Pfizer, Biontech Announce COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate is 90% Effective

Yes. The point of doing such a large patient population is that it should control for factors like masks and social distancing.

In a 1:1 trial that is double blind (neither the patient nor their health care providers know if they are taking the drug or placebo) needs to be so large to make sure you get roughly equal numbers of people in both arms wearing masks regularly, washing hands, socially distancing etc. 

90% effective might mean there's a 90% risk reduction for contracting an infection. So if 100 patients on the placebo got the virus,and 10 who got the vaccine for infected, then there's a 90% relative risk reduction.

"Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government's top infectious-disease expert, said the results suggesting 90% effectiveness are “just extraordinary," adding: "Not very many people expected it would be as high as that.”

“It’s going to have a major impact on everything we do with respect to COVID,” Fauci said as Pfizer appeared to take the lead in the all-out global race by pharmaceutical companies and various countries to develop a well-tested vaccine against the virus.

Dr. Bruce Aylward, the World Health Organization’s senior adviser, said Pfizer's vaccine could “fundamentally change the direction of this crisis” by March, when the U.N. agency hopes to start vaccinating high-risk groups."

drug companies make claims all the time that ended up refuted a couple years down the then they made their big bucks.

I plan to get the vaccine as soon as possible.  I can barely function because of health issues, if I get hit with covid, I will be in serious trouble as a struggle to bathe, make simple meals, etc as it is.  I do suspect effectiveness will be well over 50%, but don't feel comfortable with a firm statistic.  I even volunteered fro the trials, but wasn't picked....likely due to my complicated medical history.

With the 1st wave of vaccines, it will likely go to the most at risk....I don't think i would be in that group, but rather the 2nd batch.

I don't go any where except for necessities even before covid.  There is only 1 person I am around for 15 minutes or more, but we are usually outside.  when inside we sit in separate rooms (living and dining room) or at least 10 feet apart.  We may be close for no more than a minute or 2 if I am helping him with a computer issue.  other than that, the most exposure I get would be standing in a long line in a store with people only about 3 feet apart...and at least I am wearing a mask properly and most of the other people I am not too concerned about 50% v 90%..but if there is any help..I will take it.

It's gonna be tough to distribute this sucker

drummerboy said:

It's gonna be tough to distribute this sucker

This is the part that tempers my optimism about this vaccine. I think 90% is amazing and I know enough about how the trials are done that I believe that figure is at least close to right. But the -75 degrees storage requirement really complicates the distribution in huge ways. Among other things, this thing is going to cost and somebody is going to need to foot the bill.

The big positive I see from this is that they should be able to get high-risk health care workers vaccinated, at least. And maybe the very top layer of vulnerable people. Those two things alone are huge.

But back to "tempering optimism," we still don't have a good idea how long natural immunity lasts, or how long the vaccine immunity will last.

Don't get me wrong, I am as happy about this result as anybody else. There has been a major breakthrough, and that's good. But don't entertain any fantasies that COVID is now "over" or anything close to it. 

You gotta think some of the other vaccines will receive approval.  All eggs are not in the Pfizer basket.   

Johnson and Johnson's vaccine requires only one shot, and is shipped frozen but can be stored in liquid form at refrigerated temperature for to three months. 

Moderna's vaccine requires two dosages like Pfizer's and has to be stored at below 46 degrees F. 

"mRNA itself is very unstable. And even when encased in a lipid nanoparticle as with Moderna and BioNTech's vaccines, they must be stored and distributed at very cold temperatures to keep them from degrading. Even short-term refrigeration may not keep the vaccines from decaying for very long.

Moderna's shot needs to be stored and transported at -4 degrees Fahrenheit and can be kept in a refrigerator below 46 degrees for up to seven days."

I’m encouraged by this — it raises the likelihood that the adults in the household could all be vaccinated by late spring or before.  But I’m concerned that there still may not be a pediatric dosage approval by the time my boys are scheduled to start HS next fall.

My issues with Pfizer's vaccine:

First, how effective is it for the elderly? The flu vaccine is effective for the young and middle ages but for the elderly, depending on age, effectiveness ranges from 40 down to 20% for those in their 80's or 90's.

Second, the need to freeze. Quite a logistic challenge. Also, how do we know the vaccine you're getting was not inadvertently kept some of the time out of its required temperature range. You may be administered a vaccine that has lost effectiveness. How would you know?

Third, 90% sounds good. But are you willing to risk your health by not distancing or not wearing a mask considering there is at least a 10% chance it didn't work?

Even with the vaccine, wearing a face covering, maintaining social distancing, practicing good hygiene, etc. helps protect those unable to get the required dosage of vaccine due to a disqualifying medical condition or being in a low priority category.  The vaccine, when available, will help reduce the number of persons likely to get infected but will not immediately be a replacement for common sense precautions.

Floyd said:

My issues with Pfizer's vaccine:


Third, 90% sounds good. But are you willing to risk your health by not distancing or not wearing a mask considering there is at least a 10% chance it didn't work?

The purpose of a vaccine is not to protect the individual, but to develop herd immunity so that the virus can't spread. In that regard, 90% is a pretty phenomenal number. (depending on how many people get the vaccine of course)

I'm not rushing to take mask off but if the infection numbers steadily drop as the vaccine rolls out, I will become less guarded.

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