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British COVID-19 vaccine “practical” data: 2 shots are 88% effective
British COVID-19 vaccine “practical” data: 2 shots are 88% effective. US FDA urges improved vaccines against variant viruses.
On February 22, local time, the United Kingdom announced the actual effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines. The results of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine study are the first published effectiveness data after its clinical trials.
The analysis objects of this study are mainly vaccinated elderly groups and medical staff groups in England, and vaccinated populations in Scotland. The results show that the two vaccines can effectively reduce the infection rate of the new coronavirus and the severe illness rate and mortality of patients, and the single-dose vaccine also shows effectiveness.
While the original nCOVID-19 vaccine is effective, the COVID-19 variant virus is spreading at an unknown rate. Medical experts are increasingly worried that the variant virus will slow down or reverse the anti-epidemic process. On the same day, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urged vaccine manufacturers to speed up the production of modified vaccines against mutant viruses, and suggested that modified vaccines do not require lengthy clinical trials in order to speed up the review process.
Single-dose vaccine still shows effectiveness
The study of people in Scotland surveyed the health records of 5.4 million people in the area, which is equivalent to 99% of the population in the area. Between December 8th and February 15th, approximately 1.14 million people in the region were vaccinated.
The results showed that in the adult group of all ages, the rate of severe illness decreased significantly. And there is clear evidence that even in the elderly population, single-dose vaccination significantly reduces the risk of hospitalization.
Within 4-6 weeks after the first vaccination of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the hospitalization rate decreased by 85%; after the first vaccination of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, the hospitalization rate decreased by 94%.
According to reports, the results of the study in Scotland have not been peer-reviewed, especially the evaluation of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, because compared with other vaccines, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has less clinical trial data on the efficacy of the elderly.
The report on vaccinated populations in England is issued by the Public Health Agency of England (PHE). According to the analysis of the vaccination data of approximately 19,000 health workers in the region, the risk of infection has decreased by more than 70% after 3 weeks after the first vaccination of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. After the second vaccination, the risk of infection has decreased. 85%.
The above single-dose data is close to the data released by the Israeli Sheba Medical Center last week. A study published by the Israeli Sheba Medical Center in the medical journal The Lancet showed that among 7,214 hospital staff, the number of symptomatic infections was reduced by 85% within 15 to 28 days after the first vaccination of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The number of positive cases screened by nucleic acid testing has been reduced by 75%. This research has been peer reviewed.
According to the analysis of vaccination data for people over 80 years old in England, within 3 to 4 weeks after the first vaccination of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the effectiveness data for patients with symptomatic new coronavirus pneumonia is 57%, which can be increased after the second vaccination To 88%.
The reporter noticed that the United Kingdom previously extended the interval for the second dose from 4 weeks to 12 weeks in order to vaccinate more people with a single dose more quickly. Experts believe that the latest research results also provide information for the decision to delay the second dose. Supported by theory.
Professor Ane Akbar, Chairman of the British Society of Immunology, commented: “In general, these new findings can enable the UK to provide support for the decision to provide two doses of vaccine every 12 weeks.” But he also added that only two doses were obtained. Vaccines can provide the highest level and longest continuous protection.
Variant virus attack, vaccine improvement is urgent
Reports from the United Kingdom and Israel both show a high degree of actual effectiveness of the vaccine, and mass vaccination around the world is proceeding in an orderly manner. However, the world is experiencing a new round of variant viruses. According to previous reports by Reuters, the number of new coronavirus infections is still rising in more than 40 countries.
Last week, according to a report published by a research team at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, another mutant new coronavirus “B1525” was discovered in the United Kingdom. The mutant virus was also detected in the genome sequencing of several countries including Denmark, the United States and Australia.
The researchers said that the mutant virus is similar to the “B117” mutant new coronavirus previously discovered in the UK, and the spike protein “E484K” mutation contained in it also appeared in the mutant viruses found in South Africa and Brazil.
As of February 22, Pacific time, according to the latest data from Oxford University Our World in Data, more than 200 million doses of vaccines have been vaccinated globally. If calculated by the dose per 100 people, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom rank in the top three.
Even if the United Kingdom ranks in the top three, model studies by Imperial College London and the University of Warwick predict that before the end of June, there may be another 30,000 deaths from new coronavirus pneumonia in the United Kingdom.
With the spread of the new coronavirus variant, it is urgent to improve the vaccine. On February 22, local time, the FDA urged vaccine manufacturers to accelerate the production of modified vaccines against mutant viruses, and recommended that modified vaccines do not require lengthy randomized controlled trials.
But the adjusted vaccine still needs some testing. The FDA recommends that researchers take blood from a group of subjects with relatively small data and observe what percentage of the blood samples will produce an immune response to the variants in the laboratory, and the strength of the immune response. If the immune response generated by the vaccine is relatively close to that triggered by the original vaccine, it will be judged as acceptable. In addition, the FDA recommends that volunteers should be carefully monitored for side effects.
However, many problems remain unresolved. The FDA’s recommendation does not mention which type of data will trigger the demand for improved vaccines, and scientists have not yet determined the minimum level of antibodies in the blood of vaccinators that can protect them from viral infections.
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(source:internet, reference only)