Well, this is some worrying news: based on this study of 13 million people in Nature Medicine, COVID-19 vaccines only reduce Long Covid risk by 15%, with the largest risk reduction in blood clots and pulmonary sequelae, but less protection of other organ systems. Also, post-vaccination, immunocompromised people have a higher risk of Long Covid than others. As the author says: “Now that we know that vaccines are not sufficient as a sole line of defense, we need to urgently develop and deploy additional layers of protection to reduce risk of Long Covid. These may include vaccines specifically designed to reduce risk of Long Covid, and therapeutics that could be taken in the acute phase to reduce risk. Paxlovid and other antivirals must be urgently tested in trials for Long Covid.” (via Akiko Iwasaki)

    (tags: long-covid covid-19 vaccines risks disease paxlovid papers)

  • Interferon autoantibodies implicated in COVID-19 risk

    New PNAS paper, discussed in this week’s TWiV episode — _The risk of COVID-19 death is much greater and age dependent with type I IFN autoantibodies_:

    There is growing evidence that pre-existing autoantibodies neutralizing type I interferons (IFNs) are strong determinants of life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia. It is important to estimate their quantitative impact on COVID-19 mortality upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, by age and sex, as both the prevalence of these autoantibodies and the risk of COVID-19 death increase with age and are higher in men. Using an unvaccinated sample of 1,261 deceased patients and 34,159 individuals from the general population, we found that autoantibodies against type I IFNs strongly increased the SARS-CoV-2 infection fatality rate at all ages, in both men and women. Autoantibodies against type I IFNs are strong and common predictors of life-threatening COVID-19. Testing for these autoantibodies should be considered in the general population.
    I would have thought that type I interferons are a fairly critical part of the immune system, and the idea that people are happily walking about with autoantibodies to them is pretty crazy, but that seems to be the implication here.

    (tags: autoantibodies interferon health medicine disease covid-19 papers ifns interferons sars-cov-2)

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