Pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that a Phase III trial investigating the BNT162b2 vaccine was found to be 90-per-cent effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19 in participants without evidence of prior infection.
Reynald Castañeda, Pharma Writer for the Investigative News team at GlobalData, said: “The final Phase III efficacy analysis of the Covid-19 vaccine is likely to show a decrease by around five to 10 points from the initial efficacy data owing to changes in volunteer demographics and waning efficacy.
“However, if the final data reports the vaccine is 50 per cent effective, though worthy of an emergency use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration, the 40-point decrease would be a red flag to the vaccine’s durability. Yet, such a dramatic drop is unlikely because the initial data is high enough that the impact of potentially lower efficacy from forthcoming events would be diluted. The initial data is based on 94 cases, with a final efficacy analysis to occur when there are 164 events.”
Will the vaccine make travel possible?
However, there are still some concerns about the vaccine having the power to change the entire travel market in 2021.
Jaylen Mammadova, Global Sector Lead at research firm Third Bridge, said: “This is a stepping-stone vaccine towards a more normal world, but it will not be a gamechanger for Pfizer’s bottom line. This is a first-generation vaccine that can help policymakers swing our lives back towards normal, but it should be overtaken by more effective and durable second and third-generation vaccines in 2021.
"We anticipate initial market uptake should there be no safety issues. However, the idea of this being the final silver bullet for Covid may be mistaken. Durability, or how long immunity lasts in vaccine recipients, is a concern with mRNA-based vaccines like Pfizer's, so we need to be very cautious of the 90 per cent effectiveness rate we're hearing about. There is also a question mark around whether Pfizer’s vaccine will be as effective amongst the elderly population."