Head of the COVID vaccine trials at LVHN updates the findings

Written by on May 26, 2021

Head of the COVID vaccine trials at LVHN updates the findings

By Brittany Sweeney

May 26, 2021

A nurse holds a phial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy’s Hospital in London, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. U.K. health authorities rolled out the first doses of a widely tested and independently reviewed COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, starting a global immunization program that is expected to gain momentum as more serums win approval. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)

Lehigh Valley Health Network is part of an ongoing study of the Pfizer COVID Vaccine.

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Six months in, they’ve found the vaccine continues to be more than 90% effective.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Joseph Yozviak is overseeing the Pfizer COVID-19 clinical trial at LVHN.

It’s a two-year study, but Dr. Yozviak says they recently looked at the impact a half a year in.

“That data has now been released publicly, at least a small amount of the data, and you know, still demonstrating more than 91% protected against any symptomatic disease. So six months out, just a very slight drop off and the effectiveness against any symptomatic disease and still extremely highly protected against hospitalizations,” Yozviak says.

Researchers are keeping an eye on the different variants, he says, and so far, the Pfizer shot seems to be providing immunity against those as well.

He says moving forward they will be taking a look at whether a booster shot 6 to 12 months down the road is effective.

Yozviak also says that initial data from other Moderna trials shows people are getting a high antibody response rate with even a low dose booster. 

“We’ve already seen some initial data with Moderna showing that you are getting much higher antibody response rate with even a low dose booster and when you boost against a version of the vaccine that’s geared specifically towards one of the new variants, it looks like it even works better,” Yozviak says. 

About 75 people — both LVHN employees and community members — were first vaccinated for the trial in September.

The clinical trial is a two-year study.

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