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Millions of people around the world have been waiting for months for a vaccine to come out and get us back on track to living a normal life.
Well, today some big news was announced as Pfizer said that their human trial suggest its coronavirus is 90% effective at preventing coronavirus infections in people not known to have had the virus already.
It’s now going to apply for emergency use authorization from the FDA as soon as its final data meets its last safety milestones which is expected to occur in just a couple of weeks.
“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,” Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, 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,” he continued.
If this vaccine is approved, it will require folks to receive two shots within a 21 day period.
That double dosage complicates matters a little bit because it requires people to remember to get the second dosage.
“We know it’s a two-dose vaccine, so we want to ensure that we can manage the — the delivery of the first dose and ensure the delivery of the second dose — while we simultaneously integrate new rounds of doses being delivered to the American people,” General Gus Perna, leader of Operation Warp Speed, said.
The emergence of a vaccine is huge news for travel bugs.
Although traveling, such as by air, is probably much safer than many of us initially thought it was, there are still looming dangers when you get in close quarters.
And if you do enough traveling, eventually you get forced to hop on a packed shuttle bus or forced to wait in line in throngs of people.
In those situations, masks and social distancing probably help a good deal but it still makes a lot of people uneasy especially when you hear a dreaded cough or sneeze.
But now that we are seeing effective vaccines rollout, and these vaccines seem to be reasonably safe, I think it’s safe to say that large amounts of people will start to get vaccinated very soon.
I’m sure a lot of people will hold off on getting vaccinated because of worries that the vaccine might not be safe which is understandable.
After all, we are talking about an emergency use authorization so there could always be a risk there.
But overall I think this is a great sign for the world but especially the travel industry that has been hit so hard.
As millions of people begin to get vaccinated I think others will start to feel more confident about getting out and doing some traveling.
It may still take another year or longer for us to get close to back to normal but given how bad things were for most of 2020, even getting back to 50% normal would be a large victory.
One interesting thing about Pfizer is that it is the only US based pharmaceutical company that rejected government funding.
And it did so because it wanted to avoid the problems that come from bureaucracy.
“When you get money from someone, that always comes with strings. They want to see how we are going to progress, what type of moves you are going to do. They want reports. I didn’t want to have any of that. I wanted them — basically I gave them an open checkbook so that they can worry only about scientific challenges, not anything else. And also, I wanted to keep Pfizer out of politics,” Bourla said.
Even though they did not take funding from the government, they did strike a production and delivery deal worth close to $2 billion that will secure an initial 100 million doses of the vaccine following its approval.
As for when the masses in the US will have access to the vaccine, many experts believe that will probably not happen until 2021, perhaps Q1.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.