Expert voices ‘cautious optimism’ coronavirus vaccine is within reach

After news broke on Monday of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine candidate reaching over 90% efficacy in a clinical trial, an expert from a large hospital network in New York voiced cautious optimism over an approaching vaccine.

“In regards to the Pfizer news, we are cautiously optimistic that a vaccine is within reach. We are eager to see the trial’s full details, but the news is certainly encouraging,” Dr. Mark Jarrett, the chief quality officer at Northwell Health, which serves New York City, Long Island, and Westchester, N.Y., told Fox News. 

“…We are cautiously optimistic that a vaccine is within reach,” one expert said.(iStock)

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“Before any decisions are made, researchers and doctors need to validate the efficacy, safety and ability to mass-produce a vaccine at such high quantities while maintaining effectiveness,” Jarrett added. 

In the meantime, he said the health system is prepping for distribution, which involves freezer allocation and physician education “so when a vaccine is ready and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, we will be ready to distribute.”

Pfizer is still awaiting data on safety, which it expects to be made available by the third week of November, according to a press release. 

Meanwhile, Jarrett voiced an uptick in coronavirus hospitalizations across the health system, which was expected given the rising number of new COVID-19 patients across the New York metro area, he said.

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Jarrett voiced an uptick in coronavirus hospitalizations across the health system. (iStock)

Jarrett voiced an uptick in coronavirus hospitalizations across the health system. (iStock)

“We are nowhere near the level of inpatient volume we were at the height of the crisis, which was more than 3,400,” he continued but noted ongoing surveillance. Jarrett’s comments coincided with yet another grim record amid this pandemic: The U.S. topped 10 million total coronavirus cases on Monday amid a surge in infections. 

About a million cases have been recorded in the states within the last 10 days, which was the highest rate of infections since the start of the outbreak, reports said. Daily infections in the U.S. have topped 100,000 five times in the past seven days.

Fox News’ David Aaro contributed to this report.

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