A totally tubular trick to make vaccines

The world needs way more vaccines. This group in Germany has a prototype to help make that possible.

As the delta variant continues to spread, the estimated proportion of people who need to have immunity to the coronavirus has increased to upwards of 80 or 90 percent. But even vaccinating 70 percent of the global population would take around 11 billion doses, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesusm, head of the World Health Organization, told world leaders at the Group of Seven summit in southwest England in June. Vaccine donations pledged by the attending countries, however, fell far short of that target. “We need more, and we need them faster,” he said

Vaccine manufacturing experts tell me the situation doesn’t need to be so bad. One reason is that vaccine manufacturing could be speedier if it were continuous, rather than done in batches. And a team of scientists in Germany believes they’ve found a solution by manufacturing vaccines in a 300-meter-long tube rather than a vat. The tube is narrow—measuring just 1.5 millimeters in diameter—but they say their prototype demonstrates that true continuous vaccine manufacturing is possible. Read my latest story all about this in National Geographic:

The world needs more vaccines, faster. A tiny tube could make all the difference. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/the-world-needs-more-vaccines-faster-a-tiny-tube-could-make-all-the-difference

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