Promising news about potential vaccine candidates brings a shared of hope to higher education

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Many plans, memos, letters and campaigns from colleges and universities about COVID-19 have often included six words: “until a vaccine becomes widely available.” Last week, the drug company Pfizer released promising data about a vaccine candidate it had co-developed with German company BioNTech, revealing that preliminary results suggest the vaccine is 90 percent effective.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, stated that he predicts that by April the vaccine may be widely available, but reaching herd immunity after that point may take months. And until a high vaccination rate is achieved, masks, social distancing, restrictions on gatherings and enhanced cleaning will be here to stay.

But this type of vaccine requires deep freezing to -70 degrees Celsius until shortly before injection. Often there are guidelines even as to how many times containers may be opened within a time period. That means an intricate transportation system would be required, as well as powerful freezers at doctor’s offices and other vaccine centers that intend to store the doses for more than a few days.