President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden both celebrated the news that a coronavirus vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in their Phase 3 clinical trial.
The development is a significant step toward combating the global pandemic at a time when many areas are seeing a rise in cases.
“STOCK MARKET UP BIG, VACCINE COMING SOON. REPORT 90% EFFECTIVE. SUCH GREAT NEWS!” Trump tweeted Monday morning.
Biden also celebrated the success of the trial, but also warned that the pandemic remains a problem and will likely continue to be one for months to come.
“I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope,” Biden said in a statement. “At the same time, it is also important to understand that the end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away. This news follows a previously announced timeline by industry officials that forecast vaccine approval by late November. Even if that is achieved, and some Americans are vaccinated later this year, it will be many more months before there is widespread vaccination in this country.”
Biden went on to remind Americans to continue wearing masks and practice social distancing and other preventative measures.
The vaccine requires two doses and the trial, which began July 27, included 38,955 participants who had had the second dose as of Sunday.
The heads of Pfizer and BioNTech celebrated their breakthrough as a reason for hope.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said in a statement. “We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen. With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis.”
BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin called the trial’s result “a victory for innovation, science and a global collaborative effort,” and that “in the midst of a second wave and many of us in lockdown, we appreciate even more how important this milestone is on our path towards ending this pandemic and for all of us to regain a sense of normality.”
The companies expect to produce as many as 50 million doses of the vaccine this year and up to 1.3 billion next year.