Back in January, just one month after Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for emergency use, fears about a contagious variant strain began to grip the nation – and scientists at Moderna immediately realized this could be a threat.

“We didn’t think we had time to wait,” said Dr. Stephen Hoge, president of the company. “We thought, ‘If we don’t start now, then by the time we get to the fall, we won’t have an updated vaccine in case those variants really become a significant concern and start reinfecting people.”

As millions of doses rolled off the manufacturing line at their facility in Norwood, Mass., Hoge’s team got to work to re-tool the vaccine.

National Public Radio correspondent Allison Aubrey asked, “And within a week, you had designed a new vaccine?”

“We designed that vaccine really overnight, and started manufacturing, and had it, and moved it into clinical trials within a month,” he replied.


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