"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", said Albert Bourla, chief executive of Pfizer.
In the first in-human evidence of how the vaccine protects against variants, research published by Pfizer/BioNTech on Thursday showed the vaccine is 100% effective in preventing Covid-19 cases in South Africa - where the South African variant is now common.
The longevity of the immune response is truly good news. There were only nine cases of COVID-19, and they all happened in the placebo group. "These data also provide the first clinical results that a vaccine can effectively protect against now circulating variants, a critical factor to reach herd immunity and end this pandemic for the global population".
"It might be 100% effective, but as more data accumulates it is possible that cases will appear that show a lower protection rate", he said.
Pfizer and BioNTech offered an updated look at the efficacy of their COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2.
Global deaths from Covid-19 have topped 2.8 million since the pandemic began a year ago, with vaccines seen as the only real chance of returning to some form of normality. The study will test several dosing options, including different dose strengths.
The U.S. has reported 312 B.1.351 cases in 31 states and territories, according to the latest CDC tally updated on Tuesday.
The efficacy level is slightly down from the 95% number the vaccine first posted in the trial. And the combination of having very high levels of antibodies and persistent levels of protection are the recipe for a very long level of protection against these variants, ' Hensley added. Now, he's helping test the tweaked version of that vaccine created to fight a new, more contagious variant. Johnson & Johnson is planning its own pediatric studies.
"I think we can be confident about gaining control of variants with the current plans, and also leaving lockdown", he said.
'From the 927 confirmed symptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the trial, 850 cases of COVID-19 were in the placebo group and 77 cases were in the BNT162b2 group, corresponding to vaccine efficacy of 91.3%,' it said.