pharmaceutical company pfizer and its partner BioNTech have announced that their vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior infection. the news is seen as a key development in the search for a vaccine as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise around the world. the results are based on the first interim efficacy analysis conducted on november 8, 2020 by an external, independent data monitoring committee (DMC). a submission for emergency use authorization (EUA) to the U.S. food and drug administration (FDA) is planned for soon after the required safety milestone is achieved, which is currently expected to occur in the third week of november 2020.


the analysis evaluated 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in trial participants. the case split between vaccinated individuals and those who received the placebo indicates a vaccine efficacy rate above 90%, at 7 days after the second dose. this means that protection is achieved 28 days after the initiation of the vaccination, which consists of a 2-dose schedule. as the study continues, the final vaccine efficacy percentage may vary. the DMC has not reported any serious safety concerns and recommends that the study continue to collect additional safety and efficacy data as planned. the data will be discussed with regulatory authorities worldwide.



‘today is a great day for science and humanity,’ says dr. albert bourla, pfizer chairman and CEO. ‘the first set of results from our phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19. we are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen. with today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough.’


in the united states, president donald trump hailed the announcement as ‘SUCH GREAT NEWS!’. meanwhile, president-elect joe biden welcomed the news in a statement, but urged caution saying that it will be ‘many more months’ before there is widespread vaccination. based on current projections, pfizer says that it expects to globally produce up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.