A Covid-19 vaccine could be well on its way, giving relief to the world by the end of the year. Pfizer dropped that feel-good bombshell on Monday morning, announcing that an early analysis of its coronavirus vaccine proved to be 90 percent effective in preventing the disease among the trial group of volunteers.
“Emotions are very high,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in an interview with CNN. “You can imagine how I felt when I heard the results yesterday at 2 p.m. I think that likely, based on impact, this will be the greatest medical advance in the last 100 years.
It is extraordinary but it’s coming at a time that the world needs it the most.”
Indeed, the announcement comes as the United States is about to reach an ominous milestone – 10 million cases. The U.S. recorded 100,762 new cases and 453 new deaths as of Sunday night.
Now comes much needed hope.
Pfizer developed the vaccine with the German drugmaker BioNTech. The trial involved more than 43,000 volunteers who received either two doses of the vaccine or a placebo. Infections among those who received the vaccine was fewer than 10 percent.
Based on guidance from the Food and Drug Administration, the companies will not seek to file an emergency use authorization to distribute the vaccine until another milestone is reached: Half of the patients in the study will need to be monitored for at least two months following their second dose to assure there are no health concerns. Pfizer officials said that threshold should be crossed in the third week of November.
It most certainly will come as welcome news to everyone whose life has been impacted by the virus in different ways. That includes those 65 and older. A brief released by The Commonwealth Fund documented that 11 percent of people 65 and older, or about 1.1 million people, have lost their jobs during the pandemic. Click here for a more in depth look.