Local health officials say possible vaccine is good news but urge people to still take safety measures against COVID-19

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the United States, there was some good news released on Monday.

Medical giant Pfizer, which has been working on a vaccine, said early data shows the shots may be 90% effective preventing the virus. Doctors said this kind of news shows we are on the right track but warn a vaccine for the general population isn’t likely until the spring.

In a race to find a COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer said, so far, their data looks good. There were 94 infections calculated so far in a study that included 44,000 people in the United States and five other countries.

Pfizer says early data signals COVID-19 vaccine is effective

Memphian, Judith Cardoso, participated in the Pfizer trials and she is pleased with the news.

 “I was so excited,” Cardoso said.

Cardoso took two shots, and she does not know if she was given a placebo or the vaccine.

“About two weeks apart and then there were each time you had the vaccine there was a COVID test, the nasal swab and then about two weeks after the second injection you went in for a blood test,” Cardoso said. “I just felt like I just had to do something.”

Dr. Manoj Jain, an infectious disease specialist, serves on the Shelby County COVID-19 task force. He is excited by the findings.

“This vaccine really shows a lot of promise in all of the grim news we’ve been getting about the number of cases and a 90% effectiveness,” Jain said. “I mean that’s profound. We usually don’t see that kind of effectiveness with a vaccine as you know the flu vaccine is only 40-50% effective. “

Though the news sounds promising, health officials warn it is key people continue to follow the safety procedures like wearing a mask, as this virus is continuing to spread across the nation.

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