News last week of a promising coronavirus vaccine candidate from Pfizer and German firm BioNTech prompted ecstatic headlines. The vaccine was developed in record speed. According to a BioNTech, initial tests show it to be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19 infections. The company also said an external, independent Data Monitoring Committee had reported no “serious safety concerns” regarding the potential vaccine. One week later, US pharma company Moderna announced its phase 3 vaccine trial with over 30,000 participants showed efficacy to be at 94.5%. While BioNTech and Pfizer, as well as Moderna, are leading the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, other pharma companies — such as AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Sinovac and Johnson & Johnson — are expected to soon present candidates of their own. According to the World Health Organization, 47 vaccines candidates are currently in clinical trials, of which 10 are in phase 3 efficacy trials. Russia has already registered two vaccines, one of which — Sputnik V — became available for public use in August. Experts, however, warn that this vaccine has been insufficiently tested.
Leave a Reply