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A COVID-19-vaccine rollout could be chaotic—and a true logistical nightmare, our health reporter Sarah Zhang warns in an essential new piece.
We caught up with Sarah to find out why—and hear the latest on the search for a vaccine.
The conversation that follows has been edited and condensed.
Caroline Mimbs Nyce: Why does this vaccine rollout have the potential to be such a headache?
Sarah Zhang: First, you have the challenge of getting what is very likely two doses of a vaccine to hundreds of millions of Americans in the middle of a pandemic. And they’re not interchangeable. If you get the first dose of one vaccine, you have to get that same vaccine as a second dose. So there’s gonna be a lot of paperwork involved.
Second has to do with the specific vaccines that are furthest along in clinical trials right now. They use new technology called mRNA, which hasn’t been used in vaccines before. The downside is that the technology is extremely fragile physically. One vaccine has to be kept at –94 degrees Fahrenheit, which you’re just not gonna find in a regular doctor’s office.