November 2020 Archive

November 30, 2020
The Race to Make Vials for Coronavirus Vaccines (NewYorker)

The development of Valor Glass began in 2011, when Corning’s researchers were working to reinvent medical vials, which had not changed substantially for a century. Using platinum-lined ceramic crucibles, heated to more than a thousand degrees, they spent hundreds of hours combining silica with new ingredients. They found that, by adding alumina and removing boron, they could make the glass far more resistant to degradation, and therefore less likely to leach contaminants into the contents. Other innovations came later, and the vials went on the market in 2017. This June, the federal government granted Corning more than two hundred million dollars to produce them for COVID vaccines.

November 6, 2020
If One Leading Coronavirus Vaccine Works, Thank This Tiny Firm in Rural Austria (WSJ)

A key ingredient in what could be the first U.S.-approved Covid-19 vaccine comes from a family-owned company with 90 employees in the Austrian countryside, underscoring the fragility of the potential treatment’s supply chain.