In one of the major race to find a vaccine for COVID-19, Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE are the first drugmakers to release successful data from a large-scale clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine that can prevent more than 90% of people from getting virus.
According to a preliminary analysis by Pfizer and BioNTech, their vaccine has been tested on 43,500 persons in six countries and no safety concerns have been raised.
The developers described the development as a “great day for science and humanity” as they plan to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine for people aged 16 to 85 by the end of the month.
Pfizer’s chairman and chief executive, Albert Bourla said “We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development programme at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen.”
According to data by Johns Hopkins University, more than 50.5 million persons have been infected with the virus globally with 1.2 million fatalities recorded so far.
For Pfizer to seek US authorization for emergency use of its vaccine, it will need two months of safety data from about half the study’s 44,000 participants, which is expected late this month.
Pfizer and BioNTech have a $1.95bn contract with the US government to deliver 100 million vaccine doses beginning this year. They have also reached supply agreements with the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan.
Also, the United Kingdom is expected to get 10 million doses by the end of the year, with a further 30 million doses already ordered.
In moving the vaccines around, there are logistical challenges, as the vaccine has to be kept in ultra-cold storage at below minus 80C.
Africa Needs COVID-19 Vaccine For 60% In 2-3 Years – Africa CDC
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and prevention (AfricaCDC) said on Thursday, the continent aims to have two-thirds of its population vaccinated against COVID-19 within the next two to three years.
The continent, with 1.3 billion people, has recorded more than 2 million confirmed coronavirus infections.
AfricaCDC director–general, John Nkengasong says there is every possibility the goal would be reached. He has asked stakeholders to be deliberate in this. He added that if the delay takes four to five years, the coronavirus will be endemic in African communities.
Nkengasong, said there were logistical problems to overcome in Africa, including how to keep vaccines cold.
Some European countries expect to start rolling out vaccination campaigns in the next few weeks, but the control group said vaccinations were unlikely to start in Africa until midway through next year.
US Daily Covid-19 Deaths Exceed 2600
The number of persons who have died in a single day in the united states, as a result of COVID-19 complications has reached a new record of more than twenty-six hundred.
Health experts say this is the highest number since April, and warn that these numbers are likely to increase.
Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield says the mortality concerns are real. Johns Hopkins University confirmed the US has reported almost 14 million coronavirus cases and more than 273,000 deaths.
A us food and drug administration panel of external advisers will meet next Thursday to discuss whether to recommend emergency-use authorisation of the Pfizer vaccine.
US officials hope that 40 percent of adults in the us could be given the shots in three months.
NCDC Confirms 122 New COVID-19 Cases
The Nigerian Center for Disease Control has confirmed one hundred twenty-two new cases of coronavirus in the country on Wednesday, pushing up the nation’s total confirmed cases to sixty-seven thousand nine hundred sixty. Only four thousand one hundred twenty-one patients are still being treated.
Kaduna reported the highest number of cases at thirty-seven, followed by Lagos with twenty-nine. Plateau held twenty-five while Ekiti hosts nine cases.
Rivers, Ogun, Edo, Kwara, Bayelsa, Bauchi and Kano shared the rest of the infections.
NCDC also reports the fatalities now stand at eleven hundred seventy-seven.