As the world is eagerly waiting for a vaccine against the Coronavirus infection, Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Monday, November 9 that its COVID-19 candidate vaccine was more than 90 percent effective to prevent the Coronavirus caused disease, at a time when experts are settlng for one that is at least 75 percent effective.
The details of the study are posted on the company website. Based on current projections, Pfizer plans to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021. Pfizer and BioNTech are planning to seek the FDA nod for potential Emergency Use Authorization whch they hope would be available by the third week of November.
Dr. Albert Bourla, the Pfizer Chairman and CEO said that "we can see light at the end of the tunnel." The Pfizer vaccine has emerged as the best hope for the world since White House Coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci once said that a 50 to 60 percent effective vaccine would be acceptable. In this case, a 90 percent effective candidate is more than just acceptable.
Coronavirus Vaccine Candidate
The recent findings are based on the first interim efficacy analysis carried out by an external and independent Data Monitoring Committee from the phase 3 clinical trial. The team of experts is responsible for analyzing the trials to make sure of the safety of the participants.
The analysis evaluated 94 confirmed Coronavirus infections among the 43,538 participants of the trial. As per the developers of the Coronavirus vaccine, it was found that the vaccine efficacy rate is above 90 percent at seven days after the second jab—which means COVID-19 protection can be achieved 28 days after the initial vaccination that includes two-doses.
However, the final vaccine efficacy may vary, as the safety and other data is required to be collected. Bourla said that the first set of results from the Pfizer Phase 3 vaccine trial "provides the initial evidence of our vaccine's ability to prevent COVID-19."
The Pfzer news comes at a time when the world needs it most since the Coronavirus infection rates continue to set new records, and hospitals are flooded with patients while the pandemic is equally damaging the economy.
"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," said Bourla and added that the developers of the promising vaccine will share "additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks".
However, the Army general in charge of Operation Warp Speed, Gus Perna said recently during an interview that the federal government will start distributing a COVID-19 vaccine within 24 hours once it is approved, though he was apprehensive about the anti-vaxxers who would refuse to be vaccinated.