Nearly a year after the first coronavirus case was confirmed in China, have scientists made a vaccine for the illness? One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies says it has an effective COVID-19 vaccine. Is the public health crisis finished? Can we stop wearing masks now and start returning to normal? It may still be a while before we return to pre-pandemic life.
Pfizer’s Coronavirus Vaccine
Drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech announced on November 9 that they had created a coronavirus vaccine. They say it is more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 for those who have not been previously infected.
The companies’ results were based on analysis by an independent Data Monitoring Committee from the phase-three clinical study. The conclusion was that patients are protected from the coronavirus 28 days after the initial two-dose inoculation. So far, researchers have not seen any safety concerns.
The companies hailed the development as “a great day for science and humanity.”
So, what now?
The companies plan to manufacture about 50 million vaccine doses this year and 1.3 billion doses in 2021. They will apply for emergency use authorization to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
After that, Pfizer will start the distribution process. Health experts say this will be the hardest part since storage and transport will be difficult. Pfizer’s vaccine needs a storage temperature of -94 degrees Fahrenheit.
Meanwhile, Pfizer is loading suitcase-sized boxes from distribution centers in Michigan and the nation of Belgium onto two-dozen trucks per day. This would allow the company to transport around 7.6 million doses to nearby airports per day.
Is the Coronavirus Pandemic Over?
After more than 50 million global confirmed cases and one million deaths, is the coronavirus pandemic finally over? There are still many steps that need to be taken before the average American receives a vaccine. Until then – and maybe even afterward – politicians will continue to urge the public to wear masks, practice social distancing, and maintain basic hygienic practices.