December is a month - a milestone in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Following the approval of the Pfizer vaccine by the British authorities.
International networks, with breaking news, Earlier, the British government announced that it "accepted the recommendation of the Independent Regulatory Authority for Medicines and Health Products (MHRA) to approve the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine for use ".
The announcement states that the approval of the Pfizer vaccine "comes after months of rigorous clinical trials and thorough analysis of data by MHRA experts who concluded that the vaccine meets strict safety standards., quality and efficiency ". This development leads to the start of vaccinations in Britain as early as next week.
The Pfizer vaccine is indeed safe; What is mRNA technology and how efficient is it expected to be?; The British SkyNews asked the "hot" questions to experts, who gave their answers.
Pfizer vaccine: The 6 things you need to know
Here are the key questions about the Pfizer vaccine - BioNTech and the answers from SkyNews experts, which "illuminate" the great hopes, but also the uncertainties that exist:
1) The vaccine was developed very quickly, it is safe;
Only a few months have passed, But scientists are reassuring the public that the speed at which the vaccine was developed does not mean that it is not safe.. Pfizer and BioNTech said the tests did not reveal any serious security issues.
For security reasons, in the trials - for that vaccine- the same number of people participated (almost 45.000 individuals), as in the studies for the other vaccines and in the same time period. Professor Heidi Larson, director of the Vaccine Confidence Project, stated that approval procedures could be speeded up due to a degree of efficiency we have not encountered in the past.
Immediately after the Ebola crisis, emergency funding mechanisms have been set up, such as those of the coronavirus pandemic, so that the funds are distributed very quickly - unlike older vaccines. The use of new technologies, such as the mRNA on which the Pfizer - BioNTech vaccine was based, we also helped speed up the process.
2) What is RNA?; Can this type of vaccine affect the genetic code? (DNA) of the people;
RNA is a nucleic acid (Ribonucleic acid) which converts DNA into proteins. "Carries" the genetic information of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The mRNA vaccines (messenger RNA) developed in recent years and in contrast to "traditional" vaccines, created by attenuated forms of the virus, use only the genetic code of the pathogen (virus).
They introduce into the body an mRNA sequence that contains the genetic instructions for the individual's own cells to produce the vaccine antigens and produce an immune response.. Most vaccines work by injecting a "dead" or debilitated virus into the body., who then builds immunity in him, as the immune system learns to recognize and react.
Professor Larson explains: "They do not change your DNA. They change the behavior of the virus, but not DNA ". RNA vaccines are known to be more potent than standard vaccines, can grow faster and at a lower cost while being safe to administer.
3) How effective is the Pfizer - BioNTech vaccine;
Independent experts have found that the vaccine is more effective than most 90% to protect people from developing COVID-19. The World Health Organization had indicated that the minimum efficacy rate for approving a coronavirus vaccine would be 50%. Therefore, the effectiveness of the Pfizer - BioNTech vaccine is much higher.
Pfizer and BioNTech need to complete the study. As SkyNews reports, in the end it may not be as efficient as it initially seemed, but scientists agree that it is very likely to remain well above its limit 50%. Note: Influenza vaccines are effective against 40% to 60%.
4) How long will the immunity last?;
The Phase 3 Vaccine testing began on 27 July and, therefore, there was not enough time to prove how long the vaccine would work. Eleanor Riley, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Edinburgh, he told Sky News about it:
"We do not know anything yet about the seriousness of the incidents found in the tests, whether the infection or contagion has been prevented or whether the immunity will last. But I think we have reason to be moderately optimistic. "
5) The vaccine will prevent transmission;
It is not yet clear whether the vaccine will protect against infection or the development of symptoms, when someone is infected. In the second case (prevention of symptoms) then there would be concern about whether vaccinated people would be able to transmit and transmit the virus.
Penny Ward of King's College reports:
"The question of transmissibility cannot be answered at this stage. If the transmission rate is the same in the group receiving the placebo vaccine and in the vaccinated group, then transmission from one vaccinated person to others will be possible ".
6) The vaccine will help the elderly and vulnerable;
Pfizer has stated that 42% participants in the vaccine study were from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds and that older people were included in the trials.
In the test, in which some volunteers received placebo and others the normal vaccine, were found 94 coronavirus positive (that is, people who were infected in the next period). From them, just the 10% had received the vaccine. This means that with these data the Pfizer - BioNTech vaccine is against 90% efficient.
Scientists estimate that 94 cases are not enough to determine if the vaccine protects the elderly as much as the other groups. The tests will continue until they are recorded 164 cases in participants. Scientists, Nevertheless, believe that the results show that the vaccine will be effective for the elderly.