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An approved vaccine against the coronavirus is coming

Posted on: Nov 12, 2020

On November 10, 2020, Pfizer and partner BioNTech said that their vaccine against Covid-19 was strongly effective, exceeding expectations with results that are likely to be met with cautious excitement — and relief — in the face of the global pandemic.

The vaccine is the first to be tested in the United States to generate late-stage data. The companies said an early analysis of the results showed that individuals who received two injections of the vaccine three weeks apart experienced more than 90% fewer cases of symptomatic Covid-19 than those who received a placebo. For months, researchers have cautioned that a vaccine that might only be 60% or 70% effective. 

The Phase 3 study is ongoing and additional data could affect results. 

In keeping with guidance from the Food and Drug Administration, the companies will not file for an emergency use authorization to distribute the vaccine until they reach another milestone: when half of the patients in their study have been observed for any safety issues for at least two months following their second dose. Pfizer expects to cross that threshold in the third week of November.

CDC is making coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination recommendations for the United States based on input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). ACIP is a federal advisory committee made of up of medical and public health experts who develop recommendations on the use of vaccines in the U.S. public. 

ACIP is considering four groups to possibly recommend for early COVID-19 vaccination if supply is limited:

Sources: STAT NewsCDC