New Results Show 95% Efficacy For Pfizer-BioNTech Coronavirus Vaccine, No Serious Side Effects; Developing Nations To Argue For Patent Suspensions Of Vaccines At WTO Meeting

New York Times: New Pfizer Results: Coronavirus Vaccine Is Safe and 95% Effective
“The drug maker Pfizer said on Wednesday that its coronavirus vaccine was 95 percent effective and had no serious side effects — the first set of complete results from a late-stage vaccine trial as Covid-19 cases skyrocket around the globe. The data showed that the vaccine prevented mild and severe forms of Covid-19, the company said. And it was 94 percent effective in older adults, who are more vulnerable to developing severe Covid-19 and who do not respond strongly to some types of vaccines…” (Thomas, 11/18).

STAT: Pfizer may be within days of filing emergency authorization request for Covid-19 vaccine
“Pfizer may be within days of filing for an emergency use authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine, having collected the safety data necessary to submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration, CEO Albert Bourla said Tuesday. ‘We are very close to submitting for an emergency use authorization,’ Bourla said during the STAT Summit, which this year is a virtual event. Bourla sidestepped the question of whether Pfizer’s filing would be made this week…” (Branswell, 11/17).

Wall Street Journal: Developing Nations Push for Covid-19 Vaccines Without the Patents
“A group of developing countries, led by South Africa and India, say they will press at the World Trade Organization this week to free Covid-19 vaccines from patent protections so they can be more accessible and affordable for poor countries. The pandemic requires a temporary suspension of the world’s usual intellectual property system, the countries say they will argue at a WTO council meeting this Friday. If poorer countries aren’t given special access to the vaccines, which are expected to hit the market by the start of next year, the group of developing nations say they will argue, they will continue to be devastated by the coronavirus even as it is stopped in the West…” (Shah, 11/17).

Yahoo Finance U.K.: Head of Vaccine Alliance: Global access to COVID-19 vaccine ‘the only way to beat the pandemic’
“…When it comes to getting a COVID-19 vaccine however, it is vital that rich and poor countries have equal access to immunization, according to Seth Berkley, the chief executive of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. In The Economist’s ‘The World in 2021’ special report, Berkley says mass, rapid vaccination could mark the beginning of the end of the crisis…” (Petzinger, 11/17).

Additional coverage of coronavirus vaccine research and distribution is available from Al Jazeera, CNN, Financial Times, The Hill, New York Times (2) (3), POLITICO, Scientific American, and Washington Post (2).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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