Pfizer asks for emergency use of its coronavirus vaccine, doses could be available next month

US drugmaker Pfizer Inc, which has developed a 95% effective vaccine against coronavirus, is now seeking the emergency use tag from the US government for its dosage.

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Pfizer coronavirus vaccine
The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine was found to be 95% effective in the trials. (Reuters)

US drugmaker Pfizer Inc, which has developed a 95% effective vaccine against coronavirus, is now seeking the emergency use tag from the US government for its dosage. Pfizer has said the emergency use tag could start the process early and the coronavirus vaccine doses could be available as early as next month.

Now its on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to decide if there's enough evidence to allow emergency vaccinations. If so, first supplies will be scarce and rationed. Experts warn it likely will be spring before there's enough for everyone.

On Wednesday, Pfizer said the final results of its ongoing coronavirus vaccine trials have suggested that the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine shots are 95% effective, a month after the first dose was administered.

Pfizer said on Friday it is asking US regulators to allow emergency use of its Covid-19 vaccine.

The application to the FDA comes just days after Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE reported final trial results that showed the vaccine was 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 with no major safety concerns.

In addition to Friday's FDA submission, Pfizer has also started “rolling” applications in Europe and the UK and intend to submit similar information soon.

Pfizer vaccine in India?

The Pfizer vaccine needs storage at extreme cold temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius. The cold-chain requirement for the coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by Pfizer poses a huge challenge, especially in developing nations such as India, warned experts. However, Centre has said it is examining the possibilities if at all the vaccine has to be obtained by India.

"The arrangement of cold-chains for storing the vaccine developed by Pfizer at a low temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius is a big challenge and it will not be easy for any nation. But then, if at all it has to be obtained, we are examining what we need to do...and will work out a strategy," NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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