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Pfizer ends Covid-19 trial with 95% efficacy, seeks emergency use

PARIS Pfizer said yesterday that final results from the late-stage trial of its Covid-19 vaccine show it was 95 per cent effective, adding it had the required two months of safety data and would apply for emergency US authorisation within days.

The drugmaker said efficacy of the vaccine, developed with German partner BioNTech SE, was consistent across age and ethnicity demographics, and that there were no major side effects, a sign that the immunisation could be employed broadly around the world.

Efficacy in adults over 65 years, who are at particular risk from the virus, was more than 94 per cent.

The final analysis comes just one week after initial results from the trial showed the vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective.

Moderna on Monday released preliminary data for its vaccine, showing similar effectiveness.

The better-than-expected data from the two vaccines, both developed with new technology known as messenger RNA, have raised hopes for an end to a pandemic that has killed more than 1.3 million people globally.

But it will be months before large-scale roll outs begin.

Meanwhile, Sinovac Biotech's experimental Covid-19 vaccine CoronaVac triggered a quick immune response, but the level of antibodies produced was lower than in people who had recovered, preliminary trial results showed.

While the early to mid-stage trials were not designed to assess the efficacy of CoronaVac, researchers said it could provide sufficient protection, based on their experience with other vaccines and data from pre-clinical studies with macaques.

CoronaVac and four other experimental vaccines developed in China are currently undergoing late-stage trials.

The Sinovac findings, published in a peer-reviewed paper in medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, came from results in phase one and phase two clinical trials in China involving more than 700 participants.

"Our findings show that CoronaVac is capable of inducing a quick antibody response within four weeks of immunisation by giving two doses of the vaccine at a 14-day interval," one of the authors Zhu Fengcai said. - REUTERS

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