When news broke Monday morning that Pfizer Pharmaceutical clinical trials revealed its new coronavirus vaccine is fully ninety percent effective, a sigh of relief could be heard around the globe. That was particularly true in the science and medical community and among the dedicated professionals who have been on the front lines battling the virus.
"This is excellent news," said clinician and CBS Radio medical contributor Dr. Brian McDonough. "Especially when you consider that we have 120 to 130-thousand cases every day in the United States and we are losing 200 people every day in the United States. This is something we need and we need right away."
McDonough, while upbeat, cautions we are still months away from being able to start a nationwide vaccination program. The fact, though, that the vaccine is so effective blew this experienced clinician away. Pfizer researchers had hoped the clinical trials would reveal the vaccine was at least 50-percent effective.
"If it's 90 percent effective, it's probably better than any flu vaccine we've ever had and it certainly will act rapidly," McDonough said enthusiastically. "When you look at something like the measles vaccine, that was like 95 to 97 percent effective and we essentially wiped it (measles) off the map."
McDonough says the vaccine is likely capable of "doing a number" on the virus. He points out, though, there has been a lot of skepticism and anti-science talk over the last few years. He says the vaccine will only be able to do its job if its importance is explained to the critics.