After the completion of Pfizer Inc’s coronavirus vaccine trial, it was reveled that the vaccine is 95% effective in preventing the spread of the virus. Made using new technology messenger RNA (mRNA) with BioNTech SE, it’s set to seek regulatory approval “within days.”
This is great news as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise across the globe. As of yesterday, November 18, there are a total of 55,326,907 cases with 1,333,742 deaths according to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s COVID-19 dashboard.
According to a Reuters article, Pfizer declared the vaccine’s efficacy “was consistent across age and ethnicity demographics, and that there were no major side effects, a sign that the immunization could be employed broadly around the world.”
While some side effects were discovered in the study, most of them only ranged from mild to moderate and were easily managed. “The only severe adverse event that affected more than 2% of those vaccinated was fatigue, which affected 3.7% of recipients after the second dose,” Reuters reported. “Older adults tended to report fewer and milder solicited adverse events following vaccination.”
Additionally, it appears to be 94% effective for adults aged 65 years and older.
On Wednesday, November 18, the drugmaker shared that 170 COVID-19 cases (162 were monitored in a placebo group, while 8 were in a vaccine arm) among over 43,000 volunteers became part of its clinical trial.
In a joint statement, the two companies shared, “There were 10 severe cases of COVID-19 observed in the trial, with nine of the cases occurring in the placebo group and one in the BNT162b2 vaccinated group.”
Pfizer and BioNTech are looking to submit the same analysis to other regulatory agencies across the globe, including the United States, as well as a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
Pfizer is aiming to produce 1.3 billion doses by 2021, and 50 million this year.
Since it will be stored at minus 75 degrees Celsius or minus 103 degrees Farenheit that’s “far below the capability of standard freezers,” according to CNN International, many have brought up theissue of its fragility.
However, Pfizer has spelled out that “specially designed, temperature-controlled thermal shippers utilizing dry ice to maintain temperature conditions of -70°C” have been developed. “They can be used be as temporary storage units for 15 days by refilling with dry ice,” the firm explained. “Each shipper contains a GPS-enabled thermal sensor to track the location and temperature of each vaccine shipment across their pre-set routes leveraging Pfizer's broad distribution network.”
"Pfizer is confident in its vast experience, expertise and existing cold-chain infrastructure to distribute the vaccine around the world," they further added.
Square thumbnails from Pfizer.com