President-elect Joe Biden, who on Monday unveiled the members of his coronavirus task force, praised news from Pfizer that a COVID vaccine it has been developing has proven to be 90 percent effective in preventing the disease.
“I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope,” Biden said in a statement, adding that he was informed Sunday night of the development.
Biden also expressed a note of caution, pointing out that more than 1,000 Americans are dying from the disease each day and the “end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away.”
In the meantime, he urged Americans to continue to follow guidelines offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing, and other measures to keep themselves safe well into the next year. Today’s news is great news, but it doesn’t change that fact,” the statement said.
Pfizer announced on Monday that vaccine trial studies show it is more than 90 percent effective.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement. “With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis.”
The development was revealed publicly just hours after the former vice president announced the members of his COVID task force.
In this photo provided by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, clinical research coordinator Tammy Lewis-McCauley administers an injection to Katelyn Evans, a trial participant, as part of the hospital’s clinical trial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccineAP
It will be co-chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Yale University Associate Professor Marcella Nunez-Smith.
“The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations,” Biden said in a statement.