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In an update Wednesday, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said their coronavirus vaccine was 95% effective at preventing COVID-19, after a larger analysis of 170 cases of the disease seen in the study.
Of those 170 cases, 162 occurred in participants who received placebo shots, not the experimental vaccine.
Next up: Pfizer said it will be filing for emergency authorization “within days.”
Also today in healthcare news: Who stands to win and lose as Amazon beefs up its pharmacy business, two top experts told us what they think of the side effects of Moderna’s coronavirus shot, and Bill Gates says other vaccine frontrunners are likely going to be highly effective.
Amazon just put the entire healthcare industry on notice with its latest push into pharmacy. Here’s who stands to win and lose.
- On Tuesday, Amazon unveiled its long-awaited Amazon Pharmacy service, sending healthcare stocks tumbling.
- Through Amazon Pharmacy, customers can shop for drugs and get them shipped in the mail. Prime members can also receive discounts on their medications.
- It’s part of Amazon’s slow but steady entry into the US healthcare system.
- Some healthcare companies like drug wholesalers stand to benefit as Amazon pushes deeper into healthcare, while businesses like retail pharmacies stand to lose out as more prescriptions go online.
Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine can cause severe fatigue and aches and pains. Two top vaccine experts told us why they think you’ll still take it.
- Moderna said its vaccine has side effects like muscle aches and fatigue.
- Experts say that if the vaccine prevents COVID-19, then mild or moderate side effects won’t impact vaccine uptake.
- The experts said they’re waiting on the full data before recommending Moderna’s shot.
Bill Gates says several more COVID-19 vaccine frontrunners will likely be highly effective, boosting worldwide access to a shot
- Success from two leading coronavirus vaccine programs likely means other frontrunners will also show strong protection against COVID-19, Bill Gates said Tuesday.
- The billionaire Microsoft founder and philanthropist said that bodes well for other experimental shots.
- “With the very good news from Pfizer and Moderna, we think it’s now likely that AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson will also likely show very strong efficacy,” Gates said at The New York Times’ DealBook Online Summit.
More stories we’re reading:
- EXCLUSIVE: Amazon’s first-ever plan for its new pharmacy business, which included partnering with Pfizer and J&J, highlights the challenges and ambitions of the secretive business (Business Insider)
- Amazon’s new digital pharmacy is a trillion-dollar opportunity that the company needs to sustain current growth levels, a Wall Street senior analyst says (Markets Insider)
- One South Dakota nurse told the Washington post that many patients deny COVID-19 exists right up until death(Washington Post)
- Dolly Parton funded the latest coronavirus vaccine, and it’s just another example of the ultrawealthy singer’s quiet policy work (Business Insider)
- Immunity to COVID-19 may last years, according to new data(The New York Times)