AUSTIN, Texas - There is new hope to get the coronavirus under control.
Monday, Pfizer said incomplete, early test results show its vaccine may be 90 percent effective against COVID-19. In comparison, the flu vaccine is about 50 percent effective.
Locally, Austin Regional Clinic has been enrolling participants in Pfizer vaccine trials.
Since August, ARC has enrolled more than 200 adult patients in the trials. Medical professionals said it's our best shot at getting back to normal life.
"So, a vaccine is hope for us to get things open again, to get kids back in school, get the universities open and sports back running," said Dr. Anas Daghestani of Austin Regional Clinic when he spoke to FOX 7 Austin in late October.
Pfizer officials said they are on track to apply for emergency-use approval from the FDA later this month.
Austin Regional Clinic said they cannot discuss trial results. In October, a doctor there explained how the study would start to enroll children between 12 and 17 years old at select clinics. Pfizer was the first COVID vaccine trial to do so.
"There is a reason that the CDC started with only adults and then seeing enough data and safely coming back and saying ok we are comfortable expanding to that age," Daghestani said.
For both age groups, the trial is conducted in phases. Participants get two shots and then have a follow-up appointment months later.
While testing the vaccine on kids may sound terrifying to some parents, ARC explained it is a necessary piece of the puzzle.
"We know for a fact this is actually, I speak as a doctor and a father, this is a population that, for all of us, the good news is they rarely have severe consequences from COVID. We all want our kids to have a normal school experience, and we want to protect the teachers, we want to protect the parents and the grandparents," said Daghestani.
Still, even if approval is granted, authorities said it's unlikely any vaccine will arrive before the end of the year. Pfizer does point out the protection rate could change if new covid infections are added to calculations.
ARC is still enrolling children in vaccine trials and plans to do so at least until Thanksgiving.
Those who do participate will be compensated for their time.