CNN: Drug giants GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur said Friday they had won a commitment from the US federal government to pay up to $2.1 billion to help the two companies move forward with their proposed joint coronavirus vaccine as part of Operation Warp Speed. The companies had said in April they would work together to make a vaccine against Covid-19, using Sanofi’s flu vaccine technology and Glaxo’s adjuvant — a compound that boosts the power of a vaccine.
ABC News: As coronavirus cases continue to climb in hot spots across the U.S., positive results from the first phase of several drug trials have raised hopes that a vaccine will soon help Americans return to a normal life. But experts are stressing that even if the vaccine is not 100% effective, it will still be a safe and important tool in the fight against the virus.
STAT News: Never before have prospective vaccines for a pathogen entered final-stage clinical trials as rapidly as candidates for Covid-19. Just six months ago, when the death toll from the coronavirus stood at one and neither it nor the disease it caused had a name, a team of Chinese scientists uploaded its genetic sequence to a public site. That kicked off the record-breaking rush to develop vaccines — the salve that experts say could ultimately quell the pandemic.
Reuters: Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) and Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) launched two 30,000-subject trials of COVID-19 vaccines that could clear the way for regulatory approval and widespread use by the end of this year, the companies said on Monday. The trials, both announced on Monday, are the first late-stage studies supported by the Trump administration’s effort to speed development of measures against the novel coronavirus, adding to hope that an effective vaccine will help end the pandemic.
PBS News Hour: The world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccine study got underway Monday with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers helping to test shots created by the U.S. government — one of several candidates in the final stretch of the global vaccine race. There’s still no guarantee that the experimental vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., will really protect. The needed proof: Volunteers won’t know if they’re getting the real shot or a dummy version. After two doses, scientists will closely track which group experiences more infections as they go about their daily routines, especially in areas where the virus still is spreading unchecked.
Business Insider: Simply having a coronavirus vaccine may not let us get back to normal immediately, a top vaccine developer told BI. Even if some people receive a safe and effective vaccine next year, that doesn’t mean people will be able to stop wearing masks and social distancing, Maria Elena Bottazzi, a vaccine developer at Baylor College of Medicine, said in a recent interview.
Fast Company: The race for a COVID-19 vaccine is unprecedented: 198 potential vaccines are now in development, and that development is happening faster than it ever has in history. Moderna, for example, finalized its vaccine just days after Chinese researchers released the genetic sequence of the new coronavirus in January. Two months later, the first volunteer was dosed with the vaccine. Last week, the company published positive Phase I trial results showing that the vaccine seems safe and generates an immune response; days later, Oxford University researchers published similarly promising results.
Reuters: Regulators that normally work within their own countries or regions will likely harmonize efforts on potential COVID-19 vaccines to speed up their approvals once they become available, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Friday.
STAT News: A Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University and the drug giant AstraZeneca generated an immune response in a study of roughly 1,000 patients, according to interim results published Monday. The data, published in the medical journal the Lancet, also show that the vaccine caused side effects, including fever, headaches, muscle aches, and injection site reactions, in about 60% of patients. All of the side effects were deemed mild or moderate, and all resolved themselves over the course of the study.
Reuters: The following is a brief roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.