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Pfizer’s early results could mean good news for other vaccine trials

Posted at 5:30 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 20:30:43-05

(KGTV) -- Many scientists and doctors are cautiously optimistic about taking a step forward in the fight against COVID-19 after encouraging news from Pfizer Monday.

Pfizer announced that early data revealed its vaccine was more than 90 percent effective in protecting trial participants against the coronavirus.

The U.S. Federal Food and Drug Admiration still needs to review the drug for safety and efficacy, and Pfizer plans to seek an Emergency Use Authorization this month, but regardless some see this as a good sign for other vaccine trials.

“I think this is frankly the break we’ve all been waiting for, and I hope we have many others to follow,” said Dr. Susan Little, a UC San Diego Professor of Medicine.

UCSD is participating in Phase 3 clinical trials for Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Janssen vaccines.

Little leads the AstraZeneca and Janssen trials, which resumed locally last week.

“I think what this means for all of the trials that are available at this stage, this is incredibly good news,” she said. “So far, they all use the same approach to vaccine development; they are all targeting the same protein, the spike protein, on the coronavirus.”

She expects similar results to come from Moderna’s early data sometime this year.

“The Pfizer and the Moderna both use the same vaccine platform, the same structure for their vaccine construct, so there’s every reason to be very optimistic the Moderna study might show similar results,” she said. “While the AstraZeneca and the Janssen use a different vaccine construct, they both are targeting the same protein.”

If Pfizer’s vaccine is approved, it could be given to healthcare workers and high-risk populations in just months, and the general population in 2021, according to Pfizer.

Pfizer said it expects to produce 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion in 2021.

Pfizer’s CEO, Albert Bourla, said he expects the vaccine to be free of charge for Americans.