For months upon months, the American people have been under the oppressive grip of the coronavirus pandemic, and the economic havoc it has wreaked on our nation.
The undulating, and at times unpredictable, crisis forced state and local officials to constantly adjust what their citizens were allowed to do. Concert halls and sports arenas were largely shuttered, while restaurants and bars existed in a strange, state-by-state limbo for months on end. Some still struggle today.
But a vaccine in on the horizon that could move us all back toward normalcy, and the makers of the jab are hoping to get fast-tracked by the FDA.
Pfizer is ready to ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize emergency use of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine, after an updated analysis of the clinical trial data found the vaccine to be 95% effective.
In the Phase 3 study involving more than 43,000 volunteers, half received the experimental vaccine and half got a placebo. Participants received two shots, spaced 21 days apart.
In a news release describing the trial, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech reported there were 170 cases of COVID-19 among the participants: 162 cases in the people who got the placebo compared with eight seen in volunteers who got the vaccine. Ten cases of severe COVID-19 were seen in the trial: nine of them occurred in the placebo group and one was in the vaccinated group.
The vaccine would first go to front-line health workers, such as doctors and nurses, who are working with the critically ill day-in and day-out. A prioritized rollout would follow, and could take up to a year or more to complete.