Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine candidate over 90 percent effective, study shows

Daniel Fowler
December 2, 2020

Futures tracking the S&P 500 hit a record high on Monday after US drugmaker Pfizer said its experimental vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on initial data from a large study.

"The first set of results from our Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine's ability to prevent Covid-19". Still, over 90% effectiveness implies that no more than 8 of the 94 people who caught COVID-19 had been given the vaccine, which was administered in two shots about three weeks apart.

An mRNA-based vaccine candidate against the SARS-CoV-2 being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has shown promising results in people that weren't previously infected by the virus.

"We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development programme at a time when the world needs it most, with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen".

The companies said they have found no serious safety concerns so far, and expect to seek USA emergency use authorization later this month. "More data on safety is also needed, and we are continuing to accumulate that safety data as part of our ongoing clinical study", said Bourla.

The companies added that they are accumulating safety data and now estimate that a median of two months of safety data following the second dose of the vaccine will be ready by the third week of November.

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Data from the full Phase 3 trial will also be submitted by Pfizer and BioNTech for scientific peer-review publication. Pfizer says that the case split between vaccinated individuals and those who received the placebo indicates a vaccine efficacy rate above 90%, at seven days after the second dose.

The companies believe that the addition of these secondary endpoints will help align data across all COVID-19 vaccine studies and allow for cross-trial learnings and comparisons between these novel vaccine platforms. "This is a victory for innovation, science and a global collaborative effort", said Prof.

Ten of them were at the most advanced phase 3 stage, in which a vaccine's effectiveness is tested on a large scale, generally tens of thousands of people across several continents.

"The two companies are at pains to point out that the trial participants are ethnically diverse, which is good, but say nothing about the age of people in the trial".

The companies added that, based on current projections, they expect to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020, with up to an additional 1.3 billion doses forecast for 2021.

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