The disappointing study results for CureVac's Covid 19 vaccine have been confirmed after a final analysis. The vaccine showed 48 percent efficacy against covid disease of any severity and in all age groups, the Tuebingen-based biotech company announced Wednesday evening. In an interim analysis two weeks ago, the figure was 47 percent. In the final analysis, however, a "significant protective effect" of the vaccine was observed in study participants between the ages of 18 and 60, according to CureVac. However, these are less at risk for infection than older people.
Accordingly, in this age group, 53 percent efficacy was observed against disease of any severity and 77 percent against moderate and severe disease progression. The vaccinated study participants were fully protected from hospitalization or death at this age - there were six cases in the group that received a placebo. No statistically clear determination of efficacy was possible for study participants over 60 years of age, who represented nine percent of the cases studied.
CureVac said it is in ongoing communication with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the continuation of the vaccine approval process. Meanwhile, the company's vaccine is not included in the German Health Ministry's plans for 2022. Overall, German Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) envisions procuring enough Corona vaccine for 2022 so that every person in Germany could be vaccinated twice. The CDU politician announced this in the federal cabinet on Wednesday, according to information from participant circles obtained by Reuters.
A report submitted to the Cabinet by the Ministry of Health states that, in addition to purchasing 84.4 million vaccine doses from BioNTech/Pfizer, a mix of different vaccine technologies and manufacturers is being considered. In addition to the Curevac vaccine, AstraZeneca's vaccine is not included in the plan. Instead, the procurement of 31.8 million doses of Moderna's mRNA vaccine is planned, along with 18.3 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's vector vaccine. In addition, the protein or inactivated vaccines from Sanofi (42.7 million doses), Novavax (16.3 million doses) and Valneva (11 million doses), which have not yet been approved, are to be procured. A total of 204 million doses is planned, he said.
CureVac CEO Franz-Werner Haas nevertheless expressed confidence: "We believe that this efficacy profile represents an important contribution to managing the Covid 19 pandemic and dealing with the dynamic spread of viral variants." However, he had himself recently said that CureVac would need to achieve 50 percent efficacy for a regulatory submission.The final analysis looked at a total of 228 Covid cases, 83 of which were in the vaccine group. In the 18- to 60-year age group, variant-dependent efficacy ranged from about 42 percent to 67 percent. Fifteen viral variants were observed in the evaluation, while the original viral strain was almost absent. A total of around 40,000 subjects in ten countries in Latin America and Europe took part in the study.
Photo by Mufid Majnun