Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveries could start before Christmas

Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is 95% effective in final clinical trial results analysis

The trial results - less than a year after researchers began working on the vaccine - shattered all speed records for vaccine development, a process that usually takes years. The company said at the time it would need to count more cases of infection in the trial before it could consider the Phase 3 part of the trial finished and seek FDA authorization.

That's why so much hinges on other vaccines such as the Oxford AstraZeneca one, as they may be more scalable, and there are more advanced plans to get it to low- and middle-income countries through a UN-backed project called Covax.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said in Queen's Park Wednesday that Canada was supposed to get four million doses of Pfizer's vaccine, and two million of Moderna's in the first three months of next year.

This comes after a second experimental COVID-19 vaccine by Moderna Inc. produced strong early results, saying its vaccine appears to be 94.5 per cent effective, according to preliminary data from an ongoing study.

The results align with an early analysis that Pfizer and BioNTech reported last week, which found that the vaccine was more than 90% effective. "And it isn't known whether the vaccine prevents severe disease, as none of the participants who got Covid-19 in this round of analysis had severe cases, Gruber said".

Health Canada is also still waiting to receive information from the sites where Pfizer's vaccine will be manufactured before it's able to grant approval.

"There were 10 severe cases of Covid-19 observed in the trial, with nine of the cases occurring in the placebo group and one in the BNT162b2 vaccinated group".

The Pfizer-BioNTech shot was found to have 94 percent efficacy in people over age 65, a particularly high-risk group.

Most importantly, Pfizer says it fulfilled the FDA's safety requirement of following most of the study participants for two months to ensure they did not experience serious side effects or adverse events. Two percent of volunteers reported a headache after the second dose.

Pollard said there is no competition between the various research teams, because several vaccines will be needed to bring the global pandemic under control and allow life to return to normal.

The Sputnik vaccine, developed in Russian Federation, has also released early data from phase three based on a smaller number of volunteers and Covid cases.

"Similarly, we will do the same with respect to the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available".

In addition, U.S. officials said two more vaccines will likely have early data ready within the coming weeks.

The company intends to ramp production of its vaccine beginning later this year, and achieving a run rate of up to 1.3 billion doses by next year.

When asked directly to confirm the dates and numbers, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu would only say it was "really exciting" that Canada is well-positioned to receive millions of doses from both companies. The Japanese government has an agreement to receive a supply of 120 million vaccine doses, enough for 60 million people or roughly half its population. Pfizer's vaccine can be stored in conventional freezers for up to five days, or in the special coolers for up to 15 days, as long the dry ice is replenished and the boxes are not opened more than twice a day.



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