Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine effective against South African variant, according to companies


Posted on Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 2:37 p.m.

By Sudinfo with AFP

The Pfizer / BioNTech alliance said on Thursday that its vaccine retained very high efficacy against the South African variant of the coronavirus, citing findings from clinical trials conducted in South Africa.


No cases of Covid-19 were seen in South Africa in people vaccinated during the phase 3 trial which tracked participants for up to six months after their second injection, according to a statement.

In this country, “800 participants were recruited, nine cases of Covid-19 were observed, all in the placebo group, which indicates a vaccine efficacy of 100%”, explains the Pfizer / BioNTech alliance.

These are “the first clinical results showing that a vaccine can effectively protect against the variants currently in circulation, an essential factor to achieve group immunity and end this pandemic for the world population”, explains Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, in the release.

Pfizer and BioNTech had estimated in January, from tests carried out in vitro, that even if it was “less” than the response observed against the common strain of the virus, “the high efficacy” against the South African variant did not appear. affected.

Data from clinical trials corroborate these results, said Thursday’s press release.

Out of the 46,307 participants in phase 3 trials in several countries, the vaccine has shown an efficacy of 91.3%, according to the same source.

Of the 927 symptomatic cases of Covid-19 in the study, 850 cases were in patients in the placebo group and 77 cases were in the vaccinated group.

Pfizer and BioNTech laboratories expect to manufacture in 2021 up to 2.5 billion doses of their vaccine, one of three approved in the EU.

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