Pfizer says that more interim results from its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study suggest the shots are 95% effective and that the vaccine protects older people most at risk of dying from COVID-19.
The announcement, just a week after Pfizer first revealed promising preliminary results, comes as the company is preparing within days to formally ask U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of the vaccine.
Pfizer initially had estimated its vaccine, developed with German partner BioNTech, was more than 90% effective after 94 infections had been counted. With Wednesday’s announcement, the company now has accumulated 170 infections in the study — and said only eight of them occurred in volunteers who got the actual vaccine rather than a dummy shot. One of those eight developed severe disease, the company said.
The company has not yet released detailed data on its study, and results have not been analyzed by independent experts.
Pfizer said its vaccine was more than 94 per cent effective in adults over age 65, though it is not clear how the company determined effectiveness in older adults, with only eight infections in the vaccinated group to analyze and no breakdown provided of those people’s ages.
Earlier this week Moderna, Inc. announced that its experimental vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective after an interim analysis of its late-stage study.
Pfizer says it now has the data on the vaccine’s safety needed to seek emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
The company didn’t disclose safety details but said no serious vaccine side effects have been reported, with the most common problem being fatigue after the second vaccine dose, affecting about 4% of participants.
The study has enrolled nearly 44,000 people in the U.S. and five other countries. The trial will continue to collect safety and efficacy data on volunteers for two more years.
Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
U.S. officials have said they hope to have about 20 million vaccine doses each from Moderna and Pfizer available for distribution in late December. The first shots will be offered to vulnerable groups like medical and nursing home workers, and people with serious health conditions.
Williams calls upward trend of new COVID-19 cases 'troubling' as Ontario logs 1746 new infections – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
The number of new COVID-19 cases in Ontario surpassed 1,700 once again today amid a significant drop in testing over the past 24 hours.
Ontario health officials reported 1,746 new infections today, up slightly from the 1,708 confirmed one day prior but down from the record 1,855 recorded on Friday.
The new cases come as the province reports a notable drop in testing today.
After surpassing 50,000 tests per day for three consecutive days, only 39,406 tests were completed yesterday.
According to provincial health officials, the test positivity rate provincewide is now 4.6 per cent, up substantially from 3.7 per cent on Sunday but on par with the positivity rate at this point last week.
The rolling seven-day average of new cases is now 1,570, up from 1,429 one week ago.
“These trends of course remain concerning. The fact that we have had record high numbers on Friday and continued high numbers over the weekend and today is troubling,” Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said at a news conference on Monday afternoon.
“The question is will we be able to keep it there and come down or will we plateau and start going up again?”
COVID-related hospitalizations also climbed to 618 today, up from 601 on Sunday, with 168 of those patients now in intensive care.
A count of local public health units and individual hospitals puts the number of hospitalizations at 631.
Eight more virus-related deaths were recorded today, down from 24 on Sunday and the lowest single-day death toll since Nov. 20.
Two of the fatalities confirmed over the past 24 hours involve residents of long-term care facilities, the latest data from the province reveals.
Of the new infections today, 622 are in Toronto, 390 are in Peel, and 217 are in York Region.
Toronto’s total today is the highest single-day tally recorded in the city since the start of the pandemic.
Another 108 new cases were reported in Durham Region today, up from 73 one day prior.
GTA public health units account for nearly 80 per cent of all new COVID-19 cases in the province and today marks one week since Toronto and Peel Region entered a 28-day lockdown.
During the lockdown, restaurants can only remain open for takeout and delivery and non-essential retailers are only permitted to offer curbside pickup and delivery.
Gyms, casinos, and movie theatres have also been closed.
Residents are being advised to only gather with members of their household and only go out for essential purposes.
Tougher public health measures were introduced in five more Ontario regions today, including Windsor-Essex, which was placed in the province’s “red” zone.
Task force working on plan for vaccine rollout
Last week, the province released details of its COVID-19 vaccine task force, which will be responsible for the distribution of vaccines when they are approved and arrive in Canada.
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott previously said she expects Ontario to receive a total of 2.4 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in the first three months of 2021.
