Pfizer, Moderna: with anti-Covid vaccines, hope finally … and questions too

The quick announcement of positive results from two different laboratories gives hope that the world will be able to defeat the virus, even if many questions still remain unanswered.

Finally, a ray of hope. Good news in an ocean of desolation. The prospect of seeing the beginning of the end of an epidemic which, in ten months, brought humanity to its knees. It first took the form of a press release from Pfizer and BioNTech laboratories, on November 9, announcing an efficacy of 90% for their candidate vaccine against Covid. A wave of enthusiasm then swept the planet, maddening the stock markets and eliciting the most optimistic comments. Then, on November 16, the American biotech Moderna indicated that its vaccine was 94.5% effective.

“Nobody expected such results! That two laboratories achieve similar performance is even better news, even if this information remains to be confirmed by scientific publications”, rejoices Marie-Paule Kieny, president of the Vaccine Covid committee -19. For comparison, influenza injections are 40 to 60% effective. The US regulatory agency had set a minimum of 50% to approve a product. “These are intermediate data, and the final result may be less than 90 or 94%, but it will certainly remain above the required threshold”, according to Prof. Jean-Daniel Lelièvre, head of the disease department. infectious diseases at Henri-Mondor hospital (AP-HP), in Créteil.

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