On Thursday, Pfizer confirmed that its vaccine effectiveness lasts up to six months.
In a recent clinical trial, results show that the Pfizer vaccine remains highly effective in protecting its patients. Pfizer chairman, Albert Bourla said, “The high vaccine efficacy observed through up to six months following a second dose.”
Fighting The New COVID-19 Variants
The pharmaceutical company claimed that the vaccine provides immunity against the new COVID-19 variants. The drug manufacturer noted that results showed individuals who received a second vaccine dose have higher immunity.
Pfizer teamed up with German manufacturer BioNTech to manufacture the vaccine. In Phase 3 of their trial, the two companies came up with a test size of 12,000 people.
The news came as a welcome relief. Previously, scientists expressed their concern that the vaccine might be ineffective to combat the new variants. In a statement, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, Ugur Sahin celebrated the results, “It is an important step to further confirm the strong efficacy.”
He continued, “These data also provide the first clinical results that a vaccine can effectively protect against currently circulating variants.” Sahin believed that the vaccine helps in developing herd immunity which can ultimately stop the pandemic.
New COVID-19 variants continued to emerge, such as in Africa, United Kingdom, and Brazil. In addition, experts are worried about the first variant, B.1.351, which has spread across Southern Africa.
Researchers explained that the new coronavirus variants are a result of genetic mutation. Experts warned that if the infection rate continues to go up, it can give more opportunities for viruses to evolve and become more resistant.
Fortunately, the Pfizer chairman confirms that the vaccine is enough to protect “against the variant prevalent in South Africa provides further confidence in our vaccine’s overall effectiveness.”
Devi Sridhar, professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh warned that it is necessary to contain the infection. “So the lesson is we need to keep the numbers low so we don’t see more and more variants emerging,” Sridhar said.
In December, the company received emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to distribute the vaccine.
Overall, Pfizer and BioNTech administered the vaccine to 44,000 individuals in their three trials. Among its participants, 77 of the patients had symptomatic cases of COVID-19. Overall, the results showed that the vaccine was 95 percent effective at preventing viral transmission.
Patients also showed little to no side effects from the vaccine. In fact, the study claimed that only 3.7 percent of the patients experienced fatigue, while 2 percent claimed that they had a headache.
The vaccine rejects traditional methods and instead uses a new gene engineering technology. It works by injecting messenger RNA into the body to produce an immune response.
Moreover, this is the first time that the FDA approved a new vaccine method for wide-scale distribution.
The pharmaceutical company confirms that the vaccine is safe for teenagers between 12 to 15 years old. They have also asked for emergency authorization to inoculate teenagers. Currently, the company is looking to administer the vaccine for children between 6 months to 11 years old.