The U.S. may be nearing a coronavirus vaccine.
After all, we’re in desperate need for one with U.S. infections now up to 2.938 million, with more than 530,000 unfortunate deaths.
States are mandating masks and beginning to shut down again. In fact, Miami-Dade County, officials reversed course on reopening gyms, party venues, and restaurants. Hospitals are being overwhelmed, with 89% of Arizona’s intensive care unit beds full, for example.
And Dr. Anthony Fauci just said the U.S. is “still knee deep in the first wave” of the pandemic.
However, we may be getting closer to a potential vaccine.
All after the U.S. government awarded Novavax (NVAX) at $1.6 billion contract to cover the testing, commercialization, and manufacturing of a potential vaccine — the biggest award issued from the White House’s “Operation Warp Speed” program.
“What this Warp Speed award does is it pays for production of 100 million doses, which would be delivered starting in the fourth quarter of this year, and may be completed by January or February of next year,” Novavax Chief Executive Stanley Erck told Reuters.
The award will also cover the cost of a large Phase III trial as well.
“Adding Novavax’ candidate to Operation Warp Speed’s diverse portfolio of vaccines increases the odds that we will have a safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, as quoted by Barron’s.
At the moment, the potential vaccine is in Phase 1/2 trials, which is being funded by a $388 million award from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness. Data from these trials is expected later this month, with Phase 2 to begin shortly after.
Should the company see solid study results, NVAX could explode even higher, near-term.