Source: The Economist

THIS WEEK the world had something to celebrate. On November 9th Pfizer and BioNTech, two pharmaceutical companies, reported that their covid-19 vaccine had been 90% effective in trials. The news also bodes well for other vaccines in development. Yet the virus’s defeat is still a long way off. It is not known whether the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will protect the old, who are most susceptible to the disease, or whether it halts transmission as well as infection. Producing a lot of it will take time. Distributing it will be hard, especially since it must be stored at -70°C or even colder. And in the scramble to pre-order vaccines, poor countries are being left behind. Meanwhile, speedier and more accurate tests will have to help bridge the gap. But there is hope that life may at last return to something like normal. Financial markets certainly thought so: stocks flattened by the pandemic leapt with relief.

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