Pfizer chairman Albert Borla told Dateline’s host Lester Holt that if the vaccine prevents the coronovirus from being transmitted, the drug is “not certain”, “that’s something that needs to be investigated.”
In a primetime special titled “Race for the Vaccine” that aired on Thursday, Holt questioned Borla and other individuals involved in the development and distribution of the drug.
In November, Pfizer announced that its vaccine candidate had been shown to be more than 90 percent effective in stopping COVID-19 and had applied for an Emergency Use Authority from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In a season of despair, there is reason for hope: vaccines are coming. @LesterHoltNBC See what some call the pharmaceutical industry’s best hour, tonight at 10 / 9c in a special edition #Dateline. pic.twitter.com/1ANcL5wfXq
– Dateline NBC (@DatelineNBC) 3 December 2020
The UK became the first country to approve the Pfizer vaccine this week, with the first round of immunization expected next week.
In a list of interviews released prior to the special, Holt asked Borla, “Even if I had protection, would I still be able to pass it on to other people?”
“I think this is something that needs to be investigated. We are not sure about what we know right now, ”Borla replied.
Although Pfizer vaccines have shown promising results, there are challenges when it comes to delivering and administering them. The vaccine must be distributed and stored in extreme sub-zero temperatures, leading to increased demand for dry ice.
Once the vaccine is kept at a normal refrigeration temperature, it must be used or discarded within four or five days. The vaccine is administered in two doses, which occur at intervals of a few weeks.
Government health officials have said that if the vaccine is approved, the first round of vaccination may be available before the end of the year for health workers and high-risk individuals.
Modern and AstraZeneca have announced their own vaccine candidates to be highly effective at preventing the coronavirus from the FDA for emergency use authorization, as well as for modern vaccines.