Although many trials are being carried out, lhe Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are, today, those in a more advanced state and those that, today, are more promising. It is certain that, in the coming weeks, and with more intensity in the coming months, we will receive more good news in this regard, but the truth today is that it is the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that, even with all the caution of the world, they suggest that in a few months the “old normal” would be closer and closer.
We already told you last week that, with phase 3 already quite advanced, the Pfizer vaccine, whose name is BNT162b2, pointed to an effectiveness greater than 90 percent. Today Pfizer and BioNTech have published a statement confirming that the trial phase has ended, and that the final effectiveness of the vaccine is around 95%. An effectiveness that is also constant regardless of age, gender, race and ethnicity. And as for its possible adverse effects, only fatigue was observed in 3.8% of the participants, and headache, in 2%.
Thus, Pfizer and BioNTech will shortly send all the necessary documentation to the FDA, the US regulator that ensures food and drug safety, in order to initiate an emergency process to approve their use as soon as possible. The companies expect to produce up to 50 million doses of vaccines globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021. In this regard, the race between Pfizer and Moderna vaccines appears to have been won by Pfizer.
In a similar state, mRNA-1273 is found, Moderna’s vaccine, which we already told you about some time ago and which is close to finishing its trial, with some first final data that point to an effectiveness of 94.5%, as we can read in your statement. Once it is finished, it will be necessary to check if the numbers are maintained or, as in the case of Pfizer, they rise with respect to the previous valuation. And it is understood that as it reaches that point, it will initiate a process similar to that of Pfizer to be able to start its distribution as soon as possible.
One striking aspect of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is that, actually they are quite similar (although not identical). Both are based on Messenger RNA, a technique that had been studied for a long time but had not been used until now, and that allows the immune system to identify the glycoprotein that forms the spike of the pathogen. Thus, the virus is unable to establish its link with the attacked cell and is therefore no longer capable of infecting the host.
Far are Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, of the vaccine model that we were taught when we were children, Edward Jenner would have to make a great effort to understand how BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 work (almost as much as to memorize their current names), but it is tremendously interesting to delve into the operation of both and, as one gets, take the opportunity to remember the importance of the lymphatic system and everything it does for us. To this end, I highly recommend this video
There is, yes, a difference between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and that is that the transport and storage conditions of the former are more complex than those of the latter. As we already told you, BNT162b2 requires a temperature that cannot be above minus seventy degrees, something that is a real logistical challenge. Moderna’s, however, can be stored in a refrigerator for a month (Pfizer’s requires dry ice, it can only stay in the refrigerator for a maximum of five days).
Be that as it may, we already have a completed test, another on the doorstep and, as I indicated at the beginning, it won’t take too long to start receiving more news in this regard from other laboratories. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines aim to be the first, but not the only one. And this is tremendously positive, because beyond the race to see who arrives first, the levels of demand are obviously going to be very high, and therefore the more alternatives there are, the better. If 2020 has been the year of the coronavirus, it is increasingly clear to me that 2021 will be the year of the vaccine, and 2022 the year of recovery.