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What is known about the new vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech?

World media headlines are full of news aboutthe joint development of Pfizer and BioNTech - a vaccine against coronavirus. On November 9, representatives of commercial companies made a statement about the end of the third phase of trials and 90% of the effectiveness of the developed vaccine against Covid-19. According to the statement, the effectiveness of protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus was achieved seven days after the subjects were given the second dose of the vaccine and 28 days after the first injection. The researchers also said that more than 43,000 people participated in the vaccine trial. This unexpected news came at the height of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and if the data is confirmed, then the victory over Covid-19 is not far off. We tell you what is known about the development of the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

The widespread use of the vaccine may help us defeat the coronavirus

Content

  • 1 Vaccine Race
  • 2 Is Pfizer Vaccine Beating Covid-19?
    • 2.1 Vaccine efficacy
    • 2.2 Number of doses
    • 2.3 Storage features
    • 2.4 How long do antibodies last?
    • 2.5 Has the vaccine been peer reviewed?
  • 3 Good news

Vaccine race

The number of people infected with the new coronavirusinfection in the world has exceeded 50 million. Given the difficult epidemiological situation in Europe, Russia, the United States and other countries, the news about the effectiveness of the vaccine from the pharmaceutical giant and its subsidiary looks like a hope of salvation, as many scientists and doctors openly declare. Pfizer officials hope the vaccine will be registered in November. But the new vaccine is not the only one in the world.

The Covid-19 pandemic came as a shock to us alltherefore, the vaccine race is ongoing in several countries. So, the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, which we talked about earlier, became the world's first registered vaccine against coronavirus, but it is still in the third phase of trials. Despite the manufacturer's claims that Sputnik V is the best vaccine against coronavirus in the world, a study published in the medical journal The Lancet notes that there were critical remarks during the first phase of the trial, and also quotes Thomas Cunei of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical manufacturers and associations:

The lack of transparency regarding preclinical or clinical trial results, let alone transparency regarding due process, remains a concern.

Thus, talk about 100% efficiencyRussian vaccine is not yet available, so we will wait for the end of the third phase of trials and publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. This is necessary so that scientists from all over the world could familiarize themselves in detail with how the Russian vaccine was made and how all stages of its testing were carried out.

Let's hope a new coronavirus vaccine puts an end to the pandemic

In addition to the Russian vaccine, work is in full swing onvaccine AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, which has already been shown to be effective in several phases of trials and has begun production in Australia. Another 214 vaccines are in development at various stages, according to the Milken Institute. Of these, according to the registry of the World Health Organization (WHO), ten are in the last stage of clinical trials.

As the Spanish El Pais notes, the vaccine thatAustralia has started to produce - the same vaccine that Spain requested from the UK consortium. The first three million vaccines are projected to be available to populations at risk (medical personnel and people over 65) starting in 2021. Since the immunization process, like the Russian counterpart, requires the introduction of double doses, it is expected that with the first full batch of the vaccine, approximately 15 million people will receive the vaccine. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has announced that it has begun the licensing process for a candidate from a UK laboratory.

See also: The second Russian coronavirus vaccine "EpiVacCorona". What is known about her?

In turn, Mexico signed agreements withPfizer, AstraZeneca and CanSino to receive 117 million doses to immunize 90% of the population by the end of 2021, provided vaccines are approved. The first experimental doses of the Chinese-Canadian pharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics arrived in the Mexican south in early November. But what is a vaccine from a well-known commercial drug manufacturer Pfizer?

Pfizer vaccine - victory over Covid-19?

Note that at the time of this writing,the results of the third phase of trials of the American vaccine have not yet been published in a scientific journal. Pfizer says this will happen immediately after the third phase. However, the company has reached a "critical milestone", as stated by Albert Burla, Pfizer's President and CEO:

Today the world needs a vaccine more thanever. The number of new cases is on the rise and is breaking records, hospitals are overcrowded and healthcare systems are running at their maximum capacity, and the global economy is trying to get back to work.

Vaccine effectiveness

Pfizer's vaccine is more than 90% effective according to published data. It means that more than 9 out of 10 people who receive the vaccine will get immunity from it. To put this in perspective, experts atthe health field previously noted that a Covid-19 vaccine with a 60% to 70% effectiveness rating would be a big win. Some governments would even approve of a vaccine with an efficacy rating of only 50%. But 90%? This is better than most scientists and public health experts dare to dream.

At the same time, the executive director of the company Albert Burla said:

Today is a wonderful day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase III clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine provides initial evidence that our drug can prevent coronavirus infections.

Number of doses

The vaccine requires two doses. If successful, the person will need at least two doses spaced at least three weeks apart. This means that the vaccine will be administered in two phases, which could cause problems with logistics and supply chain. After all, if two doses of a vaccine are required, you must be able to make - and dispense - at least 14 billion doses to vaccinate every person on earth.

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Storage features

The vaccine will be developed, completed and placed ina cold storage facility at the pharmaceutical giant's Kalamazoo, Michigan plant, the largest in the country. To maintain maximum efficacy, the vaccine must be stored at temperatures up to at least 70 degrees Celsius during transport. Each package can contain from 1000 to 5000 doses. Because the vaccine requires storage at ultra-low temperatures, this can make it very difficult to get it to healthcare facilities around the world.

Workers at the vaccine storage area, a "cold farm" where Pfizer plans to store vaccine doses in Kalamazoo, Michigan, until distribution.

How long do antibodies last?

It is currently unknown how long and for whom the vaccine will be effective. Pfizer says it's not clear yet if thevaccine in patients with severe coronavirus infection. It is also unknown how long the immunity gained from the vaccine actually lasts. It may last forever, or it may only take a few months. In other words, nobody knows yet. Another big unknown is whether vaccinated people can still carry SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Has the vaccine been peer reviewed?

The results obtained have not yet been peer reviewed... However, this does not mean that their conclusions are wrong. However, the American vaccine still has to go through the most rigorous scientific selection process. The third week of November is the next milestone, when Pfizer receives two months of data on volunteers receiving their second dose of vaccine. If there are no worrisome side effects, the vaccine could get approval by the end of the year. Pfizer plans to deliver 50 million doses worldwide by the end of 2020, and another 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.

Pfizer says it will have produced enough doses by the end of the year to vaccinate 15 to 20 million people.

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Good news

The good news is that scientiststhe whole world is constantly working on a vaccine, so there will be even more good news next year. Well, we remind you that while vaccines are undergoing clinical trials, the best thing to do to avoid getting coronavirus is to follow all the recommendations of the World Health Organization, wash your hands, wear masks and follow the rules of social distancing. Be healthy!