A coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer proved more than 90% effective in a preliminary analysis of a trial involving thousands of enrollees, a major milestone in the race for shots that can reel in the pandemic.
The drugmaker said it tallied 94 infections in trial participants and looked at who received the vaccine, versus the placebo, to determine its efficacy. Recipients achieved protection 28 days after the second dose of the vaccine.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said.
The news is likely to reverberate around the country and the world. The U.S. is recording over 100,000 new infections per day, signaling a potentially rocky road ahead as winter looms.
“We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen,” Dr. Bourla said. “With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis.”
Pfizer will not seek emergency approval of its candidate immediately, however.
The Food and Drug Administration wants two months of safety data from half of the trial participants after their second dose, pushing the timeline to the latter half of November.