According to chief sanitary doctor Viktor Lyashko, 117,000 doses were brought to Ukraine within the framework of the first batch. Further, 950,000 doses are expected, and in total – eight million doses.
The trade name of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine is Comirnaty. We'll talk about the name below, for a start, the answer to three important questions.
Who to be vaccinated first?
According to Lyashko, first of all, the staff and residents of nursing homes will be vaccinated, then the employees of the State Emergency Situations Service and border guards.
Vaccination with Comirnaty will begin on April 18 in the Kyiv region. From April 19, it starts all over Ukraine.
It is expected that 1170 doses of the drug will be distributed to each region and the city of Kyiv. Along with the vaccines, a solution for their dilution, syringes, and boxes for the safe disposal of medical waste will also be delivered.
Transporting and storage
The vaccine will be transported in special dry ice containers. When these containers are delivered to the regional warehouse where the vaccine is stored, in these containers it can keep temperatures down to -80 for a month, only the dry ice will change.
Injecting the second dose
According to Lyashko, re-vaccination should occur in 25 days.
"117,000 doses will not be used immediately for the first vaccination, since 50% will be used for the first vaccination, after that in 25 days there will be repeated vaccinations," he said.
We have found the answers to a few basic questions, now let's move on to the basics.
What is known about the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine?
Here's what the European Medicines Agency (EMA) website tells us.
Comirnaty is a vaccine to prevent Covid-19 in people aged 16 and over. Comirnaty does not contain the virus itself and cannot cause Covid-19.
The vaccine is given as two injections, usually in the shoulder muscle, three weeks apart.
How does the vaccine work?
Comirnaty prepares the body to protect itself from Covid-19. It contains a molecule called mRNA, which has instructions for making a spike protein. It is a protein on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that the virus needs to enter the cells of the body.
When a person receives a vaccine, some of their cells "read" the mRNA instructions and temporarily produce a spike protein. The person's immune system then recognizes this protein as foreign, makes antibodies, and activates T cells (white blood cells) to attack it.
If a person subsequently comes into contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, his immune system will recognize it and will be ready to defend the body against it.
The mRNA of the vaccine does not remain in the body but is destroyed soon after vaccination.
How effective is Comirnaty?
A very large clinical study found Comirnaty to be effective in preventing Covid-19 in people aged 16 and over.
In total, about 44,000 people participated. Half of them received the vaccine and half received a placebo.
The study showed a 95% decrease in the number of symptomatic cases of Covid-19 in people who received the vaccine (8 cases out of 18 198 had Covid-19 symptoms) compared to people who received a placebo (162 cases out of 18 325 received the vaccine). This means that the vaccine has shown 95% effectiveness in the trial.
The trial also showed about 95% efficacy in participants at risk of severe Covid-19, including those with asthma, chronic lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or a body mass index ≥ 30 kg / m2.
Can children be vaccinated with this vaccine?
Comirnaty is not currently allowed for children under 16 years of age. The EMA has agreed on a plan to test the vaccine in children at a later stage.
What are the side effects?
The most common side effects from Comirnaty were usually mild to moderate and disappeared within a few days after vaccination.
These are: pain and swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills, fever, and diarrhea. They affected, on average, more than 1 in 10 people.
Redness at the injection site, nausea, and vomiting occurred on average in less than 1 in 10 people.
Rare side effects included itching at the injection site, pain in the arm that was injected with the vaccine, swollen lymph nodes, difficulty sleeping, feeling unwell, and allergic reactions (such as rash, itching, itchy rash, and rapid swelling under the skin) (affects on average less than 1 person in 100).
Weakness of the muscles on one side of the face (acute peripheral palsy of the facial nerve or paralysis) rarely occurred on average in less than 1 in 1000 people.
Allergic reactions have occurred with Comirnaty, including a very small number of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
The Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine is codenamed BNT162b2. It was used in development and testing. Tozinameran is an international non-proprietary name.
But Comirnaty is a trademark (trade name). This name "combines COVID-19, mRNA, community, and immunity."
A word from Scott Piergrossi, President of Operations and Communications at the Brand Institute in Miami, which was the institute behind the vaccine name:
“The name comes from Covid-19 immunity, and then mRNA is embedded in the middle, which is a platform technology, and in general the name is intended to evoke association with the word “community.”
According to him, the purpose of drug naming is to combine ideas and give meaning to the name. In this case, the high-priority concepts that the teams started working with were Covid immunization and mRNA technology.
Piergrossi clarified that the clients themselves came up with the community as the image and association they wanted to see.
In simple terms, it is the prefix Co-, followed by mRNA in the middle and ending with the suffix -ty, which indicates both community and immunity.