On Monday, Pfizer announced its experimental vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on initial data from a large study, a major victory in the fight against the pandemic.
Greek-born Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla stated that “today is a great day for science and humanity” and he is “very happy.”
“But at the same time, sometimes I have tears in my eyes when I realise that this is the end of nine months, day-and-night work of so many people and how many people, billions, invested hopes on this… I never thought it would be 90%” he added.
“We’re in a position potentially to be able to offer some hope,” Dr. Bill Gruber, Pfizer’s senior vice president of clinical development, told The Associated Press. “We’re very encouraged.”
The analysis was conducted after 94 participants in the trial developed Covid-19, and looked at how many of them received the vaccine and how many received a placebo that looked the same as the vaccine but had no effect. The patients didn’t know which they were receiving.
The study found that participants who received the 2-dose vaccine were protected against the virus 28 days after the initiation of the vaccination.
To confirm its efficacy rate, Pfizer said it will continue the trial until there are 164 Covid-19 cases among participants.
Dr Bruce Aylward, the World Health Organisation’s senior adviser, said that the vaccine could “fundamentally change the direction of this crisis” by March, when the UN agency hopes to start vaccinating high-risk groups.
Pfizer Inc. is a multinational pharmaceutical corporation headquartered in New York City. In 2012, it was one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and ranked 57 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.