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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The race for a COVID-19 vaccine is ramping up, with three major candidates now reporting efficacy rates of more than 90%.

Why it matters: Health experts say the world can't fully return to normal until a coronavirus vaccine is widely distributed. But each potential vaccine has its own nuances, and it's likely that multiple vaccines will be needed in order to supply enough doses for universal vaccination.

  • Some global vaccines have been approved for limited distribution, including vaccines in China and Russia that did not wait for Phase 3 results before authorization. Public health authorities warn skipping steps could pose serious risks.
  • No vaccines have been approved for full use.
Major candidates

Pfizer-BioNTech:

  • Efficacy: 95%
  • Vaccine type: mRNA
  • Doses required: 2
  • Storage: Five days in a refrigerator or -70℃ for long-term storage
  • Manufacturing: Up to 50 million doses in 2020 and 1.3 billion in 2021, per Pfizer
  • Cost: $20 per dose
  • State of play: Pfizer has applied for an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA.

Moderna:

  • Efficacy: 94.1%
  • Vaccine type: mRNA
  • Doses required: 2
  • Storage: 30 days in the refrigerator or six months at -20℃
  • Manufacturing: 20 million in 2020 and up to 1 billion in 2021, per Moderna
  • Cost: $32-37
  • State of play: Moderna said it would apply for an EUA on Nov. 30

Oxford-AstraZeneca:

  • Efficacy: 62% to 90%, depending on dosage (average 70.4%)
  • Vaccine type: Combination of common cold virus and coronavirus genetic material
  • Doses required: 1.5
  • Storage: Six months in the refrigerator
  • Manufacturing: Total annual capacity of 3 billion doses, per AstraZeneca
  • Cost: $3-4

Go deeper

L.A. becomes first county to surpass 1 million coronavirus cases

COVID-19 mass-vaccination of healthcare workers takes place at Dodger Stadium. Photo: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Los Angeles County officials said Saturday they had detected the county's first case of the highly transmissible coronavirus variant first found in the United Kingdom.

Why it matters: The announcement came as L.A. became the first county to surpass 1 million COVID-19 cases, straining the area's already overwhelmed health care system.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.