The Massachusetts-based biotech company announced Monday that it The coronavirus vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing Covid-19, based on preliminary data from its phase three study. The news comes a week later Pfizer and his German partner BioNTech said an interim analysis showed that her vaccine was up more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 among study participants who had not previously been infected.
“If these complete records are valid and the full data is released, we may have two highly effective vaccines against Covid,” said Gottlieb, a Pfizer board member, on “Squawk Box.”
“Once we get these vaccines in sufficient quality in 2021, the combination of the fact that a large part of the population has already had Covid and the fact that we will be vaccinating the public with a highly effective vaccine could effectively end this pandemic in 2021 with our technology, “added Gottlieb, a former US Food and Drug Administration representative in the Trump administration.
Since the coronavirus first appeared in China late last year, nearly 55 million cases and 1,318,884 deaths from Covid-19 have been confirmed worldwide Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The total number of infections in the US was only 11 million, with more than 1 million of these cases occurring in less than a week.
In its interim analysis, Moderna saw 95 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in its study of 30,000 participants. There were 90 cases in the placebo group compared to five cases in the group of people who received the company’s two-dose mRNA vaccine. Both Pfizer and Moderna use mRNA-based vaccines, a new technology that uses genetic material to generate an immune response.
Gottlieb said it was important to remember that the early data shed some light on whether the vaccines are preventing people from getting Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. These Pfizer and Moderna interim results do not specifically show that the vaccines prevent people from ever becoming infected with the coronavirus, he warned. There are reasons to be optimistic, however, as the vaccines appear to be highly capable of preventing Covid-19.
“It has to be assumed that at the levels of effectiveness that we see from these vaccines, the vaccines not only reduce signs and symptoms of Covid disease, but they are likely to prevent some people from becoming infected or reduce the likelihood of people [shedding] the virus, “said Gottlieb.
“If we can show that these vaccines actually reduce the infection rate, they will become public health tools to prevent transmission,” said Gottlieb. “Hopefully the data will show this. You have to believe this is based on these levels of effectiveness, but of course we need to see the full datasets.”