Pfizer said Wednesday that real-world data suggests its coronavirus vaccine is 94% effective in halting asymptomatic infections and effective against a highly transmissible variant first discovered in the United Kingdom.
Israeli analysis of vaccine distribution shows the vaccine being over 97% effective in preventing symptomatic cases and death, higher than the 90% efficiency that was reported in the vaccine’s Phase III trials, Pfizer said in a press release Thursday. Over 80% of the tested specimens were against the UK variant known as B.1.1.7.
A top foreign policy think tank in Washington, D.C. rejected warnings from a Ukrainian anti-corruption activist against forming a partnership with Burisma Holdings, the energy firm linked to Hunter Biden that has faced allegations of corruption.
Daria Kaleniuk, the executive director of a Ukrainian group called the Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC), contacted John Herbst, a director at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, on Jan. 20, 2017, and asked him to reconsider plans to work with Burisma, newly released State Department emails show.
Prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the end of lockdown may be delayed beyond mid-February and would last until the end of March, telling MPs the government will be “extremely cautious” about lifting restrictions and reopening schools.
On Monday, Prime Minister Johnson plunged England into a third national coronavirus lockdown. The lockdown includes a strict stay at home orders and the closure of all schools. Mr Johnson resisted calls from Tory MPs to guarantee the rules will start to be eased after the first review on February 15, the prime minister made it clear that a successful roll-out of the vaccine programme to the most vulnerable will be key to determining when the lockdown measures can be lifted. Adding on a lag for achieving immunity after vaccination and relieving “the pressure on the NHS”, he then tacked on a further two or three weeks, saying “we should remain cautious of the timetable ahead”, Breitbart reported.
The two coronavirus vaccines that have been approved for emergency use authorization in the U.S. will be able to combat a new, more contagious strain of the virus in the U.K., experts said Monday.
Vaccines made by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna will be effective against the new strain, which is “very similar” to previous strains at the genetic level, University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation affiliate assistant professor Vin Gupta told CNBC. The Food and Drug Administration has approved both vaccines for emergency use authorization after large-scale human trials showed efficacy of more than 90%.