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Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts at least 6 months, works against variants

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Pfizer and BioNTech say that their COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts for at least six months and appears to be very effective in combatting several coronavirus variants, including the B.1.351 variant, which is prevalent in South Africa.

What are the details?

A Thursday report from CNN stated that the biopharmaceutical company's ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial has determined that its vaccine, created along with Germany's BioNTech, is more than 91% effective against disease with any symptoms for a minimum of six months after its second dose.

The companies also announced that vaccine appears to be "fully effective" against the B.1.351 variants.

In a joint statement, the companies said, "The vaccine was 100% effect against severe disease as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and 95.3 % effective against severe COVID-19 as defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

A day before the statement, the companies announced that a trial of volunteers ages 12 to 15 years showed 100% efficacy.

"These data confirm the favorable efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine and position us to submit a Biologics License Application to the U.S. FDA," Pfizer chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said Wednesday. "The high vaccine efficacy observed through up to six months following a second dose and against the variant prevalent in South Africa provides further confirmed in our vaccine's overall effectiveness."

BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin added, "It is an important step to further confirm the strong efficacy and good safety data we have seen so far. These data also provide the first clinical results that a vaccine can effectively protect against currently circulating variants, a critical factor to reach herd immunity and end this pandemic for the global population."

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received emergency use authorization in December from the Food and Drug Administration.

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