All About Pfizer Vaccine | UPSC
COVID-19 vaccine could be 90% effective, claims Pfizer
WHY IN NEWS:
It may apply for emergency use nod in the U.S.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases
For PRELIMS you should make a note on mRNA technology today itself . Try to decode its principle and how the vaccine works inside the body .
For MAINS go with way forward where we have mention few hurdles in distribution of vaccine . Let us dive in !
- The company is on track to apply for emergency-use approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- The COVID-19 shot receiving emergency authorisation are closer to reality.
- The findings are critical as the vaccine is headed for a review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Pharmaceutical companies and various countries are in a global race to develop a vaccine against the virus.
- US drug-maker Pfizer has released preliminary data from late-stage human trials.
All About Pfizer Vaccine | UPSC
- This interim analysis, from an independent data monitoring board, looked at 94 infections recorded.
- So far in a study that has enrolled nearly 44,000 people in the U.S. and five other countries.
- The vaccine has been found more than 90% effective.
WHAT TYPE OF VACCINE HAVE PFIZER AND BIONTECH DEVELOPED?
- This is a vaccine that was developed using mRNA technology .
- The mRNA, in this case, is coded to tell the cells to recreate the spike protein of the novel coronavirus.
- Once the mRNA is injected into the body, the cells will use its instructions.
- Unlike several other vaccine candidates, mRNA vaccines are synthetically developed .
- They don’t need the virus to be cultivated and replicated.
- mRNA just the code for the most crucial part that the body’s immune system is to target.
- These are platforms that can work “on demand”.
- After getting the code for the virus, it is possible to develop the vaccine within weeks for pre-clinical testing.
- Compared with other vaccines which take months.
WHAT DO THE EARLY RESULTS SAY?
- The trial were conducted as opposed to those participants who had only received a placebo.
- Considering that the US FDA as well as several international regulators have suggested that a vaccine has to be able to protect at least 50% of those receiving it.
- Thus the findings in Pfizer and BioNTech’s case seem promising.
- The results demonstrate that our mRNA-based vaccine can help prevent Covid-19 in the majority of people.
- This means we are one step closer to an end of this global pandemic.
- So far in phase 3 43,538 participants have enrolled, 38,955 of whom had received a second dose as of November 8.
VACCINE APPROVAL IN U.S.
- Not necessarily the vaccine will get an approval.
- The interim results released today were of only 94 out of nearly 40,000 volunteers who were injected with the vaccine candidate.
- More data on safety is also needed . Pfizer and BioNTech are currently accumulating this additional safety data.
- It is estimated that it will take until the third week of November for the company to accumulate safety data .
- Another mRNA candidate, by US firm Moderna has also been a frontrunner in the race of vaccine
- The firm also expects the required readout from late-stage human trials later this month.
WILL INDIA GET ACCESS TO THIS VACCINE?
- So far, no.The firms have so far inked deals for hundreds of millions of doses with countries like the US, UK, Japan and the European Union region.
- The firm is expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
- Indian government had held an “initial meeting” with Pfizer’s Indian subsidiary in late August after early phase 1 data of the vaccine.
- There has been no major movement on that front since.
- India is majorly focused on five other Covid-19 vaccine candidates, being tested by Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadila.
- The vaccine may run into logistical issues on account of cold storage.
- The vacccine candidate reportedly needs to be stored at temperatures below -90°F.
- This means major constraints in storage and distribution in countries like India.
- India is still mapping and scaling up its cold storage footprint to store even vaccines at refrigerated temperatures.
- Even countries with more robust cold chain systems may have to invest more to adhere to these stricter conditions.
SOURCES: THE IE | All About Pfizer Vaccine | UPSC