Fool.com's Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina interviewed Richard Horton on Motley Fool Live on Oct. 9. Horton runs the British medical journal The Lancet and has been at the forefront of publishing data about the coronavirus pandemic this year. He also recently published a book called The COVID-19 Catastrophe.
Here, Horton explains why investors should know about the "cold chain" when it comes to distributing mRNA vaccines like those being developed by Pfizer (PFE -0.31%) and BioNTech (BNTX 0.26%), as well as by Moderna (MRNA -1.34%).
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Cardina: Looking beyond getting the first approvals for a vaccine, the next challenges become manufacturing the vaccine, distributing the vaccine. We've touched on getting people to take the vaccine, but a lot of noise is being made about certain types of vaccines and keeping them cold, which would pose a problem for your neighborhood pharmacy doling these out. They don't necessarily have the right refrigeration, questions about distribution. I'm curious if you have any insights there?
Horton: Yeah. This has been a source of great concern, and organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have invested heavily in trying to understand technologies that can eliminate the need for, as you described, the cold chain so that vaccines can be given more widely, especially in countries where the cold chain is hard to deliver. So in continents such as Sub-Saharan Africa, or even remote parts of Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. So this is a challenge.