President Trump promised the nation that he would do everything in his power to bring a COVID-19 vaccine to the table by the end of the year, and, by God, he might just pull it off.
The federal government’s Operation Warp Speed has laid the groundwork for private pharmaceutical companies to get their products to market, and then distributed, at a pace rivaling lightning strikes. Now that Pfizer, along with BioNtech, has returned some incredible test results in their vaccine trials, it looks like the government is on the fast track to approval.
Pfizer is ready to ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize emergency use of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine, after an updated analysis of the clinical trial data found the vaccine to be 95% effective.
In the Phase 3 study involving more than 43,000 volunteers, half received the experimental vaccine and half got a placebo. Participants received two shots, spaced 21 days apart.
In a news release describing the trial, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech reported there were 170 cases of COVID-19 among the participants: 162 cases in the people who got the placebo compared with eight seen in volunteers who got the vaccine. Ten cases of severe COVID-19 were seen in the trial: nine of them occurred in the placebo group and one was in the vaccinated group.
The vaccine would first be administered to front-line health workers, first responders, and the at-risk community, before becoming available to the general, healthy public. The process could take several months or longer.