This Swedish startup is making powdered vaccines that don’t need to be kept cold

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Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine needs to be stored at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit. A powdered vaccine wouldn’t need refrigeration at all. When Pfizer’s new COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use—which might happen as soon as December—it’s not going to show up at your local pharmacy. That’s partly because it needs to stay incredibly cold to work: It must be stored at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit, far colder than is possible in an ordinary freezer. In the developing world, even vaccines that can be stored in refrigerators present a huge logistical challenge . A Swedish startup is working on an alternative: technology that can convert any vaccine to a powdered version that can survive without refrigeration. Read Full Story

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These drones will deliver the COVID-19 vaccine so it stays cold

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How do you get the vaccine to remote clinics while it’s still frozen? Fly it there. For a remote health clinic—whether in Africa or in a rural part of the U.S.—one of the challenges presented by the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines is their temperature requirements: The Pfizer vaccine has to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius. The ultra-cold freezers needed to store them cost $10,000 or more, and storing the vaccines in dry ice is logistically complicated. Moderna’s vaccine doesn’t have to be quite as cold but still needs to be frozen until it’s ready for use. Getting the vaccines to remote locations quickly, therefore, is key. To do that, some vaccines will soon begin to be delivered to locations by drone. Read Full Story

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This is how the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is different from Pfizer and Moderna’s shots

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It only requires one dose and doesn’t need to be kept as cold. The first two COVID vaccines approved in the U.S. both use first-of-a-kind technology called messenger RNA. Johnson & Johnson’s new vaccine is different, and the technology it uses may have helped give it two advantages: It only requires a single dose, and it can be stored for months in a refrigerator instead of an ultra-cold freezer. Read Full Story

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The COVID-19 vaccine proves a new kind of vaccine works. What can it cure next?

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Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines rely on a technology that uses mRNA to create an immune response. Now that it’s been proven, it can be applied to other viruses. What will that mean for public health? The two vaccines first approved for COVID-19, from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, have several key facts in common. Both are much more effective than anyone had expected. Both were developed in record time. And both use messenger RNA (mRNA), a type of technology that is being used for the first time. Read Full Story

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Will your cat need a COVID-19 vaccine?

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As the virus continues to infect different animal species, scientists say it would be smart to eradicate it entirely before it can mutate into something worse. When the coronavirus jumped from humans to mink living on farms in Denmark last year, it started to mutate in new ways—and then infect more humans. It’s a scenario that might eventually happen with other animals, and that could potentially make COVID-19 vaccines less effective or even spawn new viruses. That’s why some startups are working on COVID-19 vaccines for animals—including domestic cats. Read Full Story

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Sorry, the COVID-19 vaccine won’t make life go back to normal right away

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If you were hoping that the new COVID-19 vaccines could make it possible to stop wearing masks and social distancing, think again. Pfizer’s new COVID-19 vaccine might get FDA emergency use authorization in a few weeks, and a small group of Americans might begin getting shots in December. Moderna’s vaccine might quickly follow. But even for those who can get vaccinated soon—potentially 20 million people in the U.S., out of a population of more than 320 million—life won’t be able to go back to normal yet. Read Full Story

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Gaining weight? Your cold office might be to blame

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Yet another reason to work from home forever. With millions of Americans vaccinated against COVID-19, many who have worked from home over the past year will be heading back into the office. Adjusting to new routines is challenging and can affect our health and fitness . We’ve been more sedentary or more active, gained weight or dropped pounds. Read Full Story

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