Fauci: Moderna's 'outstanding' vaccine results are 'as good as it gets'

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, is hailing new data on Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine candidate as "striking" and "quite impressive."

Moderna revealed on Monday that preliminary phase-three data on its coronavirus vaccine suggested that it's 94.5 percent effective. This is a far better efficacy rate than experts had been anticipating in a vaccine against COVID-19, and it comes after Pfizer recently said its COVID-19 vaccine candidate also appears to be more than 90 percent effective.

"These are obviously very exciting results," Fauci told CNN on Monday. "It's just as good as it gets — 94.5 percent is truly outstanding."

Fauci, who previously said he would "settle" for a COVID-19 vaccine that's around 70 percent effective, also told NBC's Today the data is "quite impressive," adding that after last week's news from Pfizer, "Now we have two vaccines that are really quite effective, so I think this is a really strong step forward to where we want to be."

Both vaccines will need to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration, but Fauci told Today he anticipates vaccine doses, hopefully "from both companies," will start becoming available to high-risk individuals by the end of December. And asked whether several more COVID-19 vaccines from other companies could be on the way, Fauci said this is "quite conceivable" and that he has hope "that more than these two will also be effective."

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