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New Results: First COVID Vaccine Even Better Than Scientists Thought

Fifty million doses could be ready before the end of the year.

11. 18. 20 / Victor Tangermann
NIAID
Image by NIAID

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer just announced that its coronavirus vaccine is 95 percent effective, with no serious side effects — an improvement over their already promising preliminary results released earlier this month.

Pfizer claims that the vaccine was 94 percent effective in older adults, the demographic that’s been hardest hit by COVID-19.

The news comes after Pfizer had previously announced that its vaccine was 90.5 percent effective according to preliminary test results released on November 9. A separate pharmaceutical company, Moderna, recently said that its own coronavirus vaccine was 94.5 percent effective — meaning the two vaccines appear to be nearly identical in their efficacy.

Side effects were minimal in the trial, according to Pfizer, with 3.8 percent of participants reporting fatigue after the second dose and two percent reporting a headache.

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Pfizer, alongside German partner BioNTech, will now apply for emergency authorization “within days” from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company said if FDA authorization comes through in time, 50 million doses could be made available before the end of the year. 1.3 billion by the end of 2021.

“The study results mark an important step in this historic eight-month journey to bring forward a vaccine capable of helping to end this devastating pandemic,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.

The US will only get around 12.5 million doses from the company’s earliest supplies by the end of this year.


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