According to the latest news coming from a vaccine development company, Pfizer and BioNTech, the vaccine developed for covid-19 has shown 90% effectiveness. According to early reports released by the company, the vaccine has prevented more than 90% of infections, and this is great news for the vaccine industry.
The initial trial that was conducted on 94 participants has indicated that the vaccine was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing the covid 19 disease. While half of the participants received a placebo, the rest of the members in the trial group received the vaccine. The data indicated that more people who received the placebo were infected with Covid 19.
The reports indicate that the participants were protected a week after they were given the second dose of the vaccine. According to the standard protocol of testing the vaccines, the two doses are given 21 days apart, and this is done to test the effectiveness of the vaccine for that duration. However, the first few phases of the testing are done on limited numbers, and the Phase 3 study will give a clear picture as this is done on a large scale, and different conditions may lead to varying results in this phase.
The good thing about the vaccine was that there were no serious side effects of the vaccine. This was observed by an independent data monitoring board and they did not report any serious safety concerns about the vaccine. It is important to understand that the board even had the authority to stop the trials if the vaccine was found ineffective at any stage. However, they gave the nod to continue the trials as there were no serious safety concerns regarding the vaccine.
Experts who were monitoring the progress of vaccine development said that they were happy with the results, and it was better than what they had expected in the initial stages. However, it is not yet clear as to how the vaccine will be effective in the same way on different groups of people. Such things can be tested only when the trials are conducted on large groups. Generally, it is observed that vaccines are not effective for elderly people. But the sad thing is that elderly people are more vulnerable to covid 19 and they need better protection in this situation.
Experts feel that getting up to this level is a great achievement as no vaccine can be 100% effective in all cases. Apart from that, it usually takes many months before vaccines are properly tested on large groups of people. Considering this situation, this is a good option available for the general public, and it can certainly help to reduce the number of covid 19 cases in the near future.
However, scientists also warn that just because you have a vaccine does not mean that you do away with social distancing norms and using masks in public places. They say that vaccines work along with such preventive measures in ultimately countering the pandemic. If the general public starts using masks and maintains social distancing, it can go a long way in preventing the spread of the covid 19 pandemic.
The CDC is also likely to make some amendments to its guidelines regarding the covid 19 and may suggest the usage of masks in public places as a mandatory thing rather than an option. Given this situation, it may lead to a new regulation that people have to use masks compulsorily in public places to avoid the infection. This is done in the larger interest of public health as the number of cases continues to rise across the country.
Several states have to consider the second round of lockdown in order to stop the number of cases. Even schools and colleges that were opened in the last few months had to be closed due to the surge in the number of cases. Joe Biden is also looking at imposing a mask mandate across the country as he had always supported the usage of masks to prevent the pandemic.
In a recent speech, Biden had said that Americans had to now rely on using masks and maintaining social distancing apart from contact tracing and other measures to control the spread of coronavirus. Even though there is some hope regarding the vaccine, it should not change the way social distancing is practiced to prevent the pandemic.