Updated Nov 9, 2020 - Health

Pfizer says its coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective

A man walks by the Pfizer building
Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced Monday that its coronavirus vaccine trial was effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in 90% of previously uninfected people and did not produce any serious safety concerns.

Why it matters: Should the results bear out, it would potentially a huge breakthrough in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Pfizer said it will go to the FDA by the end of the month for an emergency use authorization.

The state of play: Vice President Pence said Pfizer's breakthrough came "thanks to the public-private partnership forged by" President Trump as part of the administration's Operation Warp Speed vaccine acceleration program.

  • But while the company agreed to a $2 billion deal to help rush a successful vaccine candidate to market, it did not take any federal dollars to fund its research and development.
  • "We were never part of the Warp Speed. We have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone," Pfizer's head of vaccine research and development Dr. Kathrin Jansen told the New York Times.

By the numbers: Pfizer, who developed the vaccine with German pharmaceutical company BioNTech, says that they have enrolled "43,538 participants to date, 38,955 of whom have received a second dose of the vaccine candidate as of Nov. 8, 2020."

  • "The trial is continuing to enroll and is expected to continue through the final analysis when a total of 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases have accrued."

Worth noting, per the Times: The company "released only sparse details" from the trial, and scientists "have cautioned against hyping early results before long-term safety and efficacy data has been collected."

ğŸŽ§ Go deeper: Axios Re:Cap interviews Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

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