The Wall Street Journal reports:
The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE generates robust immunity after one dose and can be stored in ordinary freezers instead of at ultracold temperatures, according to new research and data released by the companies.
The findings provide strong arguments in favor of delaying the second dose of the two-shot vaccine, as the U.K. has done. They could also have substantial implications on vaccine policy and distribution around the world, simplifying the logistics of distributing the vaccine.
A single shot of the vaccine is 85% effective in preventing symptomatic disease 15 to 28 days after being administered, according to a peer-reviewed study conducted by the Israeli government-owned Sheba Medical Center and published in the Lancet medical journal.
Pfizer Inc and partner BioNTech SE said on Friday they have submitted new data to the U.S. health regulator showing the stability of their COVID-19 vaccine at temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators.
Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine, along with Moderna Inc’s two-dose vaccine, won the U.S. emergency use authorization (EUA) and is being widely distributed as part of the country’s mass vaccination efforts.
If approved, the less onerous storage requirements would provide a big logistical relief because the vaccine for now has to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius for longer periods, a challenge particularly in lower-income countries that don’t have the ultra-cold-storage infrastructure.
NEW overnight: The Pfizer vaccine was found to be 85% effective 15-28 days after the *first dose* in preventing symptomatic disease.
The study out of Israel also found a 75% reduction in symptomatic and asymptomatic infection after the first dose. https://t.co/0q3kGkee7W
— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) February 19, 2021