Coronavirus: Pfizer shot 91% efficiency in updated data, protecting against variant

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Coronavirus: Pfizer shot 91% efficiency in updated data, protecting against variant


Pfizer Inc and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is about 91% effective in preventing the disease, they said Thursday, citing updated trial data including participants inoculated for up to six months.

The shot was also 100% effective in preventing disease in trial participants in South Africa, where a new variant called B1351 is dominant, although the number of such participants is relatively small at 800.

While the new overall efficacy rate of 91.3% is lower than the 95% initially reported in November for its trial of 44,000 people, a number of variants have become more prevalent around the world since then.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the updated results, which include data on more than 12,000 people fully vaccinated for at least six months, position the drugmakers to submit for approval. full U.S. regulatory.

The vaccine is currently approved on an emergency basis by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

The data from the trial “provide the first clinical results that a vaccine can effectively protect against currently circulating variants, a critical factor in achieving herd immunity and ending this pandemic for the global population,” said BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin in a statement.

Experts fear that new variants of COVID-19 from South Africa and Brazil may be resistant to existing vaccines and treatments. More than 300 cases of the South African variant have been detected in more than 25 states and jurisdictions in the United States, according to federal data.

The vaccine was 100% effective in preventing serious illness as defined by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and 95.3% effective in preventing serious illness as defined by the Food and Drug Administration. United States.

There were also no serious safety concerns seen in trial participants for up to six months after the second dose, the companies said.

They added that it was generally equally effective regardless of age, race, gender or ethnicity and among participants with various existing medical conditions.

“These data reinforce our opinion that we have really powerful vaccines,” said Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, who was not involved in the Pfizer trial.

He said the efficacy against the South African variant was “particularly noteworthy” because it showed that the vaccine was likely to offer effective protection in real settings where several different variants of the coronavirus could circulate.

The trial looked at more than 900 confirmed cases of COVID-19, most of which were among participants who received a placebo.

The release of the updated results follows separate data that showed the vaccine to be safe and effective in 12 to 15 year olds, paving the way for drug makers to seek US and EU approval to use the vaccine in this age group within weeks.

(Additional reporting by Michael Erman in New York and Kate Kelland in London; editing by Peter Henderson, Edwina Gibbs and David Goodman)

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