A week ago, Pfizer reported excellent early results on its COVID vaccine. Now, a second major contender also is reporting data, and the results are even better. Moderna announced Monday that preliminary results suggest its coronavirus vaccine is 94.5% effective, reports Reuters. Pfizer's figure was 90%. The upshot is that the US might have two highly effective vaccines available on a limited basis by year's end, per the Washington Post. However, it could be spring before both are widely available to most Americans. CNBC has the actual numbers: Moderna's trial has 30,000 participants, and a total of 95 of them have contracted the virus. But of those 95 cases, 90 were in people who received a placebo; only five people who received Moderna's two-dose vaccine got COVID.
Anthony Fauci, for one, is thrilled with Monday's development. "I had been saying I would be satisfied with a 75% effective vaccine," he tells the New York Times. "Aspirationally, you would like to see 90, 95%, but I wasn’t expecting it. I thought we’d be good, but 94.5 percent is very impressive." Moderna developed its vaccine with the Vaccine Research Center, which is part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases. Fauci is director of the institute. As with Pfizer, Moderna's trial is still ongoing (though almost complete), and the numbers could change when all is said and done. The news comes as COVID cases are surging in the US. (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)