The Vaccine Is Here!

It’s been all over the news; we may have a cure.

The first effective coronavirus vaccine has been developed and it looks like it can prevent more than 90% of people from getting COVID-19. The developers – Pfizer and BioNTech – described it as a ‘great day for science and humanity’. Their vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns have been raised. The companies plan to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of the month.

‘The two companies say they will be able to supply 50 million doses by the end of this year and around 1.3 billion by the end of 2021.  

No vaccine has gone from the drawing board to being proven highly effective in such a short period of time, ever. There are still huge challenges ahead, but the announcement has been warmly welcomed with scientists describing themselves smiling ‘ear to ear’ and some suggesting life could be back to normal by spring.

Pfizer and BioNTech say they will have enough safety data by the third week of November to take their vaccine to regulators. Until it has been approved it will not be possible for countries to begin their vaccination campaigns. The two companies say they will be able to supply 50 million doses by the end of this year and around 1.3 billion by the end of 2021. Each person needs two doses. The UK should get 10 million doses by the end of the year, with a further 30 million doses already ordered.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on business across the globe, including FMCG and retail – so this will be very welcome news for us all. The pandemic is leading to a recession in many countries and retailers the world over are feeling the pinch the pandemic has caused.

If it is the case that a vaccine will bring things back to normal by spring, then the FMCG industry will be more grateful than many (but perhaps not as grateful as airlines) that this period of economic uncertainty is coming to an end.