Pfizer says an early peek at its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19. This marks a much better than expected efficacy (so far) for the vaccine.

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Monday's announcement doesn't mean a vaccine is imminent, but it is good news as COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the United States and the globe.

The so-called interim analysis looked at the first 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the more than 43,000 volunteers who got either two doses of the vaccine or a placebo.

It found that fewer than 10% of infections were in participants who had been given the vaccine. More than 90% of the cases were in people who had been given a placebo.

Pfizer did not provide any more details about those cases, and they cautioned the initial protection rate might change by the time the study ends. The shots are made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Pfizer has said it plans to seek U.S. review later this month.

Pfizer said that the vaccine provided protection seven days after the second dose and 28 days after the initial dose of the vaccine. The final goal of the trial is to reach 164 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection.