US-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Monday announced that its experimental vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) was more than 90% effective in preventing infections in the ongoing Phase 3 trials. The latest development in Covid-19 race came as a big victory in the race against the virus which infected millions and killed more across the world.
US President Donald Trump hailed the results as “Such great news!” “Stock market up big, vaccine coming soon. Report 90% effective. Such great news!” tweeted Trump after equities and oil price soared.
President-elect Joe Biden also welcomed the latest development and said it gives “hope” but cautioned that a long battle is still ahead. It “did not change the fact that face masks, social distancing and other health measures would be needed well into next year,” Biden said in a statement. “I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope,” Biden also said.
“This news made me smile from ear to ear. It is a relief to see such positive results on this vaccine and bodes well for Covid-19 vaccines in general,” Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases at the University of Oxford, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
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“Today’s news about the anti-Covid vaccine is encouraging. But caution is still needed. Scientific research is the real key to overcoming the emergency. In the meantime, we must never forget that the behaviour of each of us is essential to bend the curve,” said Italian health minister Roberto Speranza in reaction to the findings.
To save time, the companies began manufacturing the Covid-19 vaccine before they knew whether it would be effective. They now expect to produce up to 50 million doses, or enough to protect 25 million people this year.
Pfizer said it expects to produce up to 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021. Based on supply projections, the companies are expecting to supply 50 million vaccine doses globally by the end of this year. Up to 1.3 billion doses will be supplied in 2021. Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE are the first drugmakers to release successful data from a large-scale clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine. The companies also said they have so far found no serious safety concerns.
(With agency inputs)