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Austin patients part of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial that is 'showing effectiveness'

Nearly 200 patients from Austin have participated in the Pfizer study since August.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Monday, Pfizer announced that early results from its COVID-19 vaccine study suggest the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19. 

Nearly 200 patients from Austin have participated in the Pfizer study since August. On Oct. 29, Austin Regional Clinic said it was looking to enroll children ages 12 to 17 in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.

RELATED: Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine appears to be 90% effective

Pfizer announced that out of the nearly 44,000 adult patients enrolled in the study – half of whom received the Pfizer vaccine in two doses and half of whom received a placebo – 94 people tested positive.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government's top-infectious disease expert, said the results suggesting 90% effectiveness are “just extraordinary."

Austin Public Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott was a bit more cautious with the Pfizer announcement, but remained optimistic. 

"First, let me say that while the news from Pfizer is encouraging, we have to be very careful about determining efficacy while the studies are still underway," Escott said. "Now, I'm certainly hopeful that the eventual efficacy will be greater than 50%. But, I would hesitate to think that it would be as much as 90%, but we could get lucky." 

Pfizer's study phases for children 12 to 17 years old are identical to that of the adults, including a vaccine series of two shots and months of follow up, according to Austin Regional Clinic. 

Pfizer is the first COVID-19 vaccine trial to include children, and other research facilities around the country have already started enrolling 12 to 17 year olds, Austin Regional Clinic said.

WATCH: How vaccines are researched and approved 

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