‘Key side effects’ to breakthrough Covid vaccine revealed

Ugur Sahin, chief executive of BioNTech, which has announced promising preliminary results of its coronavirus vaccine with Pfizer, said the companies did not see any serious side effects of the jab.

He said the “key side effects” seen so far were a mild to moderate pain in the injection site for a few days, while some of the participants had a mild to moderate fever for a similar period.

“We did not see any other serious side effects which would result in pausing or halting of the study” he told BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show.

“We have now safety data for a proportion of the subjects for more than two months, and we are continuing to collect data for more than two years, to not only see the short and mid-term side effect profile but also the long-term side effect profile.

“But so far the safety profile appears to be absolutely benign.”

Recalling the moment he was told of their vaccine’s effectiveness, Mr Sahin said it was “extremely relieving”.

“As a scientist, you of course expect certain likelihood that the card could be positive based on the data that we had so far, but there is always unknown factors.

“And it could be that there is a scientific, biological or medical reason why the vaccine does not work.

“We now know that our vaccine works, and most likely other vaccines will also work.

“So this is really a message which not only changes how we develop vaccines, but also increases the likelihood that we will be able to get this pandemic under control.”

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