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Gloucestershire Business News

Positive results from coronavirus vaccine trials

Tests on a coronavirus vaccine under development have revealed it is 90 per cent effective.

Developers Pfizer and BioNTech said 43,500 trials across six countries had raised no safety concerns.

And they are looking to apply for emergency approval for the vaccine by the end of November.

Pfizer chairman Dr Albert Bourla described the results as "a great day for science and humanity".

He said: "The first set of results from our phase three Covid-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine's ability to prevent Covid-19.

"We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen."

Trials and the gathering of safety data will continue until at least the third week of November before a dossier is submitted to regulators for approval.

The first doses could be given to healthcare workers by the end of the year.

Vaccination involves two doses three weeks apart with recipients protected a week after the second dose.

Pfizer has predicted it could supply 50 million doses by the end of this year and around 1.3 billion by the end of 2021.

The UK has already ordered 30 million doses.

One hurdle to the widespread introduction of the vaccine is the fact it requires storage at below minus 80C and it is not clear how long immunity lasts.

Around a dozen potential vaccines are in the final stages of testing.

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