By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
There has been a breakthrough in the months’ long global race to find the COVID-19 vaccine and cure that kicked off soon after the infection became a pandemic earlier this year.
Pfizer, an American pharmaceutical corporation headquartered in New York City and BioNTech, a German biotechnology company have collaboratively developed and tested the first COVID-19 vaccine that has 90% chances of preventing people from being infected with the virus, according to a preliminary analysis.
The two companies described reaching this breakthrough as a “great day for science and humanity.”
Over 43,500 people in six countries namely the US, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and Turkey have been tested with this vaccine and no safety concerns have been raised, prompting the companies to make plans to apply for an emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of the month.
Pfizer believes it will be able to supply 50 million doses by the end of this year, and around 1.3 billion by the end of 2021.
According to the BBC, “Two doses, three weeks apart, are needed. The trials show 90% protection is achieved seven days after the second dose.”
Dr Albert Bourla, the chairman of Pfizer, said, “We are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis.”
Prof Ugur Sahin, one of the founders of BioNTech, described the results as a “milestone.”
The vaccine uses an experimental approach where part of the virus’s genetic code is injected in a person to train the immune system. How long that immunity lasts is yet to be determined.
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