Pfizer seeks permission for emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine; 95% effective

The drug maker says its vaccine is 95% effective and ready to be deployed.
Publish date:

The race for a COVID-19 vaccine may be nearing an end as Pfizer announced Wednesday that it will ask the Food and Drug Administration to grant permission for emergency use of its vaccine, which the company says has safely completed a Phase 3 trial and is 95% effective. 

The Wednesday announcement comes about a week after Pfizer said its vaccine was showing promising results, and the latest efficacy analysis revealed that the vaccine was consistently effective across age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics – and was "over 94%" effective in adults over 65 years of age. 

More than 43,000 people participated in the vaccine trial and there were no serious safety concerns observed, Pfizer said. Side effects from the vaccine included fatigue and headache, although only at very minor levels of less than 4%. 

If granted permission for emergency use, Pfizer and drug-maker BioNTech are aiming to produce 50 million vaccine doses before the end of the year and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021, with the companies confident they can distribute it around the world. 

“The study results mark an important step in this historic eight-month journey to bring forward a vaccine capable of helping to end this devastating pandemic. We continue to move at the speed of science to compile all the data collected thus far and share with regulators around the world,” said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO. “With hundreds of thousands of people around the globe infected every day, we urgently need to get a safe and effective vaccine to the world.”

Although the vaccine needs to be kept at temperatures of around -70°C (-94°F), Pfizer and BioNTech have developed temperatures-controlled thermal shippers that use dry ice to keep the vaccines at a proper temperature. 

It should be noted that Pfizer's vaccine has not been independently reviewed, nor has a vaccine being developed by Moderna that is 94.5% effective. Moderna said earlier this week that its goal is to have 20 million doses of the two-dose vaccine available by the end of the year and 500 million to 1 billion available in 2021.

Follow Bring Me The News on News Break

Next Up


Photos: ViV!R, Minneapolis' new Mexican cafe and shop, is now open

The team behind the acclaimed Popol Vuh have opened the cafe in the same space.


At Wiscoy Township's sole precinct, election judges ditched masks

Voter and Wiscoy resident Kaitlyn O'Connor took a photo of the judges after asking them to wear masks, she said

paisley park

Paisley Park to open pop-up shop at Mall of America

The new store is set to open on Black Friday.


COVID-19: Here's what Gov. Walz, Republicans are proposing to help businesses

Once they come to an agreement, Walz will call a special session to pass the legislation.

Jacob Frey

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey planning to run for reelection

Frey said in a radio interview that 2020 has been a "horrible" year.


Monello, P.S. Steak will switch to sandwiches, noodles during shutdown

The Minneapolis eateries are pivoting during the closure of dine-in service.


MN ski areas will be open – but with changes – during 4-week shutdown

Some ski areas have already reopened for the season, others plan to open Thanksgiving weekend.

thanksgiving turkey

Thanksgiving foods to avoid giving to pets

The Animal Humane Society has shared its advice on keeping pets safe this Thanksgiving.

best buy

Best Buy reports massive rise in online, in-store sales

People turned to Best Buy to buy computers, home theater and appliances during the pandemic.


flu shot, vaccine

Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective

It can be stored at a much warmer temperature than Pfizer's vaccine too.

coronavirus, covid-19

Pfizer, BioNTech SE announce their COVID-19 vaccine is 90% effective

The companies are applying for FDA approval later in November.

flu shot, vaccine

MDH reveals likely plan for when COVID-19 vaccine is available in MN

The department says those most at risk will be prioritized first.


Phase III COVID-19 vaccine trial halted after 'potentially unexplained illness'

Dr. Michael Osterholm said he'd be surprised if the illness was caused by the potential vaccine.

vaccine, shot

Mayo Clinic: Vaccine distribution likely limited until 'well into the new year'

"People need to continue to mask," a Mayo Clinic spokesperson said.

Screen Shot 2020-11-18 at 6.51.26 PM

Gov. Walz explains reasoning behind new COVID-19 restrictions

The new restrictions go into effect 11:59 p.m. Friday.

coronavirus, covid-19, doctor

U of M, Mayo Clinic testing provides hope for Minnesota in COVID-19 fight

Both institutions are in the process of preparing to deploy the tests to the public.

flu shot, vaccine

Mayo specialist: 'Doubly important' to get a flu shot this year

Anyone over the age of 6 months should receive a flu vaccine.