Sunday, November 15, 2020
71 F
The Villages

Pfizer vaccine 90 percent effective in early data

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, have announced that their COVID-19 vaccine appears to be more than 90 percent effective against the disease. Early data from their 44,000-person trial analyzed the first 94 cases of symptomatic COVID-19 among the participants who received either the two-dose vaccine or a saline placebo (Pfizer.com/news, November 9, 2020). No significant side effects or safety problems were reported.

Pfizer plans to ask for emergency authorization from the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before the end of November, when they expect the trial to reach its endpoint of 164 cases and to meet the FDA’s requirement of at least two months of monitoring for half of the study’s subjects. Pfizer already has been given permission to include children at least 12 years old in their trials.

Safety of the New Vaccines
The Pfizer vaccine is expected to be safer than previous vaccines because it does not use viruses. Instead, it uses messenger RNA (mRNA), which stimulates your immune system to recognize and attack invading viruses. These new vaccines contain fragments of mRNA made in the lab that teach your immune system to recognize the virus that causes COVID-19. If viruses cannot get into your cells quickly, they disintegrate and cannot multiply. The virus that causes COVID-19 uses a special key called M-spike protein to enter human cells. The vaccine only needs to contain the mRNA of the M-spike protein, not of the whole virus. If your immune system can destroy the M-spike protein, the virus cannot enter human cells and you do not become infected.

Earlier mRNA-based vaccines failed to work because they were destroyed by your own immune system, but the scientists solved that problem by coating the mRNA with a special nanoparticle fat that protects the mRNA and allows it to reach your cells. Moderna’s vaccine uses a similar technology, and Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and several other organizations also have vaccines in Phase 3 trials.

My Recommendations
It looks like we may soon have safe and effective vaccines that can help the world control this COVID-19 pandemic. It is possible that they will be approved by January 2021 and will first be made available to healthcare workers and people at high risk for complications. Widespread distribution should be underway by May 2021.

Meanwhile, continue to do what you can to help limit spread of the disease and to protect yourself, particularly if you are at risk for complications of COVID-19:
• Wear a face mask any time you expect to be around people who are not members of your household
• Stay at least six feet away from other people
• Avoid anyone with respiratory symptoms
• Use 20-second soap hand washes frequently throughout the day
• Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth, the primary sources of viral entry into your body
• If you feel sick, stay home
• If you decide to travel, go by car if possible. Personally, I am avoiding group travel such as trains, planes, buses and ships.
• Spend lots of time outdoors. Transmission of the virus occurs most often in closed spaces, particularly crowded places or rooms with poor air circulation.

Note: I discussed this and many other topics during the radio show this week on WRTA in Altoona PA. You can listen here: https://soundcloud.com/talkradio985/dr-gabe-mirkin-november-2020-wrtas-the-11th-hour-with-doug-herendeen

Dr. Gabe Mirkin is a Villager. Learn more at www.drmirkin.com

More Headlines

Recently paroled Michigan sex offender moves into The Villages

A Michigan sex offender who was released from prison earlier this year has moved into The Villages.

Florida tops 10,000 new COVID-19 cases for biggest spike in four months

More than 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across the state Sunday – the biggest single-day increase in a little under four months.

Photos

Red-Shouldered Hawk On A Bird Bath In The Village Of Hillsborough

This red-shouldered hawk was resting on a bird bath in the Village of Hillsborough. Thanks to David Guerra for sharing!

White Peacock Butterfly At Fenney Nature Trail

This white peacock butterfly was spotted at Fenney Nature Trail. Thanks to Ron Clark for sharing!

View Of Lake Sumter From Lighthouse Point Bar And Grille

Check out this view of Lake Sumter from the Lighthouse Point Bar and Grille. Thanks to Pam Blake for sharing!

Letters to the Editor

Did President Trump lie about COVID-19?

A Village of Virginia Trace resident, in a Letter to the Editor, says she is disappointed that President Trump’s promises about COVID-19 haven’t come to fruition.

Business

Groome Transportation resuming Shuttle Service between The Villages community and Orlando International Airport

Groome Transportation is resuming its airport shuttle service between The Villages and Orlando International Airport.

Crime

Recently paroled Michigan sex offender moves into The Villages

A Michigan sex offender who was released from prison earlier this year has moved into The Villages.

Opinions

Pfizer vaccine 90 percent effective in early data

Dr. Gabe Mirkin writes that It looks like we may soon have safe and effective vaccines that can help the world control this COVID-19 pandemic.

Top Stories

Golf cart drivers’ Bad Parking caught on camera in The Villages

The Parking Patrol has been busy documenting cases of Bad Parking here in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown. They have found a few golf cart drivers who may have been feeling “entitled.”

Recently paroled Michigan sex offender moves into The Villages

A Michigan sex offender who was released from prison earlier this year has moved into The Villages.

Florida tops 10,000 new COVID-19 cases for biggest spike in four months

More than 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across the state Sunday – the biggest single-day increase in a little under four months.

Letters to the Editor

Did President Trump lie about COVID-19?

A Village of Virginia Trace resident, in a Letter to the Editor, says she is disappointed that President Trump’s promises about COVID-19 haven’t come to fruition.

Watch out for roofer who advertises in The Villages Daily Sun

A Village of Virginia Trace resident has a warning about a roofing company which advertises in The Villages Daily Sun. Read his Letter to the Editor.

A celebration of pickleball in The Villages

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Caroline resident celebrates pickleball in The Villages.

Crime

Recently paroled Michigan sex offender moves into The Villages

A Michigan sex offender who was released from prison earlier this year has moved into The Villages.

Hallucinating Summerfield man jailed after tale of gal pal shooting up residence

A Summerfield man who appeared to be hallucinating and claimed to have tangled with his gun-toting lady friend is behind bars in the Marion County Jail.

Lady Lake police nab man accused of sending nude photos of estranged lady friend

The efforts of a Lady Lake police detective led to the arrest of a man accused of sending out nude photos of his estranged lady friend.