Pfizer Says Covid Vaccine Being Trialled is 90 Percent Effective

Prime Minister Trudeau says the results are 'encouraging,' and if all goes well, the vaccine could be in Canada in early 2021.

Canada woke up Monday morning to the hope that a Covid-19 vaccine may be on its way in 2021.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced early this morning that a vaccine they have been developing was more than 90 percent effective in preventing Covid-19 in people who did not have any evidence of a prior infection. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it “an encouraging development.”

The Coronavirus has taken the lives of more than 10,000 Canadians, and 1.2 million people worldwide. There are currently over 260,000 active cases in Canada.

(Related: ‘Don’t Try to Change Someone’s Reality’: How My New Blended Family Survived Covid Lockdown)

CNBC reported that the results were based on a large-scale trial involving 43,538 participants who were on a two-dose schedule (and half of which received a placebo). The trial indicated a vaccine efficacy rate of more than 90 percent seven days after the second dose, which means an individual would be protected from Covid-19 28 days after the first vaccination. (As a comparison, the measles vaccination is about 93 percent effective, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention).

Questions still exist around how long the vaccine would provide protection. Pfizer is continuing the trial and needs to collect two months of safety data on about 50 percent of the study’s participants before the vaccine would be authorized for use.

CNBC’s report stated that the vaccine could be available in limited use in the United States as early as late December, and widely available in summer, 2021. Pfizer also has a supply agreement with Canada, the EU, U.K. and Japan, The Globe and Mail reports.

Trudeau said that if all goes well, Canadians can expect to see the vaccine become available here in the first three months of 2021. He also underlined how important it was for people to continue to follow public health guidelines, as case numbers continue to climb across Canada.

Next: ‘‘It’s Just One Thing After Another’: Will Our Relationships Survive Covid-19?