The race for vaccine against Covid-19 grows harsher… Following the Institut Pasteur that launched human tests this summer, German company BioNTech has launched themselves – this past July – into similar tests of their candidate vaccine in China, as authorized by the government. A candidate vaccine developed in partnership with pharmaceutical group Pfizer.
This Monday November 9, Pfizer and BioNTech have announced their vaccine is “90% effective”, according to preliminary results from phase 3, naming the last phase before applying for approval.
This “vaccine effectiveness” has been assessed by comparing the number of participants infected with the novel coronavirus in the group that has been given the vaccine and the one with a placebo, “seven days after the second dose” and 28 days following the first one, Pfizer and BioNTech explained in their release.
This Wednesday November 18, Pfizer group director general confirmed they will soon apply for marketing authorization in the United-States in order to allow the first vaccination programs from December 2020 in the best-case scenario.
Still on November 18, both laboratories have announced their vaccine was ultimately 95% effective as shown by the full results of the 3rd phase of the clinical trial. The release also unveils two major data, that were still hazy when the preliminary results were shared this past November 9: on one side, the double injection is said not to have noticeable side effects on the length studied, and on the other side, the vaccine is said to be effective on all genders and age ranges.
For the record, the vaccine has been developed “with the ARNm technology of BioNTech in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan”. This vaccine is one of the candidate vaccines currently being tested – or soon to be – in humans, like the one developed by Moderna Therapeutics or AstraZeneca’s, that was first expected to be available in September, but more likely to be ready for December 2020 according to the CEO.
Pfizer vaccine's third clinical trial stage is said to take two more years at least, in order to study the long-term basis of the treatment and potential long-term-based side effects. But it does not prevent marketing before the end of the study. Therefore, both companies hope to produce 50 million doses by the end of 2020 and 1.3 billion doses for late 2021.