Thursday, 21 January, 2021


Pfizer ends vaccine trial with 95% efficacy

US plans to start dispensing Pfizer COVID vaccine from next month Russia claims Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective against Covid-19
Patty Aguilar | 21 November, 2020, 00:56

The news comes just two days after Pfizer and BioNTech announced their vaccine was more than 90% effective.

The company expects it can have 20 million doses of the vaccine, known as mRNA-1273, ready by year's end for shipment within the U.S. and between 500 million and 1 billion doses for global distribution in 2021.

Trudie Lang, director of the Global Health Network at Oxford University, said: "Today's update from Pfizer provides further encouraging news and more detail on the protection against disease that their vaccine is showing from this definitive phase III trial". Europe's STOXX 600 and U.S. S&P 500 e-mini futures both hit session highs.

Pfizer shares rose 3% in premarket trade while BioNTech's US-listed shares jumped 8%. It can, however, be kept in normal refrigeration for up to five days, or up to 15 days in a thermal shipping box. Moderna Inc on Monday released preliminary data for its vaccine, showing similar effectiveness.

Moderna's vaccine can be stored for up to six months at -20C though it is expected to be stable for 30 days at normal fridge temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36°-46°F).

Although Pfizer and BioNTech are submitting the candidate for emergency authorisation in the USA next week, they are waiting for 164 COVID-19 cases to end the analysis.

The data from Moderna's trial involving 30,000 volunteers also showed the vaccine prevented cases of severe COVID-19, a question that still remains with the Pfizer vaccine.

Numerous countries have signed deals with the company already to receive millions of doses of its candidate vaccine. Eleven of the COVID-19 cases were ranked as severe, again, all in the placebo group. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have said they hope to start testing the vaccine in younger patients soon.

"It is likely that vaccines that prevent symptomatic disease will reduce the duration and level of infectiousness, and thus reduce transmission, but we don't yet know if this effect will be large enough to make any meaningful difference to the spread of the virus within communities", said Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh.

The trial also showed that more than 2% of those vaccinated experienced fatigue, while 3.7% of recipients experienced the side effect after the second dose.

Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said: "This ... is very good news indeed".

Next year, the U.S. government could have access to more than 1 billion doses just from the two vaccine makers, more than needed for the country's 330 million residents.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they plan to submit the data to other regulatory agencies around the world. The Commission has also concluded "successful" exploratory talks with Moderna, it said in a statement released yesterday.

Pfizer said its two-dose vaccine, called BNT162b2, was well-tolerated and that side effects were mostly mild to moderate, and cleared up quickly. Russian Federation licensed its Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine for domestic use in August before it started large-scale trials.

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