The success of Pfizer Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine trial may help persuade more people to get inoculated amid a surge in new coronavirus cases, according to Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious-disease doctor.
Pfizer’s vaccine, developed in collaboration with Germany’s BioNTech SE, has “an extraordinarily high degree of efficacy — more than 90%, close to 95%,” Fauci said in an interview. That could be a key factor in overcoming reluctance to take pandemic vaccines that have been developed at top speed.
“What I would hope is that even though there’s a degree of skepticism about vaccines in general, that when the general public sees how effective this vaccine is,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “we might see a turnaround of the attitude toward vaccination.”
The U.S. may begin offering the vaccine to priority groups at the end of December, Fauci said. It’s hoped to blunt spiking infections that reached a record 190,000 new daily cases this week. The Trump administration has both purchased and funded development of doses from Pfizer and other drugmakers with a goal of making enough supplies for most Americans by year-end.
More than 20 Covid vaccines have entered the final stage of patient studies that new pharmaceutical products are usually required to undergo for regulatory approval. Even though the late-stage trials may take only a few months, participants and others who receive experimental vaccines will be followed for as long as two years as part of safety monitoring and surveillance, Fauci said.
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