Pfizer Inc., BioNTech share Progress on COVID-19 vaccine release


      On November 8, 2020, Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE announced their mRNA-based vaccine candidate against Covid-19, according to Pzfier Inc.

     This vaccine was found to be more than 90 percent effective in preventing the illness, and none of the tested candidates were found to induce any safety concerns.

     Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer chairman and CEO says “today is a great day for science and humanity, the first results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials provide the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19.” Bourla also adds, “we are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at the time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen.” 

     After Pfizer discussed with the FDA, the two companies decided to drop the 32-case interim

analysis and perform the first interim analysis at a minimum of 62 cases. This analysis reached

a case count of 94 and performed in all cases. The test showed an efficiency rate above 90 

percent at seven days, after the second dose. 

     After 28 days of the initial injection of the trial vaccine, 9 percent of patients had achieved immunity or protection from COVID-19. Bourla then made a press release thanking volunteers who participated in the clinical trial saying “I want to thank the thousands of people who volunteered to participate in the clinical trial.”

     Sophomore Madalyn Rutch states that she “didn’t know that the vaccine was that close to being done,” and also adds “it feels like it’s been forever since this thing first started.” Junior Josh Garrett says that he’s “excited for the vaccine to be released to the public.” Garrett says “I’m so ready to get back to normal life, school included.”

     The Phase 3 clinical trial began on July 27, enrolling 43,538 global participants, 42 percent of which have racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, according to Pfizer Inc., the trial is expected to continue through the final analysis when 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases have accrued. This study will also help with the protection against severe COVID-19 disease.

     The vaccine is expected to be released to the public after the FDA approves that the vaccine has reached the required safety milestone, according to Pfizer Inc., and that is guessed to occur in the third week of November. 

     As far as the ‘final’ numbers go, 94 participants out of almost 44,000 have gotten sick with COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine, however, the data released was ‘blinded’, meaning that it was not shown how many of the 94 people sickened by the virus got the vaccine or placebo. Katie Thomas, New York Times reporter, says that they can ‘safely assume very few people who were vaccinated got COVID-19.