The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization to Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine on Friday.

The two-dose vaccine is the first to be authorized in the US, though Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine will likely receive FDA authorization this month as well.After months of testing, the vaccine was found to be 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 in a large-scale trial. Its development process was unprecedentedly fast – no other vaccine in history has been created and manufactured so quickly. Previously, the fastest vaccine ever developed took more than four years.

But perhaps most remarkably, BioNTech co-founder Ugur Sahin designed the vaccine in just a few hours in mid-January, according to The Journal, a podcast from Gimlet and The Wall Street Journal.

A BioNTech spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that Sahin – who founded the company with his wife, Özlem Türeci – made a “rough design over one weekend.”Moderna’s vaccine also took just two days to design, as Business Insider previously reported. The reason both candidates could be designed so quickly comes down to the technology they rely on: messenger RNA, or mRNA.


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