Pfizer, BioNTech say Covid-19 vaccine candidate 90% effective

(Update 2: Adds byline, adds detail throughout)

By Jairo Mejía

New York, Nov 9 (efe-epa).- American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced Monday that its candidate Covid-19 vaccine was 90% effective, far exceeding expectations and paving the way for rapid approval meaning it could be in use before the end of the year.

It is a milestone achievement by Donald Trump’s White House Administration following its launch of Operation Warp Speed, a multi-billion dollar program with the private sector aimed at fast-tracking the research and development of vaccines and therapeutics against Covid-19.

The virus is spreading uncontrollably in the United States and Covid-19 has killed at least 237,000 people in the country.

The BNT162b2 vaccine, which uses Messenger RNA tech, is being developed jointly by Pfizer and German company BioNTech, has passed rigorous clinical trials and analyses of preliminary Phase 3 data conducted by an independent committee, which confirmed its effectiveness.

“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 high level of efficacy was noted seven days after the second dose of the vaccine was administered — 28 days after the first dose.

The data comes from observations made on the first 94 volunteers to test positive for Covid-19 and the level of protection the vaccine offers could vary by the time it is approved by regulators.

Pfizer and BioNTech hope to manufacture 50 million doses of the vaccine in 2020 and 1.3 billion in the coming year, according to the statement.

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