Pfizer ends COVID-19 trial with 95% efficacy

US plans to start dispensing Pfizer COVID vaccine from next month

The news comes just two days after Pfizer and BioNTech announced their vaccine was more than 90% effective.

USA biotech firm Moderna on Monday reported that its experimental vaccine is 94.5 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, based on its interim data from a late-stage clinical trial. Only five infections occurred in volunteers who received the vaccine mRNA-1273, which is administered in two shots 28 days apart.

"Having more than one source of an effective vaccine will increase the global supply and, with luck, help us all to get back to something like normal sometime in 2021", said Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh. Europe's STOXX 600 and U.S. S&P 500 e-mini futures both hit session highs.

"We will need to wait and learn over time how long the protection lasts, and to see whether this vaccine can also prevent transmission - meanwhile, this vaccine does look likely to have a strong role immediately once it is approved in protecting health workers and the vulnerable from disease". Moderna Inc on Monday released preliminary data for its vaccine, showing 94.5 per cent effectiveness.

In another good sign, the company said it should be able to keep mRNA-1273 stable for 30 days at between 2 and 8 degrees, which could be possible with distribution techniques. Of the 95 cases in Moderna's trial, 11 were severe and all 11 occurred among volunteers who got the placebo.

Although Pfizer and BioNTech are submitting the candidate for emergency authorisation in the United States next week, they are waiting for 164 COVID-19 cases to end the analysis.

Numerous countries have signed deals with the company already to receive millions of doses of its candidate vaccine.

US plans to start dispensing Pfizer COVID vaccine from next month
We can stop COVID-19: Moderna vaccine success gives world more hope

The 95 cases of COVID-19 included several key groups who are at increased risk for severe disease, including 15 cases in adults aged 65 and older and 20 in participants from racially diverse groups. For that we wait for the data. The only severe adverse events experienced by volunteers were fatigue (3.8%) and headaches (2%) after the second dose.

It also said the vaccine was well-tolerated and that side effects were mostly mild to moderate and cleared up quickly. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have said they hope to start testing the vaccine in younger patients soon.

According to the World Health Organization the news is "quite encouraging" but more data is needed, chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said.

The United States has the world's highest known number of COVID-19 cases and deaths with more than 11 million infections and almost 250,000 deaths.

More than 30,000 people took part in the Moderna study.

"These effects are what we would expect with a vaccine that is working and inducing a good immune response", said Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London.

Pfizer said it expects to make as many as 50 million vaccine doses this year, enough to protect 25 million people, and then produce up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021. Brussels also said it was in talks with Moderna about securing doses. It has also started human trials on its own vaccine candidate.

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