franceinfo: Are the results obtained with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines today exceeding initial expectations?
Odile Launay: The real-life experiences are completely in line with what had been obtained in clinical trials, with particularly excellent efficacy in severe forms. The data we have from countries that have vaccinated a lot, for example Israel, the United Kingdom or the United States, show a major impact of this vaccination on the circulation of the virus.
In France, we vaccinated the oldest with a very significant decrease in the number of cluster cases in nursing homes. So yes, these are vaccines that work very well and we can not wait for a larger proportion of the population to be vaccinated. Indeed, this is really very good news about this epidemic.
These vaccines, obviously, also participate in the reduction of contagiousness?
Yes, we are starting to have the first data since you know that initially we had data on efficacy, but we could not really conclude on the impact on transmission. Right now we have data showing that these vaccines protect and that the amount of the virus, called the viral load, in the samples is much lower. Obviously, when you have a weaker virus, you have an expression that will be of shorter duration and the risk of transmitting is obviously much lower. So, here again, these are very important data and will contribute to the effectiveness of the vaccination.
There is also the question of the two doses, and their effectiveness. Can we say that the first dose is already having an effect?
Yes, the first dose is already having an effect. There is a very recent publication which shows that the amount of virus decreases in an infected individual from the twelfth day after the first dose of vaccine. So these are very impressive data that will help reduce the circulation of the virus.
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