Science’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Heising-Simons Foundation.
Philip Dormitzer led Pfizer’s successful coronavirus vaccine research effort, which yielded a vaccine with a stunning 95% efficacy in interim results from a clinical trial last year. That vaccine, developed with the German firm BioNTech, relies on a new technology employing messenger RNA (mRNA). It was the first to win emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for use against COVID-19 in the United States.
However, recent lab studies and new clinical trial results have suggested recently emerged variants of SARS-CoV-2, the pandemic coronavirus, have evolved resistance to vaccines, including Pfizer’s. The company’s vaccine, which requires two doses 3 weeks apart, is now being administered in more than 50 countries, including the United States. Pfizer says it is on track to supply 200 million doses to the United States by the end of May and aims to ship 2 billion doses globally this year.