Today in the News: The Pfizer Vaccine

Today, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their vaccine candidate offers 90% protection. Read more on what this news means for vaccine access here.

Today, global media outlets have been sharing news from the developers of one vaccine candidate, Pfizer and BioNTech. The world has had its eyes on the vaccine, which has already been tested on 43,500 people in six countries with no reported safety concerns, for a few months now.

This week, it was reported that the vaccine offers 90% protection. While this is sufficient to be optimistic, the data reported is not the final analysis. According to BBC, the precise effectiveness of Pfizer’s vaccine can change as more results are analyzed. The vaccine has yet to be approved by the FDA and other agencies, and the information on its safety and efficacy is not final.

With talk about the vaccine spreading through the media today, one may ask themselves: when will I get the vaccine? Pfizer and BioNTech report that they can supply 50 million doses by the end of this year, and 1.3 billion by the end of 2021. Given the fact that each person needs 2 doses for the vaccine to be effective, these numbers could potentially mean 25 million doses in 2020 and 650 million doses by the end of 2021. The vaccine also possesses logistical challenges, such as the need to store it at cold temperatures that require special refrigeration and transport. No plans for vaccine allocation have been finalized on the national level, although it is speculated that healthcare workers and first responders will be the first to receive a vaccine, once approved. Read more from ABC News here.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), noted that there is cause to be optimistic. In an interview with STAT News, Dr. Fauci remarked that all the vaccines developed by major manufactures working with Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. government’s effort to quickly bring a vaccine to market, target the same protein that the Pfizer vaccine does. Thus, other vaccines may roll out positive news in the upcoming months as well! Read the full article on STATS News here.

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