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The Economist
8 mins | May 13, 2020

The promise of the new COVID-19 vaccine is immense

Moderna and Pfizer results give hope. But what are the challenges of getting people vaccinated? "While the world waits for data, it will have to grapple with distribution. The vaccine will be in short supply for most of 2021. Although RNA jabs may prove easier to make at scale than those based on proteins, Pfizer’s requires two doses. The company has said that it will be able to produce up to 50m doses in 2020 and 1.3bn in 2021. That sounds a lot, but America alone has over 20m first responders, medical staff, care-home workers and active-duty troops. Perhaps a fifth of the world’s 7.8bn people, including two-thirds of those over 70, risk severe covid-19. Nobody has ever tried to vaccinate an entire planet at once. As the effort mounts, syringes, medical glass and staff could run short." The Economist analyses.

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