It is no longer news that the whole world has been struggling to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic since its full outbreak in January 2020. The aftereffect of the pandemic is the stuff that blockbuster horror movies are made of in Hollywood.
Whereas some countries by dint of discipline and civic responsibility have been able to minimize the impact of the virus outbreak without access to any form of a vaccine against the virus; some others have felt the full impact of the pandemic. The death toll across nations of the world has since run into several millions of people and continues in the northward direction as countries like India, and more recently, Argentina continues their travails against the pandemic with disastrous consequences.
However, at the height of the throes of the pandemic last year, a ray of hope was provided through the availability of a series of trial vaccines which were hurriedly approved by the various regulatory bodies of the countries of origin. Among these trials, vaccines are AstraZeneca, developed by the University of Oxford, Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine, Janssen COVID, Moderna, and of course, Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
While some dust of controversy has been raised from the use of a couple of such vaccines, such as its effects on human beings; there has also been a lot of hue and cry about the distribution of such vaccines between the developed countries and the less developed ones amongst other issues.
However, despite the aforementioned issues regarding the vaccines, the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine has seemed the most preferred and sought after. This article attempts to provide some insights as to why the Pfizer vaccine is one of the most effective Covid-19 vaccines and the first to receive WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) as of Dec. 31, 2020.
1. What Is The Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine?
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is an mRNA vaccine. An mRNA vaccine or fully known as the ‘Messenger’ RNA vaccine is a new kind of vaccine that protects against infectious diseases. A typical vaccine works by introducing a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies; an MRNA vaccine, on the other hand, teaches our cells how to make a protein that triggers a response within our bodies. It is that immune response that produces the antibodies that eventually act as protection against infection from attack by the real virus.
A major benefit of this type of vaccine (like all good vaccines actually) is that it ensures that those vaccinated do not stand any real risk of getting infected with Covid-19 again.
2. How Safe Is Pfizer/BioNTech Covid Vaccine?
On December 31, 2020; a year after the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic; the World Health Organization (WHO) after thoroughly assessing the quality, safety, and efficacy of the vaccine recommended its use for persons of ages 16 years and above on its EUL. This recommendation by WHO came only after the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety had provided an expert independent and authoritative guide to the WHO on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. This listing by WHO paved the way for individual country’s drug regulatory bodies to approve its use in their respective territories.
3. What Is the Efficacy Level of the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine?
The Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine has been proven to have as high as 95% percent efficacy against symptomatic SARS-Covid infection in persons without records of prior infections. According to evidence provided from clinical trials, the vaccine showed a high percentage level of effectiveness in preventing laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 infections in person ages 12-15, with a similar outcome in the immune response in persons between ages 16-25.
A few days ago, on June 8, Uruguayan authorities provided data on the outcome from the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine with a 94% efficacy in infection prevention and a 78% reduction in ICU admissions of persons 60 years or older.
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