FACTS

    Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, recently announced that its Covid vaccine trial has been “90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in study participants.” The clinical vaccine trial included 44,000 people and was a collaboration between Pfizer and German startup company BioNTech. The two months of safety data required by the Food and Drug Administration has not yet been received, but Pfizer said it should be finished within the next couple weeks. It was reported that Dr. Anthony Fauci said the vaccine could possibly be available for emergency use as early as December and to the general public as early as April.

    RESPONSE

    President Trump, as well as Dr. Fauci, expressed optimism about the trial’s promising results. A New York Times article called it a “cause for celebration.”However, others say that there are still too many unknowns and argue that our immediate focus should still be on “stopping the spread of this virus in our communities.”

    “We still don’t know very much about the participants of the trial as far as how they responded to the vaccine, any side effects, any other complications, any comorbidities. We will have more information when this data is published, so it’s not time to overanalyze this press release.”

    Dr. Dara Kass, Medical Contributor for Yahoo News

    “The much-anticipated data release from Pfizer will be crucial to building public confidence that the vaccine is safe,” wrote Yahoo News Producer Rebecca Corey. Many point out that clinical trials differ greatly from regular life in the real world:

    “In the clinical trial, you select the patients that you like, and you follow them very closely. In the real world, there’s all kinds of ages, and everyone has different underlying health conditions.”

    Difei Yang, Analyst at Mizuho Securities

    There have also been concerns regarding the publics’ view of a Covid vaccine. Tanya Alcorn, an executive with Pfizer, stated, “The challenge, of course, that’s out there is: Are people going to go get vaccinated? It would be a shame that we did all this work and then we don’t have the public trusting that there’s a safe vaccine.”

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