COVID-19 vaccine found to be 90% effective: Pfizer
According to a recent interim analysis of a phase 3 study, a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 shows 90% efficacy in fighting the virus when experimented on trial volunteers who were never exposed to the infection of the virus. Pfizer and BioNTech SE of the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed is independently developing a messenger RNA–based vaccine by the name BTN162b2.
The vaccine requires two doses. The phase 3 trial has already enrolled a total of 43,538 participants among which a sparse 42% of enrollees have racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. In their press release, Pfizer and BioNTech SE announced that a sample of 38,955 trial volunteers received a second dose of either vaccine or placebo. Out of the total participants, an interim analysis of 94 individuals conducted by an independent data monitoring committee (DMC) found that the vaccine showed above 90% efficacy rate, 7 days postoperatively after the second dose. This illustrated the fact that protection against the virus was achieved 28 days after the first vaccine dose. The companies will tabulate a final data analysis after the 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases have occurred. So far, there have not been any serious complications noted by the DMC. "It's promising in that it validates the genetic strategy – whether its mRNA vaccines or DNA vaccines," Paul A. Offit, MD, and member of the US Food and Drug Administration's COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee told Medscape Medical News. "All of them have the same approach, which is that they introduce the gene that codes for the coronavirus spike protein into the cell. Your cell makes the spike protein, and your immune system makes antibodies to the spike protein. At least in these preliminary data, which involved 94 people getting sick, it looks like it's effective. That's good. We knew that it seemed to work in experimental animals, but you never know until you put it into people", he further added. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, DVM, Ph.D., added in a separate press release, "It's important to note that we