The Covid vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was found to be effective 90% of the time.
The Covid vaccine being developed by American company Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech has been found to be effective over 90% of the time. The vaccine could be available by the end of the year.
Covid Vaccine 90% Effective
It was the first independent analysis of any Covid vaccine in phase 3 trials. The study involved 43,000 trial participants receiving two doses.
“To me, this is the best possible outcome” Ugur Sahin, co-founder and chief executive of BioNTech said and Pfizer chief Albert Bourla echoed that sentiment saying that it was “a great day for science and humanity”.
The vaccine will be submitted to the authorities for approval next week, before other vaccine developers. Vaccine frontrunner Moderna will not have sufficient trial data for approval until November 25, while AstraZeneca’s partnership with the University of Oxford expects results by the end of this year.
The results go above and beyond the US Food and Drug Administration’s criteria for approving a Covid vaccine. No vaccine is 100 per cent effective, according to the World Health Organization.
Up to 50 million doses of the vaccine could be manufactured this year, with a further 1.3bn doses produced in 2021.
Global markets rose significantly following the announcement, especially in hard-hit sectors such as travel and leisure. Pfizer shares shot up almost 15 per cent in pre-market trading and BioNTech rose 25 per cent.
The US has secured orders for 100m doses of the shot, with an option to acquire another 500m, while the UK has an agreement to procure 30m doses. A deal for the supply of 200m doses to the EU is under negotiation.
BioNTech and Pfizer would “use a fair approach” when it came to distributing the first doses of the vaccine, according to Sahin, adding that they would prioritise deliveries to countries where it had been approved for use.
Professor of virology at the University of Reading, Ian Jones, said the following: “This looks really good. Of all the current vaccine currently in development the BioNTech product always looked like the most bang-per-buck as it is entirely focused on the part of the virus that binds to the human cell, the receptor binding domain. The questions around its use were about the ability to manufacture at scale and the possible toxicity associated with a directly injected RNA product. The trial data show excellent results on both of those areas, really impressive protection and no reported adverse events.”
Professor of vaccinology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Brendan Wren, said 90 per cent efficacy was “excellent for a new vaccine”, but did not want people to get too excited adding that “It is a case of ‘so far so good’ but more confirmatory safety and efficacy studies are required.”
The vaccine’s immune response is expected to last for “at least one year” and the vaccine also blocks 20 different mutations of Sars-Cov-2.