Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine found to be 90% Effective

The world has been waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine. Could this be it?

Pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer Inc. and biotechnology company BioNTech SE announced that their COVID-19 vaccine is 90% effective.

World Health Organization (WHO) director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the progress in the vaccine trials and thanked scientists who are working on the vaccine.

“The world is experiencing unprecedented scientific innovation and collaboration to end the pandemic.” He said in a tweet.

The findings of the vaccine’s effectiveness were based on an interim analysis conducted after 94 participants of the vaccine trial contracted COVID-19.

The analysis evaluated 94 confirmed Covid-19 infections among the trial’s 43,538 participants. Pfizer and the U.S. pharmaceutical giant’s German biotech partner said the case split between vaccinated individuals and those who received a placebo indicated a vaccine efficacy rate of above 90% at seven days after the second dose.

It means that protection from Covid-19 is achieved 28 days after the initial vaccination, which consists of a two-dose schedule. The final vaccine efficacy percentage may vary, however, as safety and additional data continue to be collected.

Pfizer said it would continue its trial until 164 COVID-19 cases among volunteers have been through the vaccine trial, a number that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed is enough to tell how well the vaccine is working.

Although there are concerns that the findings were announced by Pfizer and not through a peer-reviewed science journal as is usually the case with any new medical treatment, Pfizer said that it would do so once it has the results from the entire trial.

Andrew Preston, reader in microbial pathogenesis at the University of Bath said, “the actual data from the trial is not yet publicly available for full scrutiny, and it is noted that the trial is not yet complete.”

U.S. stock futures skyrocketed as investors cheered the news. Airline and cruise company stocks jumped in premarket trading — with some stocks rising by 20% and 30%. Both industries have been significantly affected by the global health crisis as travel restrictions and a resurgence in outbreaks continue to hurt demand.

The race to distribute Covid-19 vaccines to hundreds of millions of Africans could come down to one question: Do we have enough freezers?

Some of the shots now in the late stages of testing must be stored at temperatures potentially as cold as minus 80 degrees Celsius, or minus 112 Fahrenheit, similar to conditions for transporting ice cream and steaks to supermarkets and eventually to people’s doorsteps.

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