Health Care

World Health Organization lists Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for emergency use

If a second dose of the vaccine a patient originally received isn't available, or if the manufacturer of the first shot isn't known, another vaccine may be substituted, health officials said.

Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia have already started to use the reserve doses immediately in order to reach a larger portion of their population.

They say the move will cause huge problems for thousands of partially-vaccinated elderly and vulnerable people.

Quebec set a goal of inoculating 675,000 by April 1 but, based on the vaccinations to date, it will need to step up the pace considerably to get there.

Sahin said the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, which uses messenger RNA to instruct the human immune system to fight the coronavirus, should be able to cope with a variant first detected in Britain that appears to be more contagious.

Nonetheless, officials from AstraZeneca assuaged repeatedly over the recent days that its pandemic candidate should be able to provide immunity against the United Kingdom alongside an African pandemic-pathogen strain which a BBC report said earlier this week could make people more susceptible to pneumonia following an infection.

Besides, while being asked to detail about the efficacy of the vaccine, an AstraZeneca spokesman said, "It is for the regulators to authorise how the vaccine should be used".

"Pfizer and BioNTech's Phase 3 study for the COVID-19 vaccine was created to evaluate the vaccine's safety and efficacy following a 2-dose schedule, separated by 21 days", the drugmaker said.

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The country has issued an emergency green light to two vaccines, developed by Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

"We are in a pandemic situation", she told Sky News.

"While decisions on alternative dosing regimens reside with health authorities, Pfizer believes it is critical health authorities conduct surveillance efforts on any alternative schedules implemented and to ensure each recipient is afforded the maximum possible protection, which means immunization with two doses of the vaccine", Danehy said.

"From the data that was available, there was indication that the vaccine was effective in older people as well", he said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said it gave validation for emergency use to the Covid-19 vaccine jointly produced by BioNTech and Pfizer, the first such authorization from the health body since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week, Hemas Pharmaceuticals, the agent for Pfizer and AstraZeneca in Sri Lanka, said that it has established contacts between Pfizer and the Ministry of Health to secure the vaccine for Sri Lanka.

The speedy deployment might afford more people partial protection against the virus in the short term.

The whiplash changes in guidance in Britain, many made without public meetings or strong data, may erode trust in vaccination campaigns and public health measures in general, Tien said.

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