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Not Quite There Yet

Pfizer has announced that its coronavirus vaccine data won't be ready this week, contrary to its earlier prediction, CNBC reports.

Pfizer, which is working with the German pharmaceutical firm BioNTech, has enrolled more than 42,000 individuals into the late-stage clinical trial of its mRNA-based vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, it adds, noting that about 36,000 of the trial participants have received the second dose of the two-dose vaccine regimen. Pfizer initially planned to enroll 30,000 volunteers, but decided to increase its trial size in September, CNBC adds.

For an initial assessment by an independent data and safety monitoring board of whether the vaccine is effective, though, there need to be at least 32 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed within trial, which CNBC says has yet to happen. Pfizer had previously estimated that it would have this data by October, and President Donald Trump has pushed for a vaccine by Election Day in the US in early November, which is now unlikely.

"All [government and drugmaker] timelines assume that we have a vaccine that is actually shown to work and is safe before the end of the year," Peter Hotez, a virologist at the Baylor College of Medicine, tells Politico. "But we still have no guarantee." 

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