US-based biopharmaceuticals-maker Pfizer Inc. and German BioNTech SE’s Covid vaccine successfully inhabits 90% of the disease, it was found in the interim analysis of the large Phase III clinical trial involving tens of thousands.
The findings of Pfizer’s vaccine candidate are based on the interim analysis of the crucial stage III clinical trial which was kickstarted back in July enrolling 43,538 participants to date.
It comes as one of the most advanced and ratifying scientific advancements against the fight of this once-in-a-century pandemic that has taken over a million lives and infected over 50 million globally.
The mRNA-based vaccine candidate called ‘BNT162b2’ was administered in all the volunteers, 38,955 of whom have received a second dose already.
This stage-three analysis comes after 94 candidates were isolated — including those who were given placebo — contacted COVID. After receiving the second dose the vaccine efficacy was recorded at more than 90% after 7-days, the company said in a media release.
The study is still continuing to enroll new volunteers until the threshold of 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases has reached among the volunteers to further determine the efficacy.
Based on the interim analysis of this large-scale advanced stage trial, BioNTech and Pfizer’s vaccine candidate is able to inhibit the virus 28-days after the initiation of two scheduled doses of the vaccine.
“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, Pfizer Chairman and CEO.
“We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen.”
Speaking to Bloomberg News, BioNTech Chief Executive Officer Ugur Sahin said the results of these interim findings were ‘extraordinary’ since like other vaccines at this stage he expected the efficacy to be somewhere around 60% – 70%.
BioNTech co-founder and CEO Prof. Ugur Sahin said this result is “a victory for innovation, science and a global collaborative effort.”
Pfizer says their subjects were derived from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, but as per Bloomberg News, its effects on subgroups like the elderly are not yet known.
It is also not known yet if the vaccine is capable enough to inhabit the severe form of the disease since none of the candidates who contacted COVID-19 in this analysis had a severe version of the virus.
The two companies will continue to follow-up on the safety data and will have to continue following up for two-months which is a regulation specified by the US FDA in its guidance for potential Emergency Use Authorization.
If the two-months-long follow-up turns out without any problem, the vaccine candidate can thereafter seek emergency use authorization with the US government, and others.
The current positive preliminary data fromPfizer and the German partner puts them on track to become the first vaccine candidate to win emergency use authorization in the world for COVID-19.
With the second-wave pandemic, and in some places third-wave raging in full-swing, expectancy on a vaccine to thaw the situation around the world is high.
The company duo projects to deliver 50 million doses of what is the first-in-kind messenger RNA technology in vaccines, to governments this year, and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
The US government under the Trump administration secured a 600-million vaccine deal under the eponymous Operation Warp Speed, We The World reported in July.
The messenger RNA tech essentially tricks the body to produce proteins resembling the virus itself which is then countered by the immune system to shut down their effects.
In the US, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are closely following the race to develop a vaccine that is ready to be shot. Moderna is expected to deliver its large-scale Phase III results this month.
Results of J&J’s one-shot vaccine made with a different tech is expected to come by the end of this year. Apart from the US vaccine candidates, others in China and Europe are also racing to authorize their version of the jab to fight COVID-19.
The story has been edited in the headline.