What We’re Reading: Vaccine Booster Shot; Rare Nerve Syndrome Warning; Pesticide Linked to Brain Damage in Children

HHS officials say that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to get a booster shot; FDA issues a warning on link between the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and a rare neurological condition; California counties sue pesticide manufacturer over widely used bug killer that may cause brain damage in children and fetuses.

HHS Officials Say Fully Vaccinated Do Not Need Vaccine Booster Shot

HHS officials said after a meeting with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Pfizer yesterday that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to get a booster shot amid the spread of more contagious variants across the United States. As reported by Reuters, agency officials said that data on current vaccine dosage efficacy will determine whether a booster shot would be needed in the future. Notably, high-risk individuals, such as elderly nursing home residents and immunocompromised people, were cited as a group who may potentially require the booster shots, but so far no data have suggested a significant waning of efficacy or an increase in COVID-19 infection in those who are fully vaccinated.

Rare Nerve Syndrome Linked With Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Yesterday, the FDA issued a warning that the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) can lead to an increased risk of a rare neurological condition known as Guillain-Barré syndrome, which occurs when the immune system damages nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and occasional paralysis. According to The New York Times, the risk of developing the condition is low, with approximately 100 suspected cases identified so far, but the risk appears to be 3 to 5 times higher among those who received the J&J vaccine. Moreover, the FDA said that available evidence suggests an association between the vaccine and the condition, but there remains insufficient evidence to establish a causal link.

Lawsuit Alleges Pesticide Caused Brain Damage in Children

As reported by the Associated Press, a California lawsuit issued yesterday is seeking damages from Dow Chemical and its affiliated Corteva Inc over its pesticide chlorpyrifos, a widely used bug killer that may cause brain damage in fetuses and children. Having already been banned for sale and use in California, lawyers estimate that at least 100,000 homes in the state may need to dispose of most of their belongings due to potential contamination. From 1974 to 2017, 61 million pounds of the pesticide were applied in the 4 California counties where the lawsuits were filed: Fresno, Kings, Madera, and Tulare.