Very Encouraging Covid-19 Vaccine Results
10 Nov 2020
In big news overnight, Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have reported that its novel, two dose "mRNA" vaccine has been more than 90% effective thus far in protecting people against COVID-19 in a 44,000 person trial.
Analysis found that the vaccine was more than 90 percent effective in preventing the disease among trial volunteers who had no evidence of prior coronavirus 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. Pfizer plans to ask the FDA for emergency authorization of the two-dose vaccine later this month, after it has collected the recommended two months of safety data. While two months may seem like a long period to determine if there are any adverse side effects, this is warp speed in terms of vaccine approval.
At this stage there have been no details of the success rate in different age groups and pharmaceutical companies tend to use healthy, which normally means younger people, in these studies.
So there is still water to pass under the bridge, but it is certainly much more promising than expected as the following exert from a New York Times article shows.
“This is really a spectacular number,” said Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University. “I wasn’t expecting it to be this high. I was preparing myself for something like 55 percent.” If the final vaccine ends up with that level of efficacy, it “would be higher than your regular flu vaccine, and this vaccine could have a serious impact on bending the curve of this outbreak”Dr. Saad B. Omer, the director of the Yale Institute for Global Health.
Pfizer's results are especially encouraging because another leading vaccine developer, Moderna, uses similar mRNA technology.
So lets keep safe and hope for the best.
One of the hardest things about Covid19 is that there has been no end in sight. While it is too early to celebrate, we wanted to bring you this positive news after what has been a very difficult 2020 for a lot of people.
As always, please don't hesitate to speak with your adviser if you have any questions.