Pfizer and BioNTech said in a statement on Monday that their COVID-19 vaccine is seeing positive early results in the testing stage, bringing excitement to Americans who have been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 virus since the beginning of 2020. That is the first COVID vaccine in the United States to reach the advanced stages of testing with early results looking promising.
Pfizer and BioNTech said people who received the trial vaccine in two doses, three weeks apart, saw more than 90 percent fewer cases of symptomatic COVID than the people given a placebo vaccine. The estimated success rate was around 60 or 70 percent effective. With the early returns showing approximately a 90 percent success rate, there is lots of room for optimism regarding the Pfizer vaccine. However, there is still a ways to go before it is mass distributed to the public.
There are still many unknowns about the vaccine, such as how long it will protect against COVID-19 and how severe the reported side effects of body aches and fevers are.
Pfizer and BioNTech will not apply for an emergency authorization to distribute the vaccine until researchers observe participants for two months after their second dose for any additional side effects or symptoms. Pfizer noted that the date is approximately around the third week of November. Pfizer told STAT that if approved, there would be about 50 million doses available globally by the end of 2020, and an additional 1.3 billion by 2021.
Drugstore giants, Walgreens and CVS, are expected to mass-distribute the vaccine. Their infrastructure is already in place to distribute a vaccine on such a large scale.
If the results continue to come in and the 90 percent success rate solidifies, this is a big step in the right direction for a COVID-19 vaccine to become available to the masses. Hopefully, by the end of 2021, the global population can make COVID-19 a thing of the past, and we can return to some form of pre-pandemic normalcy.
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