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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Meet the women at forefront of COVID-19 vaccine development

Nita Patel is making an attempt to assist finish the pandemic. She’s one of the lead vaccine scientists at Novavax, a Maryland biotech company in the ultimate trials of its COVID-19 vaccine. Her group is not simply led by a girl, it is virtually all women. 

“They communicate with each other. They get along very well. I never seen them stress out,” she mentioned of how the feminine group works collectively. 

Patel is not alone. Women are main the effort at Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Oxford/AstraZeneca. At the National Institutes of Health, Kizzmekia Corbett helped design the Moderna vaccine. 

“I was told I was one of the first people to open a vial of the vaccine,” Corbett mentioned. 

President Joe Biden speaks as Kizzmekia Corbett, an immunologist with the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health seems on throughout a go to to the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the NIH, Thursday, February 11, 2021, in Bethesda, Maryland.

Evan Vucci / AP

Patel has a concept as to why women are at the forefront: “We have a power inside us. We are very goal oriented, very persistent in achieving that goal.” 

She mentioned there are quite a few explanation why science is an effective area for women. “There is no boundary. It’s unlimited space. It’s a lot more fun than people can think.” 

Before the pandemic, the quantity of women in science and engineering was rising, up 36% over the previous decade. But a brand new examine says women in the area aren’t resistant to the pressures of the pandemic. The disaster is negatively affecting their “productivity, boundary setting … and mental well-being.” 

“The stress and the work-life balance that woman really faced a lot in this pandemic, and that made some woman to leave the work,” Patel mentioned. 

Dr. Nita Patel, director of antibody discovery and vaccine development, returns a field of potential coronavirus, COVID-19, vaccines to a fridge at Novavax labs in Gaithersburg, Maryland on March 20, 2020. 


But Patel hopes there’s a silver lining to the pandemic: A brand new technology impressed to get into science. 

“Women often don’t recognize, you have incredible strength inside you. It just need the right moment to come out,” she mentioned. “I think in science, you can do this.” 

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