A coronavirus vaccine could be closer than we first thought, with major contender Pfitzer claiming to be “very close” to applying for an emergency use approval in the US.
“We are very close to submitting for an emergency use authorization,” Pfitzer CEO Albert Bourla told medical news site Stat. “We will announce it as soon as we are doing it.”
— Pfizer Inc. (@pfizer) November 18, 2020
Obviously, this doesn’t mean we’ll be getting jabbed any time in the near future, but it’s a good sign for our COVID response (and our entire national budget that is pinned on getting a vaccine by June 2021).
Thankfully, the vaccine showed no major safety concerns in the study, which included a whopping 43,661 patients. It’s still early days, but so far the main side effects are just fatigue (shown in 3.7% of participants) and headache (2% of participants).
“The study reached 170 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with the vaccine candidate BNT162b2 demonstrating 95% efficacy beginning 28 days after the first dose,” Pfitzer said in an announcement.
“To date, no serious safety concerns related to the vaccine candidate have been reported.”
In good news, the other major player in the race for a vaccine – Moderna – are also just weeks away from filing for an emergency use permit with the FDA, which means we’ll hopefully be getting jabbed with one of the two vaccines soon enough.
Both vaccines will be in limited supply if and when they are fully approved for the general public, with Australia managing to secure 10 million doses of the Pfitzer vaccine.
Due to the drug being a two-dose method, this would give five million Australians immunity from the coronavirus (hopefully).
If the vaccine is approved for emergency use, it is still unclear when exactly the Australian doses would be administered.
Honestly, my veins are already tingling in anticipation. Without being too upfront about it: vax me up Scotty, I’m begging you.