10 keys about the differences between vaccines and a decisive fact

In the world there are currently four vaccines that are applied to children under 12 years of age: Sinopharm, Sinovac, Soberana II y Pfizer. The first and last are the brands that Argentina bought, but only the Chinese is used for the population of 3 to 11 years. The American, which was recently approved in your country from the age of 5 onwards, here for now is intended only for adolescents, with the same dose used for adults.

There are a number of differences between the two vaccines, ranging from technology with which they are manufactured, the need or not of a dose differential for the boys, the information with which it is counted on the effectiveness and also the way in which the approval process in each case:

1- The technology used by Pfizer’s vaccine is of Messenger RNA, while that of Sinopharm is inactivated virus. The first is cutting edge vaccine technology. Its premiere occurred with the coronavirus pandemic. In adolescents, some cases of myocarditis. On the contrary, the Sinopharm vaccine is the most traditional vaccine available and the one that fewer adverse effects It has generated.

2- The dose used for boys varies from one brand to another. In the case of Pfizer, trials have shown that children under 12 years of age should be administered third part of the dose given to adults. It comes in a new pediatric presentation. For Sinopharm, the decision was that the dose is the same for boys than for adults. The dose size arises from the best possible balance between drug safety and immunogenicity.

3- There are differences in the information that is available between the two vaccines. While Sinopharm made public its phase 1 and 2 trial, which reflects that it is a safe option and that it provides a robust level of antibodies, the results of step 2-3 that would account for the drug efficacy. This test is carried out in the United Arab Emirates and, according to the Government, the ANMAT had this information before recommending its emergency use.

A vial of Sinopharm vaccine. Photo: Bloomberg

4- In the case of Pfizer, the laboratory made public its efficacy result, which was 90.7 percent in boys from 5 to 11 years old. The information was disseminated through the website of the FDA, the US sanitary control body. It was also stated that there were no cases of severe Covid nor of multisystemic inflammatory syndrome in children, a serious postviral condition ”.

5- Regarding the security of the Pfizer vaccine, the company noted that “there were no cases of myocarditis or pericarditis (inflammation of the heart or around the heart), but there were not enough volunteers in the study to be able to detect very rare side effects.”

6- It was the first time that Pfizer provided public data on an estimate of the efficacy of its coronavirus vaccine in children; their previous report only indicated that the drug produced a strong immune response. That is, the same data that has so far been made public for the Sinopharm vaccine.

7- Why did the ANMAT not disclose the information on Sinopharm that it was said to have available, such as the FDA did it with Pfizer? The official explanation is that these data are confidential and they can only be published if the laboratory authorizes it. Sinopharm published phase 1 and 2 results in The Lancet, but did not release the phase 3 information.

The new presentation from Pfizer for boys from 5 to 11 years old.  Photo: AP

The new presentation from Pfizer for boys from 5 to 11 years old. Photo: AP

8- The authorities of the Argentine Society of Pediatrics assure that when they met with officials of the Ministry of Health there were on the table a folder with -as they were assured- the phase 3 information that the ANMAT had accessed. But they couldn’t tell them details and statistics of the results precisely because of the confidentiality to which they are tied.

9- The difference in technology between the Sinopharm vaccine and that of Pfizer led former SAP president Omar Tabacco to tell Clarion what for him it was more reliable for minors the first vaccine than the second, precisely because it is a classic manufacturing method and already proven in vaccines of the official calendar that are used to fight other diseases.

10- There is a decisive fact about the efficacy level of vaccines. That is, the key that should allow the State to decide if the proven benefit is greater than the eventual cost. In the case of Pfizer that information was publicly released (The level of effectiveness is similar to that in adults). At Sinopharm it is still an unknown. Making this information transparent would be relevant to consolidate the trust of the population and avoid “Immune bumps”, in pursuit of achieving the desired herd immunity.

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