WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The search for a COVID-19 vaccine took a big step forward Monday.
Pfizer announced Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been 90% effective.
The Pfizer vaccine is just one that is being tested, which includes trials being conducted in South Florida.
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People involved in the trials in our area are also hopeful a breakthrough will occur in fighting COVID-19.
"We're sitting here smiling, very optimistic and hoping for the best," said Barry Snyder, who is part of a trial in Palm Beach County for a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca. "We got our booster shot ... a week and a half ago, and there was very little reaction. [I had a] little headache."
AstraZeneca is expected to release findings on its vaccine within weeks.
Several other trials are also expected to start releasing their trial data in the coming weeks, raising hopes for an approved vaccine next year.
"First of all, I think the announcement by Pfizer is very good news," said West Palm Beach infectious disease specialist Dr. David Dodson. "This is a very positive development."
He said Monday's announcement is reason to optimistic.
However, there is still more to prove during trials, but the idea of a vaccine from not just one but several drugmakers in 2021 is looking more likely.
"The logistics now become a problem. So, first, you have to know the vaccine is efficacious, that it works, that it is safe, and so far, preliminary data is it seems to be safe, but then the logistics kick in, and you have to figure out how to administer it," Dodson said.
Dodson said deciding how to administer it to the public will require great planning.
In Florida, the plan would be to get it first to health care workers and first responders.
"Even with a vaccine that rolls out early next year, it's going to take a while to get distributed, so I tell people they should probably be living our lives as we are for another year or so," Dodson said.