Covid vaccine news

Story by Gabe Stanton, Editor-in-Chief

Three drug companies: Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, have recently announced promising results in preliminary trials of their COVID-19 vaccines, all of which are demonstrating 90% or greater effectiveness in at least one dosing regimen, out of tens of thousands of volunteers, with similar effectiveness across different ages, races, and ethnicities, and no significant side effects.


Pfizer has said that up to 50 million doses of their vaccine (or enough for 25 million people, as the vaccine is a two-dose vaccine) could be ready by the end of the year, and up to 1.3 billion doses could be ready by the end of next year, all depending on how soon the Food and Drug Administration approves the vaccine. Because not all of the doses will be available to Americans, the vaccine won’t be widely available until the spring of 2021 at the earliest.


However, even if the vaccines are authorized by the F.D.A. and become available to the public, logistical concerns will likely complicate the vaccine’s distribution. State government officials across the country have stressed the need for federal funding in order to hire and train health care workers to administer vaccines, conduct follow-up monitoring, and transport shipments of the vaccine; these efforts could require up to $8.4 billion from the federal government. 


Additionally, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines must be stored at sub-zero temperatures: the Moderna vaccine must be stored at -4 ℉ or lower, while the Pfizer vaccine must be stored at nearly -100 ℉. This means transporting and storing doses of the vaccines will be much more complicated, and because the vaccines only last a few days, health care workers may have to vaccinate hundreds or even thousands of people every day for all the doses to be put to use. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored between 36 and 46 ℉, which would be much easier to store and transport, but administering such a vaccine would still have logistical issues.


“New Pfizer Results: Coronavirus Vaccine Is Safe and 95% Effective.” The New York Times,


“Moderna’s Covid Vaccine: What You Need to Know.” The New York Times,


“High hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year, but states say they need more money for distribution.” ABC News,


“Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution will be a ‘logistical nightmare’.” CBS News,


“3rd major COVID-19 vaccine shown to be effective and cheaper.” Associated Press News,