Pfizer's Vaccine Protects You for at Least This Long, Study Finds
A new study has determined a timeline for the protectiveness of this COVID vaccine.
Millions of Americans have been vaccinated against COVID in the past few months. While we know these vaccines are safe, we've mostly been in the dark when it comes to their long-term efficacy, since the vaccines had not been around long enough to gather sufficient data. Now, recent trial data has just been released by Pfizer, and it gives some indication of how long their vaccine has remained effective in trial participants. Read on to find out how long the Pfizer vaccine protects you, and for more vaccination guidance, discover The First Thing You Need to Do After You're Fully Vaccinated, Experts Say.
A new study found that Pfizer is protective against symptomatic COVID for at least six months.
The coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech appears to still be highly effective at protecting individuals against symptomatic cases of COVID for at least six months after the second dose, according to a study released by the companies on April 1. The researchers looked at trial data from more than 46,000 participants and found that out of the 927 trial participants who got infected with COVID more than a week after their second dose, only 77 had received the actual vaccine compared to 850 who had received a placebo. This shows that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is "highly effective" with 91.3 percent vaccine efficacy against symptomatic COVID seven days to at least six months after the second dose.
"It is an important step to further confirm the strong efficacy and good safety data we have seen so far, especially in a longer-term follow-up," Ugur Sahin, MD, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, said in a statement. And for more on the future of vaccination, The Pfizer CEO Says This Is How Often You'll Need a COVID Vaccine.
It's even more effective in protecting against severe COVID.
The study found that the vaccine was even more effective in protecting against severe COVID for at least six months. According to the researchers, the vaccine is 100 percent effective in preventing severe disease as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and 95.3 percent effective in doing so as defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Using the CDC's definition, 32 cases of severe disease were observed in the placebo group compared to none in the participants who were actually vaccinated. By the FDA's standards, 21 severe COVID cases were reported in the placebo group compared to just one in the group that was vaccinated. And for more you need to know about vaccination, The CDC Says Don't Do This Until 4 Weeks After Getting Vaccinated.
The study also found that Pfizer's vaccine protects against the South Africa variant.
Emerging coronavirus variants have caused significant concern over the past few months, even among ever-expanding vaccine distribution. One of the major areas of concern was whether or not the mutations in these variants would cause the existing COVID vaccines to lose efficacy. But according to the new study from Pfizer and BioNTech, this doesn't appear to be an issue. The researchers had 800 participants enrolled in South Africa, where the B.1.351 variant first originated and is prevalent. They found that nine cases of COVID emerged from the participants (six of which were the B.1.351 variant), all in the placebo group—indicating a vaccine efficacy of 100 percent against this worrying South Africa variant.
According to Sahin, this data provides "the first clinical results that a vaccine can effectively protect against currently circulating variants, a critical factor to reach herd immunity and end this pandemic for the global population." And for more up-to-date COVID news, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Pfizer is planning to request full approval from the FDA for its vaccine.
Currently, all three vaccines available in the U.S. are being distributed under an emergency-use authorization from the FDA. However, for full approval, vaccine manufacturers have to file a Biologics License Application, which requires long-term safety and effectiveness data usually of at least six months. As a spokesperson for Pfizer-BioNTech told Fox News in January, the companies plan to submit a Biologics License Application during the first half of 2021, and this new study shows a promising lead.
"These data confirm the favorable efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine and position us to submit a Biologics License Application to the U.S. FDA," Albert Bourla, PhD, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer, said in a statement for the new study. "The high vaccine efficacy observed through up to six months following a second dose and against the variant prevalent in South Africa provides further confidence in our vaccine's overall effectiveness." And for vaccine reactions to prepare for, learn The One Side Effect That's Much More Common With Pfizer, Data Shows.