‘Pfizer corona vaccine over 90% effective’

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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 Dr Albert

DNA/NEWS DESK

ISLAMABAD: Large-scale trials of a coronavirus vaccine candidate produced by Pfizer/BioNTech have revealed that it is 90% effective, said the manufacturer in a statement.

In what is being touted as possibly the biggest news regarding the virus ever since it originated, the vaccine’s effectiveness can mean in can hit the markets for treatment by the year’s end in some countries of the world.

The study shows that people who received two doses as part of the trial saw 90% fewer symptomatic cases of Covid-19 than participants who were given a placebo.

“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 Dr Albert Bourla, the Pfizer chairman and chief executive.

The study focused on 94 participants out of a total number of 43,000 people. These participants were offered the two-dose vaccine and 28 days after they received their first inoculation, remained protected.

“To me, this is the best possible outcome,” Ugur Sahin, co-founder and chief executive of BioNTech told.

Pfizer expects to produce 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by 2021.

The company referred to the development as a “critical milestone in our vaccine development” adding that the welcome news came at a time when hospitals were being filled to their maximum capacity and economies were struggling to remain open.

Pfizer said that the vaccine’s Phase 3 trial began this year on July 27 and has involved 43,538 participants in total out of which 38,955 have received a second dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of November 8, 2020.

“Approximately 42% of global participants and 30% of U.S. participants have racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. The trial is continuing to enroll and is expected to continue through the final analysis when a total of 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases have accrued,” said Pfizer in its press release.

The manufacturer further added that the Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) had found no health risks attached with the vaccine and has given the green signal for further studies to be conducted.

It said that the study of the virus will also include whether it has potential to protection to those who were previously infected with the virus and those who were infected against “severe COVID-19 disease”.

The high percentage of those protected makes the findings compelling. In the past, vaccine regulators have said they would approve a candidate that proved itself 50% effective – protecting half of those who get it. The company says there have been no serious side-effects.

The welcome news could not have come at a more crucial time as October proved to be the worst month for the COVID-19 pandemic with over 10 million new infections reported across the globe in just 21 days.