Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
A vaccine against Covid-19 has been developed by a German company ‘’BioNTech’’, which collaborated with an American company, Pfizer. Pfizer provided support with clinical trials, logistics, and manufacturing. It is an mRNA vaccine. The mRNA encodes a mutated form of the spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2(SARS-CoV-2). This spike protein is encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved the Pfizer BioNTech covid-19 vaccine but has allowed for its emergency use under an emergency use authorization against coronavirus disease 2019 in individuals of 12 years of age and more. This vaccine is meant to provide immunity against SARS-CoV-2.
Two doses of this vaccine are required to be given and are administered at least 3 weeks apart as per WHO guidelines. The route of administration is intramuscular. Immunity starts developing after 12 days of the first dose, but for the complete immunization, both doses are necessary. After 7 days of the second dose, this vaccine has an efficacy of more than 95% in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.
In a case-control study involving those who received vaccines in Qatar, it was found that the vaccine has an effectiveness of 89.5% against the alpha variant, 75% against the beta variant, and 87.9% against the delta variant. However, the vaccine had 97.4% effectiveness against severe illness. Another study done in England found that the vaccine has 88% and 93% effectiveness against the delta variant and the alpha variant respectively.
There are some complications associated with the Pfizer vaccine such as myocarditis and pericarditis. Till now, a rise in cases has been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in people of age 12 years or older. Still the vaccine is recommended for individuals due to its proven benefits based on the clinical trials.
The temperature at which the vaccine should be stored and transported varies between -80 and -60°C. Though it can be stored at 2 to 8 °C for 30 days prior to vaccination, it can be kept between 25 to 30 °C for up to two hours. Limited cold chain capacity is a limitation for storage and transportation for this vaccine which degrades within 5 days.
Even high-income countries do not have adequate ultracold storage and transport facilities. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has permitted it to transport and store undiluted frozen vials of the vaccine between −25 and −15 °C until two weeks prior to use.
Pfizer and BioNTech have received orders from worldwide for their vaccine. It is expected that 2.5 billion doses of vaccine would be available by the end of 2021. Pfizer and BioNTech have offered 50 million doses of vaccine to Africa at a discounted price for health care workers. The United States has pledged to distribute 500 million doses of the vaccine among approximately 100 countries in the coming year.
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is contraindicated in individuals who either suffered from anaphylaxis i.e severe allergic reactions to the vaccine or any ingredients present in it or had gone through an allergic reaction after getting vaccinated with the first dose.
The European Medicines Agency favors vaccination as the benefit of this vaccine in preventing covid-19 outways any risk. It stated that urticaria and angioedema are rare side effects while skin rash and pruritus are uncommon side effects. Mild myocarditis may occur following the second dose of vaccine.
This drug can be used in below-mentioned conditions
Are there any pregnancy warnings?
This vaccine is found to be safe to be used in pregnant women. Clinical studies are still under process and there could be any unforeseen effect on the fetus which is yet to be identified.
Are there any breast-feeding warnings?
This vaccine is still under clinical trial and for now its effect is unknown in nursing women.
Is It safe with alcohol?
It is advised to avoid alcohol consumption for a brief period of time before getting vaccinated, as it might affect people’s immune responses to the jab.
Is it safe to drive while on this medicine?
This vaccine is not found to affect people's consciousness. If you feel dizzy, then you must avoid driving.
Does this affect kidney function?
Vaccine is safe to be administered to the patient with kidney disease of any severity.
This vaccine has been demonstrated to cause or worsen chronic liver diseases.
Below is the list of medicines, which contains Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine as ingredient
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is composed of modRNA in lipid particles, which enable delivery of the RNA into host cells to allow expression of the SARS-CoV-2 S antigen. The vaccine elicits an immune response to the S antigen, which protects against COVID-19 producing cellular response.
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