Pfizer Covid vaccine found over 90% effective at seven days after the second dose, according to the company’s announcement.
According to Pfizer and BioNTech’s statement, their coronavirus vaccine was more than 90% effective in responding to Covid-19 among those without proof of prior infection. They consider the development as “a great day for science and humanity.”
“I think we can see light at the end of the tunnel,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said during an interview on CNBC’s Meg Tirrell on “Squawk Box.” “I believe this is likely the most significant medical advance in the last 100 years, if you count the impact this will have in public health, global economy.”
The statement comes as drugmakers and research centers race to produce a safe and effective vaccine to control the coronavirus pandemic that has killed over 1.2 million lives across the world.
Scientists look forward to a coronavirus vaccine that is at least 75% effective, while White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said one that is 50% or 60% effective is already acceptable.
U.S. stock futures rose as investors celebrated the news. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 1,646 points, suggesting an opening gain of more than 1,630 points. By late morning, the Dow rose by more than 1,000 points, an increase of 3.7%.
Pfizer Covid vaccine efficacy
Pfizer’s findings were based on the initial interim efficacy analysis held by an external and independent Data Monitoring Committee from phase three clinical study. The group monitors U.S. clinical trials to make sure that participants are safe.
The analysis studied 94 confirmed Covid-19 infections among the trial’s 43,538 respondents. Pfizer and its German biotech partner explained the case split between vaccinated persons and those who took a placebo suggested a vaccine efficacy rate of above 90% at seven days after the second dose.
It means that patients got protection from the virus 28 days after the initial vaccination, which covers a two-dose schedule. However, the final vaccine efficacy percentage may be different as safety and additional details continue to be collected.
In an interview with CNBC, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner and a member of Pfizer’s board, said that the vaccine could be given in limited use as early as late December and available by the third quarter of 2021.
“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,” Bourla said in a statement.
“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,” Bourla continued.
“With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks,” he said.
“The U.S. FDA set a threshold of 50% effectiveness for a Covid-19 vaccine to merit approval. A 90% effective vaccine would be extraordinary,” Dr. Peter Drobac, a global health physician and director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford, said via email.
“We’ll need to see the full results subjected to independent review. Let’s take a deep breath, but this is very promising news,” he said.