Fauci calls Pfizer coronavirus vaccine findings ‘extraordinary,’ report says

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Pfizer’s findings of a coronavirus vaccine candidate that is more than 90% effective were “extraordinary,” per a report.

“The results are really quite good, I mean extraordinary,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, according to the Washington Post.

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

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Fauci’s comments, per the outlet, come just two days after he told the American Medical Association (AMA) that once a vaccine is approved — and once a substantial portion of the population get it — the country could see some semblance of normalcy in the next year. 

“If we get a reasonably effective, 75% effective, vaccine and a substantial proportion of the population takes the vaccine, I think we’ll be going in the right direction towards approaching some degree of normality as we head into 2021; in the second, third and fourth quarter of 2021,” Fauci told Dr. James Madara, CEO and executive vice president of the AMA. 

Madara raised a question about the safety of vaccines that use the messenger RNA (mRNA) platform that is dependent on the genes for the coronavirus’ spike proteins. The new technology, which is being used by Pfizer and Moderna, injects the genes for the so-called “spike proteins” into healthy cells to induce an immune response.

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“Well we’re always focusing on safety, whether it’s an old or new platform, but you’re absolutely correct, when you’re dealing with a new platform, like an mRNA, you want to stay heads up for maybe different types of adverse events that you’re not used to seeing in other types of platforms,” Fauci said during the interview released Saturday.

The Pfizer announcement on Monday disclosed that “no serious safety concerns have been observed.”

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