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President-elect Joe Biden congratulated Pfizer on its ongoing development of a COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, while reminding the general public that widespread vaccination is likely still months away and that face masks remain essential in preventing the spread of the virus.
“A mask remains a more potent weapon against the virus than the vaccine,” he said in a statement that cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s past recommendation to wear a mask.
Pfizer announced on Monday that early data suggests that its vaccine candidate, which continues to undergo a clinical trial, is 90% effective at preventing COVID-19. As Biden said, however, that does not mean a vaccine for the coronavirus, which has killed more than 237,000 people in the United States, is imminent.
“Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing and other measures to keep themselves safe well into next year. Today’s news is great news, but it doesn’t change that fact,” Biden said.
― Nina Golgowski
Pfizer released an early peek at data from its COVID-19 vaccine trials Monday and said its vaccine candidate was more than 90% effective at preventing COVID-19.
The interim analysis looked at 94 infections recorded among its around 44,000 vaccine trial participants in the U.S. and five other countries. It’s unusual for a company to release such data so early.
The data shows that the company seems to be on track to requesting emergency use authorization from the FDA later this month.
Pfizer won’t stop its trials until it records 164 infections among all volunteers, a number the FDA is enough to tell how the vaccine is working. The 90% initial rate could change as the study continues.
— Liza Hearon
The U.S. recorded 126,742 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, a new high, and the country topped 10 million infections on Sunday, the latest evidence that the pandemic is far from over. The figures are stark and reflect soaring infections around the globe: The U.S. saw its latest million cases in just a 10-day period, and the 24-hour average for new cases over the last seven days has been over 100,000, higher than any other nation. Global cases have now exceeded 50 million.
— Nick Visser
President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign is urging its supporters to practice social distancing and wear masks while celebrating his election victory after crowds flooded the streets of some cities a day earlier to revel in the historic moment.
“I know folks are excited,” Symone Sanders, a senior adviser to the Biden campaign, told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But we’re imploring folks across the country to be safe, wear your mask, social distance. This virus is very real and it’s deadly.”
— Hayley Miller