Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech's preliminary analysis — suggesting their vaccine was 90% effective at preventing symptomatic coronavirus disease — created some light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.

Why it matters: 90% efficacy is on the high end of what experts were hoping for, and Pfizer's good — albeit preliminary — news is also an encouraging sign for how well other, similar vaccines could work.

Between the lines: The Pfizer vaccine targets what's called the "spike protein" of the virus. So do all of the other vaccines being developed by major manufacturers working with Operation Warp Speed, STAT's Helen Branswell writes.

  • "There was always a discussion: Is the spike protein the right target? Well, now we know it's the right target," Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told STAT. "So, it's not only immediate good news, it really is optimistic about what's going to roll out in the next several months with the other vaccines."
  • A highly effective vaccine could also convince people that getting it is worthwhile. "Vaccine hesitancy diminishes proportionately inversely with the efficacy of a vaccine," Fauci said.

Yes, but: One big outstanding question is whether the Pfizer vaccine blocked mostly mild cases, or some severe ones too.

What we're watching: Millions of Americans could possibly be vaccinated by the end of the year.

  • But a lot of things still have to go right, including the complicated logistics of distributing vaccines across the country, determining who should get them and how, and then ensuring recipients get both shots of the vaccine.

Go deeper: Axios Re:Cap interviews Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla about vaccine data, distribution, politics, and how he reacted upon receiving the news.

Go deeper

12 hours ago - World

Putin says Russia will begin large-scale COVID-19 vaccination next week

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that he has directed officials to begin large-scale vaccination against COVID-19 as early as next week, according to state media.

Why it matters: Russia, which has the fourth-largest coronavirus caseload in the world with more than 2.3 million infections, would be the first country to begin mass vaccination. Experts have criticized the lack of scientific transparency around the vaccine and the haste with which the Kremlin approved it.

14 hours ago - Sports

The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Packed stadiums and a more normal fan experience could return by late 2021, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said yesterday.

Why it matters: If Fauci's prediction comes true, it could save countless programs from going extinct next year.

20 hours ago - Health

Fauci: U.S. could have herd immunity by the end of summer 2021

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci at the White House in November. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Tuesday the U.S. could achieve herd immunity to COVID-19 by the end of next summer or fall if there's a "good uptake" of Americans vaccinating against the virus.

Driving the news: Fauci said during an online video conversation with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) he expects the general population to have access to the vaccines U.S regulators are now considering by April.