The world is watching as a COVID-19 vaccine developed in the Mid-Hudson Region is proving to be over 90 percent effective.

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On Monday, Pfizer and BioNtech announced its COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in late-stage trials.

“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. “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. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.”

The findings include

  • The vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis
  • The analysis evaluated 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in trial participants
  • The study enrolled 43,538 participants, with 42% having diverse backgrounds, and no serious safety concerns have been observed; Safety and additional efficacy data continue to be collected
  • Submission for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) planned for soon after the required safety milestone is achieved, which is currently expected to occur in the third week of November
  • Clinical trial to continue through to final analysis at 164 confirmed cases in order to collect further data and characterize the vaccine candidate’s performance against other study endpoints

According to Rockland County Executive Ed Day, most of Pfizer's work on a COVID-19 vaccine is being done in Rockland County.

"I am so proud of the work being done by Pfizer right here in Rockland County," Day said. "This announcement is extremely promising for our country and the entire world, if the results hold up then the end of the coronavirus pandemic could be in sight. In the meantime, please continue to social distance, wear masks if you can't, wash your hands and stay home if you're sick. We will get through this together.

The vaccine is given in two doses. Pfizer says the vaccine efficacy rate is above 90 percent seven days after the second dose.

"To say this is exciting news is an understatement and to have news that not only affects the Country but the entire world come from our County of Rockland is beyond amazing," Day said on Facebook while sharing the findings. "Eight months into the worst pandemic in a century, the preliminary results pave the way for the companies to seek an emergency-use authorization. Rockland, be proud as once again ... We are leading the way!"

Pfizer will seek emergency use approval after the third week of November. The company believes it can produce 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.

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