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The Pfizer Vaccine: What We Know So Far

Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is coveted around the world for its high efficiency and in Mexico it is no exception.

With his vaccination schedule two-dose, Pfizer is one of the first vaccines to Cofepris authorized for emergency use against the pandemic.

This week, the national health regulatory body gave its go-ahead so that the vaccine can also be used in minors from 12 years.

Pfizer’s vaccine now for kids

Pfizer’s vaccine, developed in conjunction with the laboratory BioNTech, against Covid-19 was authorized by the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) for emergency use from the age of 12.

This vaccine is the first that was authorized in Mexico for its application in adolescents.

However, this does not mean that its application to this sector of the population will begin immediately.

Already used in the United States

In the United States, Pfizer’s vaccine has been used since May 10 to inoculate minors 12 years of age and older.

A month earlier, on April 9 of this year, the pharmaceutical company requested authorization for its use in adolescents, for which it presented a study applied to 2,260 minors.

The results showed “compelling direct evidence of clinical benefit”.

What happens in Mexico?

The Pfizer vaccine for Adults was authorized in Mexico on December 11, 2020.

That same day it was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration from United States (FDA).

The first dose against Covid-19 that was applied in our country, and in Latin America, was the Pfizer vaccine, in the General Hospital of Mexico “Dr. Eduardo Liceaga “, on December 24, 2020.

Progress in other population groups

At the end of March of this year it was announced that the vaccine from Pfizer and the BioNTech laboratory was 100% effective against Covid-19 disease for teens 12-15 years of age.

On April 30, an application for approval was submitted to the European Union of this vaccine for young people between 12 and 15 years old, which was granted on May 28 by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Side effects

Heart problems?

Recently, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, for its acronym in English), reported that, since April 2021, more than 1,000 reports of cases of inflammation of the heart, called myocarditis Y pericarditis.

This number of reports are received through the System for Notification of Adverse Events to Vaccines (VAERS)

Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.

In both cases, the body’s immune system causes inflammation in response to an infection or some other trigger.

Relationship with vaccines?

This inflammation has occurred after applying some mRNA vaccineEither the Pfizer vaccine or the dose of Modern) against Covid-19 in the United States, where more than 177 million people have been inoculated

Most patients with myocarditis and pericarditis who received care responded well to treatment and at rest, and they felt better quickly.

Confirmed cases have occurred mainly in teens and young adults ages 16 and older, more often after receiving the second dose.

For now, the CDC continue to recommend the Pfizer vaccine for everyone 12 years of age and older.

CDC announced that it will continue to actively monitor the reports, reviewing data and medical records and understanding the relationship of mRNA vaccines to myocarditis and pericarditis.

How does the mRNA vaccine work?

The Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19 was developed with mRNA technology.

Due to its composition, it can teach the cells of the human body to produce a protein that triggers an immune response against SARS-CoV-2.

When the vaccine is injected into the upper arm, the mRNA enters cells near the site of inoculation and transmits instructions to them so that they can produce the same protein that the Covid-19 virus binds to.

Thus, the immune system recognizes this protein and begins to produce antibodies that can fight the virus if the vaccinated person becomes infected later.

Does it have consequences?

This is not to say that the vaccine can modify the DNA no way.

MRNA is not the same as DNA and cannot combine with DNA to modify its genetic code. Also, this vaccine does not expose the person to the virus that causes Covid-19.

The mRNA is so fragile that once in the body, after giving the instructions to the cells, it breaks down and disappears. This is why the Pfizer vaccine has to be stored at such low temperatures.

To keep mRNA vaccines stable, for days or even weeks before being administered, they must be kept at 70 degrees Celsius below zero (-94 degrees Fahrenheit), which means storing it on dry ice.

And the reactions?

There is a remote possibility that the Pfizer Vaccine will cause a serious allergic reaction.

If this happens, it usually occurs at few minutes or an hour later to receive any of the doses of this biological.

For this reason, people remain in the place where they received the vaccine for their control. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:

Difficulty breathing Swelling of the face and throat Rapid heartbeat A strong rash all over the body Dizziness and weakness

In April 2021, Pfizer announced that people who received the full vaccination schedule will “probably” need a third booster dose within 12 months.

Although the advance in vaccination in the country and in the world generates greater tranquility, effective measures to prevent the disease should not yet be neglected, such as: the use of face mask, physical distancing and hand washing with soap and water.

(With information from the CDC, FDA and Cofepris)

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