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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Pfizer CEO Commits to “Speed of Science” for COVID Vaccine Development


In a letter to company employees, Dr. Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer noted that the company is “moving at the speed of science” and is not influenced by political considerations or dictates by the Administration.  In the letter, later circulated by Associated Press, Bourla stated “I cannot predict exactly when or even if our vaccine will be approved by the FDA for distribution to the public.  I do know that the world will be safer if we stop talking about the vaccine delivery in political terms.”  He added, “People don’t know whom or what to believe.”  U.S. Federal health officials have continuously maintained that a vaccine is unlikely to be available before the end of 2020 and there will only be sufficient quantities for general administration by mid-2021 despite assertions by the White House to the contrary.


Pfizer anticipates obtaining data from the Stage-3 evaluation in late October but will not apply for approval until the company is convinced of the safety and efficacy of the product.


The consensus among the scientific community is that deployment of a vaccine over a broad segment of the U.S. population will not occur before mid-2021.  At the current time, at least half of the U.S. population is disinclined to receive a vaccine that will require two doses spaced one month apart.  Unless at least 65 percent of the population is effectively immunized, herd immunity to protect susceptible individuals will not be achieved.


It is note that a number of the mRNA vaccines under development will require a cold chain of minus 90 F (Pfizer) through 14 F (J&J and Astra Zeneca) that will impose additional logistic restraints.  As of the beginning of October, the Administration has not provided any details of how the vaccine will be handled or distributed and the priorities for administration of the limited number of initial doses that will be available.

Copyright © 2020 Simon M. Shane