xperts today hailed the “promising” news of the Pfizer vaccine results as a “watershed moment” in the fight against Covid-19.
Experts said the results suggested the inoculation has “really impressive protection”, with suggestions it could speed up the development of other vaccines, paving the way for the rollout of at least one jab in the UK early next year.
Professor Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases and global health in the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford, said: “This news made me smile from ear to ear.
“It is a relief to see such positive results on this vaccine and bodes well for Covid-19 vaccines in general.
“Of course we need to see more detail and await the final results, and there is a long, long way to go before vaccines will start to make a real difference. But this feels to me like a watershed moment.”
Ian Jones, professor of virology at the University of Reading, said the Pfizer trial data shows “really impressive protection and no reported adverse events”.
He said: “Of all the current vaccines currently in development, the BioNtech product always looked like the most bang-per-buck as it is entirely focused on the part of the virus that binds to the human cell, the receptor binding domain.
“The questions around its use were about the ability to manufacture at scale and the possible toxicity associated with a directly injected RNA product. The trial data show excellent results in both of those areas, really impressive protection and no reported adverse events.”
Professor Sir John Bell, the Regis professor of medicine at Oxford University, said the development could trigger a return to “normal” life by the spring.
“It rolls the pitch for other vaccines… I can’t see any reason why we shouldn’t have a handful of good vaccines now,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“It’s very important, because there’s no other really obvious way to get on top of this thing frankly.”
Asked if people could look forward to a return to normal life by the spring, Sir John replied: “Yes, yes, yes, yes. I am probably the first guy to say that but I will say that with some confidence.”