Turning Point- COVID Vaccine approved-By Dr Harold Gunatillake
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What you should know before the jab
Turning point is hopefully back to normal life among all humankind and living just a way we lived yester years, hopefully towards the end of 2021 will dawn.
The global immunization program has started, and that is what we were hopefully anticipating.
In the US. FDA has approved Pfizer’s Coronavirus vaccine, and the American people will start getting the vaccine next week.
The hope is that lockdowns will slow the spread of the disease and in the meantime, a vaccine will be deployed that will safely build herd immunity in the population.
The first shot came last week at one of a network of hospitals in UK. The first recipient was Margaret Keenan who turns 91. She received the first shot at University Hospital Coventry. She was uneventful after the shot and back with her family after being alone for most of the year.
Then there was the second happy person 81-year-old William Shakespeare from Warwickshire UK who received the Pfizer/Biotech vaccine, who was also uneventful after the jab.
The vaccine will be given to people who are most at risk in the early stages.
UK’s medical regulator has warned that people with a history of serious allergic reactions not to get this particular vaccine
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the first to be approved for use in a Western country
It is important to find out whether the body generates high level of antibodies to kill the virus.
In the UK first 800,000 doses will be given to people over 80 who are hospitalized or as outpatients, along with the nursing home workers.
So far, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has reported the highest efficacy at 95%.
It was a billionaire husband and wife ‘dream team’ who created the COVID-19 vaccine.
BioNTech pharmaceutical company was owned by Sahin. He was born in Turkey and emigrated to Germany in the late 1960s at the age of four years. He studied medicine at the university of Cologne and took up a residency at Saarland University in the small town of Homberg.
It was at university that Sahin met Tureci, an equally brilliant medical student who was also the child of a Turkish immigrant.
Thanks to this couple for finding the biggest breakthroughs in the present pandemic that ravaged humanity globally in 2020.
Sahin and Tureci owned the pharmaceutical company BioNTech founded in 2008
They joined the US drug giant Pfizer to develop a COVID-19 vaccine code named BNT162b2
Sahin and Tureci were having breakfast in late January at home when the pair started talking about an article in The Lancet medical journal examining a mysterious illness circulating in China.
Their company BioNTech combined with Pfizer collaborated to produce the COVID-19 vaccine without any contracts.
BioNTech specializes in harnessing so-called messenger RNA to train the immune system to attack hostile invaders from viruses to tumors.
Until now, the technology had never been approved for a drug to be used by humans but Sahin and Türeci immediately saw the potential to apply it to COVID-19 patients when the virus first emerged early this year.
Meanwhile Pfizer said in Last November that the results from its late-stage trial found the vaccine was 95% effective.
The efficacy was not the only remarkable result: developing, trialing, seeking regulatory approval and being granted it within the space of the year is virtually unheard of in the history of vaccines.
The two companies plan to produce 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021, and struck agreements with governments in the United Kingdom, United States, European Union, Japan, and Australia.
It is hopeful that this vaccine backed by rigorous science and transparent data will be a major step towards eventually ending the pandemic.
Australian government headed by Morrison has signed a deal to buy 10 million doses of the vaccine for Australia, and the first deliveries are planned for early 2021.
In Britain, the vaccine is available presently according to a statement from the UK government.
Two doses three weeks apart are required for protection.
The vaccine has been tested on tens of thousands of people in the UK, and is hopeful it is 95% effective in preventing mild to severe COVID-19
So far there has been no serious side effects, other than experience temporary pain and flu-like reactions immediately after the injections.
Canada will receive its first doses of the Pfizer vaccine before end of the month, with millions more to follow in the new year.
Canada and Bahrain followed the UK’s lead and approved Pfizer’s vaccine, with Canada’s health administrators hoping to start a national rollout next week.
Germany expects to begin coronavirus vaccinations “in the very first days” of 2021, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff.
Brazil’s most popular state Sao Paulo plans to start vaccinations in January.
They plan to give the China’s Sinovac vaccine which must be yet approved by Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa.
The Russians have created their own vaccine called the Sputnik V vaccine. Russia ordered health authorities to begin mass vaccination of its own Sputnik V vaccine just a day after the UK’s announcement.They have warned that the people having the COVID vaccine should abstain from alcohol for two months after the vaccine and two weeks before getting the first two injections. This has caused a backlash among some Russians who call the request unreasonable.
Most Russians feel that the stress caused by being not able to drink for 80 days, especially during the festive season would be worse than the side effects of the vaccine.
