How people reacted to Pfizer, Moderna declaring their COVID-19 vaccines work

Grant Boone
November 19, 2020

Reporting an efficacy rate of 95 per cent, pharma giant Pfizer and its German collaborator, BioNTech, expect to submit data on their mRNA Covid-19 vaccine candidate to the U.S. regulator for an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA), the companies said.

The vaccine's efficacy was also consistent irregardless of peoples' gender and race.

"The study results mark an important step in this historic eight-month journey to bring forward a vaccine capable of helping to end this devastating pandemic", said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

Ten severe cases of COVID-19 have been observed in the trial, with one of the cases occurring in the vaccinated group and nine in the placebo group. The FDA will review the data and ask an outside panel of vaccine experts to weigh in on the application, a process that could take weeks. The worst adverse effects reported so far have been mild headaches (in 2.2 percent of the cohort) and fatigue (in 3.8 percent of the cohort).

The trials were done at 150 clinical trials sites in the US, Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil and Argentina.

The trial will continue for another two years to find out how long immunity lasts and whether there are longer term safety issues. This, of course, will not be enough for everyone but it is expected several other successful vaccines will also be distributed over the coming year.

USA officials have said supply will steadily increase and it expects to have enough doses of multiple vaccines to cover the whole population by next spring or summer.

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Canada has agreed to buy a "minimum" of 20 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine.

But the overall reaction was highly positive.

Less than two weeks after releasing an interim data analysis, pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech have announced their massive global Phase 3 vaccine trial is complete.

Pfizer and Moderna have developed vaccines that use a new technology that has never before been approved for human use. That fragment sets off alarms in the immune system and stimulates it to attack if the person is exposed to the real virus.

Pfizer's vaccine presents a shipping and storage challenge: it needs to be stored a -70 C. Anand told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday that Canada recently acquired ultra-frozen storage units that could store 33.5 million vaccine doses, but provided little other details about the freezers.

This is because they have different formulations of "lipid nanoparticles" used to deliver the mRNA molecules.

Pfizer and BioNTech added that there were no serious safety concerns.

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