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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

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First fatality confirmed in downtown Austin mass shooting

Police barricades near the scene of a shooting in Austin, Texas, on Saturday. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

A 25-year-old man died Sunday of injuries sustained in a mass shooting that wounded 13 other people in downtown Austin, Texas, the previous day, police confirmed.

Driving the news: Austin police named the victim as Douglas John Kantor, as they continued to search for one of two suspects. One suspect was taken into custody on Saturday following the shooting on 6th Street, a popular area with bars and restaurants.

Pelosi demands Barr and Sessions testify on data subpoenas

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during an event San Francisco, California, on Friday. Photo: Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told CNN Sunday that former Attorneys General William Barr and Jeff Sessions should testify before Congress on reports that the Trump-era Department of Justice seized Democrats' and journalists' data records.

Driving the news: DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced Friday an internal investigation into the matter, and Pelosi expressed disbelief to CNN's Dana Bash at assertions that neither Barr nor Sessions knew of probes into lawmakers.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Netanyahu is out as new Israeli government survives confidence vote

Photo: Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP via Getty Images

Israel has a new prime minister for the first time since 2009 after a power-sharing government led by Naftali Bennett survived a confidence vote on Sunday. Bennett was sworn in as prime minister.

Why it matters: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving prime minister and the man around whom Israeli politics have revolved for a decade, will now become opposition leader. Bennett, a right-wing former Netanyahu protege, will lead the most ideologically diverse government in Israeli history.