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Health care workers across the United States were among the first Americans to get the federally approved coronavirus vaccine, marking a critical moment in the fight against Covid-19.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top disease expert, predicted that after vaccines are more widely deployed the country could achieve herd immunity against Covid-19 by "the end of the second quarter 2021."
The beginning of this new phase in fighting the virus came as the U.S. death toll passed 300,000, and recorded more than 200,000 infections in one day.
- Map of U.S. hot spots and worldwide Covid-19 cases.
- Tracking surges in states across the country this winter.
- Map of travel restrictions and which states have a mask mandate.
- Click here for more of NBC News' Covid-19 coverage.
Moderna Covid-19 vaccine documents accessed in EMA cyberattack
Moderna said on Monday it was informed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) certain documents related to pre-submission talks of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate were unlawfully accessed in a cyberattack on the medicines regulator.
The EMA, which assesses medicines and vaccines for the European Union, said earlier this month that it had been targeted in a cyberattack, which also gave hackers access to documents related to the development of the Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
Moderna said its submission to the EMA did not include any information identifying individual study participants and there is no information at present that any participants had been identified in any way.
Moderna's vaccine is highly effective, FDA says, clearing way for second vaccine
Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine is 94 percent effective at preventing symptomatic illness and appears to prevent the spread of the virus as well, according to documents released Tuesday.
The findings set the Moderna vaccine up for FDA emergency use authorization by the end of this week, meaning Americans could soon have two highly effective Covid-19 vaccines.
The high efficacy was noted after two doses of the vaccine, given 28 days apart. This is about the same level of effectiveness as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the first shots of which were given to health care workers on Monday.
‘It’s an economic war’ — Warren Buffett urges Congress to extend PPP
Warren Buffett, the legendary investor and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, on Tuesday urged Congress to extend aid to small businesses as they continue to struggle through the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s an economic war,” Buffett told CNBC. Small businesses have become "collateral damage in a war that our country needed to fight," he said.
Specifically, he urged lawmakers to extend the Paycheck Protection Program.
“I think the country owes it to the millions of small-business people … just renew the PPP and get us to the end of the tunnel,” Buffett said. “When we went into World War II, a lot of industries were shut down; everything went to the defense production. Well, we’ve shut down a lot of people in this particular induced recession and others are prospering.”
Fauci says Biden, Harris should receive coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that he thinks President-elect Joe Biden should receive a Covid-19 vaccination as soon as possible for security reasons.
When asked in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" whether he thinks Biden should receive the vaccine right away, Fauci said, "I believe so."
"I mean, this is a person who will very soon be the president of the United States. ...Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will very soon be the Vice President of the United States. For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can. You want him fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January, so that would be my strong recommendation."
A transition official said Monday that Biden is consulting with Fauci on the vaccine and plans to take it in public when Fauci recommends he should do so.
U.S. records another 200,000-plus Covid cases, California sets another new daily record
The U.S. counted more than 200,000 Covid-19 cases Monday, reporting 261,250 cases, according to NBC News' tally.
The high total was partially due to a backlog of nearly 50,000 probable cases reported in Texas. The country also reported 1,642 Covid-19 deaths, bringing the death toll to more than 301,000.
As of Monday, at least 1 in 20 in the U.S. have had the disease.
The outbreaks are shifting: In the past two weeks Rhode Island, Indiana and Tennessee have had the highest per-capita rate of infections. Two weeks ago, it was North Dakota, Wyoming and South Dakota.
These states set single-day records:
- California, 39,541 cases
- Rhode Island, 46 dead