Pfizer Says Final Data Analysis Shows COVID-19 Vaccine 95% Effective
By Staff, Agencies
Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that a final data analysis found their coronavirus vaccine was 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 and, in addition, appeared to fend off severe diseases.
The vaccine, called BNT162b2, was highly effective against the virus 28 days after the first dose, and its effectiveness was consistent across all ages, races and ethnicities, the drug-makers said. Additionally, the elderly, who are seen as at high risk of severe illness from Covid-19, saw vaccine effectiveness of more than 94%, they added.
“The final analysis underlines the results of the positive interim efficacy analysis announced on November 9,” BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said in a statement. “The data indicates that our vaccine ... is able to induce a high rate of protection against COVID-19 only 29 days after the first dose. In addition, the vaccine was observed to be well-tolerated in all age groups with mostly mild to moderate side effects, which may be due in part to the relatively low dose.”
The vaccine also appeared to prevent severe disease in volunteers. There were 10 cases of severe cases of Covid-19 observed in the phase three trial, with nine of the cases occurring in the placebo group, the companies said. There were also no “serious” safety concerns, they said, with most adverse events resolving shortly after vaccination.
The company’s shares jumped 3% in premarket trading.
The final analysis evaluated 170 confirmed Covid-19 infections among the late-stage trial’s more than 43,000 participants. The companies said 162 cases of Covid-19 were observed in the placebo group versus eight cases observed in the group that received its two-dose vaccine. That resulted in an estimated vaccine efficacy of 95%, they said.
The news comes more than a week after the companies announced that their vaccine was more than 90% effective and two days after Moderna said preliminary phase three trial data showed its vaccine was 94.5%. Both vaccines use messenger RNA, or mRNA, technology. It’s a new approach to vaccines that uses genetic material to provoke an immune response.
A safe and effective vaccine is seen by investors and policymakers as a solution to get the global economy back on track after the pandemic wreaked havoc on nearly every country across the globe and upended businesses. The virus continues to spread rapidly, with more than 55.5 million cases worldwide and at least 248,429 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Pfizer and BioNTech’s initial results on Nov. 9 were based on the first interim efficacy analysis conducted by an external and independent Data Monitoring Committee from the phase three clinical trial. The independent group of experts oversees US clinical trials to ensure the safety of participants.
Medical experts, meanwhile, note that it remains unclear how long the vaccines will provide immunity and whether or how often people may need periodic booster shots.