Pfizer has today announced its experimental COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective which if so will be a major victory in the fight against a pandemic that has killed more than a million people.
Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE are the first drugmakers to release successful data from a large-scale clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine. The companies said they have so far found no serious safety concerns and expect to seek U.S. authorisation this month for emergency use of the vaccine.
Health experts said Pfizer’s results were positive for all COVID-19 vaccines currently in development since they show the shots are going after the right target and are a proof of concept that the disease can be halted with vaccination.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity,” Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s Chairman stated.
“This news made me smile from ear to ear. It is a relief to see such positive results on this vaccine and bodes well for COVID-19 vaccines in general,” added Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Oxford.
The prospect of a vaccine electrified world markets with S&P 500 futures hitting a record high and tourism and travel shares surging. Shares of companies that have benefited from pandemic-related lockdowns dropped including conferencing platform Zoom Video Communications which was down 12% in premarket trading.
Britain expects to have 10 million doses of Pfizer / BioNTech’s candidate COVID-19 vaccine available by the end of the year if approved by regulators according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson.
The spokesman said that Britain had now ordered 40 million doses of the candidate vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, one of six that the government has agreed supply deals for.