We’ve learned the hard way that Covid doesn’t care about your misinformed political beliefs. Well, thankfully, neither do the nerds. While science is being relentlessly attacked, scientists are absolutely killing it. These new RNA vaccines are game changers for this pandemic and for global health in general. “It’s worth pausing to reflect on where we are: At the one-year anniversary of the first detection in China of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the pathogen that causes Covid-19, there are now two highly effective vaccine candidates developed at a record pace, both using mRNA, a new vaccine technology that has never before been approved for use in humans.” Vox: Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, with 95% effectiveness, just came a little closer to emergency approval.

+ Wired: Larry Brilliant Says We’ll Beat Covid—After We Go Through Hell. “Science has proven we can develop a vaccine that not only creates neutralizing antibodies but prevents the disease. You can’t underestimate how important that is. Right on the heels of that, we have now got two good candidates for treatment—monoclonal antibodies, the Lilly one having received FDA approval, the Regeneron one shortly behind it. Right behind that we have almost 150 vaccine candidates and 150-plus candidates for treatment. And for the first time in history, in large part because of Bill Gates’ challenge, the vaccine has been produced at the same time as it was being developed. Huge amounts have been manufactured in anticipation of a positive, meaning a successful, vaccine. That is all absolutely incredible.” (Maybe the craziest of all alt right attacks is on Bill Gates. Getting vaccines produced quickly is a challenge. Thanks in part to Gates, they’re already being produced. I’m a rabid Windows, Clippy, and IE6-hating Mac lifer, and even I admit Gates is a hero in this fight. I mean, obviously if Steve Jobs were alive, the vaccine would have better packaging and a more elegant user experience, but you can’t have everything…)

+ “The next phase of this race will depend on the herculean task of producing these tiny vials of vaccine at a vast scale nearly overnight and distributing millions of doses without wasting any. Getting a vaccine into people’s arms is a meticulously choreographed high-wire act that must not falter at any juncture, and distribution looms as among the most daunting challenges.” WaPo: A vial, a vaccine and hopes for slowing a pandemic — how a shot comes to be. (This is just one of the reasons why the refusal of the administration to procede with the transition is so tragic.)

+ NYT: Immunity to the Coronavirus May Last Years, New Data Hint.

+ NYT: How the Out-of-Control Pandemic Is Speeding the Hunt for Vaccines. “We are seeing something apocalyptic play out in terms of the level of transmission in the country right now. Unfortunately, this pandemic is still raging, and that affords lots of opportunities to look at vaccine efficacy.” (Just when you thought irony was knocked out, it picks itself up off the canvas.)

+ NPR: FDA Approves 1st At-Home Coronavirus Test.

+ LA Times: Dolly Parton is also surprised she helped fund Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Dolly Parton is so good she does good stuff she doesn’t even know about…