Best COVID-19 News to Date

Erica Wildberger

November 13th, 2020

This week saw the best COVID-19 news so far: Pfizer has taken a huge step toward a vaccine, reporting that its candidate was effective in over 90% of uninfected clinical trial patients. And this is just for the Pfizer vaccine. Three other vaccines are also in Phase 3 clinical trials in the U.S.

Reality check: It's a giant and welcome development, but the pandemic will be with us long after the vaccine distribution begins. The Pfizer vaccine isn't a silver bullet. Its efficacy is much higher than the 50% threshold set by the FDA but could still leave tens of millions of vaccinated Americans at risk. This means that many pandemic protocols are likely to remain in place, either by law or by habit. Pfizer expects to have 50 million doses available by year-end and 1.2 billion doses available during 2021. Each regimen requires two shots, so halve those figures to determine the number of people who can be treated.