American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech have announced their milestone in developing Covid-19 vaccine.
In a press release on Monday, November 9, Pfizer said based on its initial data from a large study, a major victory in the fight against the pandemic is in sight.
“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.”
“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. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks,” he added.
The company said the analysis found the vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective in preventing the disease among trial volunteers who had no evidence of prior infection.
If the results hold up, that level of protection would put it on par with highly effective childhood vaccines for diseases such as measles. No serious safety concerns have been observed, the company said.
Pfizer plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorisation of the two-dose vaccine later this month, after it has collected the recommended two months of safety data. By the end of the year it will have manufactured enough doses to immunise 15 to 20 million people, company executives have said.