Pfizer Inc has developed a COVID-19 vaccine found to be more than 90-percent effective.
This is a major victory in the fight against a pandemic that has killed more than a million people and rendered economies.
Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE are the first drugmakers to release successful data from a large-scale clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine, Aljazeera reports.
The companies said they have so far found no serious safety concerns and expect to seek US authorisation this month for emergency use of the vaccine for people aged 16 to 85.
If authorised, the number of doses will initially be limited and many questions remain, including how long the vaccine will provide protection. However, the news provides hope that other COVID-19 vaccines in development may also prove effective.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity,” Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chairman and chief executive, said.
“We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development programme at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen.”
“I’m near ecstatic,” Bill Gruber, one of Pfizer’s top vaccine scientists, said in an interview.
“This is a great day for public health and for the potential to get us all out of the circumstances we’re now in.”
For Pfizer to seek US authorisation for emergency use of its vaccine, it will need two months of safety data from about half the study’s 44,000 participants, which is expected late this month.
More details soon.
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