Media Outlets Examine Research Into Treatments, Vaccines For Novel Coronavirus, Manufacturing Capabilities Of Private Industry, Governments

Nature: Scores of coronavirus vaccines are in competition — how will scientists choose the best?
“Less than five months after the world first learnt about the new coronavirus causing fatal pneumonia in Wuhan, China, there are more than 90 vaccines for the virus at various stages of development, with more announced each week. At least six are already being tested for safety in people. Now, developers, funders and other stakeholders are laying the groundwork for their biggest challenge yet: determining which vaccines actually work…” (Callaway, 4/30).

New York Times: Find a Vaccine. Next: Produce 300 Million Vials of It.
“…Here in the United States, more than 300 million people may need to be inoculated. … Several manufacturers worry that the Trump administration may be waiting too long before ordering for an ample supply of medical equipment needed to deliver a vaccine. One manufacturer said they had recently received an order for syringes, but were concerned that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a branch of the Health and Human Services Department built to help with pandemic preparedness, was still soliciting too few supplies for nationwide vaccine delivery…” (Sheikh, 5/1).

STAT: Gilead’s remdesivir has seen success against the coronavirus. Now the company has to make enough to supply the world
“…A study run by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases showed that patients with Covid-19 who were given the drug recovered faster than those who were given a placebo, the agency said this week. Regulators have not yet approved the drug — though an emergency authorization is reportedly imminent — but the company now stands in the position of having to scale up production of a drug that the whole world may want. Gilead is working to meet the need. Already, it is up to 50,000 treatment courses, with a goal of having ‘multiple millions of treatment courses’ by the end of the year, CEO Daniel O’Day told STAT Wednesday. Still, the realities of manufacturing pharmaceuticals limit how much a company can churn out and how fast that can be increased, experts say…” (Joseph, 4/30).

Additional coverage of efforts to test, develop, and manufacture treatments and vaccines for the novel coronavirus is available from Becker’s Hospital Review, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Fox News, The Guardian, POLITICO (2), Reuters, and WIRED.

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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