Israel signs deal with Pfizer for potential COVID-19 vaccine

Israel signs deal with Pfizer for potential COVID-19 vaccine

The HSE said that the first meeting of the high-level Government taskforce charged with the roll-out of a Covid-19 vaccine took place this week.

A scientist who helped develop a COVID-19 vaccine candidate with USA pharmaceutical giant Pfizer that displayed more than a 90 percent efficacy rate in interim clinical trials, says he is confident his vaccine will put an end to the pandemic.

mRNA-1273 is an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19 encoding for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spike (S) protein, which was co-developed by Moderna and investigators from NIAID's Vaccine Research Center. Monitoring of the participants is ongoing, the ministry said.

Nevertheless, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is still optimistic about the vaccine candidate.

How are the results calculated? These boards include scientists and statisticians who have no ties to the vaccine makers. Before a study is complete, only the DSMB has the power to know who got the real vaccine and who got placebo, and to recommend if the shots are working well enough to stop testing early.

The US giant has not indicated when its interim analysis will be released. It's also a potentially quicker route to making a safe and effective vaccine when compared with traditional methods that involve using the whole virus. After signing up online, volunteers will be asked questions about themselves, and then asked for permission for researchers on the vaccine studies to contact them. The federal Food and Drug Administration set a threshold of least 50% for a COVID-19 vaccine to be considered for approval.

When drugmaker Pfizer announced that its new vaccine was highly effective at preventing COVID-19, it raised hopes that the coronavirus pandemic could be nearing its end.

This is because unlike others, Pfizer's vaccine must be stored at temperatures of -70C to -80C, although the company says it can be kept for up to five days at fridge temperatures. At the vaccination centres, the vaccine shots have to be thawed from minus 70 degree Celsius to 2 to 8 degrees Celsius in refrigerators. Pfizer's vaccine has complex and ultra-cold storage requirements that many hospitals, particularly those in hard-to-reach areas, won't be able to meet.

Ian Jones, professor of virology at the University of Reading, said: "Of all the current vaccines now in development, the BioNtech product always looked like the most bang-per-buck as it is entirely focused on the part of the virus that binds to the human cell, the receptor-binding domain".

Given we don't know exactly what effect these early vaccines have, and the logistical challenge of vaccinating billions around the world, it's more likely the first vaccines will be just some of the tools that we continue to develop to control the coronavirus. Any large-scale immunisation would not only require a substantial increase in the number of cold-chain points, but also a huge rise in the number of cold chain equipment, Bhushan added.

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