Is this Moderna envy? Perhaps, but any way you cut it, the news from Pfizer today is all good. Their initial estimate on effectiveness of their COVID-19 vaccine was 90%, but this morning they updated it to the same 95% level as Moderna’s initial estimate.

And unlike Moderna, Pfizer’s ready to start giving vaccinations before the end of the month — if the FDA’s up for a quick approval:

Pfizer on Wednesday said its COVID-19 vaccine was 95 percent effective and had no serious side effects — and that it will be submitted for regulatory approval “within days,” according to reports.

The US drugmaker and its German partner BioNTech announced that their vaccine is even more effective at preventing the disease than what they previously thought — 90 percent — last week, NBC News reported.

After completing their Phase 3 trial, the companies said there have been no serious side effects among the 41,135 adults who received two doses. The most common reactions were that 3.7 percent of them experienced fatigue and 2 percent had a headache, they said.

No serious side effects. That may be the most significant finding of all, even more than the 95% effectiveness rate — which is off the chart for a vaccine to a novel infectious disease of any kind, by the way. At the beginning of Operation Warp Speed, the aim was anything above 50% and hopefully hitting 70%.

No serious side effects means that more people will feel comfortable getting vaccinated. And perhaps that enthusiasm has already begun rising as news of progress on the vaccines has emerged. Gallup’s new poll shows an uptick of willingness to get a vaccine now, from 50/50 in mid-September to 58/42 at the beginning of November:

Americans’ willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19 rebounded a bit in October, as seen in Gallup polling conducted before Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna made promising announcements about the likely effectiveness of their coronavirus vaccines. Fifty-eight percent of Americans in the latest poll say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine, up from a low of 50% in September.

These latest data come from a Gallup Panel survey conducted Oct. 19-Nov. 1, as COVID-19 infections continued to increase across the U.S. A vaccine for the disease is seen as key to returning Americans’ lives to normal and allowing the lifting of restrictions that would permit a full economic recovery for the country.

The 42% of U.S. adults saying they would not get a vaccine is down from 50% in September, but still indicative of significant challenges ahead for public health and government officials in achieving mass public compliance with vaccine recommendations.

Willingness to vaccinate improved in all demographic groups except Republicans, which stayed steady at 49%. The biggest jump was among Democrats, where willingness increased sixteen points to 69%. Interestingly, that was before the election, which might indicate that confidence built in the process the more information was shared with potential consumers. There were also double-digit gains among women, middle-aged Americans, and those with no college degree.

Why are some people still reluctant to get vaccinated? The plurality reason is the “rushed timeline,” cited by 37% overall but 54% of Democrats, the demo most concerned about it, while Republicans were second-lowest on that score at 26%. (Oddly, only 19% in the very blue Northeast region cited that as the main reason, while 43% in redder Midwest did.)

The next most-cited main reason was waiting for confirmation of the vaccines’ safety (26%) which the FDA will have to do from the data Pfizer and Moderna will supply. That reservation may not be assuaged by an FDA approval, so that segment might wait for a couple of rounds to make sure people don’t grow a second nose or develop other health issues from the shot. Vaccines are less likely candidates for that, since they are usually only taken once or twice, as opposed to medicine used in a more chronic fashion, but they still have that potential. The kind of testing done in Phase 3 usually susses that out, but the more reluctant will wait to see how their friends and family do first.

At least the numbers are now going in the right direction. The news from Pfizer and Moderna since the beginning of the month will likely increase that enthusiasm.

Finally, here’s some good news on the testing front. The FDA has approved a fully home-based rapid-testing system that may relieve pressure on clinics for asymptomatic potential patients, although not for several months yet:

People who think they were exposed to the coronavirus face a number of logistical obstacles in the United States to get tested: Many tests take days to produce results, require leaving quarantine to visit a medical professional, or — most likely — both.

That could change with Lucira Health’s “All-In-One” test kit, which on Tuesday became the first rapid, at-home test authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.

The California biotechnology company’s single-use home test kit, which it expects to sell for less than $50, requires a prescription from a doctor. As winter approaches and infections have surged in most states, the at-home test will allow people who are possibly infected to not have to go into clinics or hospitals to get tested, potentially spreading a virus that has already killed more than 247,000 people in the United States.

Unlike rapid antigen tests, which experts warn can be unreliable, the kit will test genetic material in a method similar to the laboratory tests that have become the standard for detecting the virus. After swirling the nasal specimen into a solution, home-testers plug the vial into a portable, battery-operated device, which uses a light to indicate the test result within 30 minutes. A positive test result can be generated in as few as 11 minutes.

Operation Warp Speed did a stupendous job on vaccine development. It’s too bad we didn’t see a parallel effort on commercial testing, too. That’s still an area where the US is behind, and it matters in terms of containing outbreaks before they become too massive to control. At this point, the vaccines might make the testing development obsolete … which would be good news too, at some point.