A COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech has prevented more than 90 percent of infections, according to a new study.
As Bloomberg reports, the vaccine, which has been tested on tens of thousands of volunteers, has proven to be “the most encouraging scientific advance so far” in the ongoing battle against the novel coronavirus. The vaccine, which is still in the preliminary testing phase, could be greenlit for emergency-use authorization if further research shows the vaccine is also safe.
Per an interim analysis trial, 94 participants — split between those treated with placebos and those who were vaccinated — contracted COVID-19. The research will continue until 164 cases have occurred, and if the data and key safety readout looks good per Pfizer’s estimations, the new vaccine may be a key player in maintaining the global health crisis, which has killed over 1.2 million people worldwide to date.
According to William Gruber, Pfizer senior vice president for vaccine clinical research and development, the results of this new vaccine turned out better than he’d hoped for. “This is about the best the news could possibly be for the world and for the United States and for public health,” said Gruber.
To put things into perspective, BioNTech Chief Executive Officer Ugur Sahin noted that “more than 90 percent is extraordinary” considering the effectiveness of previous vaccines were expected to be in the 60 to 70 percent range.
“It shows that Covid-19 can be controlled,” Sahin added. “At the end of the day, it’s really a victory of science.”
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