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'Tipping Point': One COVID-19 Vaccine Shows 90% Effectiveness

Preliminary analysis shows that the first effective coronavirus vaccine can protect more than 90% of people from contracting Covid-19. Air force.

Photo: Shutterstock / shutterstock_1680091963.jpg

Developers - Pfizer and BioNTech - called this day "a great day for science and humanity."

Their vaccine was tested on 43 people in six countries, and there were no safety concerns.

Companies plan to apply for emergency vaccine approval by the end of the month.

There are still huge challenges ahead, but the announcement was greeted with enthusiasm, and some scientists suggest that life could return to normal before spring.

“I’m probably the first to say it, but I say it with some confidence,” said Sir John Bell, professor of medicine at the University of Oxford.

The vaccine, along with the best therapies, is seen as the best way to break the constraints that have affected our lives over the past year.

At the last stage of testing - the so-called third phase - there are so far about a dozen vaccines, but this one was the first to show such results.

It uses a completely experimental approach that involves introducing a portion of the virus's genetic code in order to train the immune system.

On the subject: Fever and severe headache: COVID-19 vaccine test subjects report their well-being

Preliminary tests have shown that the vaccine trains the body to produce both antibodies and so-called T cells to fight the coronavirus.

Vaccinations should be done twice with an interval of three weeks. Tests in the United States, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and Turkey have shown that 90% of the body is protected seven days after the second dose of the vaccine.

Pfizer estimates it can deliver 50 million doses by the end of this year and about 1,3 billion by the end of 2021.

However, there are logistical difficulties as the vaccine needs to be stored in ultra-cold storage facilities at temperatures below minus 80 ° C.

When will the epidemic end?

This vaccine was developed extremely quickly - no other vaccine had demonstrated such high effectiveness in such a short period of time.

And it seems to be even more effective than expected.

However, the question still remains - how long is the immunity lasting, is the vaccine just as effective for older people at high risk, does it prevent the spread of the virus or only the appearance of symptoms?

Moreover, there is still a long and difficult path ahead.

Making enough doses and then vaccinating hundreds of millions of people around the world is a huge challenge.

The first to vaccinate health workers and nursing home staff, as well as members of risk groups.

Therefore, face masks and social distancing are likely to remain in our lives for some time to come.

But finally, a ray of hope shone in the coronavirus darkness.

“We are well on the way to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough and helping end this global health crisis,” said Dr. Albert Burla, chairman of Pfizer.

On the subject: 'Not everyone knows why they came': how the Russian vaccine against COVID-19 is tested in humans

And the co-founder of BioNTech, Professor Ugur Sakhin, called such results "a turning point."

The data presented are not final. They are based on the first 94 volunteers - the exact rate of vaccine effectiveness may change when all the data is analyzed.

Pfizer and BioNTech say they will be able to submit the vaccine for regulatory approval in the second half of November. By this time, countries cannot start vaccination campaigns.

But this announcement was received with great optimism in the world.

“The news made me smile from ear to ear,” said Professor Peter Gorby of Oxford University. - It's a relief. There is still a long way to go before vaccines make any real difference, but I see this as a watershed moment. ”

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