One vaccine dose and two viral variants

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Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine

NEJM, (December 31st)

A two-dose regimen of BNT162b2 conferred 94.8% protection against Covid-19 in persons 16 years of age or older

After 1 dose, efficacy = 52.4%

NEJM, (17th February)

But if you take data after 2 weeks ….

One Pfizer dose, vaccine efficacy of 92.6% (based on FDA data)

One Moderna dose, vaccine efficacy of 92.1% (based on FDA data)

Uncertainty about duration of protection with a single dose

Administration of a second dose within 1 month, little added benefit in the short term

Leaving high risk groups completely unprotected

Postponement of the second dose is a matter of national security that,

if ignored, will certainly result in thousands of Covid-19–related hospitalizations and deaths this winter in the United States

hospitalizations and deaths that would have been prevented with a first dose of vaccine.

NZ and Australia begin vaccine rollout


Border staff

Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) workers

Australia, Monday

Hotel quarantine and healthcare workers


Pfizer BioNTech

Updated stability data

Normal medical freezer, -15C and -25C for up to two weeks

Instead of -60C to -80C

Kept in a fridge for five days

Awaiting US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval

(Moderna, normal fridge temperature, 2C and 8C for 30 days)

Vaccine passports

Professor Dominic Wilkinson, Medical Ethics, Oxford University

I think there’s a strong ethical case for exploring immunity passports as a way forward, as a way of looking forward to more freedoms

open up some options in travel that are not there at the moment

If there was good evidence that you weren’t at risk of spreading the virus,

such a passport might then allow you to be waived from quarantine.”

would be a cost to waiting until more people are immunised to roll out the passports.

Digital vaccine passports




Secret antiviral meds?

eSwatini's King Mswati III (Swaziland)

tested positive in January, now negative

said he had recovered from Covid-19

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen sent antiviral medication

Recombination variant

The UK and California variants, B.1.1.7 and B.1.429

Combined genomes into a heavily mutated hybrid

Discovered in a virus sample in Los Alamos, National Laboratory

May be how SARS-CoV-2 originated

One cell, two viral variants

Multiple variants in circulation, more likely to occur

Worst outcome, more transmissible and more antibody resistant
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