The Pfizer chairman has said he is not yet sure whether their new vaccine will stop the spread of the coronavirus.
In an interview for NBC’s Dateline prime-time special entitled “Race for a Vaccine,” Albert Bourla admitted that he was “not sure” that it would prevent Covid-19 from airing.
The Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has been declared safe for use and is one of three leading candidates to lead the desperate global quest for a way to end the pandemic.
The first batches are already on their way to Great Britain today as the UK hopes for millions of doses by the end of the year.
It will soon be the first vaccine to be introduced in the UK, after injections from Moderna and Oxford AstraZeneca have also been declared effective.
Last month, Pfizer declared its vaccine safe and announced that its candidate has been shown to be more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19.
However, the vaccine, which comes in two doses, is one of the more difficult products to distribute.
It must be stored at freezing temperatures to be shipped around the world, while the Oxford and AstraZeneca shot requires a refrigerated rather than frozen ‘cold chain’.
In a list of interview highlights released before Dateline’s special, Mr. Bourla was asked by interviewer Lester Holt whether Pfizer’s shot will prevent people from passing the vaccine to others.
He asks, “Even though I’ve had the protection, can I still pass it on to other people?”
Mr. Bourla replies: “I think this is something that needs to be investigated. We’re not sure about that at the moment with what we know. “
The chairman explains that it is still uncertain whether people can continue to be carriers of the virus after vaccination.
Vaccines for infectious diseases will usually protect the host, but do not always stop the virus from being transmitted and spread to other people completely.
For example, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) explains that the MMR vaccine prevents most, but not all, cases of mumps and complications caused by the disease.
People who receive two doses of the MMR shot are about nine times less likely to get mumps than unvaccinated people who have the same exposure to the mumps virus, according to the CDC.
However, some people who receive two doses can still develop mumps, especially if they have been in close contact with someone who is infected for a long time.
But the CDC explains that if a vaccinated person gets mumps, they are likely to have less serious illness than an unvaccinated person.