Pfizer’s Coronavirus Vaccine: What You Need to Know

Alexa Ward, Editor-in-Chief

Covid-19 has been a pandemic since March, and there has been no end in sight. That is, until the news broke on Monday that research suggests that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective.

These results are very promising, considering that influenza vaccines only prove 40-60% effective because the virus develops new strains every year.

In the race for a coronavirus vaccine, 6 vaccines have been approved for early or limited use. Pfizer’s vaccine was the first of these to prove such high effectivity, but others may soon come back with similar results.

Pfizer launched stage 1/2 trials on 2 vaccines in May. Both vaccines helped volunteers develop antibodies and T cells against the coronavirus. One of these two produced less side effects, so that’s the one they sent into phase 3 testing.

So far, this vaccine has proven safe because Pfizer has not reported any serious safety concerns.

Pfizer’s vaccine, like most in clinical trial, will require two doses.

In July, The Trump Administration signed a $1.9 billion contract for 100 million doses. They should be delivered by December.

Getting the vaccine from the lab to the people will pose some challenges. The Pfizer vaccine interacts with mRNA, which falls apart unless its in deep freeze, so the vaccine will have to be transported at minus 112 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pfizer says they will probably apply for emergency authorization in the third week of November once they have 2 months of safety data for the F.D.A.

If everything goes according to plan, the vaccine could be available for certain high risk groups by the end of the year.