Corona Briefer Asks whether Coronavirus Vaccines a Game-Changer or a Swell Folly

An expert on the effectiveness of vaccines: "There is a lot of marketing" Javier Díez Domingo, an advisor to the European Medicines Agency, has also questioned the theses of Margarita del Val, a virologist at the CSIC.

Given the speed with which information and data circulate and the urgency to approve the different existing vaccines against coronavirus, there is a lack of consensus within the scientific community. For example, this is the case of Javier Díez Domingo, external advisor to the European Medicines Agency, who, although he agrees on many things, does not share others that are coming to light.

"In the very short term and with very few cases, from a scientific point of view, it has no value. With which, if we measure the uncertainty of the data, it means that the effectiveness of the vaccine is somewhere between 65 and 99% ", he explains about the effectiveness superior to 90% of Pfizer and Moderna, to which he adds that there is "A lot of marketing."

In an interview with the EFE Agency, Díez explained that much more information is needed about vaccines, which he assures that he would get without hesitation as soon as they arrived in Spain.

Coronavirus vaccine approval, a complex process

Javier Díez is head of the Vaccine Research Area of ​​the Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research of the Valencian Community (Fisabio), so he knows what he is talking about, and applauds that there is such a large supply of vaccines: "No vaccine producer is capable of supplying the whole world."

"Once production is authorized, from the start of development until it comes out, the vaccines must pass between 40 and 60 security checks. They are slow, laborious and expensive processes and there is no factory prepared to make such a massive production of vaccines as even to supply Europe or the United States", the production device explains above all.

Thus, it is in favor of having so many steps prior to the approval of vaccines: "Quality controls, which in European regulations are called good pharmaceutical practices, are insurmountable."

Claims of Margarita del Val

While he favors many controls and the extensive production of vaccines, he is not so in agreement with the CSIC virologist's statements. He said that vaccines would only be effective in mild and moderate cases. "I've been taking vaccines all my life, and this doesn't convince me at all." Although he confesses that he "appreciates it very much," he does not shy away from admitting that they are of a "tremendous short-sightedness and scientific myopia."

"To say that it does not prevent hospitalization is a fallacy, we do not have data because the study could not be done, but by avoiding infection, it is normal for it to avoid hospitalization," says Díez. "The message is: it prevents disease, and the prevention of serious disease can only be measured when it is on the market, and for that, it is working," he clearly states.

Prediction about vaccines

With regard to Pfizer, in addition to his opinion on the percentages, he considers that the fact of needing a deep freeze of 70 degrees below zero means that "there will not be many warehouses with these characteristics to keep many vaccines." In the case of Moderna, he affirms that the EU has not yet signed any agreement. In any case, his prediction is for March 2021. He says that even if they do the quick review, it could take a minimum of four to eight weeks and once analyzed, it is when the corona virus vaccine authorizations are given, and the distribution begins.

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