Earlier this month, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer gave us some of the best news all year: Its COVID-19 vaccine was found to be effective in more than 90% of the people who received it. However, that news was preliminary, and the company was waiting on further results to see if the efficacy rating held.
Pfizer has now received those additional results, and the news is better than expected: The vaccine has now shown to be 95% effective.
The news is a massive win in the fight against the virus. And Pfizer’s final results only add to more recent good news: Earlier this week, Moderna announced its own vaccine has been shown to be 94.5% effective in early results. Like Pfizer was, Moderna is currently waiting on more results to see if that efficacy rating holds, too.
So what are the next steps for Pfizer’s vaccine? As The Wall Street Journal reports, the company will request emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA within the next few days. If the FDA’s own checks work out, Pfizer’s vaccine could go into distribution by the end of the year.
Announcing the results, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said, “The study results mark an important step in this historic eight-month journey to bring forward a vaccine capable of helping to end this devastating pandemic. We continue to move at the speed of science to compile all the data collected thus far and share with regulators around the world.”
However, even if the vaccine is approved for EUA and goes into distribution by the end of the year, it’s important to remember most Americans will not get the vaccine until well into 2021. The first doses will almost certainly go to the people who need them most—front-line healthcare workers who risk their lives every day trying to keep COVID-19 patients alive.
It’s also important to note that just because a vaccine may be around the corner, that doesn’t make the disease any less contagious or dangerous to you and your loved ones now. This winter will still be brutal thanks to the disease, and as we go into the holiday season, it’s important to continue to abide by social distancing rules and to wear face masks at all times when you are in public.