Randi Kay | COVID Vaccine, Part 2

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

A recent news story about the 52-year-old Calabasas man with a history of colon cancer, who is enrolled in the Pfizer study, begs even more questions about the vaccine. It is great that they permitted someone with an underlying condition to enroll. 

As explained in the article, they administer the vaccine and have the person wait half an hour before leaving. The study design includes six visits. There is an app in which to report symptoms and in the event the person is symptomatic, he does a swab and sends it in. I am sure people are trained to correctly swab for testing. Participants are probably tested for the virus at each visit. This gentleman from Calabasas said they just encourage everyone to live their normal lives. 

It has been reported that the vaccine is 90% effective, but I am wondering how they are able to come up with that number. Some people spend all of their time doing business in their local area while others may commute or spend time in various areas inside and outside the county. 

We don’t know how many people have coronavirus, so we may be exposed to people who have the virus without knowing we have been exposed. 

In addition, someone in Saugus may have much less exposure to the virus in terms of known cases than someone located in a different city in the county. The case rates in different cities vary, and are perhaps a better reflection of the local virus situation on a comparative basis. Each person in the study is living their “normal lives” under completely different home and community environmental conditions. 

I understand that the study designs are proprietary in nature, so someone from Pfizer will likely never address this question, but still, this blanket statement is questionable. 

It would be much easier to understand how effective a vaccine is if they put 25 people who have COVID-19 in a room without masks and after perhaps 20 minutes take them out of the room. 

They then immediately send all the study participants into the room (those taking placebo and those who received the vaccine). 

After spending a predetermined amount of time in the room, they figure out who became infected and who did not. In that scenario, the participants would all be exposed to the same environmental conditions and it would be easier to understand if and how effective the vaccine actually is. 

It was troubling to read that on the day of the announcement about the vaccine, the Pfizer CEO dumped 62% of his stock. There are many more questions that need to be answered and I invite anyone who knows more about this Pfizer vaccine trial to please write in and educate us.

Randi Kay

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