Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis: The Making of Vaccines
New purification methods may streamline the vaccine manufacturing process and make scaling up production easier. A vaccine for COVID-19 is still being developed — but when it is available, it will be manufactured in a standard three-step process. First, virus molecules for the vaccine are grown in cell cultures inside bioreactors. Second, the virus molecules are extracted from the cell cultures through a process called purification. Third, the vaccine is stabilized for shipping and storage. Researchers at Michigan Technological University are creating new processes to improve the purification step — which often accounts for 50% to 70% of a vaccine’s manufacturing costs.
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