The vaccine is due to arrive in the UK before the end of the year
Final results from Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine trial showed its shot had a 95% success rate and
two months of safety data, paving the way for the drugmaker to apply for an emergency U.S. authorization
within days, it said on Wednesday.
The vaccine’s efficacy rate, the highest of any candidate in late-stage clinical trials so far,
pleased experts who had already said that interim results showing Pfizer’s shot was over 90% effective
were very encouraging.
Pfizer said there were 170 cases of COVID-19 in its trial of more than 43,000 volunteers and only
eight people with the disease had been given the shot rather than a placebo, meaning the vaccine
had a 95% efficacy rate. Of the 10 people who developed severe COVID-19, one had received the vaccine.
“The data is very strong,” said Ian Jones, a professor of virology at Britain’s University of Reading.
“It’s looking like a real contender.”
Pfizer said it expects the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee to review
and discuss the data in a public meeting that will likely be held in December.
The final analysis comes just a week after initial results from the trial showed the vaccine was more
than 90% effective. Moderna Inc on Monday released preliminary data for its vaccine, showing 94.5% effectiveness.
The better-than-expected results from the two vaccines, both developed with new messenger RNA
(mRNA) technology, have raised hopes for an end to a pandemic that has killed more than 1.3 million
people and wreaked havoc upon economies and daily life.
However, while some groups such as healthcare workers will be prioritized in the United States for
vaccinations this year, it will be months before large-scale rollouts begin.
Pfizer said the efficacy of the vaccine developed with German partner BioNTech SE was consistent
across different age and ethnic groups, a sign that the immunization could be employed
broadly around the world.