Covid: Who will have the Pfizer vaccine first and when can I get it? By James Gallagher
Health and science correspondent Released period 1 day ago
A vaccine which can prevent nine out of 10 individuals getting Covid-19 is set to be put forward for emergency situation approval.
Its designers, Pfizer and BioNTech, said it had actually been evaluated on 43,500 individuals, with no safety issues raised.
What is the brand-new vaccine and how efficient is it?? The vaccine trains the immune system to fight coronavirus.
It is a new type of vaccine called an RNA vaccine and utilizes a small piece of the infection’ hereditary code. This begins making part of the virus inside the body, which the immune system identifies as foreign and begins to attack.
It is given up 2 doses – 3 weeks apart – and early information suggests it protects more than 90% of individuals from developing Covid symptoms.
Has this type of vaccine ever been utilized before?? There are no RNA vaccines that have actually been approved for use in humans.
The principle has been researched before and individuals have actually been given them in medical trials for other diseases.
The vaccine will be thought about by regulatory agencies all over the world, and they will decide whether the jab can be approved for usage.
Who will get it initially and how quickly can I have it?
It depends how old you are, as age is the biggest danger aspect for serious Covid-19.
In the UK, older care house homeowners and care home personnel are top of the initial concern list. They are followed by health employees such as medical facility personnel and the over 80s.
Individuals are then ranked by age, with individuals under 50 at the bottom of the list.
The first jabs may happen prior to Christmas if everything goes smoothly.
The vaccine will be provided through care homes, GPs and pharmacists along with “go-to” vaccination centres established in venues such as sports halls.
Nevertheless, there are logistical challenges to conquer – such as the need to keep the vaccine at minus 80C throughout transport from the production laboratory to vaccination venues. The jab must be thawed before it is given to a patient and can be stored in a regular refrigerator for a few days before being administered.
Will it provide long lasting protection?? It is difficult to understand and we will discover the response only by waiting.
If immunity does not last then it might be essential to have a vaccine every year, in the exact same way when it comes to influenza.
The data did not show whether protection from Covid-19 was the same in all age. Nevertheless, earlier studies did suggest young and old individuals might produce an immune reaction.
There will likewise be some people – such as those with a weak immune system – who will not be able to have the vaccine.
Might the vaccine have long-term health impacts ?? Nothing in medicine is 100% safe – even something we take without thinking, like paracetamol, positions risks.
The information up until now is reassuring – trials on 43,500 individuals found no safety concerns, although moderate negative effects have been reported.
If there were highly unsafe and common repercussions of this vaccination, they should have emerged.
Nevertheless, rarer side effects may emerge as countless individuals are immunised.
Will it suggest we don’t need lockdown?? Ideally yes, however not for a long time.
If enough people are immune then the virus would stop spreading out and we would not need other procedures for controlling the virus.
The difficulty, nevertheless, is receiving from now to that point.
There is still the monumental obstacle of producing enough vaccine and in fact getting it into people. It is all going to take some time and we require something to manage the virus till then.
So, testing, lockdowns, social distancing, and mask using are going to be a feature of our lives for a while yet.
What if the infection alters ?? Viruses alter all the time, it’s what they do. The concern is, will they alter in a way that changes their behaviour?
Up until now there is no sign of that occurring, but it is possible that in the future the virus may change so the vaccine becomes less efficient.
If that takes place, then a new coronavirus vaccine might need to be created.
This is not unusual. A new influenza vaccine is established each year to try to match the stress of influenza that are doing the rounds.
And the RNA vaccine technology is very simple to fine-tune so this ought to not be a significant issue.
Why can it only be made by Pfizer ?? The vaccine has actually been designed and developed by Pfizer and BioNtech, and they own the copyright.
They already have the manufacturing capability to produce 1.3 billion doses by the end of next year, however might partner with others to increase capability even further.
What do we still need to learn about the vaccine?
The announcement offered us the headline, but there is a still absence of great detail.
We do not understand if the vaccine stops you catching and spreading the infection or just stops you from getting ill. We likewise don’t know how protective the vaccine remains in different age.
These will be crucial for comprehending how it will be utilized.
What does this mean for other vaccines ?? It is good news. It shows that a coronavirus vaccine is possible, which we didn’t understand a couple of days ago.
As much of the vaccines are targeting the very same part of the infection – what’s referred to as the spike protein – it raises hopes they will work too.
There are about a dozen vaccines in the final stages of scientific development.
No vaccine has actually gone from the drawing board to being shown highly reliable in such a brief amount of time.