Pfizer and BioNTech have released a report that their final analysis of the coronavirus vaccine is even more effective than previously thought. The data shows the jab to be 95 per cent effective against Covid-19 – a rise on the previous figure of 90 per cent.
The pharmaceutical giant and German firm BioNTech, which co-developed the jab, said it worked consistently well across different age and ethnic groups and showed no major side effects.
Pfizer said the vaccine, which is due to arrive in the UK before the end of the year, had passed the required two months of safety checks. The firm said it would apply for emergency US authorisation to roll it out within days
The partner companies published interim results last week showing the jab could prevent more than 90 per cent of people developing Covid-19. It was also shown to produce both an antibody and T-cell response in the body to fight the disease.
That data was based on the first 94 volunteers to develop Covid-19, but further figures released on Wednesday are based on the first 170 cases of the virus in the clinical trial.
Of these 170 Covid-19 cases, 162 were observed in the placebo group versus eight in the vaccine group.
A good immune response was “consistent across age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics” and the jab was over 94 per cent effective in those aged over 65, Pfizer said.
Of those taking part in the trial, 42 per cent were from diverse ethnic backgrounds and 41 per cent were aged between 56 and 85.
The vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns have been raised, although around two per cent of those involved suffered a headache and fatigue.
Pfizer and BioNTech expect to be able to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion in 2021.