Pfizer Seeks COVID Vaccine OK As Roll Out Planned

Yolanda Curtis
November 21, 2020

The world is looking to scientists for salvation from the global pandemic, as a new wave of infections forces NY to shut schools and California to implement night time curfews.

Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE 22UAy.DE BNTX.O have reported final trial results showing the vaccine was 95% effective in preventing COVID-19, with no major safety concerns.

It is not clear how long the FDA will take to study the data.

And BBC health correspondent Naomi Grimley says this vaccine is still a long way off widespread use, not least because it adopts an experimental technology that has never been approved before.

In a year when every turn of the calendar brought more bad news, the recent announcements that two coronavirus vaccines are more than 90% effective is a rare shot of good news.

"Filing in the USA represents a critical milestone in our journey to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the world and we now have a more complete picture of both the efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine, giving us confidence in its potential", Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, said in a press release.

That would make the company and its German partner, BioNTech, the first coronavirus vaccine developers to submit their shot for review by US regulators.

It also said rates had been decreasing in Wales and Northern Ireland.

But the vexed and enormously complex question of how to expedite production and distribution means there will be no immediate reprieve.

Moderna reported more Grade 3 side effects.

The second worst-affected country is Brazil with 167,455 deaths, followed by India with 131,578, Mexico with 99,528 and the United Kingdom with 53,274. Ask in the form below and we'll dig for answers.

The U.S. government has an agreement to purchase 100 million doses of the vaccine, with an option to purchase an additional 500 million doses.

Not everyone is happy about the new guidelines and regulations.

New York City on Thursday closed its schools - affecting 1.1 million students - but left gyms and bars open, the opposite of the virus strategy in many European cities where schools have stayed open.

In California from Saturday there will be a 22:00 to 05:00 stay-at-home curfew for the vast majority of the population.

And the latest restrictions in Europe include Northern Ireland's decision to shut pubs and shops for an extra two weeks, as Portugal extends a state of emergency until December 8.

"I'm afraid we still haven't made those decisions", he said.

Governments are now pinning their hopes on a vaccine that can save them from business and school closures and the stay-at-home orders that put people's mental health under severe strain. They expect to supply the global market up to 50 million vaccine doses before the end of this year and 1.3 billion doses in 2021. Can a vaccinated person get infected but have no symptoms and then spread the coronavirus?

On Monday, a vaccine candidate from biotechnology firm Moderna clocked in with almost 95 percent efficacy at an early analysis.

But developing countries will face deeper challenges.

Warp Speed has been fostering the development of six additional COVID-19 vaccines, but it's clear Pfizer and Moderna's mRNA vaccines will be the first out of the gate.

China's Sinopharm revealed Friday that it has already given its experimental vaccine to almost a million people - including state employees and students heading to study overseas.

Other reports by iNewsToday