The world celebrated as Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine reported a 90% effectivity rate. In early analysis reports, the vaccine showed it can shield people from Covid-19 90% or more of the time. The result is better than expected. The vaccine represents the latest, best hope to overcome the dreaded coronavirus.
The good news, while incomplete, is a step in the right direction to get FDA approval for sale. But given the urgency of the situation, Pfizer said it will apply for emergency approval. If this gets an OK from the feds, we may see the distribution of an approved coronavirus vaccine within the year.
Most Significant Advance in the last 100 Years
Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Monday. He said “I think we can see light at the end of the tunnel. I believe this is likely the most significant medical advance in the last 100 years if you count the impact this will have in public health, global economy.”
A 90% effectiveness rate is great considering the vaccine’s timetable. Given the rush, conservative estimates hoped for a 75% effective rate. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases expected even less. He said that a 50- 60% success rate is acceptable. Instead, he learned its way above 90%. “The results are really quite good, I mean extraordinary,” he said.
Pfizer shares rose by 7.69% as markets closed yesterday, with premarket shares rising an added 4.08%. BioNTech closed 13.91% by the end of trading yesterday and is rising 8.19% in the premarket. The news fueled a global rally that added more than $1.8 trillion in value to MSCI All Country World Index stocks.
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US stock markets celebrated a potential end to the coronavirus. Shares went up for cruises, airlines, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and casinos. Shares of Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Lines went up by 30% on Monday.
During the trials, Pfizer and BIoNTech’s vaccine used two doses. Participants received the first dose in July and achieved protection after 28 days. How long the protection lasts is still up in the air. Most received the second dose recently, the final vaccine efficacy percentage may vary. Also, how long the protection lasts is still up in the air.
The vaccine uses messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. This technology has yet to get approval in any medical application. mRNA ”instructs” cells to make proteins and send them to various body parts. It takes advantage of normal biological processes to do so. Also, mRNA technology develops faster than traditional vaccine methods.
Vaccine for 50 million Americans
The US inked a deal for 100 million doses worth $2 billion of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine. The government also has an option to buy 500 million more. This ensures that the country can get a priority supply for at least 50 million Americans.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine did not receive funding from Operation Warp Speed. The federal OWS funded vaccine programs dedicated to producing a working product. But, BioNTech did receive $445 million in funding from the German government.
By mid-October, Bourla said they will seek emergency use authorization by November. This assumes the trial results proved the vaccine is safe and effective.
Kathrin Jansen, Pfizer’s head of vaccine research and development, is optimistic. “Hopefully now we can move on and get this vaccine out there and make sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to do and stop” the virus,” she said.
The latest report does not include a safety assessment of the vaccine. FDA guidelines need two months of monitoring of at least 50% of subjects. Safety monitors contraindications, reactions, and side effects. Pfizer said it will have its two months of safety data completed by the third week of November. If things go well, an emergency authorization request will follow.
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A vaccine is sought after as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the world. Total confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday surpassed 50 million globally. The US remains among the hardest hit with over 10 million cases and over 200,000 deaths.
Watch this as CNBC TV reports on the announcement of Pfizer and BioNTech that their Covid-19 vaccine candidate is 90% effective:
With Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 Vaccine declared 90% effective, do you think a working vaccine will be available within the year? If one is offered to you, will you take it? Why or why not? Let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts below.