According to a report in the New York Times today, the White House has selected five pharmaceutical companies as finalists for funding for “Operation Warp Speed.”
Operation Warp Speed is an effort by the Trump administration to produce 300M vaccines by January of 2020, a target experts consider overly ambitious.
The five finalists are:
1. Moderna Biotechnology
2. AstraZeneca, working with Oxford University
3. Johnson & Johnson
According to the article, the top three finalists have already received $2.2B from the federal government. Pfizer, meanwhile, teased this week they may have a vaccine fully available as early as October of this year.
Emergent Bio announced this week they were joining in the government’s efforts with $628M in funding from the Department of Health and Human Services.
As these and other groups race to bring an early COVID-19 vaccine to market, polls from ABC News and the Washington Post suggest 1 in 4 Americans will refuse to take the vaccine once it becomes available.
"President Trump's vision for a vaccine by January 2021 will be one of the greatest scientific and humanitarian accomplishments in history, and this is the team that can get it done," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
"Dr. Slaoui and General Perna are ideal leaders for this unprecedented effort to get vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to American patients much faster than ever before. Since January, America's scientists and innovators have been working day and night on this national effort. President Trump has refused to accept business-as-usual timelines for vaccines and other essential tools, and instead has insisted that America, and the world, needs answers faster. Under the President's leadership, his administration and American industry will squeeze every last inefficiency out of the process and pour every resource we can into this effort."