Pfizer is one of three vaccines being rolled out in the UK, alongside Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca. The AstraZeneca vaccine has been the focus of much analysis in the last few weeks following emerging reports of some patients experiencing blood clots after a dose of the vaccine. As a result, the UK has now stopped rolling it out to those under 30 years old, leaving many to look at vaccination alternatives. Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine was approved for use in the UK in December 2020, following extensive tests and clinical trials into its efficacy and safety.
How effective is the Pfizer vaccine?
The Pfizer vaccine is very effective at preventing a person becoming infected with COVID-19.
Latest data from Pfizer’s Phase III study, of their COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2, showed the vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in stopping the virus.
The updated analysis is from a data pool of 927 confirmed symptomatic Covid cases observed in a trial through until March 13.
The trial was carried out in line with guidance from the US’s Drug and Food Administration (FDA) for all firms assessing vaccines to review safety and efficacy.
The Pfizer vaccine showed to be 95.3 percent effective against severe cases of COVID-19, as defined by the FDA.
The vaccine also appears to be effective for up to six months, as demonstrated in the trial.
Safety data from more than 12,000 vaccinated participants who were followed up for six months after their second dose showed increased safety and tolerance of the virus.
Vaccine efficacy of 100 percent in preventing Covid cases was seen in South Africa, where the new variant has been running rampant.
CEO and chairman of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, said: “These data confirm the favourable efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine and position us to submit a Biologics License Application to the US FDA.
“The high vaccine efficacy observed through up to six months following a second dose and against the variant prevalent in South Africa provides further confidence in our vaccine’s overall effectiveness.”
Studies have also been conducted in the UK recently, which saw the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine come back high once more.
A study of 237 healthcare workers who were tested for antibody and T-cell responses was carried out as part of the largest and most analytical study not he immune system’s response following a Covid jab.
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Preliminary findings from the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) PITCH study, published on March 26, 2021, shows just one dose of Pfizer’s vaccine generates antibody responses in 99 percent of recipients.
The PITCH data also shows that people who have previously had the virus generate stronger T-cell and antibody responses following one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
The study shows that after two doses, the levels of protection with the Pfizer vaccine were even greater, which underlines the importance of not missing your second dose.
Researchers discovered among people who’d contracted the virus in the past, the T-cell response widened after vaccination, and recognised more areas of the Covid spike protein – the part of the virus which attacks the immune system and causes severe disease.
This means that, even if you’ve already been infected, one dose of Pfizer’s vaccine will provide you with better protection and enhanced immune responses to the virus than through natural infection.
One dose of Pfizer’s jab provides a good level of protection, but to be fully shielded from Covid, you should get both doses as soon as you’re invited to do so.
Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “These findings from the PITCH study are crucial to increasing our understanding of the immune response to COVID-19 and how the Pfizer vaccine is working to protect people across the UK already.
“I urge everyone to come forward to be vaccinated when invited and to take up both doses of the vaccine as both are vital to ensuring long-term protection from COVID-19.”
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