Scaramucci credits Biden for COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough
Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech announced their mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination. The news comes days after Joe Biden was announced as the projected winner over Trump in the 2020 election, which sparked a political debate over who to credit for the vaccine breakthrough.
Anthony Scaramucci, Donald Trump’s former Director of Communications, tweeted recognition to president-elect Joe Biden for developing a COVID-19 vaccination.
Scaramucci’s position as Trump’s Director of Communication was very brief as he was let go after 11 days. Scaramucci has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump since.
Pfizer did not join Operation Warp Speed, a partnership initiated by the Trump administration, to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Pfizer put almost $2 billion of its own money into the development of the vaccine and started a $1.95 billion contract with the U.S. government to provide 100 million doses, contingent on the vaccine being effective.
This vaccine is the first to be tested in the United States to generate late-stage data.
The companies said an early study of the results showed that individuals who received two injections of the vaccine three weeks apart experienced more than 90% fewer cases of symptomatic COVID-19 than those who received a placebo.
Phase three of the study is ongoing and additional data could affect results.
To stay within guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration, the companies plan to file for an emergency use authorization to distribute the vaccine until half of the patients in the study have been observed for any safety issues for at least two months following their second dose. Pfizer expects to know more results regarding the safety of the vaccine by the third week of November.
Participants will continue to be monitored for long-term protection and safety for an additional two years after they receive their second dose.
There is no information yet on whether the vaccine prevents severe cases or whether it prevents people from carrying the virus asymptomatically.
The vaccine does cause side effects, including aches and fevers, according to previously published data.
Initial supplies of the vaccine, if authorized, will be limited.
“Based on current projections we expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021,” said Pfizer.
The vaccine may also face distribution challenges, as it must be stored at extremely cold temperatures. Pfizer, however, has said it is confident those issues can be managed.