It’s 8 AM on the coronavirus vaccine clock

October 22, 2020
Today we have an update on the COVID-19 vaccine development race and a look at a new Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) that will drive the bioeconomy forward. Read to the end for more on the flurry of activity in D.C. ahead of tonight’s final presidential debate…
BIO

Today we have an update on the COVID-19 vaccine development race and a look at a new Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) that will drive the bioeconomy forward. Read to the end for more on the flurry of activity in D.C. ahead of tonight’s final presidential debate. Here are 770 words, just under 4 minutes.

 

It’s 8 AM on the coronavirus vaccine clock

 
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USA TODAY updated their coronavirus vaccine clock and we’re ticking closer to a vaccine. Here’s what you need to know.

There’s been lots of progress on COVID-19 vaccines this week. Moderna could be granted emergency use authorization as early as December, while Pfizer is putting a massive distribution operation in motion.

So, if the start of the pandemic is midnight, and a return to normal is noon, what time is it today? It’s 8 AM, according to experts who spoke to USA TODAY—one hour later than last month.

 
USA TODAY vaccine clock for October 2020
 

Snooze and you’ll miss it. “Companies and observers generally expect at least one COVID-19 candidate vaccine soon will receive a regulatory thumbs up,” explains the newspaper. 

But you can grab a cup of coffee first—because distribution could take time.

One complication is that vaccines differ in dosage and storage requirements: “[T]he Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shots are given 21 days apart, while Moderna’s second shot is delivered at 28 days. Moderna’s vaccine must be kept frozen. Pfizer’s has to be kept even colder—at minus-78 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of dry ice—meaning it needs different shipping and storing protocols,” explains USA TODAY.

But we need multiple COVID-19 vaccines to cross the finish line—to ensure everyone regardless of age, ethnicity, or health status has a safe, effective vaccine, BIO’s Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath explained. 

Dr. Michelle’s Diagnosis: The more solutions we have, the better prepared we will be to end this global pandemic. – BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath

 

More Health Care News: 

NPR: FDA panel to lay regulatory groundwork for COVID-19 vaccine
“A milestone in the development of COVID-19 vaccines will take place Thursday when the Food and Drug Administration will ask a panel of experts for advice on how to evaluate the vaccines.” 

The Wall Street Journal (Opinion): I should have worn a mask
“It’s not a partisan or cultural symbol, not a sign of weakness or virtue,” says former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who spent a week in the ICU with COVID-19.

 
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From lab-scale research to at-scale manufacturing

 
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The Department of Defense awarded $87 million to the BioIndustrial Manufacturing and Design Ecosystem (BioMADE), a new Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) focused on accelerating the commercialization of biotech innovation—and solving some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Headquartered at the University of Minnesota, BioMADE is the brainchild of the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC).

BioMADE will focus on developing a wide range of biobased products—from chemicals and solvents to plastics and fabrics to agriculture and crop solutions. 

The goal is to drive the industry forward—by advancing industry-wide standards, tools, and measurements as well as working on education, workforce development, supply chains, and more.

The federal grant will be matched by $187 million in private funding from companies, universities, and venture capital, with support from BIO members including Cargill and Zymergen.

What they’re saying: “Bridging the gap between lab-scale research and at-scale manufacturing, BioMADE builds an on-ramp to accelerate commercialization of biotechnology inventions originating from American R&D in universities, start-ups, and National Labs,” says Douglas Friedman, CEO of BioMADE and Executive Director of EBRC.

Stephanie’s Sage Words: What’s good for the bioeconomy is good for the world. The establishment of BioMADE is a step towards reducing barriers for new biobased innovations with potential to solve some of our world’s biggest challenges—including climate change, hunger, and rural economic growth. We look forward to working with BioMADE and our members to advance the #BioMADEfuture. – Stephanie Batchelor, VP of BIO’s Industrial & Environment Section

 
 
 
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I am BIO

Meet Daniel: Supporting Access to Mental Health Services

I am BIO: Meet Daniel
 
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“There is no physical health without mental health,” says Daniel Gillison, CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Daniel and his family were personally affected by suicide—but he says it’s his calling to do “any small thing” he can to help individuals living with mental illness and their families.

He pushes for greater access to mental health services—especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when teletherapy has been a lifeline for so many people.

Watch Daniel tell his story.

Visit www.bio.org/iambio to learn more and share your story!

 

 
 
 
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BIO Beltway Report
BIO Beltway Report
 
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President Trump’s Thursday: In Nashville, where he’ll meet with supporters before the final presidential debate at 9 PM ET.

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: Yesterday, Senate Democrats “blocked a vote on Republicans’ $500 billion targeted COVID-19 relief bill, a far less comprehensive package than the $1.8 trillion+ deal being negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats,” reports Axios. Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on whether to accept the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, though Democrats are expected to boycott, says POLITICO. The Senate plans to hold the final vote on Monday.

 
 
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