Pfizer said today that its experimental vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on initial data from a large study.
Pfizer and German partner BioNTech are the first drugmakers to show successful data from a large-scale clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine. The companies said they have so far found no serious safety concerns and expect to seek U.S. emergency use authorization later this month.
Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chairman said in a statement,
“Today is a great day for science and humanity.
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.”
The number of vaccine doses will initially be limited but this news is hope that other vaccines in development may also prove effective.
Pfizer expects to seek broad U.S. EMERGENCY USE authorization of the vaccine for people aged 16 to 85. It has been collecting two months of safety data on around half of the study’s 44,000 participants.
Bill Gruber, one of Pfizer’s top vaccine scientists, said,
“I’m near ecstatic.
This is a great day for public health and for the potential to get us all out of the circumstances we’re now in.”
Over 90% effectiveness implies that no more than 8 of the 94 people who got COVID who had been given the vaccine, which according to reports was administered in two shots about three weeks apart.
Pfizer and BioNTech have a $1.95 billion contract with the U.S. government to deliver 100 million vaccine doses starting this year.
Pfizer said it expects to produce up to 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021, but it alone will not have the capacity to provide enough vaccines for the entire country as they have contracts with other countries as well.
This is good news for the world, as well Biden’s new COVID task force which begins today.
(Photo, YouTube; via Daily Mail)