He said the emergence of COVID-19 accelerated those plans. For almost a year, knowledge of COVID-19 has continued to develop greatly, which has informed regulations, successful or not, to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Giving an update, they said that a final efficacy analysis from ongoing advanced trials on the vaccine candidate had met all the study's primary endpoints and indicated an efficacy rate of 95 per cent. The two-dose Russian Sputnik V adenovirus vaccine - which also recently reported results in The Lancet - showed consistent responses in under 60s.
"As a result, it is crucial that COVID-19 vaccines are tested in this group who are also a priority group for immunisation". In addition, a portion of the volunteers was given a placebo, yet the vaccine which was given to the other portion of volunteers still proved to be 90% effective in preventing symptoms.
"Everybody is looking for the clinical data, and so far, the data for mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 from BioNTech and Moderna look very promising", he said.
On the other hand, the Pfizer-BioNTech doses are much smaller - 30 micrograms to Moderna-NIH's 100 micrograms - probably lowering production costs per dose.
Two vaccines using inactivated coronavirus were also able to elicit antibody responses.
In a joint statement, both companies said on Wednesday that a completed analysis of their vaccine found it protected 95 percent of people against the disease.
"The safety milestone required by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for EUA has been achieved".
"We may even start delivering the vaccine in December", he added, "if everyone works together very closely".
Both the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine have been developed with new technology known as messenger RNA (mRNA). Those vaccine doses would then be split in half again as each person needs two doses. This is crucial for protecting the elderly and non-white people who are at highest risk from acquiring severe COVID-19.
The Oxford vaccine team separated vaccinated people into groups of 18-55 years (160 participants), 56-69 years (160), and 70 years and older (240).
A British spokesperson welcomed the news and confirmed that the UK's Vaccines Taskforce has already pre-ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine from Pfizer.
While some may see this as an immediate cure to the whole pandemic, there are some challenges still being faced with the newly developed vaccine.
Concerns have been raised that it would be hard to distribute the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine because it needs to be stored at around minus 75 degrees Celsius.
In a nod to vaccine skeptics, he said the only option was to keep providing "answers, information and transparency".
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