What a better way to start off the week than with news giving us back some hope for the future. Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer And BioNTech just announced the interim results of their ongoing Covid-19 vaccine phase 3 trial. According to these results, the vaccine appears to be 90% effective, with no safety concerns. This makes Pfizer And BioNTech the frontrunners in the vaccine race.
According to data published on Monday from their late-stage vaccine trial, U.S pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German firm BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19. The phase 3 trial started at the end of July and has so far 43,538 participants to date, 38,955 of whom have received a second dose of the vaccine candidate yesterday.
Participants are from the US, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and Turkey. The protection effect of the vaccine was observed one week after the second dose, and 28 days after the first one. The announcement also confirmed that there are no serious safety concerns so far regarding this vaccine. All the observed side effects are similar to what is seen in other vaccines for adults. Vaccines such as the flu and pneumonia shots.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity. 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″Dr Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO
Great news, now what?
It is worth noting that these results are only interim results. Pfizer and BioNTech will need more time to confirm the correct efficacy of the vaccine. After the second (final) dose, the researchers need two months of safety data before results can be confirmed.
As soon as this data is available, researchers will submit the results for review. Then the vaccine shall start the process of approval to government agencies around the world.
In anticipation, pharmaceutical companies are already producing millions of doses, ready for distribution once the whole process is over. The two companies announced that they will be able to produce 50 million doses by the end of 2020 and 1.3 billion in 2021.