Pfizer waits until 48 hrs after Biden’s named winner to announce big COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough: ‘90% effective’

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Wall Street spiked Monday on news that Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine is 90 percent effective in preventing infections, an announcement that came two days after media outlets announced Joe Biden won the presidency.

In a first, drugmakers Pfizer, along with German co-developer BioNTech SE, released data from clinical trials showing their coronavirus vaccine to be extremely effective.

“Today is a great day for science and humanity,” said Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chairman and chief executive, according to Reuters.

“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,” Bourla added.

BioNTech Chief Executive Ugur Sahin told the newswire service he believes that the vaccine would last an entire year but he wasn’t certain of that yet.

Initially, Pfizer said it would know by October if its vaccine worked, but the company shifted its timeline to the right in recent days, saying now it expects to receive Food and Drug Administration approval by the third week in October.

As for the vaccine’s efficacy, Pfizer said it derived the 90-percent effective rate based on 94 cases rather than an initially-planned 32, the Daily Mail reported.

The Trump Administration has already paid $1.95 billion for 100 million doses; Pfizer said the first 50 million could be ready by year’s end if the FDA grants approval.

But some questioned the timing of the announcement, including presidential son Donald Trump Jr., who noted on Twitter that it came 48 hours after media outlets — not states — called the presidential election for Democrat Joe Biden.

“The timing of this is pretty amazing. Nothing nefarious about the time of this at all right?” he wrote.

https://twitter.com/RealJamesWoods/status/1325854249574526981

President Donald Trump had repeatedly said a vaccine would be ready before Election Day. And for his part, he celebrated the announcement, tweeting: “Stock market up big, big vaccine coming soon. Report 90% effective. Such great news!”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1325778096151203843

“Revealing such early data is unusual in a clinical trial and it wasn’t immediately clear why Pfizer opted to announce the early findings today. Pfizer’s CEO and its head of vaccine research immediately sought to distance themselves from the timing of the announcement, insisting they weren’t being driven by politics,” noted The Daily Mail.

Still, to have a vaccine at all, let alone one with as much efficacy, is a near-miracle in an age of heavy governmental regulation.

After President Trump commissioned “Operation Warp Speed” earlier this year to clear regulatory roadblocks and speed vaccine development, dozens of companies launched COVID-19 programs, with many eventually proceeding into clinical trials over the summer.

“The efficacy data are really impressive. This is better than most of us anticipated,” William Schaffner, infectious diseases expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, told Reuters. “The study isn’t completed yet, but nonetheless the data look very solid.”

Meanwhile, Wall Street soared following the announcement.

“The S&P 500 increased 3.7%. The Nasdaq Composite – a tech heavy index – had a relatively smaller gains, about 1.3%,” Just the News reported.

“Prior to the start of this morning’s Wall Street trading, Dow Jones future climbed more than 1,500 points. S&P 500 futures leapt 4%,” the outlet added.

The Trump Administration has already paid $1.95 billion for 100 million doses; Pfizer said the first 50 million could be ready by year’s end if the FDA grants approval.

But some questioned the timing of the announcement, including presidential son Donald Trump Jr., who noted on Twitter that it came 48 hours after media outlets — not states — called the presidential election for Democrat Joe Biden.

President Donald Trump had repeatedly said a vaccine would be ready before Election Day.

Still, to have a vaccine at all, let alone one with as much efficacy, is a near-miracle in an age of heavy governmental regulation.

After President Trump commissioned “Operation Warp Speed” earlier this year to clear regulatory roadblocks and speed vaccine development, dozens of companies launched COVID-19 programs, with many eventually proceeding into clinical trials over the summer.

Meanwhile, Wall Street soared following the announcement.

“The S&P 500 increased 3.7%. The Nasdaq Composite – a tech heavy index – had relatively smaller gains, about 1.3%,” Just the News reported.

“Prior to the start of this morning’s Wall Street trading, Dow Jones future climbed more than 1,500 points. S&P 500 futures leapt 4%,” the outlet added.

Jon Dougherty

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