BioNTech

Business • Health Care
BioNtech-Pfizer vaccine stops 89.4 percent of virus transmission
BioNtech-Pfizer vaccine stops 89.4 percent of virus transmission
Credit: Ashles Winkler for Pendect, Logos Pifzer & BioNTech

According to an initial study, the vaccine from BioNtech and its US partner Pfizer apparently largely prevents the transmission of the coronavirus. This is the result of a large observational study conducted jointly with the Israeli Ministry of Health. The study found that the vaccine was 89.4 percent effective in preventing Sars-CoV-2 infections.

The study is based on data from 1.1775 million vaccinated Israelis. Vaccinated people are thus not only protected from disease but also appear to have a high probability of no longer infecting other people.

According to the data, the vaccine also has an efficancy of nearly 96 percent after two doses of vaccination. According to the Israeli Ministry of Health, two weeks after the second dose of vaccine, 95.8 percent fewer infections were found in vaccinated people than in unvaccinated people. One week after the second dose, efficacy is 91.9 percent, according to the report.

Regional News • World
BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine can be stored in higher temperatures than initially thought, new data shows
BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine can be stored in higher temperatures than initially thought, new data shows
Credit: U.S. Secretary of Defense, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The BioNTech/Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine had originally been approved for storage at a minimum of -60 degrees celsius but according to new data, the vaccine is more robust than initially thought and can be stored at minus 25 to minus 15 degrees celsius.

Higher temperature storage would result in "greater flexibility" and "even easier to transport and use", so BioNTech’s chief executive Ugur Sahin.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
BioNTech and Pfizer pledge 75m additional doses to EU
BioNTech and Pfizer pledge 75m additional doses to EU
Credit: Pfizer, BioNTech

On Monday, BioNTech and Pfizer said they would increase their Covid-19 vaccine delivery the European Union in the second quarter of 2021, pledging an additional 75 million doses. Both BioNTech-Pfizer and AstraZeneca have recently experienced production delays, resulting in slower vaccine distribution schedules in the EU.

Science • Medicine
BioNTech records first successes in the development of a vaccine against multiple sclerosis

Mainz-based BioNTech is working on an mRNA-based vaccine against multiple sclerosis. The first preclinical studies are promising; the vaccine approach was able to prevent MS disease in mice, and in mice that were already mildly ill, it was able to prevent the disease from progressing and motor functions could even be restored. The study on the mice is so promising that the start of clinical trials on humans is now the next goal, although these cannot begin for at least two years, as the approach must first be tested on human cells in the laboratory.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
EU Commission orders up to 300 million more vaccine doses from BioNtech
EU Commission orders up to 300 million more vaccine doses from BioNtech
Credit: Ashles Winkler for Pendect

The EU Commission has concluded a contract for up to 300 million more doses of the Corona vaccine from the Mainz-based company BioNtech and its US partner Pfizer. 75 million doses of this should be available as early as the second quarter of 2021, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said in Brussels on Friday.

Back in November, the EU Commission ordered up to 300 million doses of vaccine from BioNtech/Pfizer for all 27 states - a firm order for 200 million doses and an option for 100 million more, which was recently pulled.

In Germany, BioNtech is currently working on a new production site in Marburg. If this goes into operation in February as planned, the company will be able to massively expand vaccine production.

Health
Study: BioNTech vaccine effective against mutation
Study: BioNTech vaccine effective against mutation
Credit: Ashles Winkler for Pendect

The corona vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer also protects against a mutation of the virus that has emerged in the UK and South Africa, according to a new study. The variants of the virus first discovered in the UK and South Africa feature a mutation that did not block the vaccine in the study. The study was published on the Internet for researchers and has not yet been reviewed by experts.

The mutation, called N501Y, is a slight change in a site of the spike protein on the surface of the virus. This change is thought to be the reason why the two variants can spread so quickly. Most vaccines being rolled out around the world teach the bodies of those vaccinated to recognize and fight the spike protein.

Health
European Medicines Agency approves drawing six instead of five vaccination doses per BioNtech ampoule in EU
European Medicines Agency approves drawing six instead of five vaccination doses per BioNtech ampoule in EU
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

From now on, more people can be vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine from one ampoule of the manufacturers BioNtech and Pfizer.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved that six instead of five doses may be drawn from an ampoule, said a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Health in Berlin on Friday.

