A vaccine to save the world

By Dina Usanovic

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected the world in a major way since March, leading to the shutdowns of schools, restaurants, and daily life as we knew it. Since then, people have been wondering, “when will everything go back to normal?”

While many have considered the possibility that life will never go back to the way it was pre-pandemic, a COVID-19 vaccine would surely help. With a safe vaccine available, people will be less afraid to leave their houses, people can return to work safely, and students won’t have to struggle through online classes. This pandemic will always be a part of our lives, but a vaccine will allow us to live our lives with less fear- 95% less fear, to be exact.

Pfizer, a New York-based pharmaceutical company, and BioNTech, a German company that develops active immunotherapies, have paired together to develop and manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine. They are reportedly close to administering the vaccine, claiming they will file for an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA on Nov 20. If this EUA is approved, they hope to administer 50 million doses by the end of 2020, and 1.3 billion doses in 2021. 

After wrapping up Phase 3 of their trial, results indicate that the vaccine poses no safety concerns and has an efficacy of 95%. The trial had 43,661 volunteers, with 170 cases of COVID-19 contracted. Of those 170, 162 cases occurred in the control, or placebo, group, resulting in 95% efficacy for the vaccine. However, volunteers in Phase 3 only recently received their second dose of the vaccine, and the FDA is requiring at least two months of tracking on said volunteers to prevent any inaccurate results.

Overall, the results of the clinical trial reveal, so far, no safety concerns and a high rate of efficacy. The vaccine will be available to the public soon, and will hopefully return some sense of normalcy. With the health of every citizen on the line, it is important to be educated on all vaccine options and ways to protect those around you from the virus. To read more on the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, click here.