German company creates potential COVID-19 vaccine

Masks used for protection from COVID-19. Prachatai via Flickr

After months of research and going on eight months of quarantine, the world may finally have a vaccine to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. On Nov. 9, Pfizer and BioNTech, a German company, announced in a news release that there is a possible candidate for an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

The news release explains how the Phase 3 trial volunteers underwent and how effective the vaccine has been. Professor Ugur Shain, BioNTech co-founder and CEO, explains the vaccine’s effectiveness and the hopes for the future when this vaccine is implemented to the whole world. 

“The first interim analysis of our global Phase 3 study provides evidence that a vaccine may effectively prevent COVID-19,” said Ugur Sahin in a news release. “When we embarked on this journey 10 months ago this is what we aspired to achieve. Especially today, while we are all in the midst of a second wave and many of us in lockdown, we appreciate even more how important this milestone is on our path towards ending this pandemic and for all of us to regain a sense of normality.” 

The vaccine has been found to have a 90% effective rate a week after the second dose, meaning the whole vaccination process has a two-dose schedule, and takes 28 days for it to be put into effect within the body. So far, this is only the case for people who did not contract SARS-CoV-2 before the trial. 

Phase 3 of this trial began July 27 and consisted of 43,538 participants and 38,955 who took the second dose. With how well Phase three of this trial went, the company is continuing to enroll participants and the final analysis. They hope to produce 50 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020 and 1.3 Billion in 2021. 

“Along with the efficacy data generated from the clinical trial, Pfizer and BioNTech are working to prepare the necessary safety and manufacturing data to submit to the FDA to demonstrate the safety and quality of the vaccine product produced.” Pfizer stated in a news release. 

After administering the second dose, there will be two years of follow-up for participants to ensure their safety and health. With the success of their Phase 3, the company will continue to pursue a vaccine that will help those who have had SARS-CoV-2 and to prevent a severe COVID-19 condition.