Pearl River, home to Pfizer lab, celebrates promising COVID-19 vaccine news

PEARL RIVER, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Pfizer's promising news about its COVID-19 vaccine trial sent hopes rising and the Dow soaring on Monday.

The breakthrough is also a source of pride for Rockland County, where much of the research and development for the vaccine is being done.

Hopeful eyes worldwide turned to Pearl River to a century-old research and development lab off Middletown Road that has produced anti-serum for diphtheria and vaccines for small pox and polio.

At the old Lederle Laboratories, where more than 850 virologists, immunologists and biologists are working seven days a week, Pfizer has produced a promising vaccine.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day heralds the news that early results show the vaccine is more than 90% effective.

"There were phone calls that congratulated them obviously, but to say this is exciting news is an amazing understatement because this news not only affects the country, but the entire world and to have it come from the county of Rockland is just an amazing feeling and I really could not feel more proud right now," Day said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert, said the results suggesting 90% effectiveness are “just extraordinary," adding: "Not very many people expected it would be as high as that.”

Pfizer continues to collect data. They want to learn how long the vaccine will offer immunity and are looking for side effects.

So far, there have been no serious safety concerns.

In a few weeks, Pfizer and BioNTech could apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency approval. The hope is to produce 1.3 billion doses next year.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Sean Adams/WCBS 880