December rollout possible for Pfizer’s COVID vaccine - scientist

The first Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trial in the US is expected to begin next week. Here’s how the vaccine works

"With respect to the flu vaccine, we did prioritize people in long term care homes, people in hospitals, and people in congregate living settings, because they are the more vulnerable and they need to be protected", Elliott said.

It has also ordered 100 million doses of a vaccine from AstraZeneca and Oxford University, which has shown promising results in clinical trials and is due to report before Christmas, and five million doses of a jab from USA firm Moderna, which is not expected to arrive until the spring. "Depending on how fast this [review] is really accomplished, we might get an authorization, or conditional approval already in 2020 which might help us start distribution of the first vaccine batches already in 2020", Sahin said.

That's why so much hinges on other vaccines such as the Oxford AstraZeneca one, as they may be more scalable, and there are more advanced plans to get it to low- and middle-income countries through a UN-backed project called Covax.

The U.S. government expects to take receipt of another 15 million doses of vaccine from Moderna in December, which is enough to vaccinate an additional 7.5 million people.

Health experts advising the US government have recommended health-care workers treating Covid-19 patients be first, followed by those at high risk of infection like elderly in nursing homes and prisoners.

Pfizer said vaccine was well-tolerated and that side effects were mostly mild to moderate, and cleared up quickly.

The FDA only requires that a vaccine be at least 50 percent effective to be considered for emergency use.

The final analysis data of the trial indicated that the vaccine had an efficacy rate of 95% in participants without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, which was the first primary objective, in each case after seven days of administering second vaccine dose. However, it will be necessary to wait for the approval of the health authorities before large-scale vaccination campaigns can begin. The vaccines contain custom-made messenger molecules that instruct cells to create a part of the coronavirus. The fragility of mRNA makes it unlikely to linger in the body but any vaccine could theoretically cause disruptions in the immune system, experts said.

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"If a vaccine is approved, it will, of course, be available across the United Kingdom from our NHS, free at the point of delivery, according to need not ability to pay".

"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. The UK has ordered 100 million doses.

But this vaccine is still a long way off widespread use.

Moderna says its vaccine can be kept at temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius for 30 days.

The announcement comes a week after Pfizer release some early promising results from Phase 3 of its trails, which involved more than 43,000 volunteers.

"When I heard the over 90% efficacy, I felt I was living a dream", CEO Albert Bourla said Tuesday during an interview at the STAT Summit. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been the only ones to report any results from late-stage trials.

This would be remarkably quick for vaccine development - within 10 months of detailing the genetic code. Moncef Slaoui, Ph.D., co-leader of the USA government's Operation Warp Speed program, warned in an interview with Fierce Pharma last month that "an approval is going to take several weeks from the moment one says, 'OK, the vaccine is efficacious'".

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