Story at a glance

  • “The results are really quite good, I mean extraordinary,” Fauci said.
  • The nation’s top infectious diseases expert said the results may indicate that Moderna’s vaccine candidate may also have positive results since both vaccines use similar technology.
  • Pfizer said it hopes to have the safety data required for the FDA’s emergency use authorization by the third week of November.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, applauded the news of Pfizer’s progress on a COVID-19 vaccine and said the U.S. could be on track to developing at least two successful vaccines, according to The Washington Post

Pfizer on Monday announced that early results from its late-stage clinical trial showed its COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90 percent effective at protecting participants when compared with a placebo saline shot. 


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“The results are really quite good, I mean extraordinary,” Fauci said, according to The Washington Post. The nation’s top infectious diseases expert said the results may indicate that Moderna’s vaccine candidate may also have positive results since both vaccines use similar technology which he said “gives you hope we might even have two vaccines.” 

Fauci said he spoke with Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief executive, about the results but has yet to review the data. 

Fauci has previously stated that he would like to see an efficacy rate of 70 to 75 percent in a COVID-19 vaccine, meaning it would protect about three-quarters of people who get vaccinated from becoming infected. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set a minimum of 50 percent effectiveness for a vaccine to receive emergency use approval. 

Pfizer said it hopes to have the safety data required for the FDA’s emergency use authorization by the third week of November. Bourla said the company is in a “good situation” to have up to 50 million doses this year globally and 1.3 billion in 2021. He said the vaccine will be available for free to all American citizens. 

Public health experts have estimated a vaccine could be made available to high-risk groups such as health care workers and the elderly by the end of the year, but widespread distribution likely wouldn’t occur until several months into 2021. 

The news comes as the U.S. is currently experiencing a record-breaking outbreak of COVID-19, averaging more than 106,000 daily new cases and nearly 1,000 deaths, according to The COVID Tracking Project


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Published on Nov 09, 2020