Distributing the Pfizer vaccine won’t be easy 2:32
(CNN Spanish) – Pfizer’s announcement that its trial vaccine is more than 90% effective in preventing the spread of the new coronavirus is encouraging for vaccines in general. Dr. Elmer Huerta explains some of these encouraging repercussions published in an article on the STAT portal.
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Hello, I am Dr. Elmer Huerta and this is your daily dose of information on the new coronavirus.
Information that we hope will be useful to take care of your health and that of your family.
As we saw in the November 9 episode, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that its trial vaccine, developed together with the German biotechnology company BioNTech, was shown in a preliminary analysis that it was more than 90% effective in preventing infection by the new coronavirus.
LOOK: The vaccine against covid-19 could be delivered by the end of 2020, says BioNTech
As we mentioned, that is good news, as it indicates that the path that science is traveling is the correct one.
A recent article on the STAT portal describes some of the encouraging repercussions that announcement has for vaccines in general. Today we will briefly review the subject.
Other vaccines benefit from Pfizer’s results
First, the fact that Pfizer’s vaccine has targeted the virus spike as its center of attack is excellent news for all other vaccine candidates. This is because all the other vaccines in development – regardless of the technological platform they use – also point to the spike of the new coronavirus as its antigenic point.
Remember, as we said in the episode of March 20, that the spike is the part of the viral structure that allows the virus to enter the cells. So blocking the spikes, as Pfizer’s initial results show, is proof that the target was well chosen to prevent infection.
Second, the announcement of the high effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine is excellent news for the vaccine developed by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and Allergies of the United States together with the American laboratory Moderna. That’s because both vaccines use the messenger RNA technology we described on July 16.
The importance of getting vaccinated
Third, the fact that initial results indicate that Pfizer’s vaccine is more than 90% effective could help the general public to agree to be vaccinated.
The US Food and Drug Administration estimated that a modest 50% effectiveness of a vaccine would be adequate. This makes 90% remarkable. Experts think that low expectation was chosen, because the flu vaccine has, on average, that effectiveness.
Having a vaccine that is more than 90% effective would be a great encouragement, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, for people to agree to get vaccinated. That’s because as we said in the July 27 episode, almost half of Americans would not agree to be vaccinated, mainly due to distrust of the speed with which vaccines have been developed.
Pfizer Vaccine Storage Challenges
Fourth, the news from Pfizer raises the issue of logistics related to the storage and distribution of vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine should be stored at -70 degrees Celsius. This temperature is only reached by freezers not widely available, even in the United States.
In this regard, despite using the same technology, Moderna’s vaccine does not need to be stored at the low temperatures of Pfizer’s vaccine. However, as it requires storage at -20 degrees Celsius, it has the same limitations.
Both companies are working to modify their technology and allow their vaccines to be stored between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, which would put them at the same storage level as the other candidate vaccines that are in phase 3. Let’s remember that common refrigerators are capable to produce that level of cold.
In short, Pfizer’s announcement, which must be endorsed by scientific publications, is not only good for that particular vaccine, but also for the vaccine system in general.
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