New Delhi, December 2: The US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in collaboration with German biotech company BioNTech developed the potential COVID-19 vaccine by the name 'BNT162b2'. The UK government on Wednesday said in a statement that it's Heath Regulator has approved the vaccine for usage  and mass vaccination in the country will begin from next week.The vaccine has been largely successful in its clinical trials and showed 95 per cent efficacy in its final trials. As per the reports of the trials, the vaccine had equal efficacy among younger volunteers and those over 65 who are most at risk from COVID-19. Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 Vaccine Approved by UK for Rollout, to be Made Available Across The Country From Next Week.

According the Phase-3 trial results, the vaccine was administered on people starting from 18 years of age to older against the deadly virus with at least one symptom. Out of 170 study subjects who developed COVID-19 with a symptom, 162 were on placebo, and only eight received the vaccine. 9 out of the 10 severe cases of coronavirus were volunteers who took a placebo.  Gender, race and ethnicity also made no difference. COVID-19 Vaccine to be Administered For Free in Japan, Yoshihide Suga Govt Passes Bill in Parliament.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVId-19 vaccine is based on mRNA- a molecule which instructs the cell on what to code. It uses genetic codes to induce an immune response. The mRNA in the vaccine is coded to recreate the spike protein of the novel coronavirus. Once it is injected into the human body, it instructs the cells to create copies of spike protein, prompting the immune cells to generate antibodies to fight the infection.

According to the experts, large-scale manufacturing of mRNA-based vaccines can be easily done through bioreactors—a manufacturing device used to develop and grow organisms under controlled conditions. Pfizer and BioNTech say their combined production facility can supply up to 50 Million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 Billion doses by the end of 2021, at a global level.

However, the biggest drawback with this potential COVID-19 vaccine is the storage issue, as it requires to be stored at extremely low temperatures. The company has designed a special carrying case for its vaccine. Medical freezers that go down to minus 70 Degree Celsius are rare even in US and European hospitals. It's storage poses a serious problems for countries, including India which lack the adequate cold-storage infrastructure to maintain the required temperature.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 02, 2020 01:43 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website