Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their coronavirus vaccine proved both safe and 95% effective in a late-stage clinical trial. The companies are likely to file for an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration within days. (The New York Times)

The number of patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 topped 75,000 on Tuesday, setting a new record. The U.S. death toll is likely to surpass 250,000 on Wednesday. (Reuters)

President-Elect Joe Biden has named Steve Ricchetti, a longtime lobbyist on Big Pharma’s behalf, as his White House counselor. Companies that his firm has represented include Pfizer, Novartis and Eli Lilly. (Endpoints News)

Iowa’s Kim Reynolds became the most recent Republican governor to enact a statewide mask mandate. She joins the governors of North Dakota and Utah, both of whom have issued mandates within the last week. (The New York Times)

Healthcare systems are using AI to develop “risk scores” and predict which of their patients are likely to fall most severely ill with COVID-19. But the predictions may not be reliable, given that the technology is being trained on limited datasets. (STAT