Topic: Here’s what Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine means for Nigeria [Pulse Explainer]  (Read 160 times)

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Here’s what Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine means for Nigeria [Pulse Explainer]

The world is excited about a new COVID-19 vaccine. Here's why.

The world is excited about a new COVID-19 vaccine. Here's why.


The entire world heaved a collective sigh of relief when pharmaceutical company Pfizer, announced on Monday, November 9, 2020 that it is set to roll out its coronavirus vaccine before the end of the year.


Since it was detected in China in December 2019, COVID-19 has infected over 51 million people globally, killing over 1.2 million.


Among those who celebrated Pfizer’s announcement of a COVID-19 vaccine rollout was Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari who said: “I welcome the news that a coronavirus vaccine has recorded 90% effectiveness in clinical trials. This is a major milestone. The world must now make great effort to facilitate equitable access and distribution of these vaccines, to protect people in ALL countries.”

                  President Muhammadu Buhari. [Twitter@BashirAhmaad]                 
President Muhammadu Buhari. [Twitter@BashirAhmaad]


How good is this new vaccine?


Well, it's pretty good, we hear. It also looks like a game changer.


Over 90% efficacy after clinical trials for any medication, is a big deal.


In an interview with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called the COVID-19 vaccine "the greatest medical advance" in the world's last 100 years.


"Emotions are very high. You can imagine how I felt when I heard the results yesterday at 2p.m. I think that likely, based on impact, this will be the greatest medical advance in the last 100 years," Bourla said.

                  Albert Bourla is CEO of Pfizer (                 
Albert Bourla is CEO of Pfizer (


"It is extraordinary but it's coming at a time that the world needs it the most," Bourla added.


Pfizer partnered with German firm, BioNtech, to produce this vaccine.


How were the clinical trials conducted?


An interim analysis was carried out on the first 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 who were among the more than 43,000 volunteers who got either two doses of the vaccine or a placebo.


What is a placebo?


A placebo is a medicine or procedure prescribed for the psychological benefit to the patient rather than for any physiological effect.


A placebo has no therapeutic effect. It is basically a substance used as a control in testing new drugs.


The clinical trials also showed that 10% of infections were in participants who had been given the vaccine. More than 90% of the cases were in people who had been given a placebo.


How many doses of this vaccine would we need?


The vaccine will be given in two doses to certify its efficacy.


Protection from COVID-19 is achieved 28 days after a person begins vaccination.


Pfizer is still carrying out more trials with this vaccine, however, and more people have enrolled to be part of future studies.


The company continues to evaluate whether the vaccine protects people against severe COVID-19 and whether the vaccine can provide long-term protection against COVID-19, even in patients who have been infected before.


How soon will Nigeria get this vaccine?


As of November 10, 2020, Nigeria has reported 64,336 COVID-19 cases, 60,333 recoveries and 1,160 fatalities.


So, yes, Nigeria is on the queue to get this vaccine and President Buhari has called for an equal distribution of this vaccine to all countries.


However, developed economies are way ahead on this queue, like you would expect. Europe and the United States had placed their orders long before Pfizer made the announcement.

                  A volunteer gets a shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine (BusinessInsider)                  
A volunteer gets a shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine (BusinessInsider)


50 million doses of the vaccine will be distributed globally before the end of 2020, and 1.3 billion doses will be distributed next year.


But the United States will naturally lay hands on the vaccine first before the rest of the world. In the United States, the vaccine will be distributed for free.


"Who will get this vaccine? We have two separate manufacturing lines. One is in the US," Bourla said. "Those we prefer using mainly for Americans."


Bourla added that a second production line in Europe will be used to produce vaccines for the rest of the world.


The EU (European Union) will sign a deal with Pfizer soon to get 300 million doses of the vaccine.


"We have already signed contracts with multiple governments in the world and they have placed orders," Bourla said.


There are also logistic and supply chain challenges to be overcome. Like most vaccines, this COVID-19 vaccine will have to be transported round the world in freezing temperatures and stored in freezing temperatures. And like you know, Nigeria has an electricity problem.


And when it does get to Nigeria, vulnerable persons will get it first before the rest of the population, as is the norm globally.


For now though, stocks of companies across the world are soaring again and stocks of work-from-home companies like Zoom and Netflix are experiencing dips--ample evidence that people are tired of all the social distancing and safety protocols and can’t wait to socialize again.


However, you are still obliged to wear that mask and wash those hands every now and again until this vaccine makes its way around the world.

Source: Here’s what Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine means for Nigeria [Pulse Explainer]

- gist culled from pulseng


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