Spain hopes to receive first Pfizer vaccines in early 2021: minister

Modesto Morganelli
Novembre 21, 2020

Shares of Pfizer Ltd rose almost 4 per cent in early trade on Thursday after Pfizer Inc announced that the COVID-19 vaccine developed in partnership with BioNTech was found 95 per cent effective in the final analysis of the Phase 3 trial.

The companies said their two-dose vaccine provided protection beginning seven days after the second dose and 28 days after the initial dose of the vaccine. In a subgroup of 8,000 participants where side effects were observed, the only serious ones were fatigue and headache.The result puts the vaccine - which uses a genetic material known as mRNA to trigger an immune response - in pole position to win approval for emergency use from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Spanish Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, said on Tuesday that news that the vaccine of the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech is "90% effective", is an "important, promising and relevant step", although at the same time he urged against over-optimism, saying that "there are still hard months" ahead and it is not advisable to "lower our guard".

"Today is a great day for science and humanity", Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said in a statement.

Reuters
Reuters

Illa said the Spanish government would act to convince a substantial portion of the population which public opinion polls suggest are wary of any vaccine against COVID-19.

"The first interim analysis of our global Phase 3 study provides evidence that a vaccine may effectively prevent COVID-19", added BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin. They said almost 39,000 human subjects have received both doses.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is one of several candidates now in late-stage clinical trials worldwide, along with candidates being developed by AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax and Moderna.

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