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What went wrong with CureVac’s highly anticipated new mRNA vaccine for COVID-19?

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Jon CohenScience’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Heising-Simons Foundation.The startlingly poor performance revealed this week for a COVID-19 vaccine made by the German company CureVac isn’t just a disappointment, it’s a scientific puzzle.

The company blames the rapidly changing pandemic virus. But several outside researchers suspect the vaccine’s design is at fault.Many scientists and investors alike had expected that CureVac’s candidate, which uses messenger RNA (mRNA) to code for the spike surface protein of SARS-CoV-2, had a good chance of becoming one of the most powerful new weapons against the pandemic.

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