News 9 November 2020

First ‘Milestone’ Covid-19 Vaccine Found To Be 90% Effective

9 November 2020

A coronavirus vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has been found to be 90% effective, according to data.

According to the two firms, phase 3 of the trial for the jab has been tested on 43,538 participants from six countries – with only 94 people going on to develop Covid-19. No safety concerns were also reported.

“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,” said Pfizer chairman and chief executive Dr Albert Bourla.

“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.”

Prof Ugur Sahin, one of the founders of BioNTech, described the results as a “milestone”.

The firms are now planning on applying for emergency approval to roll out the vaccine by the end of this month. The UK has already ordered 30 million doses of the vaccine.

If successful, Pfizer is hoping to manufacture 50 million doses by the end of this year, followed by a further 13. billion by the end of 2021.

The data from the U.S. firm suggests two doses are needed three weeks apart in order for the vaccine to be effective. At current, it is not known how long immunity lasts.

William Schaffner, infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville, Tennessee, said of the jab: “The efficacy data is really impressive.

“This is better than most of us anticipated. I would have been delighted with efficacy of 70% or 75%, 90% is very impressive for any vaccine. The study isn’t completed yet, but nonetheless the data looks very solid.”