Biontech: vaccine effectiveness at 95 percent

The Mainz company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer put the effectiveness of their corona vaccine at 95 percent. That exceeds the result of the US competitor Moderna. The vaccine also protects seniors extremely effectively

According to information from both companies, the effectiveness of the corona vaccine from the Mainz-based manufacturer Biontech and its US partner Pfizer is 95 percent and thus even higher than previously known. The vaccine works similarly well across all age groups and other demographic differences and shows practically no serious side effects, the companies said on Wednesday after the final analysis.

The safety of the vaccine BNT162b2, which is necessary for an emergency approval in the USA, is guaranteed, it said. In the course of the next few days, Biontech and Pfizer want to make their data available to the US regulatory authority FDA. Other regulatory agencies around the world would also receive this information.

Vaccine well tolerated worldwide according to the manufacturer

The vaccine is given twice, three weeks apart. In the over-65 age group, an effectiveness of 94 percent was determined seven days after the second dose. The vaccine was well tolerated by the participants in the global study, and no serious side effects were observed. 3.8 percent of the subjects reported tiredness and 2.0 percent of headaches, it said. This is based on information from at least 8000 randomly selected participants.

Eight vaccinated subjects contracted Covid-19, one of them seriously

In the study, which is still ongoing in numerous countries, half of the total of 43,000 participants will receive the vaccine, the other half will act as a control group and receive a placebo. So far, according to the information, a total of 170 participants have contracted Covid-19. Of these, only 8 cases were actually vaccinated subjects, 162 cases were diagnosed in the placebo group. This results in an effectiveness of around 95 percent. According to the report, there were ten severe courses of all Covid 19 diseases - nine in the control group and one in the vaccination group.

Last week, Biontech and Pfizer announced that their vaccine offers more than 90 percent protection against Covid-19, according to interim results of clinical studies. The US pharmaceutical company Moderna recently calculated an effectiveness of 94.5 percent for its similar preparation.

The preparation from Pfizer and Biontech is, like that from Moderna, a so-called RNA vaccine. It contains genetic information about the pathogen, from which the body produces a virus protein.The aim of vaccination is to stimulate the body to produce antibodies against this protein in order to intercept the viruses before they enter the cells and multiply.

Biontech and Pfizer want to start producing this year

An accelerated approval process applies to corona vaccines due to their particular urgency: Manufacturers can submit individual parts on the quality, harmlessness and effectiveness of a preparation to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) before the complete application for approval. In addition to Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna, the British-Swedish company Astrazeneca has started such a rolling review process for its vaccine candidate.

Biontech and Pfizer on Wednesday reiterated their intention to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses later this year and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of next year. According to their own statements, both partners have developed special cooling containers for the delivery of the heat-sensitive vaccine at temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius. By refilling them with dry ice, they should also be able to serve as a transitional container for 15 days. Each delivery and its respective cooling temperature could be precisely tracked with the help of GPS.