With the federal government possibly only weeks away from approving a coronavirus vaccine, Maine health officials are preparing to get the shots delivered, stored at hospitals and administered to those who will first receive the vaccine.

Pfizer Inc. officials said on Monday that a potential coronavirus vaccine is showing great promise, and has a potential 90 percent effectiveness rate according to late-stage research trials. A 90 percent effectiveness rate would be much better than annual influenza shots – which have a typical effectiveness range of between 40 and 60 percent – and more in line with highly effective childhood vaccinations, such as for varicella, polio and measles.

For Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, the next step would be a Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization – perhaps as soon as late November – followed by manufacturing 50 million doses by the end of 2020. The federal government signed an agreement with Pfizer this summer for the pharmaceutical company to distribute its first 100 million doses in the United States. Read more