This is terrific news for mRNA vaccines.

The two frontrunners in the race to develop Covid vaccines are Pfizer and Moderna; both use a new vaccine production technology known as mRNA. (Other manufacturers, including vaccines giant Sanofi, are developing mRNA vaccines, but they are not as far along in the work.)

Research has been underway for years on this innovative approach to make vaccines, but to date no mRNA vaccine has been brought to market.

The platform offers huge promise, both in terms of how quickly a vaccine can be designed and how quickly batches can be made. But there are no givens in vaccine development. Until something is shown to work, you don’t know that it will.

Pfizer’s early results will likely have sparked celebrations too in the Cambridge, Mass., offices of Moderna.

“It validates the mRNA platform,” Fauci said. “You have every reason to believe, unless something strange happens, that Moderna will likely have similar results.”