Don't get too excited about Pfizer's made-in-Michigan COVID-19 vaccine just yet


  • Shutterstock

It feels like there could finally a light at the end of the dark tunnel of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, Pfizer announced promising news, saying that early results found its experimental vaccine to be more than 90% effective. If approved, the vaccine would be produced and distributed right here in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

"This is great news for our families, our frontline workers, and our small business owners," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. "Michigan has always been on the forefront of innovation, and I am proud to see that Pfizer, a Michigan business and one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in the world, will produce the vaccine in our great state."

U.S. stock futures skyrocketed following the news. But a word of caution: as the New York Times points out, the company released the news in a press release, not a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

"It is not conclusive evidence that the vaccine is safe and effective, and the initial finding of more than 90 percent efficacy could change as the trial goes on," the paper cautioned.

Whitmer also urged patience as it would take the company time to manufacture and distribute a vaccine.

"We must remember that when the vaccine is ready, it will take time to distribute, and we need everyone to continue doing their part to protect each other from COVID-19," she said. "That’s why it’s so important that President-Elect Biden has announced a team of medical experts to lead our country’s COVID-19 response. It is crucial that leaders across the country listen to science and the recommendations of health experts, and President-Elect Biden has made it clear that he shares that commitment. I look forward to working closely with him and medical experts everywhere to fight this virus and save lives."

Biden announced a COVID-19 task force on Monday.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.