Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, admitted the preliminary data for the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines — the only two so far to have early estimates of vaccine efficacy — are better than he had anticipated.

“I’d like to say I would have predicted it, but I would not have,” said Fauci, who has often said he would have been satisfied with Covid vaccines that were 70% or 75% efficacy.

“Honestly, I would not have expected that. I thought that was too much to hope for,” he told STAT…

“There was always the concern … since the primary endpoint [of the trial] is just clinically apparent disease, how do we know it’s going to have an impact on severe disease? And the results with severe disease were striking — 11 to zero is very impressive,” he said. At the time of their data release, Pfizer and BioNTech had no severe cases in their study.