Pfizer/BioNTech Completes Phase 3 of Vaccine Trial, Showing Safety and Efficacy
Nov. 19, 2020 (EIRNS)—Pfizer/BioNTech announced today that they have completed Phase 3 testing of their Covid-19 vaccine, and will be submitting a request for FDA approval within days. This is the first Covid-19 vaccine to have completed Phase 3 testing. There were over 43,000 participants in the trial, half getting the vaccine and half getting a placebo (a fake shot), with a double-blind format so that the participants and researchers did not know which participants got the vaccine until the trial was over. During the trial period there were a total of 170 cases of Covid-19, including 162 cases in the non-vaccinated group, and 8 cases in the vaccinated group, indicating an efficacy rate of over 95%. For participants over age 65, the efficacy rate was 94%. There were no serious side effects. The worst adverse effects in the vaccinated participants were fatigue in 3.8%, and headache in 2%.
If approved, Pfizer plans to produce 50 million doses globally in 2020, and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021. The high efficacy rate among participants over 65 is crucial, because the elderly have had a significantly higher death rate from Covid-19 since the epidemic began. It is anticipated that if the vaccine is approved, the first segments of the population to get the vaccine will be the elderly, people with chronic debilitating disease, and front-line health care workers.
The vaccine is based on an advanced technology using messenger RNA produced in a lab, which codes for the Covid-19 spike protein. There is no virus in the vaccine. Pfizer is headquartered in New York, BioNTech in Mainz, Germany.