What The Experts Are Saying About The COVID-19 Vaccine From Pfizer

What The Experts Are Saying About The COVID-19 Vaccine From Pfizer

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Nearly eight months after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the breaking news alert I’d been waiting for pinged on my phone: Pfizer and BioNTech had a vaccine candidate that was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants.

Vaccine! 90%! Preventing!

To be honest, that was all enough for me at first. I was so deliriously happy I couldn’t see straight to continue reading beyond that. But then I remembered, it’s 2020, and maybe this is too good to be true.

Luckily, a number of health care experts and scientists weighed in, and their conclusion, crafted after careful thought and contemplation, was the same as mine: this is good news for a number of reasons—with a few doses of reality.

The underlying triumph of this news is subtle, yet crucial: we now know vaccines will work to prevent COVID.

Before Pfizer and BioNTech’s big announcement, researchers knew they could help the body create antibodies, but they did not know whether those antibodies would prevent disease, according to Andy Slavitt, former Obama health care head, who took to Twitter to explain what Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine news meant. The effectiveness of this vaccine in trial proves that the antibodies can prevent disease, and that perhaps, “the virus is lethal because it’s novel, not because it’s complicated,” according to Slavitt.