US pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced on Monday that the COVID-19 vaccine it’s been developing is 90% effective in people who are not known to already have had the virus.
The company, together with partner BioNTech, has conducted human trials on 43,500 people in six countries, with no safety concerns raised. It said in a press release that it plans to apply for emergency approval from the FDA by the end of the month to use the vaccine.
Pfizer expects to the final data to meet safety milestones by the third week in November, when it will be able to apply for Emergency Use Authorization. If approved, the vaccine will mean people receive two shots, 21 days apart.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity,” said Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla. “We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen.”
Finding a vaccine for COVID-19 is seen as the biggest hope for lifting the restrictions people around the world are currently living under. There arecurrently underway in various countries, with discussions beginning to take place about how best to distribute a vaccine in order to protect society’s most vulnerable people. Pfizer’s solution will need to be kept extremely cold in order to work.
Based on current projections, Pfizer estimates it will be able to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020, and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.