UK Government Procures 30 Million Doses Of Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine
The UK has ordered 30 million doses of Pfizer’s new COVID-19 vaccine.
The Pfizer/BioNTech candidate, the work of a collaboration between the US and German giants, is said to be 90% effective in immunising against the virus, following results from ‘stage three’ human trials.
The trials involved a total of 43,538 participants from six countries, who received two doses of either the immunisation or a placebo. Within 28 days of receiving the medication, 90% were protected from coronavirus.
As per Sky News, 94 people taking part in the trial developed COVID-19 – however, there were no safety concerns as a result.
Dr. Albert Bourla, the Pfizer chairman and CEO, said as per The Guardian: ‘Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our phase three COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19.’
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.
As reported by ITV News, Bourla added: ‘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. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.’
This particular vaccine is more experimental, involving an injection of a part of the virus’s genetic code in a bid to train a person’s immune system against it.
The companies hope to send the vaccine to regulators for emergency approval by the end of this month. By the end of 2020, 50 million doses could be supplied, with potential for 1.3 billion by the end of 2021. The UK’s order of 30 million will be enough for 15 million people.
Ian Jones, professor of virology at the University of Reading, told the British broadcaster:
Of all the current vaccines currently in development the BioNTech product always looked like the most bang-per-buck as it is entirely focused on the part of the virus that binds to the human cell, the receptor binding domain. The trial data show excellent results in both of those areas, really impressive protection and no reported adverse events.
Regulators earlier said they would approve any vaccine that is 50% or more effective, as long as there were no adverse effects. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is one of several in its final stages of testing, alongside the likes of Oxford University/Astra Zeneca and Novavax.
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