Pfizer's new COVID-19 vaccine is 95% effective and the only severe side-effect to worry about is fatigue, according to the final results

Pfizer's new COVID-19 vaccine is 95% effective and the only severe side-effect to worry about is fatigue, according to the final results
COVID-19 vaccine trials being carried out in IndiaBCCL
  • The final results of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine show that it's 95% effective.
  • The only significant side effect, with a frequency of over 2%, was fatigue.
  • The company plans to file for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) with the US’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the next few days.
The COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNtech is 95% effective according to its final analysis. Even in adults over the age of 65 years, the efficacy was observed at 94%.

“No serious safety concerns were observed in the COVID-19 vaccine trial,” said the press note issued by both companies.

The phase 3 study only showed mild to moderate side effects that cleared up quickly. “The only significant side effect than that 2% in frequency was fatigue at 3.7%,” the study highlighted.

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How does the vaccine work?
With a 95% efficacy rate, those who get the vaccine will be protected within 28 days of the first dose — and there is only a two-dose schedule.

This is far more effective than the threshold laid out by the White House coronavirus advisor Anthony Fauci, who has previously stated that a vaccine that is 50% to 60% effective would be acceptable.

When will the vaccine be able for the public?
Now that the vaccine is ready for market as soon as it gets the required permissions, Pfizer and BioNTech plan to make up to 50 million doses before the end of the year and another 1.3 billion in 2021.

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According to the company, the vaccine’s efficacy is consistent across different ages, races and ethnicities. In light of the success, Pfizer plans to file for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for the vaccine with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the next few days. It claims it has met all the safety data milestones required by the authorities.

Why India shouldn’t rejoice just yet
A year since the first COVID-19 case was detected, the success of a possible vaccine provides a ray of hope after the last seven grueling months of the pandemic. However, the Pfizer vaccine may not be suited for use in India since it requires storage at minus 70 degrees Celsius.

According to the Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Randeep Guleria, the Pfizer vaccine’s requirement of a lower storage temperature is something that India’s cold storage infrastructure may not be able to support for the population of 1.3 billion.

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However, Pfizer believes its expertise and existing cold-chain infrastructure will be enough to distribute the vaccine around the world in specially designed and temperature controlled thermal shippers that use dry ice.

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