coronavirus vaccine

Even as the companies enlisted by the government's Operation Warp Speed project to develop COVID-19 vaccines say they're making quick progress, details of their lucrative federal contracts have been slow to emerge.

A committee of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration generally supported the agency's approach to reviewing COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use during a public meeting Thursday.

But the expert panel raised concerns about the expedited regulatory path, including details of the clinical studies the agency will rely on to determine if the potential benefits of the vaccines outweigh the risks.

person holding syringe and vial
CDC

Don’t worry. Future COVID-19 vaccinations will be affordable and available. That was the message that Lori M. Reilly, chief operating officer of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, delivered Tuesday during the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Future of Florida Forum.

Coronavirus cases appear headed for a new surge in the U.S., which could eclipse the explosion of cases in July.

Much of the new surge is driven by cases in the Midwest and Great Plains states.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, says "it was all sadly somewhat predictable."

The Trump administration announced a new partnership with two major national pharmacy chains to facilitate the distribution of a future coronavirus vaccine to nursing homes on Friday.

"Today, I'm thrilled to announce that we have just finalized a partnership with CVS and Walgreens," President Trump told a group in Fort Myers, Fla., at an event centered on seniors. He said the plan was for the pharmacies to "deliver the vaccine directly to nursing homes at no cost to our seniors."

Updated at 1 pm, to include comment from the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services

Even the most effective, safest coronavirus vaccine won't work to curb the spread of the virus unless a large number of people get immunized. And getting a vaccine from the manufacturers all the way into people's arms requires complex logistics — and will take many months.

Historically, tobacco plants are responsible for their share of illness and death. Now they may help control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two biotech companies are using the tobacco plant, Nicotiana benthamiana, as bio-factories to produce a key protein from the coronavirus that can be used in a vaccine.

Updated at 7:05 p.m. ET

Facebook said on Tuesday it will ban anti-vaccination ads, following widespread pressure on the social network to curb harmful content.

Under the new global policy, the company will no longer accept ads discouraging people from getting vaccines; ads that portray vaccines as unsafe or ineffective; or ads claiming the diseases vaccines prevent are harmless.

person holding syringe and vial
CDC

A late-stage study of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been paused while the company investigates whether a study participant’s “unexplained illness” is related to the shot.

Updated at 7:00 a.m. ET

More than 100,000 people are taking part in studies to see if one or more COVID-19 vaccine candidates actually work.

America's Obesity Epidemic Threatens Effectiveness Of Any COVID-19 Vaccine

Aug 6, 2020
Lynne Shallcross / KHN illustration (Getty Images)

For a world crippled by the coronavirus, salvation hinges on a vaccine.

But in the United States, where at least 4.6 million people have been infected and nearly 155,000 have died, the promise of that vaccine is hampered by a vexing epidemic that long preceded COVID-19: obesity.

Public Health Experts Fear A Hasty FDA Signoff On Coronavirus Vaccine

Jul 29, 2020
vaccine being injected into arm
Associated Press

The vaccine trial that Vice President Mike Pence kicked off in Miami on Monday gives the United States the tiniest chance of being ready to vaccinate millions of Americans just before Election Day.

It’s a possibility that fills many public health experts with dread.

Vials of vaccine
Associated Press

The world's biggest COVID-19 vaccine test got underway Monday with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers.

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Scientists at Oxford University say their experimental coronavirus vaccine has been shown in an early trial to prompt a protective immune response in hundreds of people who got the shot.

The National Security Agency, as well as its counterparts in Britain and Canada, all said Thursday that they're seeing persistent attempts by Russian hackers to break into organizations working on a potential coronavirus vaccine.

The Western intelligence agencies say they believe the hackers are part of the Russian group informally known as Cozy Bear. The intelligence agencies refer to it as APT29.

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Approximately 200 COVID-19 vaccines are being actively developed. All vaccines have one main goal: to prepare a person's immune system to fight off an invading organism should the body encounter it.

A headlong race to come up with a viable vaccine for COVID-19 that is being championed by a science-averse American president seeking reelection prompted some skeptical questions Thursday on Capitol Hill.

vaccine being injected into arm
Associated Press

The chief scientist at the World Health Organization says the agency hopes there will be about 2 billion doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of next year that would be reserved for “priority populations.”

More than 100 coronavirus vaccines are being studied around the world, but less than a dozen have begun testing in humans.

The federal government's goal is to have a COVID-19 vaccine ready by January 2021. To achieve that objective, the White House formed Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership, to push the development, testing and manufacture of a vaccine at a breakneck pace.

Right now, there is only one drug shown by rigorous scientific testing to be helpful for treating COVID-19. That drug is the antiviral medication called remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences. But remdesivir's proven benefits are modest: reducing hospital stays from 15 to 11 days.

Once upon a time, developing a new vaccine was a step-by-step process that went from concept, to design, to tests in humans, to regulatory approval, to manufacturing.

It was a process that could take a decade or more.

But the urgent need for a COVID-19 vaccine has radically changed all that. Now, the hope is the entire process can be completed in a year or less.

Gov. Ron DeSantis demurred Wednesday on whether he agreed with the state surgeon general that Floridians would need to continue social distancing until a coronavirus vaccine is approved. DeSantis said he didn’t hear the surgeon general and would talk with him privately. He then went on to say a vaccine isn’t a guarantee.