Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious-disease expert, expressed enthusiasm at Pfizer’s announcement that its coronavirus vaccine was found to be more than 90% effective in its final stage of clinical trials.
“It’s a really good day for biomedical research and clinical application of biomedical research,” he said, adding that “this is very good news looking forward.”
Fauci said the result “validates the mRNA platform,” which could indicate that a separate mRNA vaccine developed by Moderna could also have positive results.
He added that this “validates greatly” the virus’ spike protein as the immune-response target, which is important because it’s also the target for “virtually every one of the other vaccines.”
Fauci told STAT News that “it’s not only immediate good news, it really is optimistic about what’s going to roll out in the next several months with the other vaccines.”
Pfizer said it was waiting to reach the “required safety milestone” before applying for emergency approval, expected later this month.
But even if the vaccine is approved, it would take some time until it is widely available — so people should expect to keep wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
President-elect Joe Biden congratulated Pfizer on the development but noted that “it will be many more months before there is widespread vaccination in this country.”