Major Discovery by Pfizer of Covid Vaccine 19
By Louis Torronde , November 14 2020
The entire planet is ready to mark the date of November 09, 2020 with a white stone because since that day, the crisis that began in early 2020 suggests an upturn for 2021. The impact of the pandemic on the various components of society is particularly striking, taking the example of the stock exchanges, especially the New York Stock Exchange. The evolution of the Dow Jones, which gained 2.95% and the Nasdaq, which fell by 1.53%, shows that the rather traditional sectors that have suffered from the consequences of the confinements imposed throughout the world are regaining strength, while the technology sectors, such as online sales, which had been able to develop in an unusual way, are returning to an expected level. Thus, the different stock market rises are linked to the values that make up the benchmark indices, with the Paris stock exchange rising by 7.57%, the European index by 6.36% and London by 4.67%, closer to the evolution of the American index. Pfizer's announcement allows the company to breathe and the economy to recover.
In the United States in particular, the rise in the stock market was not as brutal as in Europe and had even begun a few days ago in connection with the likelihood of a victory of Joe Biden in the presidential election and that of a divided Congregation, House of Representatives for the Democrats and Senate for the Republicans.
In this context, is there a voluntary correlation between the announcement of the results of the Phase 3 trials of the vaccine on November 9 and the media announcement of the results of the presidential election on November 7, with Donald Trump announcing for several months that a vaccine would be ready for the presidential election? And could the early announcement of the vaccine have had an impact on the U.S. election? It is likely that no definitive answer can be given categorically, allowing Donald Trump supporters to argue in favor of a conspiracy and Joe Biden supporters to congratulate themselves on the favorable sequence of events even before the start of his term.
As encouraging as the announcement by Pfizer and BioNTech was, it was only the beginning of the vaccine's licensing phase. The results presented are still partial and not definitive, as they are based only on a sample of Phase 3 patients tested seven days after injection of the second dose of the vaccine and 28 days after the first injection. Results on side effects, toxicity, or duration of immunity have yet to be detailed and consolidated. The enthusiasm that has been generated is mainly due to the immediate absence of side effects and the vaccine's 90% efficacy rate, well above the WHO's 50% minimum efficacy threshold for vaccines in general.
The study protocol set up by Pfizer and the characteristics of the vaccine requiring 2 injections did not allow for communication on the vaccine's efficacy before the results of the second injection were obtained, except to publish very partial results. Such an announcement would certainly have been subject to a large number of critical and skeptical remarks from the scientific and political world, as was the case previously with the announcements of the Chinese and Russian vaccines. The announcement after the second mandatory injection of Pfizer's vaccine gives it additional, though incomplete, scientific legitimacy until all the data from the study have been published.
Pfizer's communication has been the subject of very special attention. In mid-October, Pfizer's CEO Albert Bourla published a forum to explain Pfizer's strategy and its independence from political times. The column appeared after the first televised debate of the U.S. presidential election, but also after the first injection of the vaccine being tested, counting down 28 days from November 9. At the time of publication, it is likely that Pfizer was already aware of the promising results of the first injection and did not want to disclose anything until the results of the second injection.
After the November 09 announcement, Albert Bourla confirms in an interview that the raw results arrived the previous week, that these results had to be analyzed, compiled and approved by an independent committee of experts from Pfizer which communicated its final conclusions on November 08 to the general management, for an announcement the following day.
Pfizer's position is understandable in light of the scientific discourse shared with the public since the emergence of the virus. The quantity of divergent scientific opinions and counter-opinions has shown that they are not as rigorous and consensual as the normally applied scientific methodology and protocols might suggest. In the face of this cacophony, it is important that the solution that will be proposed to treat Covid-19 respects such scientific rigour in order to be both accepted by the population and as little contested as possible. The first announcements of results of the Russian and Chinese viruses did not respect this rigorous approach and explain, in part, the low international adherence. It is therefore difficult to believe the Chinese laboratory when it claims that the recent termination of the trial in Brazil is unrelated to the vaccine.
Scientific rigor also serves politicians in their decision-making and enhances their popularity through the informed decisions they can make. But only scientific time is a guarantee of the effectiveness of the vaccines and remedies that will be found against Covid-19. These two times, politics and science, move at different speeds but are complementary to each other. The concomitance between the American election and the announcement of the success of Pfizer's vaccine only confirms this reality.
As for the U.S. election, the result will be final when all legal challenges have been exhausted and Joe Biden will have been invested on January 20, 2021.
Additional results on the safety of Pfizer's vaccine are expected in late November, and a fast-track validation process for the Phase 3 trials will then allow the vaccine to be submitted for licensure by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and then for approval in Europe. Commercialization could be possible as early as late 2020 in the U.S. and early 2021 in Europe.