Pfizer says virus vaccine 90% effective

Pfizer develops COVID-19 vaccine that is ’90 percent effective

BioNTech's co-founder and chief executive said he was optimistic that the protective effect of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, co-developed with Pfizer, would last for at least a year.

The Phase 3 clinical trial of the Pfizer / BioNTech mRNA based vaccine (BNT162b2) began on July 27 and has enrolled 43,538 participants to date.

He continued: "We are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis".

The DMC has not reported any serious safety concerns and recommends the study continues as planned.

"Until the trial results are independently reviewed and scrutinized by staff at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the independent experts on the agency's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, enthusiasm for the apparently promising interim results announced by Pfizer and BioNTech must be tempered". To do so, it will need to have collected two months of safety data on around half of the study's roughly 44,000 participants, expected in late November. It was not revealed how many of them had received the vaccine candidate and how many had received a placebo. 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. They now expect to produce up to 50 million doses or enough vaccine to protect 25 million people this year.

"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", Pfizer chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.

Both US President-elect Joe Biden and President Donald Trump have welcomed the announcement.

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