Pfizer Covid Vaccine

The biggest vaccination effort in history has begun. On Friday, the U.S. cleared its first shots to prevent Covid-19 infections.

The vaccine, made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, could be given to frontline health-care workers within days. The U.S. plans to distribute 2.9 million doses in the first round of shipments. The vaccine has also been approved in the UK and Canada, and a separate shot from Moderna Inc. is likely to follow. By the end of 2020, millions of people could be inoculated. Next year: billions more.

Bloomberg is tracking nine of the most promising vaccines around the globe, from national procurement deals to shots in patients’ arms. By our count, 7.95 billion doses have already been allotted.

It would be enough to cover more than half the world’s population (most vaccines use two doses), if the shots were distributed evenly. That, however, isn’t likely. Rich countries have hedged their bets with extensive supply deals, and ultra-cold storage requirements make some vaccines difficult to deliver to far-flung places.

Other countries have struck their own paths: China and Russia authorized their own vaccines in July and August, before they’d been fully tested. Including those, a total of five vaccines are now available in limited quantities, in at least six countries.

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