Pfizer and BioNTech Vaccine Candidate is 90% Effective
On Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced their COVID-19 vaccine was 90 percent effective in preventing infection, according to CNBC.
“I think we can see light at the end of the tunnel,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said. “I believe this is likely the most significant medical advance in the last 100 years, if you count the impact this will have in public health, global economy.”
The world has been in disarray since the onset of COVID-19 earlier this year. Vaccine development typically takes around 10 years, but researchers and scientists around the world have been working to expedite the process and get the world back on track. The COVID-19 pandemic has infected almost 51 million and killed nearly 1.3 million. Scientists were hoping for a vaccine that was at least 75 percent effective. Dr. Anthony Fauci previously stated that a 50 or 60 percent effective vaccine would be acceptable.
The results of the phase three clinical vaccine study were derived from an analysis conducted by an external and independent Data Monitoring Committee. 94 of the 43,358 trial participants tested positive for COVID-19. The clinical study gave certain individuals the vaccine and others placebos. The case resulted in a vaccine efficacy rate greater than 90 percent seven days after the second dose. This means that protection from COVID-19 is achieved 28 days after initial vaccination.
“The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” Bourla said. “We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen,” Bourla continued.
“With today’s news, 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. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.”
The companies plan to submit their vaccine for emergency use authorization to the FDA as early as the third week of November. Pfizer and BioNTech expect to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020, and 1.3 billion in 2021. In July, the companies signed a $2 billion agreement with the US government to supply 100 million doses.
The logistics of delivering hundreds of millions of coronavirus vaccines throughout the world is in question, but that is a topic for a later date.