When Will the COVID Vaccine Be Ready? Plus More Questions Answered


It’s the good news we all need. Last week, New York-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer, who is developing a COVID-19 vaccine with German company BioNTech, announced that, based on preliminary data, its vaccine appears to be more than 90% effective.

Then, on Monday morning, the Cambridge, Mass. biotech firm Moderna said its vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective, also based on early data.

But don’t book that family reunion for mid-2021 just yet. While it’s certainly news worth celebrating, there are a lot of unknowns about these vaccines and the many others in development—including when they will be widely available. “This news, in my opinion, is a little early,” says Horacio Bach, adjunct professor in the University of British Columbia’s division of infectious diseases, of the Pfizer news last week. “We’re talking about a very small number of…

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