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Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced Monday that its coronavirus vaccine trial was effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in 90% of previously uninfected people and did not produce any serious safety concerns.

Why it matters: Should the results bear out, it would potentially a huge breakthrough in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Pfizer said it will go to the FDA by the end of the month for an emergency use authorization.

The state of play: Vice President Pence said Pfizer's breakthrough came "thanks to the public-private partnership forged by" President Trump as part of the administration's Operation Warp Speed vaccine acceleration program.

  • But while the company agreed to a $2 billion deal to help rush a successful vaccine candidate to market, it did not take any federal dollars to fund its research and development.
  • "We were never part of the Warp Speed. We have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone," Pfizer's head of vaccine research and development Dr. Kathrin Jansen told the New York Times.

By the numbers: Pfizer, who developed the vaccine with German pharmaceutical company BioNTech, says that they have enrolled "43,538 participants to date, 38,955 of whom have received a second dose of the vaccine candidate as of Nov. 8, 2020."

  • "The trial is continuing to enroll and is expected to continue through the final analysis when a total of 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases have accrued."

Worth noting, per the Times: The company "released only sparse details" from the trial, and scientists "have cautioned against hyping early results before long-term safety and efficacy data has been collected."

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

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
24 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus death rates rising across the country

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, Census Bureau; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Daily coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday, when roughly 2,800 people died from the virus.

The big picture: Caseloads and hospitalizations continue to rise, and deaths are spiking in states all across the country.

21 hours ago - Health

Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot"

The government's top infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci said Friday that he "absolutely" will accept the offer from President-elect Joe Biden to serve as his chief medical adviser, telling NBC's "Today" that he said yes "right on the spot."

Why it matters: President Trump had a contentious relationship with Fauci, who has been forced during the pandemic to correct many of the president's false claims about the coronavirus. Biden, meanwhile, has emphasized the importance of "listening to the scientists" throughout his campaign and transition.

12 hours ago - World

UN: "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"

David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme. Photo: Souleymane Ag Anara/AFP via Getty Images

Next year is "going to be catastrophic" in terms of worldwide humanitarian crises, World Food Program executive director David Beasley warned on Friday, per Reuters.

Driving the news: The stark outlook comes as many countries contend with not only the coronavirus pandemic, but also possible famine, economic instability, conflict and other humanitarian crises. A record 235 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection next year, a nearly 40% increase from 2020, the UN projected earlier this week