Updates on COVID-19 Vaccines

Posted: February 26, 2021

New Data Calls for Single COVID-19 Vaccine Dose
Based on new data submitted by researchers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine offers 92.6% efficacy. "Deferral of the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will enable more individuals within our high-risk and health care worker priority groups to receive a single dose," Danuta M. Skowronski, MD, told Medscape Medical News. "Since a single dose provides swift and substantial protection exceeding 90%, and a second dose provides little added benefit in the short term, second dose deferral will maximize the benefits of scarce vaccine supply while the pandemic risk remains elevated." Read more on the Medscape website.

Pfizer Vaccine No Longer Requires Ultra-Freezing Storage Temperatures
Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech, reported that their COVID-19 vaccine no longer needs to be kept at ultra-freezing temperatures (-112°F to -76°F) as previously thought, and can be safely stored inside normal medical freezers at between -13°F to 5°F for a total of two weeks. The new “stability data” has been submitted to the FDA for review. If approved, the welcome news would make distribution and distribution of the vaccine through additional channels much easier.

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Doses May Be Needed Annually for Several Years
The Hill reports, “Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said people may be getting COVID-19 vaccines annually for the next several years. Gorsky made the comment at a CNBC event on Tuesday after he was asked if he felt that post-pandemic vaccines would be needed, specifically if people would require updated COVID-19 vaccines every year, similar to the flu.