There’s a welcome sense that we’re inching closer to normalcy, following Pfizer’s announcement this week that a vaccine being developed in partnership with the German company BioNTech has been more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in about 43,000 study volunteers. According to the Associated Press, Pfizer expects to release more data on effectiveness, safety and manufacturing quality by the end of November – and soon after that, they expect to apply for emergency use authorization in the US. The company maintains they will have over 50 million doses available by the end of the year.
Although there are still a number of unknowns, it’s encouraging progress. Back in early October, Mercer’s Dr. David Zieg and Dr. Andy Halpert addressed critical questions about COVID vaccines in general, including: how they work, whether they will be safe, how long they will last, and importantly, what employers can do to prepare. You can read the blog post here. In addition, Oliver Wyman recently published a report setting expectations for how long it will take before life is “fully normal” – the point at which there’s enough cumulative immunity in the population to stop the virus from spreading. Be sure to tune into Mercer’s COVID-19 webinar next week to hear all of the latest developments regarding the vaccine.