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Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Tests Well Against South African Variant

Pfizer and BioNTech said testing indicates their COVID vaccine is effective against the potent South African variant of the illness.
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Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report and BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report, makers of a COVID vaccine, said Thursday that testing indicated the vaccine is effective against the potent South African variant of the illness.

Top-line results from a Phase 3 analysis of 927 symptomatic cases of COVID-19 show the companies’ vaccine, BNT162b2, was 91.3% effective, measured seven days through up to six months after the second dose, they said.

“These data confirm the favorable efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine and position us to submit a biologics license application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” Albert Bourla, chief executive of Pfizer, said in a statement. 

“The high vaccine efficacy observed through up to six months following a second dose and against the variant prevalent in South Africa provides further confidence in our vaccine’s overall effectiveness.”

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And Ugur Sahin, CEO of BioNTech, said, “These data also provide the first clinical results that a vaccine can effectively protect against currently circulating variants, a critical factor to reach herd immunity and end this pandemic for the global population.”

Pfizer recently traded at $36.37, up 0.4%. COVID vaccine progress doesn’t help the stock much because profit from the product isn’t expected to total a large percentage of Pfizer’s overall profit. Its stock has gained 17% over the past year, less than a third of the S&P 500’s 53% rise.

Germany’s BioNTech recently traded at $110.64, up 1.3%. Profit from the vaccine is a bigger deal for this smaller company. Its stock has doubled over the past year.

The two companies said Wednesday that their vaccine showed a 100% efficacy rate in a pivotal trial of teenagers.