Positive Results for Pfizer’s COVID-19 VaccineBy Miriam Bello | Mon, 11/09/2020 - 14:10
Pfizer and BioNTech revealed that the first results from clinical trials for their vaccine against COVID-19 showed a 90 percent effectiveness on participants with no previous contagion of SARS-CoV-2. Other developments have already been touted as successful in preventing contagion, like the AstraZeneca/Oxford and Sputnik V, however, this is the first time any competitor has presented this much evidence to back their development.
Pfizer and BioNTech’s development is a two-doses vaccine. During an interview with MBN, Costanza Losada, President and County Manager of Pfizer, explained that the vaccine is based on Messenger RNA (mRNA), “an innovative technology that allows a quicker evaluation process and faster mass production.”
Here is the development timeline of the vaccine:
- May: Pfizer and BioNTech had two versions of an mRNA vaccine development, which they submitted for Phase 1/2 trials. The two versions created antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in the patient that received it. They also developed immune cells or T cells that respond to the virus. However, one of the developments showed to produce significantly fewer side effects, which made the company move into Phase 2/3 trials, filed BNT162b2.
- July: The company began Phase 2/3 clinical trials with 30,000 volunteers in the US, Argentina, Brazil and Germany. Results for this phase reported mild to moderate side effects.
- September: The trial expended in the US to 43,000 participants.
- October: The trial included children over 12 years of age. Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard announced an agreement between Mexico and Pfizer and BioNTech for the acquisition of their vaccine. The agreement contemplates between 15.5 and 34.4 million doses of the vaccine, which will be delivered between December 2020 and December 2021.
- November: While results for Phase 2/3 trials were expected in October, it was on Nov. 9 that the coalition released promising preliminary results indicating that their vaccine COVID-19 was over 90 percent effective against the SARS-Cov-2 virus. Pfizer is now submitting an application for an Emergency Use Authorization for such vaccine.
Pfizer has said it expects to produce over 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine worldwide by the end of 2021. The company has already signed contracts with the US government for 100 million doses to be delivered by December, with the option of acquiring 500 million more doses in the future.
Regarding distribution, Losada told MBN that Pfizer is ensuring global supply. “We are expanding our manufacturing network so we can produce the vaccine quickly if our studies are successful. This is a clear example of our commitment to patients globally and, of course, my own commitment with Mexico.
"I never thought it (the vaccine) would be 90 percent (effective)," shared Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla to CNBC, adding that this is a great day for humanity and science and a “light at the end of the tunnel for humanity.”