Good news from Pfizer, but no cartwheels till we know lots more

OK. It’s a start.

But until we know lots more, it’s just that.

First of all, be a bit wary that these numbers won’t hold up.

This press report – not yet published – claims that the vaccine was over 90 % protective, which just means that of the total of 94 people enrolled in the study who developed covid-19, 90 % (say 82 or 83) had the placebo injection, only 10 % had the actual vaccine injection.

Good, but really we should get a lot happier when the numbers come back in the many hundreds and there is still a 90-10 % discrepancy.

Second, we have no idea how many old people, how many people with multiple illnesses, were protected.

Would be great to know this vaccine is as effective in the vulnerable as it may be in the young and healthy.

Third, no word yet on whether the vaccine protected against severe disease or just milder more innocuous infections.

Fourth, no idea yet if the immune response in the vaccine lasts 3 months, 6 months, or how long.

Fifth, even if the vaccine is great, there is a huge logistical problem in distributing it since it apparently requires transport and storage at minus 70 degree temperature, which is way beyond what current storage and transport systems can accommodate, although clearly that’s something that much research and technological innovvation will now be dedicated to.

So yes, this news certainly beats what the alternative report may have been, but no cartwheels until we know a lot, lot more.