THE FIRST effective coronavirus vaccine can prevent more than 90% of people from getting the virus, according to manufacturers.
Developers Pfizer and BioNTech called the first interim results in large-scale trials “great day for science and humanity”.
Their vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and the company says there have been no serious side-effects.
The study focused on 94 who received the two-dose vaccine and were protected against the disease 28 days after their first inoculation.
The phase three trials – the final stage before commercial licensing – show 90% protection is achieved seven days after the second dose.
Regulators have said they would approve a vaccine that is just 50% effective so the phase 3 results from Pfizer/BioNTech are extremely positive.
They say they will plan to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of the month, ahead of other vaccine developers. Former vaccine frontrunner Moderna, which planned to produce the drug in Madrid, does not expect to have the trial data required to go for approval until November 25.
The company are aiming to supply 50 million doses by the end of this year, and around 1.3 billion by the end of 2021.
The US has secured orders for 100m doses of the shot meanwhile the UK has an agreement to secure 30m doses. A deal for the supply of 200m doses to the EU is under negotiation.
“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,” said Dr Albert Bourla, the Pfizer chairman and chief executive.
“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.”