A coronavirus vaccine found to be 90 percent effective in preventing people from getting COVID-19 has been developed by the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech. The vaccine will soon be put forward for emergency approval with its developers saying it has been tested on 43,500 people with no safety concerns raised. But where exactly is the Pfizer vaccine made?
The coronavirus vaccine has been widely hailed as the best chance of returning life to normal.
Britain has already ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine, including 10 million which could be administered before Christmas if approval is granted.
On Monday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine has been tested on over 40,000 volunteers and interim results suggest it is proving 90 percent effective at protecting people against the virus.
“But we haven’t yet seen the full safety data, and these findings also need to be peer-reviewed.
“So we have cleared one significant hurdle but there are several more to go before we know the vaccine can be used.
“What I can say is that if and when this vaccine is approved, we, in this country, will be ready to start using it.
“Earlier this year the UK Government ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine – enough for about a third of the population since you need two doses each.”
Who developed the Pfizer vaccine?
The vaccine is being designed and developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
The companies own the intellectual property meaning it can only be made by Pfizer.
The pharmaceutical companies have the manufacturing capacity to create 1.3 billion doses by the end of next year.
However, they may choose to partner with other companies to increase capacity.
Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, is an American firm.
BioNTech is a German biotechnology company dedicated to the development and manufacture of active immunotherapies for a patient-specific approach to the treatment of serious disease.
What are the next steps?
Pfizer and BioNTech must not provide two months of safety data to be examined by pharmaceutical watchdogs.
A licence for the vaccine’s use can then be considered and potentially granted.
This data could be made available as soon as next week, meaning regulators in the UK and Europe may begin to approve the virus in a matter of weeks.
What is the latest on British vaccines?
Oxford University and AstraZeneca are expected to publish data shortly, which means their vaccine could also be given the green light.
Vaccine trial chief investigator Andrew Pollard told the Science and Technology Committee he is “optimistic” the University of Oxford trial could present late-stage results, possibly revealing whether it works, before the end of the year.
He said: “There is a small chance of that being possible but I just don’t know.
“Our trials are only one of many that are going on around the world, a number of which may well report before the end of the year.”