Tuesday, 21 September, 2021


Switzerland starts 'rolling review' of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

What it could take to deliver a Covid-19 vaccine to the world What does Pfizer's COVID-19 announcement mean for you?
Conrad Doyle | 14 November, 2020, 17:06

US-based Pfizer and BioNTech announced Monday that initial data indicated the vaccine is 90 percent effective at preventing COVID-19, sparking optimism inoculations against the novel coronavirus could soon be available.

California became the second state to surpass the milestone of 1 million confirmed infections on Thursday, right after Texas, U.S. reports say. The VLP approach has been used successfully in other vaccines. Another type of immune response - involving T cells - also seems to be important.

The Pfizer thermal shippers hold 975 vaccine vials, each of which contains about five doses of the shot - more than most GP surgeries could reasonably expect to use before some doses start to defrost and become useless.

Yet even then, it still may be hard to get China's adversaries to accept the vaccine.

Pfizer's early data has spotlighted the future of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, particularly because the company's vaccine presents a potential hurdle: It needs to be stored at around -70 degrees Celsius. And influenza vaccines are 40 to 60 percent effective at best.

"Outskirt hospitals won't be ignored or marginalized, even if it takes more time and effort to get them the vaccine", he said. Although a 50% effective vaccine could make a big difference at the population level, an individual recipient would have only a 50-50 chance of being protected, making it unsafe to forego precautions such as wearing masks and social distancing.

With a limited number of doses available, the eventual rollout of a vaccine would likely consist of two phases. Brazil's health regulator is sending a mission to China this month to inspect facilities of some companies involved in vaccine production.

Wachter credited the FDA for requiring adequate data before considering emergency use authorization, noting that a politically motivated premature approval "would have shattered public trust, and trust is everything when it comes to vaccines".

"As China continues to push its own vaccines through the final stage of clinical trial in the midst of Pfizer's announcement, the need for Beijing to address public perception about its vaccine safety issues is more pressing now than ever", said Xiaoqing Lu Boynton, a consultant at Albright Stonebridge Group who focuses on health care and life sciences. Next in line are vulnerable people who are more likely to develop severe COVID-19, including older people and those with underlying health conditions.

The Pfizer vaccine is also not associated with the president's vaccine creation and dispersal program "Operation Warp Speed", which has the goal of producing and delivering 300 million vaccines by January 2021, according to Pfizer's senior vice president and head of vaccine research and development Kathrin Jansen. "I'm far more hopeful about this than I would have been under Trump, but there are bound to be hiccups". The Sutter health system has acquired about a dozen large super-cold freezers, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Kaiser Permanente may be ahead of the game, as it has experience providing the vaccine as one of the clinical trial sites.

These first COVID-19 vaccines might not be ideal, but let's say half of the people receiving them make a protective response strong enough to stop them from transmitting the virus.

It is hoped the vaccine will be rolled out late this year. To support local, independent, LGBTQ journalism, consider becoming a BAR member.

Help keep the Bay Area Reporter going in these tough times.

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