Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine protects against South African variant, lasts 6 months, data shows

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The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and partnering biotechnology company BioNTech has proven “highly effective” against the coronavirus — including variants — for at least six months after full inoculation.

The two companies announced on Thursday that the latest phase of testing — which includes an analysis of 927 confirmed symptomatic cases of COVID-19, and 46,307 trial participants total — showed the vaccine to be 91.3% effective against transmission.

In terms of “severe” illness and death, the vaccine is 95%, and up to 100%, effective, according to definitions set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), respectively.

EARLY TRIALS FOR MODERNA’S COVID-19 VACCINE AGAINST SOUTH AFRICAN VARIANT BEGIN, NIH SAYS

Furthermore, data from more than 12,000 recipients of Pfizer’s vaccine demonstrates the shot’s safety for a vast majority.

“These data confirm the favorable efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine and position us to submit a Biologics License Application to the U.S. FDA,” said Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, in a statement. “The high vaccine efficacy observed through up to six months following a second dose and against the variant prevalent in South Africa provides further confidence in our vaccine’s overall effectiveness.”

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“It is an important step to further confirm the strong efficacy and good safety data we have seen so far, especially in a longer-term follow-up,” added Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech. “These data also provide the first clinical results that a vaccine can effectively protect against currently circulating variants, a critical factor to reach herd immunity and end this pandemic for the global population.”

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