Medical Leaders: First vaccine dose shows impressive effectiveness

Updated: Dec. 9, 2020 at 1:53 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Data and analysis of the Pfizer vaccine was made public, and the 53-page document will now be presented to the FDA on Thursday.

The vaccine candidate is considered to be successful and sure to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“We’ve been going full-boar at this for a year without a break,” UofL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Smith said.

Doctors, nurses, and infectious disease researchers have been working around the clock since the disease began to ravage the world. The Pfizer vaccine shows the strongest data to be a catalyst to stop the spread. Tuesday, new data showed good news for the public, and bad news for the virus.

The data said the first dose -- vaccine recipients will need to get two shots -- is 65 percent effective to building immunity.

“If you compare the 65 percent to a typical flu vaccine, every year is about right in line with what we want the flu vaccine to do,” Smith said.

Even though the first dose is 65-percent effective, Smith said that doesn’t mean the pandemic ends there. He said it’s absolutely necessary to follow up with that second booster shot, which will pump up the effectiveness and immunity to 94 percent.

“(It is) absolutely fantastic,” Smith said. “If we want to stop the disease in its tracks ... getting that second dose out will be vitally important.”

Pfizer and federal regulators reviewed this data and next, the FDA Advisory Council, the group that can authorize the vaccine, will, too, on Thursday. Until the general public can get their shot at the vaccine, Smith said the fact remains that the vaccine does more good than harm.

“It’s safe and effective,” he said. “I urge everyone who sees this, when you get the opportunity to get the vaccine, (get it so) we can get back to some semblance of normal activity and start have a life without a pandemic.”

The Pfizer vaccine calls for the first and the second doses to be taken three weeks apart. However, doctors are still working out a timeline.

Click here to view the documents.

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