Recipients of the vaccine will require two doses 28 days apart, which means the first shipment Ontario receives will likely only be enough to inoculate 1.2 million residents.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that he expects most Canadians who want to be vaccinated will be able to do so by September 2021.
“I really think that if we have these vaccines landing on Canadian soil some time in very early 2021, like if it is the month of January, even in early February, I think this would be considered a huge success,” Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist, told CP24 on Monday morning.
“We are not making these vaccines here. We are really relying on companies in other countries to produce this and send it to us.”
He said early rollout of the vaccine in Canada will go a long way to protecting the most vulnerable.
“Even with that very first early batch of vaccines that are coming… you can do so much good with that. If we just vaccinate target populations, like people in long-term care facilities… right off the bat, you are going to just decrease the probability of so many people getting very, very sick, coming to hospital, and sadly dying,” he said.
“We can alleviate that, we can alleviate tremendous suffering at an individual level but we can also take off tremendous pressure from our health-care system… Even well before September we can do some tremendous good.”
New cases in the GTHA today:
Peel Region: 390
York Region: 217
Durham Region: 108
Halton Region: 35
Ontario reports 1,746 new cases of COVID-19 as Toronto sees new one-day high – CityNews Toronto
Ontario is reporting 1,746 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, an increase from Sunday’s 1,708 new cases.
Most of the new cases are in Toronto (622), followed by Peel Region (390) and York Region (217).
The 622 new cases mark a new one-day high for the City of Toronto.
Another eight new deaths were reported, bringing the total number of people who have died from the virus in the province to 3,656.
In total, 618 people are hospitalized in the province due to COVID-19, including 168 in intensive care.
The province is also reporting that 108 people are on ventilators in the hospital.
Labs across the province completed 39,400 tests on Sunday and 98,639 cases are considered resolved.
Ontario is reporting 1,746 cases of #COVID19. Locally, there are 622 new cases in Toronto, 390 in Peel and 217 in York Region. There are 1,320 more resolved cases and over 39,400 tests completed.
Today’s numbers will be available at 10:30 a.m. at https://t.co/ypmgZbVRvn.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) November 30, 2020
Ontario reports slight increase in COVID-19 cases, record high for Toronto – 680 News
Ontario is reporting 1,746 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday.
This is only a slight increase from the 1,708 cases reported a day earlier, however it comes with a much lower number of completed tests.
The province completed over 50,000 tests the previous three days. This number dropped to 39,400 completed tests reported Monday.
The provinces seven-day average reached a new high with Monday’s report.
There were 8 new deaths reported. This is a significant drop as the number has hovered around 20 in the past week.
There are 1,320 more resolved cases.
There is now a total of 116,492 confirmed cases in the province since the onset of the pandemic with 3,656 deaths. 98,639 cases have been resolved.
The number of COVID related hospitalizations in the province spiked to over 600.
Among active cases, 618 people are currently in the hospital compared to 586 the day before. Among the hospitalized, 168 are in the ICU and 108 are currently on ventilators.
Over the past week there’s been an average of just over 2,000 patients being treated in hospitals across the country. That number has nearly doubled since the end of October.
New modelling suggests that the number of Canadians hospitalized with COVID-19 will soon surpass the peak of the first wave.
Locally, Toronto reported over a third of all cases. The 622 new cases represents a single-day record for the city.
All regions in the GTA reported an increase except for Peel. After four straight days of over 500 cases Peel reports 390 on Monday.
York Region increased to 217 from 185. Durham is up to 108 from 73, a new single-day high. Halton reports 35 compared to 31 the day prior.
Ottawa saw a significant drop, reporting 29 cases compared to 79 a day earlier.
COVID-19 in schools
Ontario is reporting 102 new cases in schools.
Among the cases in schools, 86 are related to students, while 15 are linked to staff.
670 schools in the province currently have a reported case. Four schools in Ontario are currently closed as a result of COVID-19.
You can find which schools are reporting cases on the province’s website, when it is updated daily at 10:30 a.m.
Ontario records 1746 new COVID-19 cases today amid drop in testing – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
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