Early data for a coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech suggests they have achieved more than 90% effectiveness in preventing people from contracting Covid-19.
The two pharmaceutical companies are the first to release their final testing phase data, with a projection of being able to supply 50 million doses by the end of this year and around 1.3 billion by the end of 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated the UK has ordered a total of 40 million doses in an attempt to immunise a third of the population.
So far, the ongoing large-scale trial has seen 43,500 people across six countries tested without any mass negative side effects or safety concerns.
Sir John Bell, a member of the Government’s vaccine taskforce, confirmed the vaccine should enable people to resume normal life by spring, saying “Yes, yes, yes, yes. I am probably the first guy to say that but I will say that with some confidence”.
Although optimistic for a launch of a UK Wide NHS led vaccine distribution, Johnson still emphasised the importance of other precautions, claiming a “vaccine and testing is no substitute for national restrictions along with social distancing and hand hygiene”.
Chief Medical Officer Chris Witty has labelled the vaccine a “reason for optimism for 2021”.