Of the 927 symptomatic cases of covid-19 detected until March 13 recorded in the study, 850 were in the placebo group and 77 cases were found among vaccinated people.
In South Africa, no cases of infection were observed among vaccinees during the third phase trial, which observed participants up to six months after the second dose, according to the statement made public.
In the country “800 participants were recruited and nine cases of covid-19 were observed, all in the placebo group, indicating 100% effectiveness of the vaccine”, emphasizes the Pfizer / BioNTech consortium.
These are “the first clinical results to demonstrate that a vaccine can effectively protect against the variants currently in circulation, an essential fact to achieve group immunity and end this pandemic in the world population”, stressed, in the same note, the director executive and co-founder of BioNTech, Ugur Sahin.
Pfizer and BioNTech had predicted in January, based on tests done in vitro, that even though it was “inferior” to the response verified against the common strain of the virus, “the high efficacy” against the South African variant did not appear to be affected.
Data from clinical trials corroborate these results, underlines the statement released today.
Pfizer and BioNTech plan to manufacture up to 2.5 billion doses of their vaccine in 2021, one of three approved in the European Union.
The vaccine is authorized from 16 years of age. This week, manufacturing companies stressed that the vaccine is safe and very protective in children aged 12 and older, based on a study of 2,260 American volunteers.
The covid-19 pandemic caused at least 2,816,908 deaths worldwide, resulting from more than 128.8 million cases of infection, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.
In Portugal, 16,859 people died from 822,314 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.
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