Jon Klein
Jon Klein

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its collaborator, BioNTech, announced today that early results in a Phase 3 clinical trial show their COVID-19 vaccine candidate is more than 90% effective.

Jon Klein, vice dean for research at the UofL School of Medicine, is a participant in the Pfizer trial.

“While we must wait for the safety data, the news from Pfizer this morning about the effectiveness of their COVID-19 vaccine exceeds all expectations. From my own perspective as a participant in the trial, the two-injection vaccine was not a bad experience and my own adverse effects were mild,” Klein said. 

While he is encouraged by the very high effectiveness of the potential vaccine shown in this this early report, he cautions that the data have not been published and the study has not been peer reviewed. Klein expects the data will be made public within the next 7 to 14 days.

“Today’s news will not change the course of the pandemic over the next 12 weeks, which could be some of the worst we have seen,” Klein said. “It is still up to the public to limit activities, wear masks and continue diligent hand washing, to keep the numbers in check for the next several months.”

Klein has also been participating in the fight against COVID-19 as a medical professional. At the invitation of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Klein has provided medical information to the community in the mayor’s regularly scheduled livestreams each week.

“My advocacy efforts have focused on explaining science and public health to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March, I have appeared weekly with Mayor Fischer on his Facebook Live video broadcast where I answer questions about all aspects of COVID-19,” Klein said.

He is also a weekly guest on WLCL-FM and WBCE-AM radio.

“While these are ESPN sports radio stations, the hosts have taken the lead in bringing COVID-19 information to the Kentucky-Indiana audience,” he said.  

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Betty Coffman
Betty Coffman is a Communications Coordinator focused on research and innovation at UofL. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Marketing and Communications.