The COVID vaccine that has been in the news over the last week is being developed by Pfizer and BioNtTech. The final phase of the trial has been completed and shows that the vaccine is 95% effective.
The new COVID-19 vaccine that is going to give us back normality and let us live life as we once knew it is coming soon. Patients have been asking us about this COVID vaccine and if we can deliver it.
About the vaccine.
The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at minus 70 degrees celsius. The logistics of how this will be stored pre-vaccination is still uncertain, but the government is currently planning how to roll this out effectively. The vaccine needs to be delivered in two doses 4-6 weeks apart.
The medication is drawn up in a vial; unlike the influenza vaccine, which comes readily drawn up to be delivered. It needs to be checked by two healthcare professionals before being administered. The patient then needs to be observed for fifteen minutes to look out for any immediate side-effects. However, better candidates are likely to be those being developed by the US drug company, Moderna, and Astra-Zenica being developed in conjunction with the University of Oxford.
Both are expected to be rolled out in the next few months and are also expected to be at least 90% effective but are easier to store. The Moderna vaccine is looking to be 95% effective, but the final data from the trials is not out yet. This vaccine has an easier storage solution and is likely to be available in Spring 2021 in the UK.
When will the vaccine be available?
As these are all new vaccines, we do not yet know the full extent of any side-effects, let alone how long immunity might last, though scientists are hopeful it will be a fair few months. We do, however, know that the Government are, already, preparing for national vaccination programmes. The vaccination programme is expected to be rolled out to NHS workers, those over 85 and care home workers first. How it is to be distributed thereafter is yet to be decided.
We will be making assessments as to how this could be delivered safely at home. This will depend upon how easy it is to obtain the vaccine privately, any complications in respect of storage and the possible side-effects.
How we will update our members.
We aim to keep our members updated regularly with information. We are in regular talks with our colleagues in the NHS and private GPs in London about the vaccine and how it can be delivered safely and effectively.
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like any more information.