CoronavirusNews

Pfizer’s Vaccine Has 90% Success Rate

(Noted News) — On Monday, Pfizer Inc announced that their COVID-19 vaccine, which they have been developing for several months with German company BioNTech, so far has an estimated 90% success rate based on their initial data. 

The companies stated that they have not observed any serious safety concerns and will continue with trials until they have data from at least half of the study’s 44,000 participants. To ensure effectiveness, they will wait until they can have at least 164 participants develop COVID-19 so they can test the vaccine enough times.

There was no real breakdown of how many of those who fell ill received the vaccine, but 90% effectiveness implies that no more than 8 of the 94 people who caught COVID-19 had taken the vaccine, which was given in two separate shots about three weeks apart from each other. 

Pfizer’s chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said, “Today is a great day for science and humanity. We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity, and economies struggling to reopen.”

Bill Gruber, one of the scientists working on the vaccine for Pfizer, said, “I’m near ecstatic. This is a great day for public health and for the potential to get us all out of the circumstances we’re now in.”

Pfizer and BioNTech are on a $1.95 billion contract with the US government to deliver at least 100 million doses of the vaccine, and are expected to roll out at least 50 million doses before 2021, or enough for about 25 million people. They also have contracts with Canada, the UK, Japan, and the European Union. 

The positive news comes in the middle of a colossal wave of new virus cases that have topped all previously recorded data, with nearly 130,000 cases recorded just after election day. The virus has so far killed over one million people worldwide, with over 220,000 fatalities in the US alone.

The Trump administration’s original plan was to distribute the vaccine to anyone in the US for free, regardless of health coverage, and to have enough for everyone by mid-2021. It’s not clear how these policies would change under a Biden administration, but with Biden’s heavy focus on COVID-19, it is possible rollout could be even more thorough. 

The Dow Jones index soared 4% on Monday following Pfizer’s update on the vaccine’s successful trials. 

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