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KT Exclusive: Pfizer vaccine gives partial protection 12 days after first dose

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on March 11, 2021

Pfizer and BioNtech are working relentlessly to supply the world with approximately 2 billion BNT162b2 vaccine doses by the end of 2021.

The Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine may provide early protection against the virus, as early as 12 days after the first dose, Pfizer’s cluster lead for the Gulf region, Lindsey Dietschi told Khaleej Times.

“Although partial protection from the vaccine appears to start 12 days after the first dose, two doses of the vaccine are required to provide the maximum protection — a vaccine efficacy of 95 per cent — observed in the Phase three trial,” she said.

Speaking about the availability of the vaccine supplies, she stated that the vaccine manufacturer is pledging a massive boost to the global supplies of the vaccine that will help increase the pace of vaccination across the globe. “Pfizer and BioNtech are working relentlessly to supply the world with approximately 2 billion BNT162b2 vaccine doses by the end of 2021. The upscaling work at our Belgium facility included process improvements to our manufacturing lines, expanding our manufacturing facility with a new production unit and increasing batch sizes to optimize efficiency.”

To support patients in the region with greater access, Dietschi said Pfizer’s focus in the Gulf will continue to be to bring new scientific innovations to patients. “In the coming years we expect to launch a number of new medicines and vaccines in areas like oncology to continue to make a positive impact on the lives of patients,” she said.

“The Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccine is a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, where mRNA is a long molecule, composed of nucleotides linked in a unique order to convey the genetic instructions to make one or more proteins or antigens specific for the virus. In this case it is the spike protein from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Once mRNA in a vaccine is inside the body’s cells, the cells follow the instructions to produce the proteins or antigens, which can then be displayed on the cell surface. The immune system of the vaccinated individual at once recognises this and generates an immune response to the vaccine antigen,” explained Dietschi.

She added that collaboration with governments across has always been a top priority for Pfizer. “From the beginning and we remain committed to following the process and speed for each regulatory body. The Gulf countries kicked off their COVID vaccination drive with the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine in December. The allocation of doses and implementation plan within a country is a decision for local governments based on relevant health authority guidance… Pfizer has been operating across the Gulf and the broader region for the past 40 years, collaborating with healthcare professionals, communities, and governments to change the lives of millions of people. We believe our work to deliver scientific breakthroughs to change patients’ lives is at the heart of this region’s growth, and we want to continue being part of this success story year after year.”

saman@khaleejtimes.com





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