The Latest: Fauci says Moderna vaccine news ‘impressive’

WASHINGTON — The United States’ top infectious disease expert says news from Moderna that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is 94.5% effective “is really quite impressive.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC’s “Today” on Monday that Moderna’s finding, along with similar results from Pfizer last week for its vaccine, “is something that foretells an impact on this outbreak.”

“So now we have two vaccines that are really quite effective, so I think this is a really strong step forward to where we want to be about getting control with this outbreak,” Fauci said.

Asked about the timeline for vaccinating people, Fauci projected that by the end of December, there will be doses available for people at high risk from the coronavirus.

Fauci said the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have different platforms than other vaccines now in the pipeline. But he said the other vaccine platforms are using the “spike protein” of the coronavirus which has been researched very intensively, giving him hope that more than two of these vaccines will also be effective.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— More good news about a second COVID-19 candidate vaccine as Moderna says its shots appears to be 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data

— President-elect Joe Biden seeks information on US vaccine plans as Trump stalls handoff

— Amnesty International says Belgium violated the human rights of nursing home patients by not taking infected elderly patients to the hospital for treatment

— Michigan and Washington state announce new virus restrictions as U.S, cases hit 11 million

— Many African students are missing out on the new term in school as the pandemic impoverishes families

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