A new wave of COVID-19 has hit the world, including the United States. According to John Hopkins University, more than 52 million people have tested positive for the virus until now. The death toll has risen to 1290000.
To fight the lethal virus, labs worldwide are in a race to create the Coronavirus vaccines as early as possible. In this frightening situation, the first successful full Pfizer’s vaccine gave people hope to fight the virus. The vaccine has been created by the collaboration of German company BioNTech and U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
How a vaccine works is that it contains a weakened or dead virus given to the person. But Pfizer’s vaccine has a different mode of action. This vaccine consists of a part of COVID-19 mRNA instead of a dead or weakened virus. The delivered mRNA directs the production of COVID-19 proteins in the body. As a result, the body recognizes these proteins to start an immune response.
The good news is, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that the vaccine proved more than 90% effective against COVID-19. They are optimistic that the vaccine would end the virus as it showed the best results during phase 3 trials. If the Food and Drug Administration approves the vaccine, it will cure millions of people. Pfizer and BioNTech already signed agreements with the United Kingdom, Japan, and Canada to supply vaccines once the FDA gives a positive signal.
On Friday, President Donald Trump said that Operation Warp Speed made it possible for both companies to make the vaccine. Operation Wrap Speed is a joint program of the U.S. health department, defense department, and drug manufacturing companies. He also praised the operation for its hard efforts to research, develop, and distribute Pfizer’s vaccine.
Trump said that his administration provided almost $1.95 billion to Pfizer and BioNTech to deliver 100 million doses in the United States. He said the vaccine would be initially offered to health workers and elderly Americans only.
According to Operation warp Speed’s chief adviser, Moncef Slaoui, 20 million Americans could receive Pfizer’s vaccine this year. During his press conference Friday, he said that they aim to distribute 25 -30 million doses after December.
The successful testing of vaccines in phase 3 trials has given the people hope that the virus will soon meet its end. Still, there are some questions raised that have to be answered in the coming days. Though it performed well in the trials, it is unclear whether it will be effective for all ages and ethnic groups. That’s why it’s better to wait a few more days until there is any officials response.
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine raises serious safety concerns as 29 people died after inoculation
Norway expressed serious apprehensions regarding the Pfizer -BioNTech vaccine’s safety as 29 people passed away following the immunization. According to the state’s official, over 30,000 people have received the vaccine’s first dose in the Scandinavian county. Following the inoculation, many people have fallen sick, especially older people, already suffering from health problems.
Though the number is not alarming, Norway officials are concerned as the danger isn’t averted yet. To probe the vaccine’s lethal effects, Norway officials directed a thorough investigation. Pfizer and BioNTech have also joined the investigation team to determine the underlying cause of the vaccine’s severe reactions in elderly patients.
Steinar Madsen, the medical director of NOMA, said they aren’t still confirmed about any connection between fatalities and mRNA vaccine. However, they are trying to figure out the root cause of deaths.
According to Norway officials, three-quarters of people who died after vaccination were in their 80s or older. They said the vaccine elicits mild reactions in all individuals; young ones are strong enough to cope with them. However, the vaccine proved to be too risky for frail people as its reactions intensified, but they could not overcome the illness.
Not only Norway, but Germany’s Paul Ehrlich Institute is also already probing the deaths of 10 people shortly after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. According to the Brigitte Keller-Stanislawski, a medical expert, deceased people were aged between 79 to 93, and all were already suffering from multiple diseases.
Norway’s post-vaccination death story was first revealed by the Chinese newspaper Global Times. The publication also called on Norway and other European countries to stop using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after 23 fatalities were reported in Norway.
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine severe reactions in elderly patients raised serious safety concerns in other countries willing to buy their vaccine.
Australia, who already agreed to ship 10 million vaccine doses, also became cautious regarding the vaccine. Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration also asked the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine manufacturers for additional information about its severe reactions.
All the countries using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine witnessed deaths in older peoples. It might be because the vaccine was tested on thousands of people, but the majority were in their early 50s. However, when the countries preferred inoculating older adults first, they developed severe symptoms resulting in deaths.