11/10/20 By Rhiannon Melton
There is a new update in the COVID-19 vaccine trials. The drug company, Pfizer Inc., announced Monday that their early analysis data suggests the vaccine is more than 90% effective.
Although this data is incomplete, this sets the company, which is collaborating with German company BioNTech to develop the vaccine, on track to apply for emergency-use approval from the FDA later this month.
Company executives claim that by the end of the year they will have manufactured enough vaccines to immunize 15-20 million people. However, authorities continue to stress that it is unlikely that a vaccine will become available on a mass scale by the end of the year. While Pfizer’s vaccine data is promising, the company prefaced the protection rate may shift as more COVID-19 infections are added to the data.
Pfizer is one of the five companies undergoing clinical trials to find a coronavirus vaccine in the United States. Moderna Inc., another company researching a vaccine, also plans to file an application with the FDA later this month.
Both Pfizer and Moderna are using a brand-new technology, called an “mRNA vaccine”, to develop their COVID-19 vaccines. These mRNA vaccines aren’t made with the coronavirus itself, but with a piece of genetic material that trains the immune system to recognize the virus.
Pfizer is part of President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed and signed a contract to supply the United States with 100 million doses for 1.95 billion, provided the vaccine is approved by the FDA. Pfizer stated that they are “moving at the speed of science” and are not influenced by politics. The company further stated that their only involvement with Operation Warp Speed is to contribute those doses to help fulfill the administration’s goal of having 300 million vaccines ready by sometime next year.