Week 13: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?

The U.S. Government Pays Biotech Company Novavax $1.6 Billion

On July 7th, the U.S. government gave biotech company Novavax $1.6 billion to cover testing, commercialization and manufacturing of a potential coronavirus vaccine. The move was particularly notable because Novavax has never brought a product to market before, and because the deal is the most expensive the government has made in the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed. The government has also invested $456 million in Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine candidate, $486 million in Moderna’s, and up to $1.2 billion in AstraZeneca’s. However, there has been little transparency in Operation Warp Speed regarding the content of the deals, which federal agencies the funding is coming from, or even which companies are participating.

Vaccine Trials Now Accepting Volunteers

On July 8th, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced that it would be accepting volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine trials, with around 10,000 to 30,000 volunteers enrolled in each trial. Those interested in volunteering can fill out a survey on the Coronavirus Prevention Network website.

WHO Releases Report On Current Vaccine Candidates

On July 6th, the World Health Organization published a report on the landscape of current vaccine candidates for COVID-19. The report includes 21 candidates in clinical evaluation, and 139 candidates in preclinical evaluation. The New York Times also has a regularly-updated tracker which you can use to stay informed as the landscape continues to develop.

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