Pfizer, BioNTech plan filing as vaccine reflect 95% effectivity

Pfizer Inc reported on a final analysis of clinical-trial data showed its COVID-19 vaccine was 95% effective, making the company eligible to apply for the first U.S. regulatory authorization for a coronavirus shot within days. The U.S. drugmaker and partner BioNTech SE said their vaccine worked for people of all ages and ethnicities, with no significant safety problems so far in a trial that includes almost 44,000 participants.

The update is the latest in a series of promising developments on the vaccine front in recent days. Moderna Inc’s rival company appears equally effective, judging from data published earlier this week, and a third contender, from AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford, is expected to release trial results in coming days.

The Pfizer-BioNTech data observed that 170 trial participants contracted COVID-19 overall. Eight participants who got the vaccine fell ill, while 162 cases were reported among those who got the placebo. The shot helped to prevent severe disease, according to the analysis, with nine of 10 severe cases in the trial occurring in the placebo group. The vaccine’s efficiency, received by people older than 65 was more than 94%, the companies said. Most people who received the shot tolerated it well. Severe fatigue was seen in 3.7% of volunteers after the second dose in the two-shot regimen, but that was the only severe side effect that occurred in more than 2% of people, according to the analysis.

Pfizer and BioNTech said last week that an initial readout has assessed the vaccine was more than 90% effective. The news helped boosted stock-market on a massive scale, on hopes that the shot could help control a pandemic that has killed more than 1.3 million people worldwide. On Monday, Moderna made its own promising results public and said it expects to be able to apply for emergency authorization in the U.S. within weeks. Pfizer shares paced up 2.7% in premarket trading, with BioNTech American depositary receipts up 7.3%. European stocks extended their gains after the news, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.4%.

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