HARTFORD, Conn — This vaccine may be a shining light amid this pandemic, but there is still progress to be made by health officials before we could see it being distributed in Connecticut.
Nine months since the pandemic began and more than 10 million confirmed cases later, the U.S. is one step closer to a vaccine thanks to Pfizer- which has a facility in Groton - and Germany-based BioNTech.
What stage is the vaccine at right now? Pfizer’s John Burkhardt said the early data from their trial consisting of 43,538 volunteers show the vaccine is 90% effective.
“That means 90% effective at protecting patients vaccinated from getting a covid infection,” VP John Burkhardt Global Drug Safety Research and Development said.
Burkhardt said the company needs a few more weeks to complete safety data as individuals need to receive two injections to be vaccinated.
“With this particular vaccine no corners were cut, we followed this tried-and-true methodology that has worked so well before in the past and continues to deliver really superior, safe, products,” Burkhardt said.
Parallel to the trial Pfizer has also begun manufacturing, so following approval from the FDA there could be millions of doses available across the country.
Who will receive the vaccine first in our area and how the vaccine will be distributed is still in the works, according to Trinity Health.
“Once we have a vaccine available and we understand the supply will be less than demand, the sub-committee will be responsible for creating a prioritization for who we administer it to first,” Trinity Health CEO Reggie Eadie said. “We’re partnering with hospitals, healthcare systems and local health departments to find out who has the capacity for things like storing the vaccine, which takes special instrumentation, so once it lands we will be prepared to appropriately allocate the vaccine to the citizens of the state of Connecticut.
Connecticut's contribution to the fight against covid doesn’t stop there. During his Monday afternoon presser, Governor Lamont pointed out three people with ties to the state who will now be joining the Biden-Harris Covid-19 Advisory Board, including Yale Associate Professor Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith who served on Connecticut's Re-opening committee.
“Her thinking is woven throughout our covid response and we’re so proud that she’s been chosen for this amazing responsibility and has tremendous confidence she is going to do an amazing job leading us forward advising the President-Elect,” COO Josh Geballe said.
The U.S signed a contract with Pfizer back in July agreeing to purchase 100 million doses of the covid-19 vaccine. The company says the submission of their vaccine to the FDA is possible by the end of this month.