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Photo: Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Pfizer said on Wednesday that its coronavirus vaccine is 95% effective and has no serious side effects.

The state of play: The company said they have enough safety data now and plan to request an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration "within days."

  • If the F.D.A. authorizes the vaccine, Pfizer has said that it could have up to 50 million doses available by the end of the year, per the New York Times, but initially only about half of those doses will be available to Americans this year.
  • The announcement comes just days after Moderna announced its vaccine was 94.5% effective at preventing infections.

Why it matters: With coronavirus cases surging in the U.S., Americans remain hopeful that there could be two vaccines in distribution before the New Year.

Details: The pharmaceutical company said the vaccine prevented mild and severe forms of the virus, and was 94% effective in older adults.

  • By the numbers: Pfizer counted 170 coronavirus cases among its trial volunteers, with 162 infections in people who got placebo, and eight cases in participants who received the actual vaccine.
  • The data from the company thus far has not been peer-reviewed but they said they will submit to a peer-reviewed study in a scientific journal once the trial is complete.

🎧 Go deeper: Axios Re:Cap interviews Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - World

EU grants conditional approval of AstraZeneca vaccine

Photo: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The European Commission on Friday granted conditional approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years and older.

Why it matters: This is the third vaccine to receive approval from the commission, coming hours after the Emergency Medicines Agency recommended its authorization.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker