Will the Pfizer vaccine solve the coronavirus crisis?

Marco Green
July 3, 2020

"Virus neutralizing antibody titers achieved after two doses are greater than convalescent antibody titers", tweeted Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist from Baylor College of Medicine in the USA, who was unrelated to the study.

Hopes for an effective vaccine eased investors concerns over the record surge in coronavirus cases in the USA, sending stocks on Wall Street higher Wednesday on the first trading day of the new quarter. Researchers will use the preliminary data to pick from among the vaccine candidates and determine dosage for a significantly larger trial, involving up to 30,000 people. But as Pfizer research Phil Dormitzer told ABC News, the preliminary results are very exciting.

The report has been submitted for publication in a scientific journal but not yet reviewed.

He said the immune response observed in the patients treated with the experimental vaccine are at, or above, the levels observed from convalescent sera, adding that it does so at "relatively low dose levels". "We look forward to providing further data updates on BNT162b1", said Ugur Sahin, the CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech, in a statement.

According to a statement from Pfizer, the initial part of the study included 45 healthy adults 18 to 55 years of age. It says its goal is to have 100 million doses of a vaccine available by the end of 2020. The results showed production of neutralizing antibodies in all the patients who were inoculated after 28 days. Data from a German trial of the same vaccine are expected to be released by mid-July.

The GMC data from this cohort was reported to be eight and 46.3 times higher than the GMC in a panel of participants who had contracted the virus. Subjects reported mild side effects, including pain at the injection site and low-grade fever, which are common vaccine reactions. The researchers made a decision to discontinue with the highest dose, 100 micrograms, after the first round of treatments. The companies noted they didn't know how long the immune responses would last, or what level of immunity humans need for protection from the virus.

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