By Sam van de Schootbrugge 16-11-2020
In: hive-exclusives | COVID-19

Podcast Review: Macro Hive Conversations With Prof. Justin Stebbing

(4 min read)
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Following last week’s vaccine news from Pfizer, we welcomed Professor Justin Stebbing back onto our podcast show. We first interviewed Justin in July, when he argued that we could see a COVID-19 vaccine around US election time. He was right, and so we wanted to get his latest views. This time, he explains what to expect over the next few months (including Moderna’s results) and what key uncertainties remain.

The Vaccine News We’ve All Been Waiting For

On 9 November, Pfizer and BioNTech (PFE/BNTX henceforth) released a brief press release announcing the first interim analysis of its phase three vaccine trial. The study enrolled 43,538 global participants, from which 94 confirmed COVID-19 patients were evaluated (also known as ‘events’). The analysis showed 90% efficacy.

‘The world had a very good day’, Justin emphasises throughout the interview. A typical viral vaccine takes as many as 10 years to manufacture and produces efficacy results between 85-90%. The PFE/BNTX candidate covers a large number of participants, including a significant proportion from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, and it shows no signs of strange toxicity data.

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