Friday night America’s Food and Drug Administration finally authorized Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in the United States, reports CNN.
The Verge calls it “a landmark moment in the fight to suppress a virus that has killed nearly 300,000 people in the United States and sickened tens of millions around the world.”
The vaccine is authorized in the U.S. for people over the age of 16. It was found to be 95 percent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in clinical trials. “That is extraordinary,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a press conference at the end of November. It’s far better than experts had dared hope for. The FDA was prepared to authorize a vaccine as long as it was at least 50 percent effective. “We were shocked,” Pfizer’s chief executive officer, Albert Bourla, told The New York Times. “We couldn’t believe it.”
The shot appears to protect people against the most severe forms of the disease. It is also highly effective in people over the age of 65, who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Scientists will continue to monitor the vaccine after it’s deployed to see how well it works in the real world…. The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine has already been authorized by regulatory authorities in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Bahrain.
The authorizations of this vaccine, which have come less than a year after development began, shatter the record for the fastest vaccine developed. The record was previously held by the mumps vaccine, which took four years.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.