By The Associated Press

The scientist who won the race to deliver the first widely used coronavirus vaccine says people can rest assured the shots are safe, and that the technology behind it will soon be used to fight another global scourge — cancer.

Ozlem Tureci, who founded the German company BioNTech with her husband, Ugur Sahin, was working on a way to harness the body’s immune system to tackle tumours when they learned last year of an unknown virus infecting people in China.

Over breakfast, the couple decided to apply the technology they’d been researching for two decades to the new threat.

Britain authorized BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine for use in December, followed a week later by Canada. Dozens of other countries, including the U.S., have followed suit and tens of millions of people worldwide have since received the shot developed together with U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

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