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What the Pfizer Vaccine Means for the Fight Against the Coronavirus?

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It’s a dark and alarming time in the struggle against the coronavirus, particularly in the United States, where hospitalizations and daily infections have surged.

But amid the gloom comes some light: A trial by the drug maker Pfizer has returned preliminary results suggesting that its vaccine is 90 percent effective in preventing Covid-19.

Even more promising, the timeline — contingent on benchmarks being reached and approval being granted — is quite short. There could be enough of the vaccine for 20 million Americans by January.

With the virus raging, how strong is this new ray of hope?


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Carl Zimmer, a science writer and author of the “Matter” column for The New York Times.

ImageA technician inspecting vials of a coronavirus vaccine candidate at a Pfizer lab in St. Louis.
Credit…Pfizer, via Reuters
  • Pfizer has announced positive early results from its coronavirus vaccine trial, cementing the lead in a frenzied global race that has unfolded at record-breaking speed.

  • Meet the couple behind the German company, BioNTech, that partnered with Pfizer to develop the vaccine.

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Carl Zimmer contributed reporting.

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