SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A Central New York Doctor who has been the face of the region’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 will now have a major role in investigating a promising vaccine.

Dr. Stephen Thomas, a frequent guest on NewsChannel 9 throughout the pandemic, was named Monday as the lead principal investigator in the trials of a vaccine created by Pfizer/BioNTech. The announcement comes on the same day that Pfizer reports that early data show the vaccine to be 90 percent effective.

Thomas is the the Chief of Infectious Disease at Upstate.

“New York’s medical experts are second to none and from the very beginning of this pandemic, we have relied on their vast knowledge and expertise to inform our response. I’m glad Pfizer is doing the same,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release announcing Thomas’ role. “It’s great news that Pfizer/BioNTech is seeing positive results from its vaccine trial, and I’m proud one of New York’s foremost infectious disease experts has been selected to lead its worldwide vaccine trial. On behalf of the family of New York, I would like to thank Dr. Thomas for his work fighting this invisible enemy.”

The medical school at Upstate has served as one of the phase three vaccine trial locations. According to SUNY, Dr. Thomas will support efforts by the pharmaceutical company as it prepares to submit data to regulatory agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration.

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