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No New Concerns

No serious safety concerns have been identified in the first month of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations in the US, Reuters reports.

The US Food and Drug Administration issued Emergency Use Authorizations for two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, one from Pfizer and BioNTech and one from Moderna in December. A third vaccine from Johnson & Johnson is to be evaluated by the agency this month.

In the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, researchers from CDC COVID-19 Response Team and the FDA examined additional safety data collected during the first month of wider SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations. In their sample of nearly 13.8 million vaccine doses, there were 6,994 reports of adverse reactions, 90 percent of which were not serious, such as headache or fatigue. They note that 113 deaths were reported in the population, but did not appear linked to vaccination. "These initial findings should provide reassurance to health care providers and to vaccine recipients and promote confidence in the safety of COVID-19 vaccines," the researchers add.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.