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Pfizer vaccine: Questions remain of when it will be ready and who will get it first

Scientists at Pfizer say they have more hurdles to cross before they're ready for authorization of the vaccine.

News 12 Staff

Nov 11, 2020, 6:05 PM

Updated 1,316 days ago

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Pfizer's experimental vaccine continues to bring hope in the battle against the coronavirus and many are now wondering when the vaccine may be available and who will get it.
Monday's announcement from Pfizer and partner BioNTech that stage 3 trial results show their vaccine against COVID-19 was 90% effective was worldwide news as people everywhere continue to battle the pandemic.
At this point, the researchers and scientists at Pfizer’s labs in Pearl River say they are just reporting the efficacy rate of the vaccine, which exceeded expectations. But they say there is still much to do before it can be released.
While scientists at Pfizer say the development puts them on target to seek emergency approval from the FDA by the end of the year, they also say they have more hurdles to cross before they're ready for authorization of the vaccine.
One of the biggest issues is Pfizer's vaccine needs to be stored at temperatures that are about 50 degrees colder than any vaccine currently used in the United States.
Even doctors at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control say coming up with a solution for the handling and storage of the vaccine will be very complex.
Pfizer officials say if they get that emergency approval they're looking at vaccinating 25 million people initially...the vaccine comes in 2 doses. "Before we file for emergency use authorization, there's going to be a public meeting held by the FDA where details of the vaccine will be discussed. So, I think the best way to address concerns is information and transparency," says Dr. Phil Dormitzer, Pfizer's vice president and chief scientific officer of viral vaccines.
Pfizer officials say they will not make the sole decision as to who gets the first available vaccines and they say they'll work in collaboration with public health agencies. It's also worth noting that medical experts say Pfizer will likely not have the only vaccine against Covid-19 because there are a number of Phase 3 vaccine trials at other companies that are currently ongoing.


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