In the race to fight the coronavirus pandemic, drug maker Moderna announced its vaccine is 94.5% effective against coronavirus. Moderna is the second vaccine in the U.S. to tout a high success rate.

“These are obviously very exciting results,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said in response to the news. “It’s just as good as it gets — 94.5% is truly outstanding.”

Moderna’s trial was administered to 30,000 participants. Of those, 15,000 were given the vaccine and only five of them developed Covid-19. None of the five became severely ill, with a small percentage experiencing body aches and headaches.

Health officials, who say vaccinations could begin in the second half of December, will meet next week about who will receive the vaccine first. Distribution is expected to begin with high-risk groups – including health care workers, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions – and could be available for the rest of the population next spring.

MORE ON THE PANDEMIC

The pandemic also continues to disproportionately affect Black and brown communities in the U.S. According to data from the CDC as of November 7, the pandemic continues to disproportionately affect Black and brown communities in the U.S. Hospitalization rates for Black people are 3.9 times the rate of white people, while rates of Hispanic or Latino people are 4.2 times higher than white people.

Several states have announced renewed efforts to combat the coronavirus as infections have exceeded 11 million. One million of those cases were reported in just six days.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced new restrictions on businesses and social gatherings for the next month as cases rise. Gyms and entertainment centers will close and retail stores, including grocery stores, will limit indoor capacity.

In Texas, sporting events were canceled. In California, officials urged residents to take strict precautions when planning holiday gatherings. And North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum ordered a statewide mask mandate over the weekend.

As many Americans continue to struggle financially due to the economic fallout from the pandemic, lawmakers have just 15 working days before recess to fund the government and secure a deal on a fifth coronavirus deal. Although both sides say they want a new coronavirus relief bill, a deep gap between the parties remains on the deal’s price tag.

After a brief time, Walmart has stopped allowing an unlimited number of customers into their stores. The retail giant announced Monday that it will resume counting and monitoring its flow of customers as coronavirus cases break records nationwide. Walmart will restrict the number of people to 20% of its store capacity, or lower if mandated by local officials.

Grocery store chains, such as Kroger and Giant, have begun reinstating purchase limits on items, such as toilet paper, paper towels and disinfecting wipes to prevent hoarding and “panic buying” by customers.

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