The first effective coronavirus vaccine has shown 90 percent efficacy with no side-effects, a preliminary study has shown.
Developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, the vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries, and no safety concerns have been reported. Moreover, it has protected 90 percent of recipients from getting infected with COVID-19.
The companies plan to apply for emergency approval to be able to use the vaccine by the end of the month.
Though a dozen COVID-19 vaccines are in the final stages of the testing – also called the phase 3 trials – but only one has shown promising results, saving 90 percent of people from getting the infection.
Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, has described it as a “great day for science and humanity”.
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.
He was hopeful that this breakthrough would help bring an end to this global health crisis.
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.
The vaccine, expected to be commercially available by the end of this year, uses an entirely experimental approach to produce antibodies which includes injecting part of the virus’s genetic code to train the immune system. Two doses, three weeks apart, help the body to produce antibodies and another part of the immune system called T-cells to fight the coronavirus.
Currently being tested in the US, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and Turkey, the vaccine shows 90 percent protection in seven days after the second dose.
Pfizer is hopeful of making 50 million doses available by the end of this year and around 1.3 billion by the end of the next year. However, it could experience logistical challenges, as the vaccine requires ultra-cold storage at below minus 80C.