Everything You Need to Know about the Recently Approved Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine
The only ray of hope in this pandemic is the Covid-19 vaccine. With Pfizer/BioNTech getting emergency approval by the US experts, it is important that we are aware of the possible allergic reactions associated with it and the eligibility criteria.
Since the last few months, the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on countless human lives. The only light at the end of the long tunnel of this pandemic appears to be the Covid-19 vaccine. The consistent attempts made by scientists and researchers worldwide to develop a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine have finally paid off. Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine has managed to achieve the approval by the US experts for its emergency use.
In a 17-4 vote with one abstention in the eight-hour public hearing , the government advisers arrived to a conclusion which said, “The vaccine from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech seems to be safe as well as effective and thus is approved for emergency use in adults and teenagers 16 and over.” The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) initiated the much needed immunization program in history when it administrated its very first dose of the approved Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a 90-year-old woman.
The decision came as the surge in the Covid-19 cases crossed the highest levels across the U.S. The number of deaths that occurred on Wednesday, set an all-time, one-day record exceeding the count of 3,100. In the outburst that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans, the country seems to be just one step away from setting up an epic vaccination campaign. As soon as the Food and Drug’s Administration (FDA) formally approves the drug, the process of giving the shots could be initiated within days.
What did President-elect Joe Biden Say about the Approval of the Vaccine?
President-elect Joe Biden stated that with the approval by the FDA to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, they are thankful to the scientists and researchers who took efforts in developing it. Moreover, he also extended his gratitude to the scientists and public health experts who evaluated the safety and the efficiency of the vaccine without succumbing to any political influence. He believed that the probity of science has led them to this point.
He further added that they will be setting up an experienced team to scale up the manufacturing and distribution of the vaccine. Moreover, they will also require Congress to fund their vaccine distribution efforts.
What are the Potential Threats or Possible Allergic Reactions Associated with the Covid-19 Vaccine?
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is UK’s medicine regulator, stated an advisory warning against some of the potential allergic reactions to the vaccine. This warning was issued as two recipients of the vaccine reported anaphylaxis, while one recipient of the vaccine reported a possible allergic reaction to the vaccine dose. As per media reports, the two recipients who suffered from an allergic reaction have been given proper treatment and are doing well.
According to MHRA, “The person who has a history of immediate-onset anaphylaxis to the Covid-19 vaccine or medicines is advised not to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Moreover, for people who experience the conditions of anaphylaxis after the first doses are advised to not take a second dose.”
Other possible side-effects of the vaccine are anticipated to be mild and should not last longer than a week. Some of the side-effects are – soreness at the spot where the needle is injected, fatigue, headache etc. However, these side-effects can be cured with pain killers like paracetamol.
Who is Eligible for the Covid-19 Vaccine in the UK?
Currently, the National Health Service (NHS) is giving out vaccine only to those people who are at a severe risk of developing a more intense disease from Covid-19. These people are mainly those who are 80 years of age or above and already have an appointment in the hospital. Secondly, it is being offered to health care workers who are at high risk as well as people who work in care homes.
What are India’s Plans for the Covid-19 Vaccine?
India is severely affected by the pandemic. It ranks second highest in the list of countries badly hit by the Coronavirus. With nearly 10 million infections, India wants to opt for affordable vaccines rather than going for the expensive shots of Pfizer Inc or Moderna Inc.
The main candidates in the race of developing and distribution of the vaccine in India are as follows –
Serum Institute of India (SII)
Biological E. Ltd
Cadila Healthcare Ltd
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd
A vaccine is crucial to end the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and restore a sense of normalcy. As much as this is true, given the current circumstances we should follow the CDC guidelines, wear masks while stepping out, wash your hands frequently and avoid going to places with large crowds to help stop the spread of the coronavirus
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