The vaccine is supposed to reduce the body’s ability to build up immunity to COVID-019
Some believe one glass of champagne will not hurt anyone, not even your immune system
Researchers at the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca also developed a vaccine-they call Oxford vaccine. The vaccine candidate is 70% effective in preventing COVID-19 and can be 90% effective when given in the right dose – the University of Oxford announced on Nov 23rd.
This means that the participants who took the vaccine were 70% less likely to develop COVID-19 than participants in the placebo group. This data were based on a trial that had included over 11,000 participants, 131 of whom developed COVID-19.
No cases of severe COVID-19 occurred after taking the vaccine.
64 higher income economies have joined the COVAX Facility, a global initiative that brings together governments and manufacturers to ensure eventual COVID-19 vaccines reach those in greatest need, whoever they are and wherever they live.
80 countries have submitted expressions of interest to the Gavi-coordinated COVAX Facility include 43 that have agreed to be officially named: Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Iraq, Ireland,
The World Health Organization has pledged to provide 20 percent of Sri Lanka’s population with COVID-19 vaccine once developed, local media quoted Sri Lankan Health Ministry announced.
A Chinese -made COVID -19 vaccine is 86% effective at preventing infection, an early data analysis suggests.
China currently has four vaccines in advanced stages of development. The final stage of clinical trials, phase three, involves thousands of volunteers, both to monitor for side effects and to test the efficacy of the vaccine in a larger population. Chinese vaccine companies have partnered with foreign countries to conduct their trials, as the spread of COVID-19 is largely contained in China.
The vaccine, developed by the state-owned corporation Sino pharm China National Pharmaceutical Group, was already granted “emergency use authorization” by the United Arab Emirates in September, which allowed frontline health care workers to receive the shot, according to a statement from the government. Now, after reviewing data from late-stage clinical trials, the U.A.E. has approved the vaccine for widespread use.
Another vaccine from Moderna and the US National Institute of Health has reported 94.5 % efficacy and is pushing towards approval.
Trial halted after HIV ‘false positives’
An Australian COVID-19 vaccine will be abandoned after participants in a trial returned false-positive HIV tests. The vaccine, developed by the University of Queensland with biotechnology company CSL, contained a small protein fragment from the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which posed no risk to human health. However, some trial participants developed antibodies to the fragment, which could interfere with HIV screening tests that detect antibodies, giving a false positive result.
Meanwhile, in the US, a panel of outside advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted overwhelmingly to endorse emergency use of Pfizer vaccine.
If 40% of the population is vaccinated, both ICU and non-ICU hospalizations would fall more than 85%, according to the model. Deaths would fall ny more than 87% compared with a year-long year situation with no vaccinations.
Will the restrictions ease such as social distancing when the vaccination starts?
About three-quarters of the population will need to be vaccinated before easing the restrictions.
We are lucky that the vaccines designed by Moderna in the US and the other by Pfizer and BioNTech- both give 94% effectiveness in preventing COVID-19, according to early analysis.
Another note of complacence is that more than 10% of the population in most countries shave had the virus and has developed natural immunity to the virus.
How soon does the immunity starts?
Pfizer’s new COVID-19 vaccine starts to protect people from the virus just 10 days after the first dose according to new documents from the US.Food and Drug Administration- FDA.
The FDA analyzed data from Pfizer’s phase 3 clinical trial, which included some 44,000 people in the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Turkey, about half of whom received the vaccine while the other half received a placebo. Both groups received two shots, 21 days apart.
About 10 days after the first dose, there was a noticeable drop-off in new COVID-19 cases in the vaccine group compared with the placebo group, indicating that even one dose provides some protection, the report said.
Overall, the vaccine was 52% effective after the first dose and 95% effective after the second dose, the report said.
From the Pfizer vaccine about 84% of participants reported pain at the injection site; 63% reported fatigue; 55% reported headache; 38% reported muscle pain; 32% reported chills; 23% reported joint pain; and 14% reported fever. These side effects were more common after the second dose than the first dose. But side effects were short-lived, lasting about one to two days.
It is hopeful that all vaccines will provide a new and powerful tool that may eradicate the COVID-19 endemic globally and again bring back our lives to the days of our happy memories.
Hello viewers, my video talk was long and monotonous, but it is my duty to convey a comprehensive history of the development of the vaccine, trials, problems, among the rest.
Hopefully, within the next few months we will have the chance to enjoy and go through life the way we were.
Incidentally, I was told that Bandaranaike International Airport will be opened for commercial and special flights initially on the 26th December.
This virus is creating new ways for everyone to think of how to keep your family and friends safe. Have faith in the religion you believe in, and that will take care of us all the way through
Goodbye for now
Ref: Nicoletta Lanese-Staff Writer for Livescience.com
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