Monday morning’s announcement from Pfizer about its vaccine against COVID-19 was met with cheers and a bump in stock prices, but there is disagreement on how Operation Warp Speed factored into Pfizer’s development. What are the experts saying?
Somewhat unexpected news greeted America Monday morning as Pfizer announced its coronavirus vaccine candidate has been shown to be 90% effective in trials.
- CNBC noted the scientific community at large was looking for a 75% effectiveness rate, while Dr. Anthony Fauci previously said a vaccine with a 50-60% effectiveness “would be acceptable.”
- Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNN the pharmaceutical company expects to have 1 billion doses of the vaccine available worldwide in 2021.
- Questions about how long the vaccine provides protection against the coronavirus remain.
- There has been some coverage on what a vaccine can do to help lift a sagging economy still recovering from the global pandemic. USA Today gives a glimpse of how various aspects of the retail industry will bounce back while CNN reports oil prices have already seen an uptick likely related to the vaccine news.
- CNN Business said the Dow Jones Industrial Average is set for its best day of the year on the back of Pfizer’s announcement.
- In its reporting, The New York Times emphasized Pfizer was not part of the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed, which provided research and development funding and a compressed regulatory framework for covid-19 vaccine trials.
- Newsweek reported that, while Pfizer did not participate in Operation Warp Speed’s R&D efforts, the drug company did reach an agreement with the government in July to provide 100 million doses for nearly $2 billion to be given to Americans at no cost.
- Contrary to much of the coverage, NPR poured cold water on the news, providing skeptical coverage on the realities of its long-term effectiveness and the need for more trials and data before the US Food and Drug Administration can greenlight the vaccine for use.
- Fox Business focused heavily on the immediate economic impact of the news with a rundown of various businesses hit hardest by the pandemic and their stock prices.
- The Wall Street Journal wrote a more comprehensive summary of the vaccine’s development, trials, and data analysis than other outlets, explaining in greater detail the process.
- Social media and cable news have provided some sparks on the relationship between Pfizer and Trump’s Operation Warp Speed. While the company specifically said it didn’t participate, Fox News contributor Dr. Marc Siegal argues Pfizer “indirectly benefited” from the program.
- AEI scholar and Bloomberg columnist Michael Strain similarly argued Pfizer was a beneficiary of Operation Warp Speed.
© Dallas Gerber, 2020