Pfizer CEO on vaccine – a “game-changer” for controlling COVID-19

With an over 90% effectiveness, the number of humans for the virus to infect will decline. We will get closer to “normal”. Of course, face masks, distancing, etc. will be required until the vaccine is fully distributed. The percent of people vaccinated is the key to success but will take a while.

Video and full transcript PBS Newshour 11-9-20 5 min. 33 seconds. Excerpts: …”over 90 percent effective in preventing COVID among volunteers who had no prior infection. The data hasn’t been published or reviewed by a medical journal yet, but Pfizer released it on November 9, 2020, with the hopes of getting approval for use in the weeks ahead.” Pfizer new vaccine data.

Youtube video (no transcript)

“We can produce approximately 50 million doses this year, approximately 1.3 billion doses next year in the U.S., we will have 12.5 million people that we can protect…. People that they are more likely to get the disease, like first-line workers, very sensitive population, et cetera.”

My comments:

Hearing about the vaccine directly from the Pfizer CEO is worthwhile to find out about the background. He is not a dynamic speaker but is understandable.

Over 90% effective is fantastic!! Flu is 40-60%, with an average of 50% with annual doses. Probably why the FDA said 50% minimum. Measles is 97% effective with one dose in childhood. Half the doses are available in the U.S. The other half are in Europe as Pfizer’s partner is BioNTech, a German company. Return to Normalcy!

Three of the top vaccines now are mRNA.- 2 doses required (Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax). Hopefully, all will have 90% or higher effectiveness. Genetic Vaccines Vaccines that deliver one or more of the coronavirus’s own genes into our cells to provoke an immune response.

All require storage of at least minus 80 degrees Celsius (minus 112 degrees Fahrenheit) until it’s ready to be injected. The other vaccines in clinical trials are traditional, based on existing viruses. Johnson and Johnson and Astra Zeneca are two examples. They do not require cold storage.

Operation Warp Speed did not fund Pfizer vaccine development. They preferred to be independent. Warp Speed funded distribution, which is why the initial doses will be available very soon.

Issues (my comments)

  • Messenger RNA vaccines are bioengineered and new. None have ever been approved. Makes it more uncertain.
  • We don’t know about the very young and old. Very few samples.
  • Limited data released per FDA requirements. Not peer-reviewed.
  • Tracking people will be complicated for the second dose.
  • Storage of minus 112 Fahrenheit degrees required. Hospitals have this, but not many other places such as pharmacies and doctor’s offices. Significant problems in rural areas.
  • Don’t know how long immunity lasts. When will you need more doses? The flu shots last about a year.

PBS Newshour segment had a good interviewer and is understandable Link to video and full transcript

Link to youtube video (no transcript or ads)

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