The world's giant pharmaceutical company, Pfizer has come out with 95% trial of COVID-19 vaccine success rate and two months of safety data, paving the way for the drugmaker to apply for an emergency U.S. authorization within days, it said on Wednesday.
The vaccine’s efficacy rate, the highest of any candidate in late-stage clinical trials so far, pleased experts who had already said that interim results showing Pfizer’s shot was over 90% effective were very encouraging.
Pfizer said there were 170 cases of COVID-19 in its trial of more than 43,000 volunteers and only eight people with the disease had been given the shot rather than a placebo, meaning the vaccine had a 95% efficacy rate.
Of the 10 people who developed severe COVID-19, one had received the vaccine. “The data is very strong,” said Ian Jones, a professor of virology at Britain’s University of Reading. “It’s looking like a really contender.”
Pfizer said it expects the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee to review and discuss the data in a public meeting that will likely be held in December.
The final analysis comes just a week after initial results from the trial showed the vaccine was more than 90% effective.
Moderna Inc MRNA.O on Monday released preliminary data for its vaccine, showing 94.5% effectiveness. The better-than-expected results from the two vaccines, both developed with new messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, have raised hopes for an end to a pandemic that has killed more than 1.3 million people and wreaked havoc upon economies and daily life.
However, while some groups such as healthcare workers will be prioritised in the United States for vaccinations this year, it will be months before large-scale roll-outs begin.
Pfizer claims the efficacy of the vaccine developed with German partner BioNTech SE BNTX.O22UAy.F was consistent across different age and ethnic groups, a sign that the immunization could be employed broadly around the world.