What happened

On Tuesday, travel and leisure stocks continued riding the wave of Monday's positive news about Moderna's coronavirus vaccine showing 94.5% effectiveness, with shares of cruise lines Carnival (NYSE:CCL) up 4.5% at 1:30 p.m. EST, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NYSE:NCLH) rising 4.7%.

Royal Caribbean stock is down, so it seems the enthusiasm may already be waning there. On the other hand, shares of Brazilian airline Azul (NYSE:AZUL) are joining in the rally today, up 2.2%.

Collage showing a cruise ship, a man in a face mask and a microbe

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

There's nothing specific to the cruise industry (or to the airline industry, either, for that matter) about Moderna's news. This is more a case of investors reacting positively to the second announcement about development of a coronavirus vaccine with 90% or better clinical effectiveness, and a feeling that the end of this pandemic, and the recession it has caused, is finally in sight.

Now what

Weeks remain before these and other vaccines receive Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization, and then months before they have been produced in mass quantities, distributed to the population, administered, and proven effective. Then, it could be even more months before people feel confident enough to resume traveling in any kind of a normal way.

And that's before we even consider the logistical difficulties of delivering finicky vaccines, most of which require cold storage, to countries outside the U.S. that people might want to visit.

In the meantime, the virus continues to run rampant, with more than 132,000 new cases reported in the U.S. yesterday, and more than 500,000 worldwide.  

In short, the vaccine news is good news, and it's good to see investors getting at least cautiously optimistic about the future. But the pandemic isn't anywhere near over yet, and patience on these stocks will remain a necessary virtue.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.