Dr. Devine: Pfizer COVID vaccine shows game-changing potential

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Dr. Mathew Devine, the Medical Director at Highland Family Medicine, said there is a reason for optimism about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday during News 8 at Sunrise.

Dr. Devine explained Pfizer and BioNTech announced their vaccine candidate against COVID-19 achieved success in a First Interim Analysis from its Phase 3 Study. “The Vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis. The analysis evaluated 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in trial participants.

The study enrolled 43,538 participants, with 42% having diverse backgrounds and no serious safety concerns. Safety and additional efficacy data continue to be collected. Submission for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is planned soon after the required safety milestone is achieved. That is currently expected to occur in the third week of November.”

The high percentage of effectiveness has Dr. Devine optimistic. “This is game-changing since a vaccine if it is truly 90% effective can help to end the pandemic. This would be the first mRNA-based vaccine on the market. They are going to need to continue to test the vaccine for safety and efficacy. In addition, since they have not released these results yet it is not clear if the 90% is effective at eliminated getting the virus or at decreasing serious disease from Covid-19.”

Dr. Devine said if all goes well, the vaccine could be fast-tracked and ready to be given in the Spring of 2021. The companies have already reported that they would anticipate being able to vaccinate over 500 million people in the next year. At this time it is not known is how long the vaccine will be effective.

“For now we need to be even more diligent,” he said. “Since we have seen an increase in cases we need to make sure we are limiting interactions in public, using masks, using ongoing hand washing techniques, and when ill making sure to quarantine for the time frame advised by the county officials. Remember that there is still a possibility of having false-negative results. If you are not feeling well and have a known significant exposure to Covid-19 a negative test does not always mean you are in the clear. If you have symptoms of sickness or known exposure, you should isolate/quarantine, including attempting to minimize exposure to your family and household members. Continue doing this even if your test is negative. Continue to quarantine for 14 days after you first developed symptoms (or after your known exposure), or until three days after your symptoms stop – whichever is longer.”

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