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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

British scientists are trying to develop a way to deliver COVID-19 vaccines without a needle, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: If annual booster shots ultimately become necessary, as some experts anticipate, alternate delivery systems could make them easier to administer, including at home, and increase uptake.

The state of play: The firm Enesi Pharma Ltd., is working on a device that would implant a tube smaller than a grain of rice under the skin.

  • Other firms are trying to develop dissolving implants, microneedle patches, electrical-pulse systems, nasal sprays and even pills.

Yes, but: Devices like these have been tried before, but have rarely made any meaningful inroads against the tried-and-true syringe.

Go deeper

The U.S. coronavirus vaccines aren't all the same

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The U.S. now has three COVID-19 vaccines, and public health officials are quick — and careful — to say there’s no bad option. But their effectiveness, manufacturing and distribution vary.

Why it matters: Any of the authorized vaccines are much better than no vaccine, especially for people at high risk of severe coronavirus infections. But their differences may fuel perceptions of inequity, and raise legitimate questions about the best way to use each one.

Some companies will keep mask mandates in states that lifted COVID-19 restrictions

Photo: Emaz/VIEWpress via Getty Images

Some of the biggest chains in the U.S., including Target and Starbucks, will continue to require masks and limit capacity in Texas and Mississippi after the states lift coronavirus restrictions, Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The Republican governors' move to reopen "100%" has divided the business community, with some welcoming the decision while others worry about risk of backslide on progress and put workers at risk.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).

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