The Pfizer vaccine is a big leap forward in the world’s efforts to confront the Coronavirus pandemic, after the US pharmaceutical manufacturer announced, on Monday, that its experimental vaccine for treating Covid-19 disease is more than 90 percent effective.
The new vaccine has given a strong boost to global markets that hope to eliminate Covid-19 disease and completely reopen the economy.
Here’s everything you need to know about the vaccine.
According to the “Business Insider” site, the “Pfizer and Biontech” vaccine works by training the immune system to recognize a threat such as the Corona virus, and then start producing antibodies to protect itself.
While conventional vaccines are based on the idea of giving the body inactivated doses of disease, the Pfizer vaccine is designed to make the body produce the antibodies on its own.
Chris Baerer, professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins College, says that this technology is fundamentally dependent on the genetic sequence of the virus, which made it in some ways easier to start using.
The vaccine is safe
So far, the two companies have not reported serious safety concerns about their vaccine, according to the New York Times.
Who will get the vaccine?
The CEO of Pfizer said they may have 30 to 40 million doses of the vaccine before the end of the year, which is enough for 15 to 20 million people to receive an initial and supportive dose three weeks later.
It has not been established who will be eligible for the initial doses, but groups most at risk of infection, or those most susceptible to infection with the virus, are likely to prioritize.
The two companies say they can produce 1.3 billion doses annually, but that is still far from sufficient to meet the world’s vaccine needs.
When will the vaccine be available?
Pfizer said it will likely file an urgent clearance application in the third week of November after it collected two months of safety data and submitted it to the Food and Drug Administration.
The vaccine could be allowed for some at-risk groups before the end of the year, but this will only happen if everything goes as planned, and there are no unexpected delays.
Can we stop wearing masks in the event of getting vaccinated?
The New York Times report says: Please don’t. Even if the vaccine were licensed within months, it would initially only be available to a segment of the American public.
And most health officials believe that an effective vaccine will not be available to anyone who wants it until long next year. Until then, there is no data on whether the vaccine will stop the spread of the virus without symptoms, or to what extent it will prevent people from developing severe symptoms of Covid-19 disease.
And most experts say that even when a vaccine is widely available, additional measures such as masks will remain necessary until the public health threat recedes.
“It won’t replace health measures – it will supplement them,” said Dr. Paul Offitt, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the FDA’s Vaccine Advisory Committee. “You owe others to wear a mask.”