Early data shows Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine could be 90pc effective

Andrew Cummings
November 17, 2020

The coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by USA pharma giant Pfizer together with Germany's BioNTech is 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19, the firms say.

Ian Jones, professor of virology at the University of Reading, said the Pfizer trial data shows "really impressive protection and no reported adverse events".

"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".

"By December we expect more data (on the molecular stability), and if those results allow us to keep the vaccine in a fridge for longer than five days, maybe two weeks, that would again simplify things".

Pfizer believes it will be able to supply 50 million doses by the end of this year and around 1.3 billion by the end of 2021.

Shortly after the exchange opened, stock markets rose following Pfizer's report that its coronavirus vaccine is effective and amid uncertainty over the presidential election.

An analysis of the phase 3 trial showed the vaccine was largely effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants "without prior evidence of SARS-Cov-2 infection", according to the companies' joint statement. The company did not break down exactly how many of those who fell ill received the vaccine.

Albert Bourla, the chairman of Pfizer, said they are one step closer to bringing an end to the COVID-19 global crisis.

The clinical trial will now continue until there have been 164 confirmed Covid-19 cases in vaccinated and placebo groups, in order to collect further data and characterise the vaccine candidate's performance.

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