SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As coronavirus cases surge around the country, there is new hope that an end to the pandemic could be coming soon.
Pfizer and BioNTech have applied for emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine from the FDA. Baystate Health is optimistic about the vaccine, and they already have a plan to mass distribute it to its workers.
“I’m hopeful that we can get it to these folks and first responders in a timely fashion and we have a good plan that’s built to do that,” said Dr. Andrew Artenstein, Baystate Health Chief Physician Executive & Chief Academic Officer.
Pfizer reported a 95 percent success rate this past week with their clinical trials, and their data shows that it prevented mild and severe symptoms. It also had no serious side effects.
The success rate of Pfizer’s vaccine quickly got the world’s attention, and their’s could be the first one distributed in the U.S. But a lot of local residents aren’t fully on board with the vaccine just yet.
“I mean, I hope it comes out sooner than later,” said Trevian Smith-Figueroa of Springfield. “I just hope it’s the right cure because there are a lot of times when things can go wrong.”
If the FDA approves the vaccine, healthcare workers and first responders would likely begin getting it by December 14. The vaccine will be free and according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the healthy U.S. population is expected to have access to the vaccine beginning in April.
Pfizer intends to have 50 million doses available by the end of this year, and up to 1.3 billion by the end of 2021.