Four reasons for encouragement based on Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine results

Four reasons for encouragement based on Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine results

The world has been waiting for good news on Covid-19 vaccines. Monday it got a bunch of it.

A preliminary analysis of the race frontrunner, Pfizer-BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine, suggested it was 90% effective in preventing symptomatic Covid disease. While these are early findings — the trial is still ongoing — they suggest the vaccine could be very protective.

There’s another important caveat. We don’t yet have details about whether the vaccine blocked mainly mild cases, or if there is evidence that it seemed to prevent some severe infections, too.

Still, the early results are encouraging for the Pfizer-BioNTech partnership. But embedded in the announcement is broader good news for Covid-19 vaccine development. Here are four reasons for encouragement based on the early results, starting with the most important.

We are likely to have multiple successful Covid-19 vaccines.

The Pfizer vaccine targets the spike protein, the knobby protrusion on the SARS-CoV-2 virus that allows the virus to attach to and invade human cells, initiating infection.