As we edge closer to the largest mass vaccination programme the NHS has ever seen, we discuss the latest vaccine trials, whether the vaccine has been rushed, and how to upskill and prepare healthcare professionals so they are ready to vaccinate millions of people.
In November 2020, Pfizer and Biontech announced the results of their Covid-19 vaccine trial,
"Primary efficacy analysis demonstrates BNT162b2 to be 95% effective against COVID-19 beginning 28 days after the first dose;170 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were evaluated, with 162 observed in the placebo group versus 8 in the vaccine group."
Shortly after, the vaccine manufacturing partnership of Oxford University and AstraZeneca published,
"Positive high-level results from an interim analysis of clinical trials of AZD1222 in the UK and Brazil showed the vaccine was highly effective in preventing COVID-19."
Scientific progress is clearly being made, but you don't have to look very far on social media to find armchair epidemiologists asking,
While it is true that it can take years for vaccines to be created, we are in unprecedented times. Never before have we had the world's greatest scientists and biggest pharmaceutical companies, with unlimited government funding, all focussed on the same goal.
During 'normal' clinical trials, most of the time is spent waiting. Waiting for funding applications, submitting and re-submitting requests for ethical approval, and waiting to recruit patients. These time-intensive activities and the bureaucracy has been reduced because COVID-19 because it is a global threat.
Imagine what we could achieve if we took the same approach to other leading causes of death, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.
What we can say for certain, is that in order for any vaccine to work, it needs to be administered by properly trained professionals. That's where we come in.
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