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Amid presidential election fallout and a national surge in COVID-19 coronavirus cases, two companies, Moderna and Pfizer, both announced significant progress on coronavirus vaccines. Tests have reportedly shown both vaccines to be roughly 95% effective, and each company will soon apply for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
Reports from right-rated sources were generally optimistic in tone. Voices from the right tended to frame the vaccines as a credit to Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed, and some criticized progressive policy proposals that would purportedly hinder similar healthcare developments. Coverage from left-rated outlets tended to advise more caution regarding the new vaccines; some left-rated voices argued that the drugs would not offer a quick end to the pandemic by themselves, and others criticized President Donald Trump for refusing to share information with projected winner Joe Biden as he tries to plan his administration's pandemic response.
On the Blog: Data suggests 2020 voters who based their vote on a candidate's policy stances actually sided with Trump. What does that mean for Biden?; and we share more in common across divides than we think — like the need for children to be healthy, stay safe, socialize and learn.
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Snippets from the Right
"CEO Ugur Sahin, who cofounded BioNTech with his wife, Ozlem Tureci, said it will be "absolutely essential" to immunize the majority of the population by next fall if that goal is going to be met...Sahin told the BBC that his vaccine, which early analysis has shown to be more than 90% effective, could potentially halve the transmission rate of the coronavirus."
National Review (Opinion)
"Progressing from discovery of a novel virus to safe and effective vaccines utilizing a new technology in just ten months demonstrates the innovative power of the private market to discover, develop, and deliver life-saving new products. The regulation and price controls Bernie Sanders and his fellow travelers prefer would destroy the incentives and profits needed for continued innovation and leave us unprepared for the next pandemic."
Snippets from the Center
"While the federal government will pay for the vaccines, states will play a key role in arranging for the distribution and safe storage of large but unknown quantities of vaccines. (Some will go directly to pharmacies, health systems and nursing homes.) States will be responsible for enrolling doctors as COVID-19 vaccinators and educating them in the use and handling of the drugs."
The Conversation (Analysis)
"Robust regulatory systems, and independent scrutiny of clinical trial results, mean COVID-19 vaccines will likely be safe in the short-term. However, no-one will know about long-term risks and distribution may be limited, for logistic, economic and cultural reasons...Even if we develop a “good enough” vaccine, there are no guarantees. Although many will be prepared to chance the first vaccines, many others will refuse them, despite government attempts at persuasion."
Snippets from the Left
"The physicians working with Biden's team have been in contact with CVS and Walgreens, which they see as key distribution points for the general public...The Biden team has also been in contact for months with Pfizer as it tries to sort out the sub-zero storage requirements for the company’s vaccine, a transition official said."
New York Times (Opinion)
"The clinical success that Pfizer and Moderna are reporting was not supposed to happen. The average influenza vaccine, for comparison, is only about 50 percent effective. Public-health experts have warned for months that a coronavirus vaccine might be similarly mediocre, and was therefore unlikely to provide the silver bullet so many hoped for."