Pfizer now says its vaccine is 95% effective

Pfizer now says its vaccine is 95% effective

FILE - In this July 27, 2020, file photo, Nurse Kathe Olmstead, right, gives volunteer Melissa Harting, of Harpersville, N.Y., an injection as a study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway in Binghamton, N.Y. Moderna said Monday, Nov. 16, its COVID-19 vaccine is proving to be highly effective in a major trial. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Pfizer announced more results in its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study that suggest the shots are 95% effective.

The company says the vaccine appears to protect older people most at risk of dying from COVID-19. The surprise announcement, just a week after it first revealed promising preliminary results, comes as the company is preparing within days to formally ask U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of the vaccine.

The company says it has accumulated 170 infections in the study and 162 of those were in volunteers who got a dummy shot. It says only eight cases occurred in volunteers who got the actual vaccine and one of those eight developed severe disease.

The company has not yet released detailed data on its study. The results will be analyzed by independent experts and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The study has enrolled nearly 44,000 people in the U.S. and five other countries. The trial will continue to collect safety and efficacy data on volunteers for two more years.

Photo: (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)