A COVID-19 vaccine being produced by Pfizer that could have a 90% success rate at stopping the spread of the virus may just be the green light that we need for international travel to help open up as normal in 2021.
In what the World Health Organisation has labelled as “great news”, Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine has succeeded in late-stages of clinical trials, marking a milestone in the fight against the global pandemic.
The Pharmaceutical giant said the shot was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing the virus, which is usually unheard of in such a short timeframe in medicine.
“We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen. 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.”
Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO
This news comes less than a week after Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Australia had secured 10 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine.
According to a report by the ABC, early, but incomplete, test results from the drug manufacturer have showed promising results in 94 infections being treated in the trial, bringing a surge of optimism to the world.
That means roughly nine out of 10 people given the vaccine will be protected from getting the infection, which is pretty good news.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told the ABC that the Government would continue to monitor further results as they are made available.
“The data on our vaccine candidates continues to be positive. We will examine the evidence carefully but the latest results are heartening news,” he said.
Even if all goes well, authorities have stressed that we shouldn’t expect the vaccine to be rolled out before the end of the year.
Based on current projections, Pfizer is expected to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
What does this mean for travel?
The news of the vaccine potentially being available by 2021 opens the door to international travel and the opportunity to get back in the air, on the road, and exploring again – boosting the world economy and rebooting the travel and tourism industry.
Already today, off the back of the positive news, Helloworld (HLO) shares have skyrocketed by 22% with Corporate Travel Management (CTD) rising by 20%, Webjet by 16% and Flight Centre Limited (FLT) by 12% alongside the Qantas Group (QAN) which rose by 10%.
Excitement aside, there will undoubtedly still be so many questions to answer around the complexity of what happens next.
Will it be compulsory to get the vaccine if you want to travel? Will you need to have been vaccinated to travel from Australia and to enter specific countries? Will you need to have been vaccinated to get insurance? Will some people even want to get the vaccination at all?
Clearly, creating, testing and distributing a vaccine is only half of the battle to safely re-connect the world and get people travelling confidently again.
BUT… The positive news is, this could be what we need for the world to reopen once more.
What do you think of the news?
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