Hope Vs. Caution
In the same 24 hours, we heard of a “light at the end of the tunnel” and a warning of a “dark winter.”
What to know about a vaccine, a therapeutic, and new revelations on COVID-19 in America.
“Positive but Preliminary”
- Pfizer (U.S. drugmaker) & BioNTech (German drugmaker) partnered to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Results from 94 participants of a large, late-stage trial show 90% efficacy of protecting against the virus that causes COVID-19.
- We can’t pick through the data – it’s not published. An independent team of experts (outside Pfizer) analyzed results.
“It seems to be a proof of principle that we can make a vaccine, that it can make an immune response, that it does look safe in individuals that have been studied so far and that it actually works in the real world to protect against Covid.”
Dr. Buddy Creech, Dir. of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program. Pfizer says it will appeal regulators for approval before the end of November, when it has reached the 2-month mark for safety data required by the FDA.
“Another Potential Tool”
- An antibody treatment by drugmaker Eli Lilly received the FDA’s emergency use authorization: “Bamlanivimab“
- Available for use only in specific situations: high-risk patients over the age of 12 with a mild to moderate case of COVID-19.
- Not approved for hospitalized patients – in fact, the FDA says it may do more harm than good in severe cases.
- U.S. continues to set daily records for COVID-19 cases, with more than 100,000 new cases per day; hospitalizations, deaths, & lagging effects of infection also have increased.
- Despite efforts to protect the most vulnerable, nursing home cases have quadrupled between May and October.
- New study: About 1 in 10 of hospitalized COVID patients readmitted in days following first admission/release.
“Trying to protect nursing home residents without controlling community spread is a losing battle.”
Researcher Tamara Konetzka of the University of Chicago says protecting the vulnerable ultimately relies on those living and working outside a nursing home; when community spread increases, the threat rises to the elderly despite increased testing and best efforts.
What is like to be part of a COVID-19 trial? We have a first hand account! A series of other companies have developed a vaccine in a similar way to Pfizer with relatively new technology – It's called an MRNA vaccine. No MRNA vaccine has been approved…ever. Read more on both on our source page.
Here’s a first hand account of being part of a vaccine trial ~ remember we don’t know if he’s receiving the vaccine or not! CLICK HERE
Here’s some more information from SmartHER News on vaccine trials: CLICK HERE TO READ CARD
Pfizer CEO calls Covid vaccine a ‘great day for humanity’ and a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ – CLICK HERE
Biden Warns of ‘Dark Winter’ Ahead With Covid, Urges Mask-Wearing – CLICK HERE
What don’t we know yet? (from WSJ)
The effectiveness data announced by Pfizer and BioNTech was positive but preliminary. It left many unknowns beyond whether the vaccine is safe to take. The analysis took place too soon for researchers to figure how long the protection conferred by the vaccine will last; the data only looked how well the vaccine worked seven days after subjects got a second shot. “What will be the protective efficacy over time?” Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic’s vaccine-research group. “Is this going to be a handful of months, like the flu vaccine? Is it going to be like measles or smallpox where it’s lifelong immunity?” It also is unclear whether the vaccine worked at protecting against severe Covid-19 disease. Nor is it clear whether the vaccine worked in all the different populations that would be in line to get one, including the elderly, children and various racial and ethnic groups. Pfizer and BioNTech are expected to release additional data later.
Official announcement by the FDA on Eli Lilly monoclonal antibody treatment: CLICK HERE
Nursing home data: CLICK HERE
Info on readmission: CLICK HERE
by Jenna Lee,