COVID-19 Diary – Day 271

Pfizer Vaccine Study Data Now Public

The United States FDA has released Pfizer’s vaccine candidate data from their 3 phases of studies, and the news is looking mostly good!

Pfizer’s own document runs 92 pages long and doesn’t make for an exciting read in most cases, but if you would like to read it, you can find it linked here. The FDA’s own briefing document is a little easier to read and is only 52 pages long. You can find the FDA’s document linked here.

To keep things simple we will break the news down in “Good”, “Bad”, and “Unknown” categories:

Good News:

  • It has already been well-publicized that the vaccine is ~95% effective with 2 doses. New information is that just 2 weeks after the first dose, it is already 52% effective! But still, go get the second dose of course.
  • The effectiveness of the vaccine is relatively consistent from ages 16-85.
  • Only 0.000693% of Phase II/III participants suffered severe reactions believed to be related to the vaccine.

Bad News:

  • The vaccine has stronger adverse effects (sore injection site, fatigue, headaches, muscle & joint pain, fever & chills, etc) than your typical flu vaccination, and the negative reactions appear to be stronger in younger people.
  • The second dose usually hits harder than the first dose.
  • 64 individuals (0.3% of vaccine receiving participants) experienced swollen lymph nodes unexpectedly. Most cases lasted 10 days or less.
  • 6 people died during the study, including 4 from the placebo group, and may not have been related to the study.

Still Unknown:

  • We do not have enough information on how the vaccine interacts with pregnancy
  • We do not have enough information on how the vaccine interacts with children under 16
  • We do not have enough information to know how long immunity will last
  • We have no information on if the vaccine will prevent transmission of the virus
  • We have no information on how the vaccine will affect people who have previously been infected with COVID-19

Approval of the vaccine for emergency use in Canada is expected within the next week.

BC Recovery Benefit Applications Open Dec 18th

Today Premier Horgan announced that the new BC Recovery Benefit would be opening for applications as of Dec 18th. The benefit will mean an extra $500 for most individuals or $1000 for most families, based on the income they made, reported in their 2019 tax returns.

Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • You must have been residing in British Columbia on December 18, 2020
  • You must be at least 19 years old on December 18, 2020
  • You must have filed a 2019 Canadian personal income tax return
  • You must have a valid social insurance number, individual tax number or temporary tax number

Some exceptions apply to the above, for those and details on how you can apply on December 18th please check out the official BC government page here.

Recent News Roundup!

A lot of very interesting news articles and stores have been posted in the last few days, and we would like to share the most interesting or most important ones that we found, with a brief summary of each so you can decide if you want to dig a little deeper yourself. We will try to keep everything quick and to the point!

  • COVID-19 Vaccine will not be mandatory in Canada, but refusing to be vaccinated may result in future restrictions, possibly including access to air travel or some businesses without additional protections. This article is about Ontario, but the likelihood of this is global. Link here.
  • The best way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in your car (between driver/passengers) is by opening all your windows. This might seem obvious, but now there is scientific evidence to back it up. Link here.
  • Scientists in California are working on a way to use your cell phone camera to test nasal swabs for COVID-19. The hope is to provide rapid low-cost solutions that are available to everyone. Link here.
  • BC Ferries is not able to prevent non-essential travel or enforce the public health order regarding it. Good behaviour in this is largely on the honour system. Link here.
  • AstraZeneca releases their Phase II/III study data and concludes they need to study their vaccine more before applying for emergency use authorizations. This is largely due to the confusing effectiveness data that currently implies a lower dosage may be more effective. They will continue to study their vaccine. Link here.
  • 26-year-old mixed martial-artist from Burnaby spends weeks in a coma fighting COVID-19 (and recovers). This is one of the youngest serious COVID cases seen in BC so far. Link here.
  • BC government is looking into increasing public health order non-compliance fines for repeat offenders, however, no mention is made of fining anti-health rally organizers or promoters. Link here.

Asking for Feedback:

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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