Pfizer and BioNTech have announced that their experimental COVID-19 vaccine has been successful in the final stage of clinical trials.
In major news on the COVID-19 vaccine front, New York-based multinational pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer has revealed that a vaccine they have been working on may be more than 90 per cent effective in preventing the virus. The vaccine, which was developed in partnership with their German partner BioNTech, is currently undergoing Phase 3 trials.
If the treatment proves successful, it will be the first time an effective vaccine has been developed for a new virus in under a year, representing a major milestone for modern medicine.
Whilst the trials are still ongoing, the results are currently looking positive, with only 94 infections contracted out of around 44,000 people across six countries, with participants receiving either the vaccine or a placebo.
Speaking on the news, senior World Health Organisation official, Bruce Aylward described that the results could “hold great promise hopefully for the entire world”, adding that “by March as a result of the extraordinary work happening globally we could be in a position to fundamentally change the direction and the dynamic of this crisis.”
UPDATE: We are proud to announce, along with @BioNTech_Group, that our mRNA-based #vaccine candidate has, at an interim analysis, demonstrated initial evidence of efficacy against #COVID19 in participants without prior evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
— Pfizer Inc. (@pfizer) November 9, 2020
According to The New York Times, if all goes to plan, Pfizer will apply for emergency authorisation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this month in order to produce doses for 15-20 million people before the end of the year.
The vaccine is one of four that the Australian Government has agreed to buy if successful, with 10 million doses pre-purchased – although, it’s unlikely we will receive it before the beginning of next year.
President-elect Joe Biden has welcomed the news but warned that the “challenge before us right now is still immense and growing.”