Dr. Fauci Calls Vaccine Results 'Extraordinary'
As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, with more than 100,000 cases reported daily, one person has been seen as the go-to guy for many as to whether or not to trust a vaccine: Dr. Anthony S. Fauci. So it wasn't surprising that the nation's top infectious disease expert was asked what to make of the fact that Pfizer, the drug company, reported one of their vaccine trials was 90% effective. "Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine's ability to prevent COVID-19," said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO in his statement. "We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen. With today's news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis."
For Fauci's thoughts on the announcement, read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
What Did Dr. Fauci Say About the Vaccine Findings?
"The results are really quite good, I mean extraordinary," said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Washington Post. The paper said he added, in their words, "that the results might bode well for a vaccine being developed by biotech firm Moderna and his institute that uses a similar technology." Says Fauci: "which gives you hope we might even have two vaccines." The Post continued: "Fauci said he had spoken with Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla about the results, but had not yet reviewed the individual data."
Hopes Rise But It's No Guarantee Yet
President Trump celebrated the news on Twitter: "STOCK MARKET UP BIG, VACCINE COMING SOON. REPORT 90% EFFECTIVE. SUCH GREAT NEWS!" Trump tweeted Monday morning.
President-elect Joe Biden also released a statement: "I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope," Biden said. He also sounded a note of caution: "America is still losing over 1,000 people a day from COVID-19, and that number is rising — and will continue to get worse unless we make progress on masking and other immediate actions. That is the reality for now, and for the next few months. Today's announcement promises the chance to change that next year, but the tasks before us now remain the same," Biden said. "Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing, and other measures to keep themselves safe well into next year. Today's news is great news, but it doesn't change that fact."
While Darren Mareiniss, MD, FACEP, Emergency Medicine Physician at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and expert in pandemic preparedness, finds the results "very encouraging," he points out that they are by no means an instantaneous and miraculous cure for the virus, responsible for the deaths of over 238,000 Americans in just nine months.
There are several factors that need to be taken into consideration. First of all, the data is not yet peer-reviewed, an important component of verification of a scientific study or trial. "It's hard to see the full picture and critically review this from just a press release," he explains.
He also points out that while the Pfizer vaccine may help prevent COVID-19 infection, "It's unclear how long immunity may last," from this information. As for yourself, until you hear otherwise: wear a face mask, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.