As many are aware, Pfizer announced on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was 90% effective in trials on people who don’t have coronavirus. The test was conducted on 43,538 people and had no safety concerns. This brings up the biggest question of all, when the vaccine will be approved and available.
The first step for Pfizer is to get approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which they plan on doing that next week. If approved, Pfizer says it can produce up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020, and 1.3 billion in 2021. Pfizer plans to produce most of the vaccines in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The vaccine has to be kept at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit, so it will need to be shipped in cooler-type boxes, packed with dry ice. By using this method, they have plans in place with UPS and FedEx to ship them out to hospitals and pharmacies.
The first shots will be distributed to first responders and the medical community. Pfizer says you will need to get 2 shots, 21 days apart. The next step after approval and production, will be convincing people to take it. One recent study said that 63% of people are concerned over the vaccine’s safety, either sighting how fast it was produced or the unknown side effects it may have.
Pfizer claims the earliest anyone would be able to take the vaccine is at the end of this year. That’s if they get their approval from the FDA quickly. When Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked when the vaccine would be available to the masses he said, “I believe within the first quarter.” He followed up by saying, “we have a lot of people in this country who may not want to get vaccinated right away. That’s why we’re talking about this leading to the second or third quarter to get people convinced to get vaccinated.