‘GREAT DAY FOR SCIENCE AND HUMANITY’: Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine is over 90% effective

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‘GREAT DAY FOR SCIENCE AND HUMANITY’: Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine is over 90% effective

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“Today is a great day for science and humanity,” said Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla, noting the data milestone comes with “infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen.”

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Experts said they wanted to see the full trial data, but the preliminary results looked encouraging.

“This news made me smile from ear to ear. It is a relief to see such positive results on this vaccine and bodes well for COVID-19 vaccines in general,” said Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases at the University of Oxford.

There are still many questions, such as how effective the vaccine is by ethnicity or age and how long immunity may last.

“But the bottom line is, as a vaccine it’s more than 90% effective, which is extraordinary,” top U.S. infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN.

Pfizer expects to seek U.S. emergency use authorization for people aged 16 to 85. To do so, it will need two months of follow-up safety data to assure no side effects crop up. That is expected to be available in the third week of November.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said it would take several weeks for U.S. regulators to receive and process the data before a potential approval.

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The prospect of a vaccine electrified world markets with the S&P 500 and Dow hitting record highs. JPMorgan said on Monday it expected the S&P 500 index to hit 4,000 points by early 2021 and called Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and called Pfizer Inc’s PFE.N COVID-19 vaccine update “one of the best backdrops for sustained gains in years.”

Stock of theme park and film company Walt Disney rose 12% and movie chain operator AMC Entertainment Holdings was up 51%. Shares in companies that have thrived during lockdowns, such as Netflix Inc and conferencing platform Zoom Video tumbled. Gun stocks sold off on higher hopes for a return to normal and a lack of civil unrest.

Pfizer shares jumped more than 8% to their highest since July last year, while BioNTech’s stock hit a record high. Mizuho Securities analyst Vamil Divan forecast the vaccine may generate sales in excess of $8.5 billion for Pfizer in 2020-2021 alone.

Shares of other vaccine developers in the final stage of testing also rose with Johnson & Johnson up nearly 4% and Moderna Inc, whose vaccine uses a similar technology as the Pfizer shot, up more than 8%. Britain’s AstraZeneca, however, fell 2%.

Moderna is expected to report results from its large-scale trial later this month. “It’s likely that we’re going to have more than one vaccine that’s effective,” Fauci said.

William Schaffner, infectious diseases expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, called the Pfizer results better than most anticipated. “The study isn’t completed yet, but nonetheless the data look very solid.”

U.S. President Donald Trump welcomed the test results, and the market boost: “STOCK MARKET UP BIG, VACCINE COMING SOON. REPORT 90% EFFECTIVE. SUCH GREAT NEWS!” he tweeted.

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‘GREAT DAY FOR SCIENCE AND HUMANITY’: Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine is over 90% effective


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