The COVID-19 vaccine, developed by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech, has proved 95 percent effective in its final trials, latest reports claim. Here are ten things to know about this breakthrough that indicate that things are looking up and the end of the pandemic may be near:
1. The vaccine, BNT162b2, was undergoing its Phase 3 human trial that began on July 27. Pfizer has now, almost only a week later, claimed that final tests of its vaccine have determined a 95 percent rate of success, without any side effects, and the company is ready to seek emergency authorisation in the US to begin usage soon.
2. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was quoted saying, The study results mark an important step in this historic eight-month journey to bring forward a vaccine capable of helping to end this devastating pandemic."
3. The drugmakers also reportedly given the assurance that the vaccine is "consistent across age and ethnicity demographics," pointing to its pan-global use.
4. According to news reports, the vaccine BNT162b2 had reached "170 confirmed cases of COVID-19" in a trial of more than 43,000 volunteers. It showed effectiveness 28 days after the first dose. Reports claim "the vaccine was well-tolerated and that side effects were mostly mild to moderate and cleared up quickly."
5. However, some participants - around 3.7 percent - complained of mild to severe fatigue after been vaccinated with BNT162b2.
6. "Within days, we plan to submit a request to the US FDA for an EUA based on the totality of safety and efficacy data collected, as well as manufacturing data relating to the quality and consistency of the vaccine candidate," NDTV quoted the drugmakers as saying.
7. Pfizer and BioNTech will also reportedly submit their data to other regulatory agencies as well as to a peer-reviewed scientific journal, to expand the reach of their creation.
8. Pfizer claims it aims to make approximately 50 million vaccine doses this year, moving on to produce up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
9. The Pfizer vaccine has unfortunately encountered a roadblock in India since it needs to be stored at very low temperatures of around minus 70 degrees celsius. The Indian government said it is still deliberating over whether it will obtain the vaccine or not.
10. The Pfizer drug giant has however iterated the necessity of a vaccine now, saying in a statement, "With hundreds of thousands of people around the globe infected every day, we urgently need to get a safe and effective vaccine to the world... We are hopeful that results from this vaccine delivery pilot will serve as the model for other US states and international governments."