GOP senator in Pfizer trial urges confidence in Covid vaccines: ‘This is how we end this pandemic’

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Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana on Friday urged Americans to trust the coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, building on his experience as a participant in the companies’ Phase Three clinical trial.

The U.S. pharmaceutical giant and the German biotech company said earlier Friday that they intend to apply for emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, making them the first companies to do for a Covid-19 vaccine. Final data released this week showed the vaccine to be 95% effective in preventing the disease. The FDA review process is expected to take a few weeks.

“This is great news for the American people. This is how we are ending this pandemic,” Daines said on “The Exchange.” “The reason my wife and I attended is because we want to help build confidence in these vaccines.”

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Daines said he did not experience any major side effects after receiving his first inoculation during the trial at the end of August. Pfizer’s vaccine requires two doses. Although participants in the double-blind studies were not told whether they were getting the vaccine or a placebo, Daines said he had reason to believe he actually got the experimental candidate.

“It reminded me of the flu shot. It was practically painless, the vaccine itself. I had a little pain in my arm for a few days, then I had slight chills the next day which lasted. about a few hours. They resolved, and I felt perfectly fine the next day, “said Daines, who was re-elected earlier this month.” It was probably an indicator that I had the vaccine. “

Daines also said he then tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies, which may help boost immunity and prevent reinfection. The vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech produces neutralizing antibodies.

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Daines is the second Republican senator this week to announce his participation in vaccine trials. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio told TBEN on Tuesday that he had signed up for the Johnson & Johnson Phase Three trial. The men shared similar motivations for signing up.

“It’s one thing to have the vaccines, which I think will be ready by the end of this year, so really in a month and a half, but we have to be sure that people are ready to be vaccinated. “Portman said to me. “So the reason I took part in this trial was because I think vaccines are so important.”

News of Pfizer and BioNTech’s submission to the FDA comes at a critical time in the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. New daily infections have reached record levels, as have hospitalizations for patients with Covid-19. On Thursday, deaths reached a level not seen since early May.

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Several federal agencies have started telling workers they could be vaccinated with Pfizer and BioNtech’s Covid-19 vaccine – or Moderna, which is about to be submitted to the FDA – in as little as eight weeks, has TBEN reported on Friday, citing someone with knowledge of the plans.

Any approved coronavirus vaccine would be limited in quantity initially. Health workers, as well as the elderly and those with underlying health problems, are likely to receive the vaccine initially. As soon as the FDA gives its approval, “within 24 hours, the vaccines will be in the vaccination sites and people will be vaccinated,” Operation Warp Speed ​​adviser Dr. Moncef Slaoui told TBEN on Friday.

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