Monday, November 9, drugmaker Pfizer announced an early analysis of its coronavirus vaccine trial to be more than 90% effective, in a breakthrough that could make the shot available by the end of the year.
Pfizer, which developed the vaccine with the German drugmaker BioNTech, released only sparse details from its clinical trial, based on the first formal review of the data by an outside panel of experts.
The company said that the 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, the company added.
This is the first COVID-19 vaccine in development to have data showing that it exceeded that mark.
According to Dr. William Gruber, Senior Vice President of Vaccine Clinical Research and Development at Pfizer, “I tend to be an optimist. I’ve been in vaccine development for over 35 years.”
“But this is extraordinary, and I think it speaks well not only for the potential of this vaccine but potentially other vaccines that are out there in development for COVID-19,” he added.
Pfizer plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization of the two-dose vaccine later this month.