Coronavirus: Pfizer says early analysis shows COVID-19 vaccine over 90% effective in trial

NEW YORK — Drugmaker Pfizer said an early analysis has revealed that its COVID-19 vaccine was at least 90% effective in its clinical trial, multiple news outlets are reporting.

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According to The New York Times, the company, which partnered with BioNTech to create the vaccine, announced the news Monday morning.

The “vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis,” Pfizer said in a news release, adding that an independent Data Monitoring Committee evaluated 94 confirmed coronavirus cases among 43,500 people enrolled in the study. Pfizer has said it would continue the study until researchers record 164 coronavirus cases among participants, The Associated Press reported.

“As the study continues, the final vaccine efficacy percentage may vary,” Pfizer said in the news release. “The DMC has not reported any serious safety concerns and recommends that the study continue to collect additional safety and efficacy data as planned. The data will be discussed with regulatory authorities worldwide.”

Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement that this 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,” the statement read. “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. With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis."

According to the AP, Pfizer believes it is on track to submit an application for emergency use authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late November. The news agency, citing experts, cautioned that the developments do not signal the imminent arrival of a vaccine, writing that one is “unlikely ... to arrive much before the end of the year."

As of 7:30 a.m. ET Monday, more than 50 million coronavirus cases and 1.25 million deaths had been reported worldwide, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has reported more than 9.9 million cases and 237,500 deaths, the university said.

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