Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines May Offer Less Protection Against South African Coronavirus Variant

Recent studies indicate that the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines may have reduced protection against the South African coronavirus strain, according to reports in the New England Journal of Medicine, raising concerns that they could be less effective against future mutations.

Though both vaccines appeared to generate enough antibodies to neutralize the mutant strain, they both produced fewer antibodies when compared to the original virus. But experts warned that it was unclear just how much protection was needed to neutralize the variant, which scientists believe is more contagious than the original strain.

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Pfizer Vaccine Effective Against Contagious Coronavirus Strain, Study Shows

The vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech protects against a highly contagious strain of coronavirus that originated in South Africa and the U.K., according to a study published Thursday.

The study, which was commissioned by Pfizer, is likely to alleviate some fears that the virus variant would evade protections offered by the vaccine.

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Pfizer, U.S. Reach Deal for 100 Million Additional Coronavirus Vaccine Doses

The Trump Administration has purchased an additional 100 million doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, the drugmaker announced Wednesday.

The new agreement means that Pfizer will supply 200 million doses to the United States, according to the company’s statement, which will be distributed through July 2021. Also included in the deal is the option to purchase an additional 400 million doses.

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Coronavirus Vaccines Can Guard Against New, More Contagious UK Strain, Experts Say

The two coronavirus vaccines that have been approved for emergency use authorization in the U.S. will be able to combat a new, more contagious strain of the virus in the U.K., experts said Monday.

Vaccines made by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna will be effective against the new strain, which is “very similar” to previous strains at the genetic level, University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation affiliate assistant professor Vin Gupta told CNBC. The Food and Drug Administration has approved both vaccines for emergency use authorization after large-scale human trials showed efficacy of more than 90%.

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Tennessee Nurse Who Fainted After Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine Says It Was Due to Underlying Condition

The nurse who appeared to faint after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine in a viral video has recovered, according to a statement issued by her employer. Tiffany Dover, a nurse at CHI Memorial Hospital, reportedly came close to passing out due to a medical condition unrelated to the vaccination.

The hospital also cited information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, which stated that fainting sometimes occurs after all types of vaccinations.

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Pfizer Vaccine Vials Contain More Doses Than Expected, FDA Says

Some vials containing Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine contain more doses than expected, potentially expanding the country’s supply by up to 40%, public health officials said late Wednesday.

The FDA advised that the extra doses were acceptable to use and that it was collaborating with Pfizer over the issue.

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US Wants to Double COVID-19 Vaccine Order from Pfizer

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on CNN Monday that the U.S. is seeking to double its COVID-19 vaccine order.

“So far, we have an agreement with the U.S. Government to provide them 100 million doses and this is a fixed order and we will provide those 100 million doses starting from now by the end of the first quarter and we will honor this commitment,” Bourla told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on “New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.”

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First Person Receives Pfizer’s Vaccine as Britain Begins Mass Coronavirus Vaccination Effort

Britain’s National Health Service administered its first doses of a coronavirus vaccine Tuesday, becoming the first country to begin its mass vaccination effort.

Just after 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, 90-year-old Margaret Keenan became the first person to receive a fully authorized vaccine outside of a clinical trial, marking the beginning of a global campaign to end a pandemic that has infected over 65 million people and killed over 1.5 million across the globe.

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CDC Committee to Discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Next Week

The group of medical and public health experts that develops recommendations for vaccine use for the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) will meet Tuesday.

CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) posted a notice for a meeting scheduled for Dec. 1 without any details, but officials confirmed Friday that COVID-19 vaccination would be on the agenda.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Temperature Requirements Could Create Logistics Challenge

Many states in the U.S. are hinging their COVID-19 mitigation strategies on the availability of a widely available vaccine. An issue bound to arise is the extremely cold temperatures the most promising experimental vaccines need to be kept at and the logistics of delivering them across the country. 

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is estimated to remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 36° to 46°F for 30 days. Longer storage means a required temperature of mRNA-1273 needs -4°F for up to six months. 

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Pfizer Notified Biden Before Trump on Vaccine Success

In an interview with WMAL radio show Wednesday morning, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar appeared to confirm that the Trump administration learned of Pfizer’s successful COVID-19 vaccine trial from press coverage not from company officials directly. “I…learned of this from media reports on Monday morning,” Azar told “Mornings on the Mall” program on November 11. “There certainly was a gap in communications, let’s say.”

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Commentary: Was Pfizer’s Vaccine News Slow-Walked Until After the Election?

As the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe in the spring, President Trump announced his plan to fast-track an effective vaccine that would be available by the new year.

The goal of Operation Warp Speed, launched by the White House in May, was “to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.” Congress appropriated $10 billion to fund the ambitious program.

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