World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday, November 13 said that this is the first time in history that a vaccine research has progressed so quickly. Tedros was referring to Pfizer and BioNTech as they announced that their vaccine has proved to be 90 per cent effective in the last phase of trials. The chief said, “the UN health body is encouraged by "preliminary results of clinical trials released this week”.
As per a tweet by the WHO, Tedros said, “Never in history has vaccine research progressed so quickly. We must apply the same urgency and innovation to ensure that all countries benefit from this scientific achievement”. He added, “I urge all countries to follow Thailand’s lead. No country can say it was well-enough prepared for COVID-19, or that it has no lessons to learn”. The chief also said that we have a long way to go as he said, “The world cannot put all its eggs in one basket, and neglect the many other tools at our disposal that countries like Thailand have shown are effective for bringing this virus under control”.
"There is no doubt that a vaccine will be a vital tool for controlling the #COVID19 pandemic, and we’re encouraged by the preliminary results of clinical trials released this week"-@DrTedros #ACTogether #WHA73— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) November 13, 2020
Recently, Pfizer Inc announced that its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate which was found 90 percent effective in the first interim analysis from Phase III study, will be distributed in December across the US, Pfizer confirmed in a press release. Developed with the German partner BioNTech SE, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was declared effective against SARS-CoV-2 by the independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) in an analysis conducted on November 8, 2020. US’ top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, meanwhile, said at a presser that the first doses of a safe and effective vaccine will be available for high-risk Americans in late December.
Meanwhile, BioNTech co-founder and CEO Prof. Ugur Sahin said in the release that the vaccine’s interim analysis in its Phase 3 study provides evidence that a vaccine may effectively prevent COVID-19. “This is a victory for innovation, science and a global collaborative effort,” he said. Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci said in a live-streamed chat with Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health that the vaccine front runners, such as Pfizer and Moderna are expected to file for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the COVID-19 vaccines based on safety data in late November. Pfizer and BioNTech are in the final stages of accumulating safety data, and as per estimate, a median of two months of safety data following the second and final dose of the vaccine candidate – the amount of safety data specified by the FDA will be submitted by the end of this month.