First COVID-19 vaccine is 90 percent effective, says Pfizer

Rodiano Bonacci
Novembre 16, 2020

Pfizer's trial has split the participants half and half across the placebo and vaccine groups.

Pictured is the first patient to have received the Pfizer vaccine, at the University of Maryland in May this year.

The two companies said they would likely apply for emergency use authorisation of the vaccine with the US Food and Drug Administration in the coming week. The FDA states that a coronavirus vaccine must have an effectiveness rate of at least 50pc.

There are around a dozen vaccines that have reached the final stages of testing, but this is the first to show any results.

The developers - Pfizer and BioNTech - described it as a "great day for science and humanity".

USA banks including Citigroup Inc, Bank of America Corp and Goldman Sachs Group Inc, often seen as a proxy for the broader economy, jumped between 5% and 8% after Pfizer and BioNtech said the data showed the vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19.

Pfizer and BioNTech are now accumulating this additional safety data and estimate that it will take until the third week of November for the company to make available two months' worth of safety data following the second and final dose of the vaccine.

Global cases of Covid-19. Graphic PA
Global cases of Covid-19. Graphic PA

The vaccine is believed to be a way out of all the restrictions imposed on people around the world.

India is focussed on five other Covid-19 vaccine candidates being tested by Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadila, Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Biological E. They now expect to produce up to 50 million doses or enough vaccine to protect 25 million people this year.

Considering that the USFDA as well as several worldwide regulators and health organisations have suggested that a Covid-19 vaccine has to be able to protect at least 50 per cent of those receiving it, the findings in Pfizer and BioNTech's case seem promising.

The global race for a vaccine has seen wealthier countries forge multibillion-dollar supply deals with drugmakers like Pfizer, AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson Inc, raising questions over when middle income and poorer nations will get access to inoculations.

Biden's victory in Pennsylvania on Saturday put him above the 270 Electoral College votes needed to secure the presidency, four days after Election Day, although President Donald Trump does not plan to concede anytime soon. On Saturday, Democratic rival Joe Biden was declared the victor. Millions of children whose schools were closed in March remain in remote learning programs.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has become the first country to surpass 10 million coronavirus infections. The proteins are harmless, but sufficient to provoke a robust immune response.

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