This week, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech became the first to release results from a late-stage coronavirus vaccine trial, announcing preliminary results that showed their vaccine was more than 90 percent effective. (The Food and Drug Administration requires that vaccine candidates be at least 50 percent effective before manufacturers apply for emergency authorization.)
Pfizer has said it will likely apply for emergency authorization in the third week of November, once it has collected two months of safety data as recommended by the FDA.
President Donald Trump lashed out after the announcement, making unfounded accusations that the “medical deep state” had deliberately delayed the trial results until after the election. Vice President Mike Pence attempted to bestow credit for the announcement on the administration, tweeting that the vaccine’s success was due to “the public-private partnership” forged by the administration. Although the government did enter a purchase agreement with Pfizer should its vaccine be approved by the FDA, Pfizer did not receive federal funding to support the research or development of the vaccine.
We’ve previously filed requests seeking the U.S. government’s vaccine development contracts with Pfizer as well as a number of requests for communications between officials and Pfizer regarding a coronavirus vaccine. And as reporting shows that states may struggle with distributing the Pfizer vaccine, we’re also investigating state coronavirus vaccine plans.