Covid-19: Vaccine proven 90% effective in immunising against virus

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There is hope for the world after a Covid-19 vaccine candidate announced a breakthrough.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they plan to submit an application for emergency authorisation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the third week of November, when they will have two months of safety follow-up data on half of the participants in their trial, along with data on their manufacturing process.

Dr Albert Bourla, CEO of the American company, said "today is a great day for science and humanity".

US drugmaker Pfizer Inc PFE.N and German partner BioNTech SE BNTX.O 22UAy.DE are the first to release data showing that their vaccine worked in a large, late-stage clinical trial.

USA drugmaker Pfizer Inc with German partner BioNTech SE, and U.S. biotech Moderna Inc could have early data in November.

But others pointed out that there would likely be significant logistical problems in getting the vaccine to everyone, especially given it must be kept super-cooled and now requires two doses to bestow immunity.

Scientists were warning a vaccine might only be 55% effective. maybe slightly higher, but we hadn't heard percentages like this before in the various trials.

Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, University of Southampton, called it an "excellent result for a first generation vaccine". Pfizer's vaccine requires two shots, which need to be taken 28 days apart.

However, the US government made the vaccine order with Pfizer outside of "Operation Warp Speed", meaning the government did not provide funds for research or development of the drug.

He added: "We will continue to collect further data as the trial continues to enrol, for a final analysis planned when a total of 164 confirmed Covid-19 cases have accrued".

The data is not yet published or peer-reviewed, and the company news release could not be presented to outside experts under the terms of an embargo.

The U.S. COVID-19 death toll stands at over 237,000, with more than 9.9 million cases now reported in the country since the outbreak began, according to a Reuters tally.

AstraZeneca said last week a slowdown in infections during the summer is delaying data analysis for its United Kingdom trial.

The companies also stated that the vaccine did not have major side effects on the trial candidates. They now expect to produce up to 50 million doses or enough vaccine to protect 25 million people this year.

If the results remain constant, the COVID-19 vaccine could become the vital solution to control a global pandemic that has until this moment killed more than 1.2 million people worldwide.

While promising, this analysis alone does not provide enough information about the vaccine for Pfizer to ask the FDA for permission to distribute it.

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