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Early Data Shows Pfizer Is Narrowing In On An Effective COVID-19 Vaccine. But What Will It Take To Get It To Everyone?




People walk by the Pfizer headquarters on November 9, 2020 in New York City. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced positive early results on its COVID-19 vaccine trial and has proven to be 90% effective in preventing infection of the virus.
People walk by the Pfizer headquarters on November 9, 2020 in New York City. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced positive early results on its COVID-19 vaccine trial and has proven to be 90% effective in preventing infection of the virus.
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

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For the past eight months, the idea of a coronavirus vaccine has become an emotional touchstone for many Americans. And now, we’re closer than ever to seeing it realized— but what will it take to deliver the dosage to the average person? 

The pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer announced its vaccine may be 90% effective, based on early test results, and the company is on track to apply for emergency-use approval from the Food and Drug Administration this month. Dr. Anthony Fauci called the results “extraordinary” and said that “not very many people expected it would be as high as that.” But even so, it could be quite some time until average Americans are vaccinated. Much of the logistics and financial burden of creating a vaccine distribution structure in the U.S. has fallen on state governments, and many states say they need significant federal funding to be able to run a successful vaccination program. 

What are the challenges to scaling up operations and creating a robust distribution infrastructure for a vaccine? And when are Americans likely to get it? We're learning more now. Questions? Give us a call at 866-893-5722.

Guests:

Angelica LaVito, health reporter at Bloomberg and co-author of the recent piece “Amid Hope for Pfizer Vaccine, States Grapple With Distribution”; she tweets @angelicalavito

Peter Chin-Hong, M.D., infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine at the UCSF Medical Center; he tweets @PCH_SF