First COVID vaccine offers 90% protection, drug company says

So far the vaccine from Pfizer has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries, with no safety concerns raised.

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins
2 min read

COVID vaccines are being developed by companies all over the world.

Javier Zayas Photography/Getty

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 would be given to people in two shots, 21 days apart.

"Today is a great day for science and humanity," said Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla in a statement. "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, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is seen as the biggest hope for lifting the restrictions people around the world are living under. There are a number of efforts to find a viable vaccine 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.

See also: If you already had COVID-19, can you get it again? What we do and don't know about reinfection

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