After 95% efficacy, what’s next for Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine candidate

US pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc on Wednesday announced its vaccine for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) had a 95% success rate, which was higher than an earlier analysis. Announcing the new test results for the Covid-19 vaccine it developed with German biotech firm BioNTech, Pfizer said it is safe and works on older people as well who are most at risk of dying due to the respiratory disease.

The news of the final analysis of the trial’s data came as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to worsen across the world. As per the John Hopkins University, as many as 56,166,387 people have contracted Covid-19 so far and 1,346,741 people lost their lives due to the viral disease.

While it is encouraging news for the US and European countries, which already have a deal with Pfizer for millions of doses, countries like India are going to face major hurdles with the logistical issue such as cold storage as the Pfizer candidate requires -70 degrees of temperature. Even countries with more robust cold chain systems may have to shed money to store the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

Here is what is next for Pfizer vaccine after the success in the clinical trial:

1. The company will send applications to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to seek emergency-use authorisation. The shots will be distributed within 24 hours after the drug regulator body gives its nod to emergency use.

2. Pfizer also have begun “rolling submissions” for the vaccine with regulators in Europe, the United Kingdom and Canada and soon will add this new data to its application.

3. While the government in the United States has started preparation for the distribution as it has identified 64 jurisdictions that will lead vaccine distribution for their areas.

4. Pfizer is also working to determined how long the protection would last after a person takes the two-dose regimen of its candidate. It is also working to understand whether people might need boosters.

5. Based on its current projections, Pfizer is expected to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.

6. The firm has so far inked deals for hundreds of millions of doses of the Covid-19 vaccine with countries like the US, the UK, Japan and the European Union region.

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