Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Three good news for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine


Pfizer’s vaccine is believed to be effective in slowing down transmission. It would also be useful at over 89-91% from the first dose. Another good news: logistics could soon be made easier.

When new information appears worrying for the containment of the pandemic, such as the impact of variants, it is crucial. But the good news is just as important. Recently, Pfizer’s vaccine has been the subject of several encouraging publications about its role in controlling the pandemic:

  • According to data from Israel, the vaccine would slow down transmission;
  • Still according to Israeli data, the vaccine would be very effective after a single dose;
  • According to Pfizer, the bottles would ultimately not need super-freezers.

The importance of transmission data

While clinical trials of the vaccine developed by Pfizer have shown high efficacy, especially in preventing the most serious forms, these studies did not answer the question of transmissibility. The aim is to determine whether or not vaccinated people remain contagious, even in the case of asymptomatic forms of the Covid-19 disease.

In Israel, vaccination is advancing faster than anywhere else today, with half of the population vaccinated with a first dose; a quarter with both doses. The data collected by the Ministry of Health, and analyzed with the support of Pfizer, show a clear effectiveness of this vaccine in slowing down transmission. According to a document that was revealed by the Israeli media Ynet, and whose content has been confirmed by Bloomberg or The mirror, it would seem that 89.4% of symptomatic or asymptomatic infections are stopped by the current level of vaccination.

Data that must now be confirmed by publication in a journal and proofreading by an independent committee, so that the scientific community can read it and verify this information in detail. This promising information joins the results obtained in the UK for AstraZeneca, where data (which also needs to be confirmed by a publication) suggests a reduction in transmission to 67% – that would be a little less than for Pfizer, therefore.

Pfizer’s vaccine is one of the main vaccines validated to control the epidemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. // Source: Pexels / montage with Pfizer logo

Effective from the first dose?

A study published on February 18, 2021 in the scientific journal The Lancet comes for its part to bring an important source of hope as for the capacity of Pfizer to slow down the virus quickly in the coming months. The results of this analysis show that this vaccine is 89-91% effective within 15-28 days of the first dose.

Previous Israeli data, released on February 14 by the Health Ministry, showed 94% efficacy after the second dose. But the vaccine’s ability to block the disease from the first dose is perhaps even more critical, since the time between the two doses leaves a large margin in terms of the risk of contracting the disease in the meantime.

A possible evolution for logistics

Another piece of news comes directly from Pfizer. In a press release released on February 19, the company announces that recent data on the stability of the compound shows that its vaccine does not necessarily need super-freezers for its storage. Based on these data that Pfizer submitted to the FDA in the United States, storage would be possible at –15 ° C and –25 ° C for two weeks.

Originally, Pfizer’s vaccine was to be stored at extremely low temperatures, colder than those in Antarctica, between –60 ° C and –80 ° C. This constraint creates a real logistical headache to maintain this cold chain from A to Z using very specific freezing equipment. In Germany, thousands of doses were lost at the beginning of January because of a break in this chain.

The possibility of storing Pfizer’s vaccine at more normal temperatures could therefore facilitate logistics, and speed up deliveries.

Photo credit of the one:
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