The SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, which are about to be approved, have been tested on tens of thousands of people and have comparable efficacy to other vaccines, experts told journalists on Thursday.
The SARS-CoV-2 vaccines would also be suitable for older people with concomitant diseases (comorbidities). Pregnant women, cancer patients, people with weakened immune systems and children were not included in the clinical trials and therefore should not be vaccinated, they said.
“Vaccinations are a preventive measure and are administered to healthy individuals. Therefore, the requirements for clinical trials are particularly high and include more than 10,000 subjects in order to obtain really good data,” said Bettina Isnardy of Sanofi-Aventis, Austria. With other therapeutics, one would need in part only “test person numbers in the range of one thousand”. Therefore one would get a good Evidenz with vaccines whether they are effective and safe.
Real figures on efficacy
With an effectiveness of around 95 percent, the vaccine candidates would be in the range of other, common vaccines, explained Renee Gallo-Daniel of the Austrian Association of Vaccine Manufacturers (ÖVIH). The companies BioNTech and Pfizer reported an efficacy of 95 percent for their vaccine, Moderna for its corona vaccine of 94.5 percent. The TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) vaccine achieves 95 to 99 percent, the HPV (human papilloma viruses) vaccine 92 to 100 percent, and vaccines against rotaviruses (they cause dangerous diarrhoea in children) achieve 70 to 90 percent.
“The information on the vaccine candidates is, however, the results of interim analyses, but what the real figures on efficacy will be after the approval process,” she said.
Vaccination also for HIV-positive persons
The highly advanced SARS-CoV-2 vaccines would also be suitable for people who have already had a coronavirus infection with clinical symptoms, according to Botond Ponner of AstraZeneca. The trials included people who had survived coronavirus infection, as well as people with well-controlled comorbidities, such as elderly people with cardiovascular disease and people who are HIV-positive. They could therefore also be vaccinated.
“However, due to safety concerns, the vaccines have not been tested on pregnant women, patients with immunodeficiency, cancer or bleeding propensity, so they should not be vaccinated,” he explained. But this would probably also be specified by the authorities in the approvals, says Christian Taucher from the vaccine company Valneva Austria.
Children not yet included in studies
“Since the focus of the studies has so far been on adults, it can be assumed that the first approvals will only affect the adult sector,” said Gallo-Daniel: “However, children will most likely also be included in the studies in the future.
The method of using mRNA (messenger RNA) as a vaccine is not as new as is often circulated, said Andreas Wagner of Polymun Scientific Immunobiological Research: “There are already mRNA vaccines against influenza and rabies in human studies. However, these vaccines are not yet approved.
— hp with reports from news agencies and kleinezeitung.at. picture: pixabay.com
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