This approval of six instead of five vaccinations per ampoule applies only to the EU. In the remaining countries outside the EU, the national authorities decide whether to change the vaccine approval.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
BioNTech founders warn of Covid-19 vaccine supply issues in EU
BioNTech founders warn of Covid-19 vaccine supply issues in EU
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

BioNTech is working flat out with partner Pfizer to boost production of their Covid-19 vaccine, its founders said, warning there would be gaps in supply until other vaccines were rolled out. The German biotech start-up has led the vaccine race but its shot has been slow to arrive in the EU due to relatively slow approval from the bloc’s health regulator and the small size of the order placed by Brussels.

The delays have caused consternation in Germany, where some regions had to temporarily close vaccination centres days after the launch of an inoculation drive on December 27th.

Regional News • Europe • France
France: Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine approved by medical regulator
France: Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine approved by medical regulator
Credit: unsplash.com/CDC

The French medical regulator has approved the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on Thursday.

"The vaccine can be used for people aged 16 and over, including elderly", said the Haute Autorité de la Santé (HAS).

Regional News • Americas • United States
US President-elect Joe Biden has gotten vaccinated against Covid-19
US President-elect Joe Biden has gotten vaccinated against Covid-19
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter / NBC News

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has gotten his first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine injected in front of television cameras. At a hospital in Newark, Delaware, he called on Americans to do the same: there is no need to worry, he said. His wife, Jill, has also been vaccinated. She received the vaccine from BioNTech and Pfizer, which was also approved in the EU today.

Health
USA approves Pfizer BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine
USA approves Pfizer BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency approval Friday evening to the vaccine made by Mainz-based biotech company Biontech and its partner Pfizer.

The Washington Post reported that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Hahn on Friday to resign if the vaccine, made by Mainz-based Biontech and its U.S. partner Pfizer, is not approved before the end of the day (local time).

Business • Health Care
First person receives Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in UK
First person receives Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in UK
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter / NHS Midlands

A UK grandmother has become the first person in the world to be given the Pfizer Covid-19 jab as part of a mass vaccination programme.

Up to four million more doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are expected by the end of the month.

"I can't thank May and the NHS staff enough who have looked after me tremendously, and my advice to anyone offered the vaccine is to take it - if I can have it at 90 then you can have it too.", said Keenan.

Health
Pfizer and BioNTech are submitting emergency use authorization request for their Covid-19 vaccine to the US FDA
Pfizer and BioNTech are submitting emergency use authorization request for their Covid-19 vaccine to the US FDA
Credit: Norbert Nagel, Mörfelden-Walldorf, Germany, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

On Friday, Pfizer and BioNTech are submitting an emergency use authorization request for their Covid-19 vaccine to the US Food and Drug Administration. While it's unclear how long the process will take, the US government is expected to approve the vaccine until mid-December.

"The submission is based on a vaccine efficacy rate of 95% (p<0.0001) demonstrated in the companies’ Phase 3 clinical study in participants without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection (first primary objective) and also in participants with and without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection (second primary objective), in each case measured from 7 days after the second dose," Pfizer said in a statement posted on its website.

Health
Germany does not expect a Covid-19 vaccine to be available before first quarter 2021
Jens Spahn
Jens Spahn Credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Germany's health minister Jens Spahn said he still does not expect a shot to be available before the first quarter of 2021, even after the announcement by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech that their Covid-19 vaccine proved to be 90% effective.

"If this should prove true ... then it would be a good signal because it shows that this vaccine makes a difference," Jens Spahn told a news conference Monday.

Health
Covid-19: Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine offers 90% protection
Covid-19: Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine offers 90% protection
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Logos Pfizer and BioNTech (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

According to a preliminary analysis, the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech can prevent more than 90% of people from getting Covid-19. However, the data presented is not the final analysis as it is based on only the first 94 volunteers to develop Covid-19 so the precise effectiveness of the vaccine may change when the full results are analysed.

The companies stated they would be able to supply 50 million doses by the end of this year and around 1.3 billion by the end of 2021. Each person needs two doses.

Dr Albert Bourla, the chairman of Pfizer, said: "We are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis."