NEW YORK, USA: Pfizer and BioNTech said their jointly developed vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing coronavirus, in what comes as a major development in the fight against the pandemic that has killed over a million people.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity. 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,” said Dr Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief executive in a statement.
According to initial findings, protection in patients was achieved seven days after the second of two doses, and 28 days after the first.
“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,” Dr Bourla said.
Based on supply projections, the companies said they expect to supply up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020, and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
US biotech firm Moderna, several state-run Chinese labs, and a European project led by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca are thought to be closing in on potentially viable vaccines.
Pfizer said it is gathering two months of safety data following the final dose — a requirement of the US Food and Drug Administration — to qualify for Emergency Use Authorization, which it expects by the third week in November.
“We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most.”
Across much of the globe, coronavirus infections rates are hitting record highs, with hospital intensive care units filling up and death tolls mounting.
UPDATE: We are proud to announce, along with @BioNTech_Group, that our mRNA-based #vaccine candidate has, at an interim analysis, demonstrated initial evidence of efficacy against #COVID19 in participants without prior evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
— Pfizer Inc. (@pfizer) November 9, 2020
The news brought positive impact stock market around the world. The Australian share market was flying high at midday trade, with investors still in good spirits amid optimism about a Covid-19 vaccine.
European stock markets and oil prices rocketed after coronavirus vaccine hopes following the successful trials.
Already up strongly on Joe Biden’s US election win, markets massively accelerated gains after Pfizer and BioNTech announcement.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 surged 5.5% in midday deals.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt jumped 6.0%, Paris soared 7.1%, Milan won 6.2% and Madrid 9.4%.
Dow Jones futures were up 5.4% ahead of the Wall Street open.
“Stock markets surged on some extremely positive news from Pfizer and Biontech,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com.