Pfizer, Moderna COVID vaccines could be ready for United States use in weeks

COVID-19- Credit to Canadian Press			By Canadian Press	
		Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine candidate one step closer to approval

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech could secure emergency United States and European authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine next month after final trial results showed it had a 95 percent success rate and no serious side effects, the drugmakers said on Wednesday.

Earlier this week Moderna, Inc. announced that its experimental vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective after an interim analysis of its late-stage study.

Once the companies submit their request for emergency use authorization to the FDA, the agency will review the data and could make a decision quickly, based on the quality of data and the urgent need for a vaccine to address the pandemic.

Government officials and private companies are ready to distribute the vaccines - both were about 95 percent effective in large trials - to all parts of the country, he said.

Pfizer and BioNTech initially estimated the vaccine was at least 90% effective after 94 infections had been counted in a study with 44,000 participants.

Ford said that he has been in touch with the Ministry of Health and confirmed that the estimated number of vaccines the province is set to receive is, in fact, accurate.

"There were 10 severe cases of Covid-19 observed in the trial, with nine of the cases occurring in the placebo group and one in the BNT162b2 vaccinated group".

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The efficacy of the shot was found to be consistent across different ages and ethnicities - a promising sign given the disease has disproportionately affected the elderly and certain groups including Black people. The vaccine was equally effective in older as well as younger people; the shot was 94% effective in protecting against COVID-19 illness among those over age 65. The most common serious adverse event was fatigue, with 3.7% of volunteers reporting tiredness after they took the second dose. Of the 8,000 participants, 2% had headaches after the second dose, while 3.8% experienced fatigue. "And by the time the vaccine starts to be laid out, you may, as an individual, only have access to the vaccine in a month and a half or two months".

Both Moderna's and Pfizer's vaccine use a new and relatively untested vaccine technology that employs genetic material called messenger RNA or mRNA. Just eight people who had received the two-dose vaccine got sick with COVID-19.

The department is now reviewing some of Pfizer's Phase 3 clinical data, which it received earlier, Sharma said. "This is the evidence we needed to ensure that the most vulnerable people are protected", said Andrew Hill, senior visiting research fellow at the University of Liverpool's department of pharmacology.

This was followed by data on a vaccine made by U.S. company Moderna suggesting almost 95% protection and similarly promising results from trials of another developed in Russian Federation, called Sputnik.

Pfizer and BioNTech have also developed thermal shippers utilizing dry ice to maintain temperature conditions at around minus 70 C, with the packaging able to serve as temporary storage units for 15 days if refilled with dry ice, according to their press release.

During question period at Queen's Park on Wednesday, Elliott said that her government is expecting to receive 1.6 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 800,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine in January, February and March of 2021.

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