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A U.S. Army soldier administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine at the Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. on March 5. Photo: Micah Green/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Moderna announced Monday that it has begun testing on a potentially refrigerator-stable version of its coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: Moderna's "next generation COVID-19 vaccine," if found to be effective, could be handled by ordinary pharmacies that aren't equipped with ultra-low freezers, which have been an impediment in the vaccine rollout.

  • Moderna's current coronavirus vaccine must be stored at -20°C after being kept at standard refrigeration for 30 days prior to use.
  • Pfizer announced last month that its vaccine could be stored for two weeks at standard temperatures. Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine, the third shot authorized for emergency use by the FDA, can also be stored at routine refrigerator temperatures.

What they're saying: Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a press release that the vaccine "could facilitate easier distribution and administration in a wider range of settings, including potentially for developing countries."

Go deeper

Top general: Calls to China were "perfectly within the duties" of job

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley told the Associated Press on Friday that calls with his Chinese counterpart during the final months of Donald Trump's presidency were "perfectly within the duties and responsibilities" of his job.

Why it matters: In his first public comments on the calls that have prompted critics to question whether the general went too far, Milley maintained that such conversations are "routine," per AP.

The consumer's massive "war chest"

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Economists expect the pace of economic growth to cool off now that government transfer payments like stimulus checks and emergency unemployment benefits are in the rearview mirror. But evidence suggests that the U.S. consumer is sitting on a lot of financial firepower that could be a key driver of growth in the quarters to come.

Why it matters: U.S. consumer spending is massive, representing about 70% of GDP.

The Fed takes on its own rules amid stock trading controversy

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New disclosures that showed Fed officials were active in financial markets set off a firestorm of criticism. Now the Fed may overhaul the long-standing rules that allow those transactions.

Why it matters: What officials actively traded was sensitive to the Fed decisions they helped shape, including the unprecedented support that underpinned a massive financial market boom.