Covid-19 vaccine found to be '90 percent effective', says Germany-based biotech firm
A potential vaccination for coronavirus has taken a huge leap after Mainz-based BioNTech and its American partner Pfizer published results of their first large-scale trials.
On Monday, BioNTech and the American pharmaceutical group Pfizer revealed the first data results from their Phase 3 clinical study for the vaccine candidate BNT162b2.
Phase 3 of the trial involved 43,538 participants. These participants received two doses of either the immunisation or a placebo, with 90 percent protected from the virus within 28 days of having their injections.
So that means, according to the results, the risk of contracting Covid-19 was more than 90 percent lower for study participants who received the vaccine than those who didn't.
The firms say there have been no serious side-effects.
The companies, who teamed up to develop the vaccine together, have not provided information on how long the protection could last.
The two partner firms plan to apply for emergency approval for the vaccine in the US later this month. If sufficient data on the safety of the vaccine is available, which is expected in the third week of November, the application should be filed soon after.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity," said Dr Albert Bourla, the Pfizer chairman. "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."
"This is the first evidence that Covid-19 can be prevented by a vaccine in humans," BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told Reuters.
The firms are creating a vaccine using new technology based on mRNA, a type of genetic material never before used to make a vaccine.
READ MORE: How Germany is preparing for the coronavirus vaccination
BioNTech and Pfizer started their final Phase 3 clinical trial at the end of July.
As The Local is reporting, Germany is preparing a vaccination strategy, with states currently earmarking potential vaccination centres.
Health workers and risk groups will be the first to be offered the vaccination.