A vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was 90 percent effective in preventing Covid-19 infections in ongoing phase 3 studies, the companies said on Monday.
Based on preliminary findings, protection in patients was achieved seven days after the second of two doses and 28 days after the first.
“The first results of our Phase 3 vaccine study with Covid-19 provide the first evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent Covid-19,” said Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, in a statement.
“We are a significant step closer to bringing a much-needed breakthrough to people around the world to end this global health crisis,” he said.
“We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most.”
All over the world, Covid-19 infection rates are reaching record highs. The intensive care units in hospitals are filling up and the death toll is rising.
Based on supply projections, companies expect to deliver up to 50 million vaccine doses worldwide by 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by 2021.
US biotech company Moderna, several Chinese government laboratories and a European project led by Oxford University and AstraZeneca are nearing potentially viable vaccines.
Two Russian Covid-19 vaccines were registered for us before the clinical trials were completed, but not widely accepted outside of Russia.
The Phase 3 clinical trial – the final stage – of the new vaccine BNT162b2 began in late July and has so far included 43,538 participants, of whom 90 percent received a second dose of the vaccine candidate as of November 8th.
Pfizer announced that after the final dose – a requirement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – safety data will be collected for two months in order to qualify for the emergency approval, which is expected by the third week of November.
“We look forward to releasing additional efficacy and safety data from thousands of participants in the coming weeks,” said Bourla.
– Dozens of other candidates –
The so-called messenger RNA or mRNA vaccine is a new approach to protection against viral infections.
In contrast to conventional vaccines, which train the body to recognize and kill proteins produced by pathogens, mRNA simulates the patient’s immune system to produce viral proteins on its own.
The proteins are harmless, but sufficient to trigger a robust immune response.
The study also examines the vaccine candidate’s potential to protect against COVID-19 in people previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2, as well as vaccine prevention against severe COVID-19 illnesses.
Pfizer and BioNTech plan to submit data from the full Phase 3 study for publication through peer-reviewed scientific research.
By mid-October, the World Health Organization (WHO) had identified 42 “vaccine candidates” at the clinical trial stage, up from 11 in mid-June.
Ten of them were in the most advanced phase 3, which tests the effectiveness of a vaccine on a large scale, typically tens of thousands of people on multiple continents.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)