According to a recent press release, Pfizer, Inc., in partnership with BioNtech, have announced that early data from their COVID-19 vaccine trial has demonstrated high effectiveness. The Phase 3 vaccine candidate’s early results found the immunization to be 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without prior evidence of the infection.
The clinical trials for this vaccine candidate has included over 43,000 participants with 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Subsequently, no serious health or safety concerns have been reported.
The news arrives as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continues to spike with an average of over 100,000 new cases per day.
“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.”Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman & CEO
While these initial results are positive, Pfizer has communicated the need for caution, as results could change by the time the study is complete. This vaccine candidate still has required steps to take prior to approval; which includes achieving sufficient safety data and submitting the vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Should they be successful, Pfizer plans to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020, and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
This vaccine is one of 10 late-stage candidates globally, with four of the studies being conducted in the United States. Once the vaccine is approved, there will be a substantial amount of time before it is publicly distributed. With that said, the CDC encourages everyone to continue to take precautionary steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding large crowds and gatherings, social distancing, wearing a mask and frequent handwashing.
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