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Vaccine makers ask for "emergency" use

Posted at 8:36 AM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 10:36:01-05

In the war on COVID-19, it's a potential weapon showing promise. The CEO of BioNTech says Friday, his company along with US partner Pfizer will seek the green light for their vaccine from the FDA.

"Our goal is to supply several hundred million of doses in the first four to five months of 2021," said Uğur Şahin, BioNTech CEO.

That vaccine is now considered 95% effective in preventing infections, even in older adults, and caused no serious safety concerns.

It's the latest in a line of good news from vaccine makers. Moderna announcing this week similar success in efficacy in their vaccine. The company also planning to file for FDA emergency use authorization soon, after gathering more safety data later this month.

"We did not see a single case of severe disease in the people who were vaccinated with our mRNA vaccine against COVID," said Dr. Tal Zaks, Chief Medical Officer of Moderna.

Moderna's vaccine is said to be more flexible because of the way it is stored.

"Our vaccine requires only -20 degrees, which is a readily available freezer, that is available in most doctor's offices and pharmacies," said Dr. Zaks. "So we anticipate our vaccine should be able to be deployed to those locations without any difficulty."

Vaccine work in the United States continues at four other pharmaceutical companies. Right now, Johnson and Johnson and Astra-Zeneca are in phase three of their trials.