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Why mRNA Vaccines Like Those Being Made to Treat Coronavirus Are a Quantum Leap for Biotech



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If the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines successfully put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, as they seem poised to do, we will owe our salvation to the development of mRNA vaccines — an unprecedented, novel vaccine technology that may revolutionize how vaccines are made.

Indeed, an mRNA vaccine has never been mass-produced and licensed to treat an infectious disease. The mRNA vaccines to treat the novel coronavirus would be the first.

Yet understanding the quantum leap that mRNA vaccines represent requires understanding where we are right now. The biotechnology giants Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech announced last month that they had seen promising results as they near the end of clinical trials for their vaccine candidates. Both vaccines are likely to be produced on a wide scale and distributed en masse to the public.

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