Thursday, February 25, 2021

Bloomberg: There are already real signs that immunization will stop the spread of coronavirus


Vaccines used under the 20 December The effectiveness of the national immunization program launched in 2006 was 89.4 percent in preventing laboratory-confirmed infections, according to a copy of the preliminary publication distributed on Twitter and confirmed by a single source. The companies worked with the Israeli Ministry of Health on a preliminary follow-up analysis that was not peer-reviewed. Some scientists question its accuracy.

The results, also published in Der Spiegel, are the latest in a series of positive data from Israel, a world leader in per capita vaccinations. Nearly half of its population has already been vaccinated with at least one dose of the vaccine. Among other things, the Israeli authorities said on Saturday that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 99 percent. effective in preventing deaths from the virus.

If confirmed, preliminary results from laboratory-tested infections are encouraging, as they suggest that the vaccine may also prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in asymptomatic carriers. As a result, there is still uncertainty, as clinical trials examining the safety and efficacy of vaccines have focused on the ability to stop symptomatic infections.

Public immunity

“We need this data to assess the possibility of achieving public immunity through vaccines,” Raina MacIntyre, a biosafety professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, wrote in an email Monday. “However, it is very important for us to see the data published in the peer-reviewed journal and to have the opportunity to examine them in detail.”

Pfizer and BioNTech say they are working on an objective analysis of the data from Israel, which will be shared as soon as it is completed. Company spokesmen declined to comment on the unpublished data.

The study did not aim to accurately estimate the reduction in SARS-CoV-2 prevalence because its authors used national testing data without considering the extent of testing between vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals, said Zoe McLaren, an associate professor at the University of Maryland’s Baltimore County School of Public Policy.

“The main result of the study overestimates the reduction in the spread of the virus associated with the Pfizer vaccine,” McLaren wrote in an email.

The study compares reported cases between those who were vaccinated at both required doses and those who were not vaccinated but vaccinated people are less likely to be tested, so infection rates in this group will be incomplete, especially for asymptomatic cases, she said.

“More evidence needed”

“This means that the actual reduction in prevalence is less than 89.4 percent. Said Mr McLaren. – How much smaller? We need more evidence to know exactly. But I hope, given the error, we will still come to the conclusion that this vaccine actually reduces the spread. And that would be very good news. “

About 80 percent. SARS-CoV-2 cases in Israel from 17 January to 6 February. during the period covered by the study, caused by a more contagious strain of the virus first detected in the United Kingdom. The Israeli vaccination campaign began shortly before the emergence of the so-called option B.1.1.7, which fueled outbreaks of infections and led to the third quarantine announced on 8 January.

By February 6, about 27 percent. Israelis over the age of 15 were fully vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech, the only vaccine available in the country at the time. Subjects were considered to have been fully vaccinated and included in the analysis if data were obtained more than seven days after the second dose.

Based on the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the vaccine, which is 89% helps prevent infection is likely to be effective in eliminating COVID-19 in a population that has achieved high levels of vaccination, said Helen Petousis-Harris, a vaccinologist at the University of Auckland.

Elimination of COVID-19 will depend on possible SARS-CoV-2 “reservoirs” in animals, genetic mutations in the virus that may be resistant to vaccine-induced immunity, and the ability to stop the spread worldwide, said Petousis-Harris, one of the international group Vaccine. Date ”for vaccine safety studies.





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