Pfizer Announces COVID-19 Vaccine ‘More Than 90% Effective’

Pharmaceutical drug maker Pfizer announced on Monday that early analysis of its vaccine in development to combat the coronavirus looks to be over 90 percent effective in preventing the disease.

From the New York Times:

The company said that the analysis found that the vaccine was more than 90 percent effective in preventing the disease among trial volunteers who had no evidence of prior coronavirus infection. If the results hold up, that level of protection would put it on par with highly effective childhood vaccines for diseases such as measles. No serious safety concerns have been observed, the company said.

Pfizer plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization of the two-dose vaccine later this month, after it has collected the recommended two months of safety data. By the end of the year it will have manufactured enough doses to immunize 15 to 20 million people, company executives have said.

Vice President Mike Pence tried to credit the Trump administration for the news, but Kathrin Jansen, a senior vice president and the head of vaccine research and development at Pfizer, noted to the Times that Pfizer was “never a part of Operation Warp Speed, the federal initiative to speed development of a vaccine.

“We have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone,” added Jansen in regard to research and development of the vaccine.

That said, the federal government has struck a deal with Pfizer (which developed the vaccine with the German drugmaker BioNTech) to purchase 100 million doses to the tune of $1.95 billion for the American people.

While this is great news, it’s worth noting that the announcement today was via press release and not after a fully vetted scientific peer-review process.

There are currently 11 vaccines are in late-stage trials, including four in the United States.

As of Monday morning, more than 10,060,700 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 238,000 have died, according to a New York Times database.