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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the resulting coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have afflicted tens of millions of people in a worldwide pandemic. Safe and effective vaccines are needed urgently.
In an ongoing multinational, placebo-controlled, observer-blinded, pivotal efficacy trial, we randomly assigned persons 16 years of age or older in a 1:1 ratio to receive two doses, 21 days apart, of either placebo or the BNT162b2 vaccine candidate (30 μg perdose).BNT162b2isalipidnanoparticle–formulated,nucleoside-modifiedRNA vaccine that encodes a prefusion stabilized, membrane-anchored SARS-CoV-2 full- length spike protein. The primary end points were efficacy of the vaccine against laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 and safety.
A total of 43,548 participants underwent randomization, of whom 43,448 received injections: 21,720 with BNT162b2 and 21,728 with placebo. There were 8 cases of Covid-19 with onset at least 7 days after the second dose among participants as- signed to receive BNT162b2 and 162 cases among those assigned to placebo; BNT162b2 was 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 (95% credible interval, 90.3 to 97.6). Similar vaccine efficacy (generally 90 to 100%) was observed across subgroups defined by age, sex, race, ethnicity, baseline body-mass index, and the presence of coexisting conditions. Among 10 cases of severe Covid-19 with onset after the first dose, 9 occurred in placebo recipients and 1 in a BNT162b2 recipient. The safety profile of BNT162b2 was characterized by short-term, mild-to-moderate pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. The incidence of serious adverse events was low and was similar in the vaccine and placebo groups.
A two-dose regimen of BNT162b2 conferred 95% protection against Covid-19 in persons 16 years of age or older. Safety over a median of 2 months was similar to that of other viral vaccines. (Funded by BioNTech and Pfizer; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04368728.)
The authors’ affiliations are listed in the Appendix. Address reprint requests to Dr. Absalon at Pfizer, 401 N. Middletown Rd., Pearl River, NY 10965, or at judith .email@example.com.
*A complete list of investigators in the C4591001 Clinical Trial Group is pro- vided in the Supplementary Appendix, available at NEJM.org.
Drs. Polack and Thomas contributed equally to this article.
This article was published on December 10, 2020, and updated on December 16, 2020, at NEJM.org.
Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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