Story at a glance

  • Pfizer said on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate had a 90 percent efficacy rate.
  • The company received billions in federal funding within Operation Warp Speed.

Pfizer, one of the pharmaceutical companies in the running to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, released its vaccine efficacy results on Monday, which showed promising results.

In a press release, the company announced that in collaboration with company BioNTech, its drug showed positive efficacy from its phase 3 clinical human trials, citing a 90 percent efficacy rate in preventing a COVID-19 infection among participants who were not previously infected with the virus. 

“This means we are one step closer to potentially providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global pandemic,” the release stated.


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Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine is a messenger RNA vaccine, or mRNA vaccine, which uses DNA codes to help recipients build immunity in vaccine recipients. Over the past few years, mRNA vaccines have been relatively affordable and quick to make and helped reduce other infectious diseases like MERS and smallpox.

Pfizer officials note that they are not yet eligible to apply for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization that has allowed other COVID-19 treatments to be utilized in severe infections. 

More safety data on the vaccine will be required before the vaccine can be widely distributed.

Approximately, two months of additional safety data after the second and final dose of Pfizer’s vaccine candidate is needed to be eligible for Emergency Use Authorization, which the company estimates will be available by the third week of November.

“I want to thank the thousands of people who volunteered to participate in the clinical trial, our academic collaborators and investigators at the study sites, and our colleagues and collaborators around the world who are dedicating their time to this crucial endeavor,” Pfizer CEO and Chairman Albert Bourla concluded. 

Pfizer is just one of the many pharmaceutical titans developing a COVID-19 vaccine and has received $1.95 billion in federal funding under President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed for the first 100 million doses of a vaccine.

Other companies developing their own vaccine include Moderna, AstraZeneca and Oxford University, Novovax, and Johnson & Johnson. 


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Published on Nov 09, 2020