In the battle against COVID-19, a vaccine is crucial and according to recent findings, we may have finally found a good candidate. A vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE was found to prevent more than 90% of infections in a study of tens of thousands of volunteers, reported Bloomberg.
“This is about the best the news could possibly be for the world and for the United States and for public health," William Gruber, Pfizer senior vice president for vaccine clinical research and development, told Bloomberg.
The results were procured by an interim analysis that took place after 94 participants, separated between those who got a placebo and those who were vaccinated, contracted the virus. However, the trial will not be completed until 164 cases have taken place and been evaluated.
A good effectiveness
Still, the news is extremely promising particularly since it comes with an effectiveness of 90%. The effectiveness of the first vaccines was expected to be at a much lower range of 60% to 70%.
“It shows that Covid-19 can be controlled,” BioNTech Chief Executive Officer Ugur Sahin told Bloomberg. “At the end of the day, it’s really a victory of science.”
However, for now, a lot of details on the vaccine’s efficacy are missing such as how well it works in subgroups and whether it prevents severe disease. Analyses that could provide that data have yet to be conducted.
The good news is that the trial’s data monitoring committee has not yet spotted any serious safety concerns. For the time being, Pfizer needs to get two months of safety follow-up data in order to be granted an emergency authorization by U.S. regulators.
If all goes well with that data, Pfizer could submit an application for an authorization in the U.S. this month Here's hoping the vaccine will spell the end of a pandemic that has killed more than 1.2 million people worldwide.