When Pfizer announced that its new late-stage coronavirus vaccine candidate was 90% effective on Monday, stock markets exploded, critics began taking photos on Twitter and right-wing conspiracy theories on the timing of the release. The announcement – less than 48 hours after Joe Biden declared the presidency – quickly proliferated.
The implications for public health are enormous. Pfizer plans to apply for emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration before the end of the month. If that happens, the company could begin shipping doses to frontline health workers and vulnerable populations such as residents of nursing homes. Still, experts have cautioned against declaring victory over the novel coronavirus prematurely given how unproven the technology at play here is.
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