Everything You Need to Know about Pfizer's Covid Vaccine
In the News
How many doses of the vaccine has the UK bought?
+ UK has secured 40m doses, with 10m due by the end of the year
+ 800k doses available next week
+ Patients need two doses, so there are only enough doses for around a third of Britain
How long does it protect you for?
+ Regulators said there was evidence of 'partial immunity' just seven days after the first dose
+ The best immunity comes seven days after the second dose, which is given three weeks after the first
How will a vaccine be rolled out?
+ Nightingale Hospitals and sports stadiums have been prepared as sites for mass vaccination clinics
+ Matt Hancock: '50 hospitals across the country are already set up and waiting to receive the vaccine'
What are the advantages of this type of vaccine?
+ No actual virus is needed to create an mRNA vaccine
+ This means it can be produced much quicker
+ In theory, they can also be modified quickly if a virus develops mutations
Are there any downsides?
+ One downside is that mRNA vaccines need to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures
+ Pfizer's Covid vaccine must be stored at minus 70C — about four times colder than a household freezer
Are they safe?
+ All vaccines undergo rigorous testing and have oversight from experienced regulators
+ Some believe mRNA vaccines are safer for the patient
How much does it cost?
+ Pfizer/BioNTech is making its vaccine not-for-profit
+ The Moderna vaccine could cost about £28 per dose and the Pfizer candidate could cost around £15
+ The Oxford vaccine could be relatively cheap to produce
How has this come about so quickly?
+ Traditionally vaccines can take years to research and develop
+ The timetable for developing and approving a Covid vaccine has been condensed due to the coronavirus crisis
But won’t that mean that safety is compromised?
+ Safety checks have still been the same as for any new medicine
+ In most clinical trials, any issues are usually identified in the first three months – a period which has already lapsed
How are regulators acting so quickly?
+ Regulators have been carrying out 'rolling reviews'
+ This means regulators can start to look at scientific data earlier than they traditionally would do
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