The National Institutes of Health have been struggling to find a major drug company to help with developing and producing a vaccine for COVID-19, as it was named officially. In the past, big pharmaceuticals did respond in dire situations, like a bird or swine flu, only to be left with the enormous sunken costs since there was no market for the particular vaccine once the epidemic has passed.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and drugmaker Moderna developed a vaccine that will be ready for trials on humans in April. Dr. Fauci said that “It would be at least a year before a coronavirus vaccine would be available”. There is still a lingering question of whether the vaccine would actually work. “Results will be available in July or August”, Dr. Fauci said.
In the meantime, a number of other companies stepped in, like Johnson&Johnson, but they opted to develop their own corona virus vaccine. Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, who helped produce a vaccine for Ebola, stay wary of getting into a race against time to eradicate the COVID-19 virus.
“A successful trial would also be followed by further studies and regulatory hurdles, meaning a coronavirus vaccine would not be ready for widespread distribution until at least next year.”
There are currently 80,344 confirmed cases in 39 countries, out of which 27,836 recovered, and 2,707 people have died.