The Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine appears to be the foremost popular and wanted. This section of the article attempts to provide additional insight into 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 December 31, 2020.
4. How Far-reaching Was the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid Vaccine Trials?
According to records of a clinical trial, demographic provided the WHO; the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine trials were as extensive and broad-based as possible, it involved people that were 16 years and older following racial, ethnic, age, and sex criteria.
By race; it included 82% Caucasians, 10% African-Americans, 4% Asians, 3% other races not reported, less than 1% of Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders, and less than 1% American Indian or Alaska Native.
By ethnicity; the vaccine was tested on 73% of people not of Hispanic or Latino origin, 26% of people of the Hispanic or Latino extraction, and 1% not reported.
Of the races and ethnic criteria used above; 51% male and 49% female were tested.
By age; 58% of people between ages 16 and 55 years were tested, 42% were 55 years or older, 21% of the demographic were 65 years or older, while those who were 75 years or older made up 4% of the tests subjects.
For this group of test subjects, the most common underlying health conditions were obesity (35%), diabetes (8%), and pulmonary disease (8%).
The demographic information for clinical trials on subjects 12-15 years of age followed the same criteria: race, ethnicity, and sex. The distribution was:
By race; 86% Caucasians, 5% African-Americans, 6% Asians, less than 3% multiracial, less than 1% Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, and less than 1% American Indian or Alaska Native.
By ethnicity; the distribution was 88% people of non-Hispanic or Latino origins, 12% of people of Hispanic or Latino origins, and 1% of not reported ethnicity.
By sex; it was a similar distribution of 51% male and 49% female subjects.
5. Who Can Take the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine?
From reports on the clinical trials of the vaccine, it is both safe and effective for use on people with various health conditions that are associated with a possible risk of severe disease such as hypertension, diabetes, pulmonary, asthma, liver and kidney disease, including stable and controlled chronic infections.
While there are ongoing studies on the impacts of the vaccine on immune-compromised persons; the interim recommendation is that such persons who belong to such groups recommended for vaccination may be vaccinated, but only after proper counseling and information.
At the moment, there is limited safety information on the impact and effectiveness of the vaccine on HIV-infected persons. Thus, the administration for such people is still hesitant as further research result information is awaited for this demographic group.
A similar situation presently exists for lactating women. Although SAGE does not recommend discontinuing breastfeeding after vaccination, since the vaccine is not a live virus one; the mRNA, therefore, cannot enter into the cell nucleus, plus the fact that it degrades quickly means it cannot interfere with cell functions. But the vaccination is yet to be thoroughly studied in lactating women, consequently, the body is seeking more evidence to further inform WHO’s policy recommendations on this subject.
6. Is It Safe for Pregnant Women?
Pregnancy puts most women at higher risk of severe COVID-19, but at the moment, very little data are available to assess vaccine safety in pregnancy. As a result, pregnant women may receive the vaccine if it is decided that the benefit of vaccinating a pregnant woman outweighs the potential vaccine risks.
Consequently, pregnant women at high risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 such as health workers or who have co-morbidities that add to their risk of severe disease may be vaccinated in consultation with their health care provider.
7. Who should not take the vaccine?
However, irrespective of the demographic group a person may belong to, people with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine should not take it; as well as children below the age of 16 years as the vaccine has only been tested in children above 16 years of age. Thus, at this time, WHO does not recommend vaccination of children below 16 years of age, even if they belong to a high-risk group.
8. How Much of the Vaccine Does a Person Need?
WHO recommends that the vaccine be administered with a 21 to 28-day interval to guarantee a protective effect which starts to develop 12 days after the first dose, but full protection requires two doses, but further research is ongoing to understand longer-term potential protection after a single dose.
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