Yesterday’s announcement by Pfizer (American interests) and BionTech (German interests) created waves in the international race to find a vaccine. An early analysis of the results showed that people who received two doses of the vaccine over a period of three weeks had more than 90% fewer cases of symptomatic Covid-19 than those who received a placebo. The vaccine is the first to be tested in the United States and to generate end-stage data. This is happening at a time when research teams and those watching the international race around the world are dreaming about the possibility of a vaccine that is 60% or 70% effective.
However, it is important to keep in mind that Phase III clinical trials are ongoing and that these are announcements of early results. But they are capable of shaking up other research efforts and changing – albeit temporarily – the stock market, as Pfizer is keen to “fix” a long-term downturn in its shares over the last four months of 2020. According to analysts and a report by investors.com, this news could result in an increased share price that could to translate to $ 12.83 billion.
According to a report in The Independent, the American authorities stated that if this vaccine goes ahead, the required doses will unfortunately not be enough for everyone due to an inability to produce sufficient quantities, but also because the two companies already have a contract with the USA that has financed them. The first 100 million vaccines are to be made available to the USA.
Civil society organizations, on the other hand, rely heavily on the fact that this research, too, is largely funded by American taxpayers and that all the efforts to develop the vaccine on a large scale that the world needs today cannot come from the current model that creates exclusivity in patents. They insist that the vaccine should be a public good, not only in the words of the various policy makers that reached our ears and screens from March onwards but also in actions. The People’s Vaccine team responded yesterday to the Pfizer / BionTech early results announcements, saying:
“The great news about the Pfizer vaccine is that it is effective against the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the targeting of the Pharmaceutical Industry for profits and monopolies, confronts us with the impossibility to produce the quantities that would be enough in time. Pfizer and BionTech need to share the technology they have developed so that the millions of doses needed to vaccinate people can now be produced at the lowest possible price. Otherwise the millions of people who desperately need the vaccine will not be able to get it. People can’t wait.”
Reaction to Pfizer vaccine news: “@pfizer and @BioNTech_Group must openly share their vaccine technology so the billions of doses needed to vaccinate the world can be produced now at the lowest possible price” #PeoplesVaccine https://t.co/FJjp9y0KZI pic.twitter.com/te8rtBIAtL
— The People's Vaccine (@peoplesvaccine) November 9, 2020