“It is a great day for science, it is a great day for humanity,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, announced Monday early data shows the pharmaceutical company’s COVID-19 vaccine is nearly 100 percent effective, ” … ninety percent is a game changer.”
Forty four thousand people participated in the two month long clinical trials, requiring two doses. They will be monitored for two years.
Bourla says they will be able to have 50 million doses available this year and gradually increase to 1.3 billion in the second half of 2021.
Governor Gavin Newsom says it’s great news but mass distribution is a ways off and is worried people will only read the headline, “Because now we believe we now have a safe and effective vaccine that is available and people may go back to their original forum, that would be a terrible mistake.”
Newsom adds that the state has a distribution plan in place with a priority list to vaccinate first responders, healthcare workers and the most vulnerable first, still if we only get 12 percent and it requires two doses it will take a long time to get enough doses for the nearly 40 million Californians, “just do the math … we won’t even be able to cover all the healthcare workers.”
Dr. Euthym Kontaxis, the medical director of Eisenhower Health’s Tennity Emergency Department says this was welcome news, “We’re all very happy the Emergency Department staff said, ‘Oh this is great news.'”
This comes at a time when cases are surging across the country and hospitalizations at Eisenhower Health. The hospital says hospitalizations are increasing at an alarming rate. On November 1, 2020 they had six patients, tonight they have 29.
He’s not sure how long before the valley sees people vaccinated but he looked at the data released and likes what what he sees, “I‘m a little more excited because this is not a live vaccine … and it’s hard to know how long the vaccine will be effective for … they are seeing antibodies being produced within four weeks and there were no significant complications.”
Experts say to stop a pandemic 70 percent of the population has to be immunized or have been infected and recent polls show only half is willing to get it.
Bourla says he based his time line on science not elections and only felt pressure from the billions of people counting on a vaccine.
He called it the “greatest medical advancement in the last 100 years”.
Pfizer plans to file for emergency authorization but still lacks the safety data needed to apply.
For now experts urge everyone to continue to follow COVID precautions plus get their flu shot.