Pfizer’s Promising mRNA Vaccine Is Welcome News for the Country

The daunting task is to manufacture and distribute millions of doses needed.

Dr. Zach Zachariah

--

Photo illustration: COVID-19 image, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain Image of Logo

On Monday, November 9, 2020, New York-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced that their experimental vaccine maybe 90% effective against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). The announcement was a news release, not even a preprint, and did not contain any data or analysis. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, BNT162b2, is messenger RNA (mRNA) based.

According to ScienceNews, the data came from Phase 3 clinical trials. In the double-blind study, 39,000 of the 43,500 participants in six countries received two injections spaced 21 days apart of either the vaccine or a placebo. Pfizer conducted the interim efficacy study after 94 participants developed COVID-19. Fewer than nine of them received the vaccine. Given the estimate that the vaccine is 90% effective, it is safe to assume very few people who were vaccinated got Covid-19.

To confirm the efficacy rate, Pfizer said it would continue its trial until there were 164 COVID-19 cases among volunteers; a number that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed is enough to tell how well the vaccine is working. Outside experts caution that lacking critical details in the news…

--

--

Dr. Zach Zachariah

Ph.D. chemist with an M.B.A. | Enrolled Agent | Writes on science | economy | taxes | public interest topics | American politics | Indian-Americans | COVID-19