PfizerBioNTech & Moderna

 

Both vaccine solutions are mRNA vaccines designed to decrease the diseases resulting from Covid-19. It's important to understand that neither prevents Covid-19 nor acts as a vaccine against SARS-Cov-2. 

In other words, vaccinated people will still likely get Covid-19, they just won't suffer. This is a completely different strategy from traditional vaccines which aim to prevent infection. It seems that the overall thinking with this technology is that allowing people to become infected, without getting sick, will lead to herd immunity without the potentially dangerous effects of becoming infected without any protection.

This vaccine is currently EUA approved for people 18+. Both companies are currently undergoing studies to determine safety and efficacy for younger patients, but none are even investigating younger than 12 at this time.  Both are similar in profiles and both require 2 doses spaced 21 days apart for the Pfizer vaccine and 4 weeks for the Moderna. 

At this point, we are partial to Moderna because they have stated that there is a possibility that their vaccine may be protective from infection itself. 

What do we think all this means?

  • It is likely that we are facing a 'when' people will become infected rather than an 'if'.

  • The chances are that most children will become infected at some point.

  • It is critical that vaccinated people continue to socially distance and wear masks because though they may not get ill, they can still transmit virus!

  • Once enough people have been vaccinated, and have been infected, we will be able to return to some new normal as immunity and lack of hosts will work to weaken and diminish the overall transmission of SARS Cov-2. But until we have protected a large swath of the most vulnerable population, we must remain vigilant. 

  • To be clear: YES, You can STILL GET COVID after vaccination! You just may not know it.

Super Interesting Stuff!

  • The CDC recommends no vaccine for Covid infected persons prior to 2 weeks post-infection. However, there is no guidance regarding testing before administering the vaccine. No one knows what happens if you vaccinate an infected individual. So... because we are a testing lab anyway, we strongly recommend testing before administering the shot.

  • Several journal articles have discussed that antibody testing will take on a very important role in evaluating the efficacy of the shots. If it worked, IgG's should show strongly!

  • Because we believe people can be reinfected, even if you've had Covid, you should get vaccinated. The reason we don't know how many people have had it twice is due to a lack of testing post-infection. Therefore, if someone gets sick 3-4 months later, if they didn't get a negative test, there is no way to know whether they are having a secondary infection. Based on our lab data, we believe people can become infected a second time. 

  • A 95% effective rate does not mean that it's 95% effective for everyone. What it means is that out of 100 people, 5 of them will not respond to the vaccine and gain protection against disease. Again, antibody testing will help identify those people.

Other  Unknowns:

  • We do not have data for pregnant or breast-feeding mothers nor for children. The Pfizer study included only 55 people between the ages of 16-17. 

  • We do not know the long term effects of this new vaccine technology. However, studies seem to indicate that the biggest unknown is how long the vaccines are effective. 

  • We will not know any long-term effects for 8-10 years. We do know that people 55 and older seem to have fewer vaccine side-effects and do well. The younger you are, the greater the chance you may feel really crummy for a day or two after getting vaccinated, particularly with the 2nd dose.

Very Exciting Info

  • Scientists have been working on creating mRNA vaccines for over a decade. The fact that they have cracked this code means is extraordinary. Developing mRNA vaccines will be as revolutionary as Penicillin. Moderna actually created this same Covid vaccine over a weekend in January, before we had a pandemic. Testing is what has taken so long.

  • In the future, because of this technology, we will be able to rapidly create solutions for viruses that have plagued us for many decades and we will be able to quickly respond when another novel virus comes along. This is the LAST TIME we will ever be in this type of situation without a Federal or International response and without any quick way out. This is akin to landing on the moon... seriously revolutionary! We have been working on vaccines for HIV for over 30 years. Now we will likely get somewhere.

Austin Covid Labs

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