Research for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine began in their Groton facility


GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The Pfizer Research and Development facility in Groton is where a lot of their research began for a COVID-19 vaccine. The latest word is that Pfizer, along with its partner BioNTech from Germany, has developed a vaccine that has a 90 percent effective rate.

That appears to be good news during this pandemic and a source of pride for people here in Connecticut.

Related: Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine is looking 90% effective

Muhammad Shakeel works at the Avery Market in Groton, just across the street from the massive Pfizer facility.

“We do get customers from the Pfizer,” said Shakeel.

He was happy to hear the pharmaceutical giant has developed a COVID-19 vaccine that appears to have a 90 percent effective rate.

“It’s kind of pride for Connecticut and the town of Groton if Pfizer succeed…It’s kind of good to know that Pfizer is working hard on a vaccine and I hope they succeed and they’re the first one to get it. It’s good for us and good for the town and the community,” said Shakeel.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says, so far, the trials indicate few negative side effects.

“The committee reported there were no safety concerns and tolerability profile that it’s among very good that we have seen in a vaccine so far,” said Bourla.

“It really is needed news as a light at the end of a very long tunnel,” said State Senator Tony Hwang, (R-CT 28th District).

He co-chairs the legislature’s Bioscience Caucus.

“What’s unusual about bio-sciences is they collaborate with each other,” said Sen. Hwang. 

That’s among pharmaceutical companies and medical organizations like the Yale School of Medicine.

“The one silver lining to all of a raging pandemic is that cases occurred probably a little bit faster than they were anticipating,” said Dr. Manisha Juthani.

More than 44,000 people worldwide have taken part in these trials, including 100 in Connecticut through Clinical Research Consulting in Milford. 

“The vast majority of cases of COVID-19 occurred in the placebo group,” said Dr. Juthani.

Meaning most in the intervention group, which were people who got the real vaccine, appeared to be protected. 

Pfizer’s site in Groton is its largest research and development facility in the world and some pretty popular drugs were developed there like Zoloft – which treats anxiety – and Zithromax – which can kill some of the toughest bacteria. A COVID vaccine may soon follow. 

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