The announcement is creepy: the anti-Covid vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was found to be 90 percent effective in preventing the onset of symptoms (and therefore the disease) during phase 3 of the trial, which is still ongoing.
"An extraordinary result, which will have an important impact on the response to the epidemic," said the American infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci. The director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, merely speaks of "encouraging news". Everyone seems to see a small light at the end of the tunnel.
"Today is a great day for science and for humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trial is initial evidence of its ability to prevent disease. We are reaching this milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most, with infection rates setting new records, hospitals approaching overcapacity and economies struggling to reopen " said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer's president and CEO.
Pfizer plans to apply for a US authorization to use the vaccine for people between the ages of 16 and 85. To do so, it will need to collect two months of safety data on about half of the approximately 44,000 study participants, expected by the end of November. "I'm almost ecstatic," Bill Gruber, one of Pfizer's top vaccine scientists, said in an interview. "This is a great day for public health and for a vaccine that has the potential to pull us all out of the circumstances we are in now."