- Pfizer on Monday announced that their coronavirus vaccine is 90% effective and may become available in a few months.
- Dr. Fauci, in response, called the breakthrough “extraordinary.”
- While more testing is required, there’s a strong chance a coronavirus vaccine may be readily available by early 2021.
Dr. Fauci has never been one to offer hollow encouragement when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. Fauci, after all, recently cautioned that the next few weeks will likely see the U.S. experience a massive increase in new coronavirus cases. And back in July, Fauci said that the coronavirus, if not effectively fought, could end up rivaling the devastation caused by the Spanish Flu during the early 20th century.
Suffice it to say, Fauci is not someone inclined to offer up niceties about the coronavirus pandemic just to make people feel better. Consequently, the dynamic above makes Fauci’s views on Pfizer’s encouraging coronavirus vaccine all the more impactful and promising.
It’s fair to say that Pfizer this past Monday shocked the world when it announced that a COVID-19 vaccine candidate they’ve been working on has proven to be 90% effective thus far. And while further observation of study participants is needed, Pfizer’s press release finally provided us with some much-needed positivity amidst a pandemic that is getting worse with each passing day.
Some of the highlights of the Pfizer study include:
- Vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis
- Analysis evaluated 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in trial participants
- Study enrolled 43,538 participants, with 42% having diverse backgrounds, and no serious safety concerns have been observed; Safety and additional efficacy data continue to be collected
- Submission for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) planned for soon after the required safety milestone is achieved, which is currently expected to occur in the third week of November
- Clinical trial to continue through to final analysis at 164 confirmed cases in order to collect further data and characterize the vaccine candidate’s performance against other study endpoints
As to what Dr. Fauci thinks, he recently appeared on CNN and called the potential breakthrough “extraordinary” and a “big deal.”
While Fauci said the extent to which the drug works across multiple age groups remains to be seen, he noted that the 90% statistic is the “immediate good news.”
“The news is really good all the way around,” Fauci added. “This is something that you should really feel good about.”
“Obviously, we need to go over the details of the data,” Fauci went on to say, “but [Pfizer] a highly reputable company that has extensive experience in the development of countermeasures, including vaccines.”
Fauci also said we may have more than one effective vaccine in the near future given some of the progress Moderna is making with its own vaccine candidate.
Fauci’s full interview with Wolf Blitzer can be seen below: