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Pfizer says deep-freeze storage unnecessary as Israeli study shows vaccine 85% effective after 1st shot

Pfizer Vaccine
Posted at 3:24 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 12:44:04-05

(WXYZ) — There’s good news for the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Its vaccine was found to be 85% effective after just one dose. It can safely be stored in normal freezers, instead of specialized ultra-cold storage units.

This latest study with Pfizer’s vaccine was not a standard clinical trial, but rather a study to look at the effectiveness of a single dose in real-life conditions. It took place in Israel at the country’s largest hospital.

9,000 medical staff participated - 7,000 of them were given Pfizer’s first vaccine dose.

When the data was analyzed, here’s what the researchers found; Between one and 14 days after the first shot, the vaccine was 47% effective. Between 15 and 28 days that number jumped to 85%.

Which is fantastic that one dose would provide such high protection. Having said that, please, do not think that this means you can skip the second shot. You need that second dose to get the full protection rate against COVID-19, which is as high as 95%.

The variant that first found in the UK is also spreading across Israel. The study found that over 81% of confirmed infections were the UK variant. This is pretty strong evidence that Pfizer’s vaccine is effective against the UK variant.

The CDC has updated its guidance regarding the second dose and says you can wait 42 days - which is 6 weeks - between shots.

However, they still would prefer that folks stick to the original schedule which is 3 weeks between doses. Now, there’s always a possibility that the recommendation could change depending on scientific evidence. We should keep in mind that this latest study did not confirm how long protection lasts from one dose. Just that the efficacy rate was high.

In my opinion, this is a real game-changer. Right now, Pfizer’s vaccine is being stored at temps colder than an Antarctic winter - between minus 112 degrees Fahrenheit to minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Such ultra-cold temps need special storage units. Now, Pfizer says that its vaccine can be stored at normal freezer temperatures between -13 degrees Fahrenheit and 5 degrees Fahrenheit for a total of two weeks. That’s based on research data that Pfizer recently submitted to the FDA.

If it’s approved this could be a game-changer because it allows more flexibility in how the vaccine is shipped and supplied. Not just here, but worldwide.

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